Q The cold makes it difficult to get to gym some days. Will at-home bodyweight training be as effective as a gym workout?
When it comes to building muscle and blasting calories, the simple answer is no, bodyweight training at home won’t be as effective. However, if you’re only planning to perform a few home-based sessions on the coldest of days, or simply want to get through winter without gaining weight or losing your current conditioning, then there’s no reason why you can’t get an effective workout at home, even if you only train with your body weight.
Adding a few simple and relatively cheap accessories to your home-based workouts will also offer a great deal of variety and increase the effectiveness of your home sessions. With some ingenuity and creative thinking you can also use common everyday items around the house to augment your training.
In terms of basic equipment, I would recommend at least the following:
A relatively heavy kettlebell
Next, create a dedicated space in your home where you can train. If you don’t have a dedicated room for your workout area, look for a spot that has enough space for your basic movements – you ideally want to be able do something like skipping without any interference.
The key to constructing effective home workouts is to combine the right type of exercises with the right programming.
With this structure you simply keep repeating the circuits as many times as you want (or can) to get a highly effective workout in 45 - 60 minutes. There are endless resources online or via home workout apps to give you ideas on how you can mix up the movements and keep things interesting. I have no doubt that with this approach and an appropriate diet, you’ll maintain your conditioning throughout winter. ■