Tips to Improve your Home Workouts
So you want to get fit but can’t get to the gym? We feel you.
Don't underestimate the power of the understated home workout!
We've compiled a list of helpful tips to improve your home workout, get you motivated and get results!
1. Set Goals
Setting goals for your workouts is a great way to keep track of what you want to achieve in each session. Your workout goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound goals.
When thinking about your goals, think about what you want to achieve and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to focus on a certain area of your training; eg. HIIT, weight training, flexibility?
- Can you measure your goal; eg. do you want to lose weight, build muscle?
- Is it attainable? Is it possible for you with your abilities right now?
- Is it realistic? Unrealistic goals can lead us to become unmotivated or disappointed.
- Is there a special event or time you want to achieve this goal by?
Making a plan can make all the difference when achieving your fitness goals. Just like having a plan for what you want to do in the gym, it is essential that you either create a plan yourself or get a plan from a personal trainer for your home workouts.
Having a workout plan provides you with structure so that you aren't wondering what to do next. It also means there's an end in sight, and might encourage you to keep going longer than you would without this direction.
Try to stick to that plan to the best of your ability. Consistency is key to making long-term goals achievable.
With gyms closed during lockdown and many of us working from home, it is easier for you to defer your home workouts and just sit back and watch tv instead.
Don't feel bad: All of us are guilty of doing this at some point!
Looking after yourself is what's most important, and it's okay to pass on a workout from time to time if you really don't feel up to it. The problem is when skipping workouts becomes the habit!
You can avoid the risk of skipping your workouts by simply setting yourself a regular time for your workouts. This will help you immensely! It is much easier for you to look forward to and prepare yourself for your workouts when you have a set time.
When it comes to setting a time, remember that consistency is key for getting the results that you desire. If you already had a routine time for your workouts, try to bring it back into your current routine. If you never had a routine time set for your workouts and don’t know where to start, see if asking yourself some of these questions will help:
- What time do you feel most motivated?
- What time do you have the most energy for your workout?
- How much time do you need between meals and your workouts?
It is easy to feel motivated when beginning your workout journey. It's new, it's exciting!
The real work begins when you’re lacking that motivation and you are finding it hard to perform your workouts. Discipline helps push us to go further and remain consistent. This will get you closer to achieving the goals that you set out to achieve.
Remember, motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you growing!
5. Find Your Workout Zone
Pick a space for your workouts where you can move freely. This will allow you to perform exercises that require more space such as weight or HIIT training. But if you are limited on space, I would recommend having enough space that you can roll a yoga mat down. You can perform many different forms of exercise with just a little amount of space, such as stretching or core exercises.
Grabbing yourself a workout partner can not only make your workouts more enjoyable, but they can also help keep you accountable and ensure you perform your workouts. A study by Jo Corbett et al. on the ‘Influence of competition and performance and pacing during cycling exercise’ has shown that having someone to compete against can greatly increase your performance throughout your training .
Whether it's some friendly competition or words of wisdom and encouragement, grab your workout buddy for a change-up in your workout!
If you can’t convince one of your friends to train with you, try signing up for a group session. Working out with others who will push you will greatly benefit your training and make it a much more enjoyable workout.
Before starting your workout, pick your favorite workout music to get you pumped! A study by Professor J. Waterhouse about the ‘Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance’, shows that listening to fast-paced music will increase the performance output of your workouts . This is because increases your stamina and puts you in a better mood! This will not only help you burn a few extra calories, but it means you'll have fun doing it!
Studies show that if you're doing a strength workout, look for fast-paced songs of 140 BPM+.
Hydration is key when it comes to your training and workouts.
Staying hydrated is extremely important for athletes, as it replaces the water lost through sweating, keeps joints lubricated, prevents cramps, and keeps organs functioning properly.
Water is an important micronutrient that we need in large amounts to function. Water makes up the largest component of your body, making up to 75% of your body weight . It is a commonly known fact that you can not live without water for more than 3-4 days. Yet most of us walk around in a dehydrated state most of the time, as we do not concentrate on drinking enough water!
Dehydration can affect us in many different ways, the most common symptoms being:
- Poor mood & dizziness
- Decreased alertness
- Loss of concentration
According to the U.S National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, recommended daily fluid intake should be around 3.7 litres for men and around 2.7 litres for women . So, grab yourself a reusable bottle and fill up on the clear stuff to avoid dehydration!
9. Fuel Up
Eating the correct sources of fuel, including proteins and carbohydrates, can greatly increase the quality of your workouts .
It is ideal to fuel yourself about two hours before your workouts. We recommend eating some healthy forms of carbohydrates and some protein. This is to ensure that your body has enough energy to fuel your muscles. If you are short on time and need a quick snack before a training session, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana.
When it comes to essential nutrients, protein is king. It is a source of energy, can help repair damaged tissue, is essential for growth and plays a role in preventing infection and disease .
Protein is naturally abundant in a lot of foods, but it can be beneficial for athletes to get extra protein into their diet through a dietary supplement, such as our Target Whey Protein.
10. Track Yourself
In addition to your training plan, it is also a good idea to create a workout journal to track your progress.
By journaling your workouts, you can track your progress while reaching your goals. It can be motivational to see the progress that you have made from the start of your program. Just by seeing how far you’ve come, you can push yourself even further!
To sum up...
Whether you’re a complete beginner, an irregular exerciser, or an experienced athlete, these tips can help you improve your home workouts! Following these tips will help you get the best out of all your workouts, not just the ones you do at home!
 Corbett, J., Barwood, M., Ouzounoglou, A., Thelwell, R., & Dicks, M. (2012). Influence of Competition on Performance and Pacing during Cycling Exercise. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 44(3), 509-515. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31823378b1
 Waterhouse, J., Hudson, P. and Edwards, B. (2010), Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20: 662-669. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00948.x
 Popkin, B. M., D'Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439–458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
 Armstrong LE, Johnson EC. Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients. 2018; 10(12):1928. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121928
 Tipton KD, Phillips SM. Dietary protein for muscle hypertrophy. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2013;76:73-84. doi: 10.1159/000350259. Epub 2013 Jul 25. PMID: 23899756.
 Wu G. Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Funct. 2016 Mar;7(3):1251-65. doi: 10.1039/c5fo01530h. PMID: 26797090.