Don’t we all wish we were a little bit stronger?
Maybe not super strength, but being able to lift those boxes around the house, or even carry all those shopping bags from the car in one trip!
Unsurprisingly, strength training is becoming a lot more popular than other forms of training.
Not only does it do what it says on the tin, but it’s also fantastic at reducing body fat, as it burns calories throughout the day, even after you have finished training.
Strength training is such a vital component of fitness and health.
The thing is, life can get in the way of going to the gym.
We have all noticed that after the year we have just had.
What if you don’t need all the equipment to improve your strength?
Working out at home can save time and money with all the commuting to and from the gym, allowing other things in your day to be prioritized.
You can’t ignore how easily home workouts can fit into your day!
That may leave you wondering – “Does Strength Training At Home Work?”
Absolutely! Strength training at home is perfect for experienced and beginners alike!
There are multiple methods to incorporate strength training into our routine, including bodyweight exercise, calisthenics and if available, kettlebells.
The key is to follow a high-intensity program consistently!
Equipment can obviously increase the difficulty of the exercises, as it can make progressive overloading a lot more achievable.
This doesn’t have to come from the gym, though.
There are plenty of possibilities, as you will discover as you continue reading!
Can You Strength Train Without Weights?
It’s completely possible to increase strength without weights, especially for beginners!
Basically, every form of free weight and strength training equipment sold out during lockdown, leaving a lot of us left to become creative in our home workouts.
So, how can we build strength without the requirement of lifting expensive, heavy weights?
Using your body weight as resistance is effective for shocking your central nervous system into becoming “active” so to speak.
Your body will struggle at first.
Being new to lifting may mean you struggle to perform push-ups and pull-ups.
Consistency will mean you grow and improve, and after some time, you will be hitting them PB’s of 8… then 10… then 12 reps!
But we are STRENGTH TRAINING!
We can’t let ourselves plateau!
When an exercise begins to become less challenging, we must find variations!
We want an exercise to be more challenging, we want the exercise to stop us from doing tons of repetitions.
This is how we increase our strength capabilities!
Simply speaking, varying the exercise can help.
For example, changing the incline of your feet on a push-up can increase the difficulty!
For more variations of exercises at home, check out my free eBook – ‘Train Wherever The F*ck You Want!’
It is well-known that the easiest way to strength train is to progressively overload the weight.
This is a tough task without the equipment.
Don’t worry, though. I will let you in with a little secret…
Yes, you read that right.
Fill these beauties with sand or water and they can become a great tool to aid in improving your power!
Finally, this goes for any sort of strength training, not just home workouts.
You need to have intent.
Each exercise is required to be performed with intensity!
Each push, pull or squat has to be done with force and form.
This is where you will see the progression!
Can You Strength Train With Kettlebells?
Maybe you do have some sort of budget for equipment.
After the initial hype, you got your hands on a kettlebell.
You may be wondering if you can incorporate this into a strength routine.
Of course, you can, the heavier you can get while lifting, the easier improving your strength is.
This isn’t invalidating those bodyweight exercises whatsoever, but is the next stage up after getting strong enough for your own body!
The milk jug method is great as well but requires a fair bit of estimating.
Kettlebells, or specifically kettlebell swings, are super effective for full-body strength training!
It strengthens multiple muscles at once, like your quads, arms, hamstrings, back, and shoulders quicker and more effectively, with one simple movement!
You can even do this while decreasing the training load so you don’t need a huge kettlebell to work out with.
If you want to train more specific muscle groups, you can try a kettlebell chest press, to strengthen those chest muscles.
How about a kettlebell shoulder press to improve your overhead pressing power?
There are a variety of kettlebell movements that you can incorporate into your home workout for strength, and I go through a shed load of them in my video below!
How Often Should You Strength Train?
Rest is absolutely paramount for strength training and you should 100% NOT be overtraining when trying to improve your strength!
There, I said it.
Overtraining can cause your progress to become stagnant, or even decrease your performance, making it difficult to reach your goals.
Your strength slacks, you fatigue easily and you get injured WAY more than you should be.
You can get to a point of exercising too much, and as a beginner, this can be detrimental to your journey.
In reality, you should be strength training maybe 2 or 3 times a week.
If you aim to lose weight at the same time, you can even mix in a bit of cardio in between, but always rest your muscles!
When working to develop your strength, not only do you need to rest between workouts, but you must allow enough recovery time between sets!
This enables you to output your maximum power in each lift, improving the quality of your strength workout at home!
Strictly speaking, the rest between workouts must be used wisely if you are truly passionate about achieving your goals!
- Sleep is extremely important to allow your muscles to develop and not fatigue!
- Drinking water to keep hydrated is something you should be doing no matter what training you do.
- Eat, eat and eat. Shoving as much protein into your body is so important when trying to increase your strength!
What Rep Range Is Best For Strength?
Rep ranges are a heavily opinionated topic that, in reality, does not need to be thought about too much when strength training, especially as a beginner.
If you are bodyweight training, no matter how many repetitions you do, if you are consistent with good form, you will improve your strength.
If you are always making the exercise difficult so you are performing less than 10, powerful reps, you can’t go wrong, easy as that.
We can’t ignore science though. If we have access to heavy weights at home, like kettlebells ( or those milk jugs!) then we preferably want to be aiming for 5 sets of 3-5 heavy output reps.
The point of doing 3-5 reps rather than 15 is because it allows you to lift heavier without the fatigue, getting you as close to your max as possible.
“In that case, why aren’t we just doing our 1 rep max for each set?”
We want to condition our muscles!
We want to use the max force we can, while also building some mass and endurance.
Being bigger is not necessary, but it certainly helps!
Strength training is quite clearly a massive part of anyone’s fitness goals, and no matter where you train, you can incorporate it.
Simple bodyweight exercises are an easy way to start strength training at home.
This can start to develop and improve to the point where we can lift more than Eddie Hall!
Okay, maybe not that far, but with consistency, a well-balanced diet, you can achieve those goals that feel so out of reach – even without a gym membership!
Strength training at home really does work, and you can learn even more about it through my Youtube video below!