A lot of people have been asking me if they can workout from home and still get awesome results. The answer is obviously YES. In this article I am going to show you my very simple but surprisingly awesome home gym workout routine. Without further ado lets get started!
What you will Need
1. Power Tower or Pull up Bar and Dip Stand
2. Dipping Belt (to add weight to specific exercises)
3. Weighted Plates
Effective Home Gym Workout
Above is an old video of me performing weighted bar dips. Bar dips are an incredible exercise for the chest, shoulders and triceps. Most people favour the bench press to dips but I think that dips are much more effective and let me tell you why. Old bodybuilder legend Mike Metzer called Bar Dips the upper body squat and he was damn right. You see like Squats, Dips are a closed chain exercise (squats = feet are fixed, dips = hands are fixed and body moves). Whereas open chain exercises the hands/feet are moving (bench press, leg press, rows….). I have always found closed chain exercises to be easier on the joints and more effective in general. In fact currently I am sticking strictly to closed chain presses (handstand push ups, dips and one arm push ups) because open chain presses have been giving me a lot of shoulder pain).
If you can build up to performing weighted bar dips with 100+ lbs attached I guarantee you that your chest, shoulders and triceps will be looking awesome. My goal is to build up to 200 lbs attached for 5 reps (currently at 150).
Weighted Chin Ups
Chin ups and pull ups are the best exercise for your back and biceps hands down. Like dips, chins are also a closed chain exercise. Pull ups and chins are way better then lat pull down or any row movement.
I favor chin ups to pull ups because most people have better form with chins. When you add weight to pull ups it can be very hard to maintain a full range of motion. In addition chin ups work your lats pretty damn well and give your biceps a killer workout.
Once you start adding weight, make sure you use a high-quality weight belt that won’t cause discomfort or distract you from your training.
Pistol Squats or One Legged Squats are a terrific exercise at building strong and functional legs without adding too much size. In addition pistol squats will develop incredible balance, coordination and flexibility (barbell squats would never do this). If your goal is to build very strong legs then you can work up to doing pistol squats weighted with 50% of your bodyweight. This requires the same leg strength as doing a 2x bodyweight barbell squat.
Example: 200 lbs man: 400 lbs barbell full squat (ass to grass) = 100 lbs weighted pistol squat
I havent don’t a barbell squat in a few years but I have done regular pistol squats and even built up to doing them with 88 lbs weighted. Decided to see how much I could barbell full squat and I hit 350 lbs (2x bodyweight squat – not bad). I’m not a doctor or anything but I don’t think having 300+ lbs on my back can be very good. Thats a lot of compression on the spine. I’ll save my back and stick to pistol squats :)
Those 3 movements will develop your body incredibly. Trust me it’s better to stick with a few movements and build them up then to use a bunch of fancy dancy moves and never improve on the lifts. Variety is highly overrated. Simplicity wins every time.
Home Gym Workout: Perform 2-3x per week on non consecutive days
1. Weighted Bar Dips: 3 sets
Work up to 4-6 rep max. rest 3 minutes. Reduce the weight by 10% and perform another set for as many reps without hitting failure. Reduce the weight by 10% and perform a final set for as many reps without hitting failure.
2. Weighted Chin ups: 3 sets
(same as above)
3. Pistol Squats: 3 sets
Perform 3 sets of 5 reps per leg. If you don’t want to add too much size to your legs then just stick with your bodyweight and make sure to stop a few reps before failure.
Pistol Squats x 5 reps (bodyweight)
Chin ups x 10 reps (bodyweight)
Dips x 15 reps (bodyweight)
Pistol Squats with 20% bw x 5 reps
Chin ups with 25% bw x 5 reps
Dips with 30% bw x 5 reps
Pistols with 40% bw x 5 reps
Chins with 50% bw x 5 reps
Dips with 60% bw x 5 reps
Physical Bad Ass
Pistols with 60% bw x 5 reps
Chins with 75% bw x 5 reps
Dips with 90% bw x 5 reps
In the next article I will be showcasing some awesome bodyweight movements you can add to this routine.