Many countries around the world are already in, or are just about to enter, their second lockdown period of 2020 due to theCovid-19 restrictions.
I guess this makes writing about, “At-Home Workouts For Weight Loss” a very topical issue.
At the time of writing, here in London, we are also heading into lockdown number two.
A major cause for concern for many people (especially in terms of what some of us experienced between March-July 2020) is that we are probably going to become less active, eat more, and probably drink more too.
And, of course, the knock-on effect this will have on our body and our weight.
Admittedly, the number of people I saw running outdoors during the first lockdown was astronomical, but running isn’t for everyone.
So, with the worries about potential weight gain, the colder (and wetter in the UK) weather now upon us, this seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about working out at home.
At-Home Workouts For Weight Loss
Initially I’d like to talk about weight loss in general.
Then I’ll provide you with a few tips in terms of working out at home.
Followed by a brief mention of my favourite outdoor activity and what I still class as the best exercise ever (it’s probably not what you think).
And finally I’d like to introduce you to 4 great at-home workout programs that focus primarily on weight loss and fat burning.
Here in London (well the entire UK now) we have been told that we are going into lockdown for 4 weeks, but I think we are all a little wiser this time round, and while we hope this is the case, I’m sure some are prepared for the longer haul.
The same can probably be said no matter where you are in the world.
And the fact that winter is fast approaching in many regions and countries, working out at home makes perfect sense.
Weight Loss Made Simple
The theory behind weight loss is actually very simple – burn more calories than you consume.
You can search high-and-low for all the magic formulas you like.
You can drink amazing teas or smoothies that will wondrously melt body fat away.
You can even lie flat on your back on the couch, while feasting on fried chicken and ice cream, as a tight belt around your waist gives you 3 electric shocks every minute.
However, the simple fact of the matter is that if you can burn more calories per day than you are putting into your mouth then you will lose weight.
Seriously, you could have a traditional full English breakfast, KFC for lunch, Chicken Tikka Masala and all the accompaniments from your favourite Indian takeaway for dinner.
You could separate each meal with 3 doughnuts and strawberry milkshake.
But, If you completed a 2-hour strength training session in the morning, focusing on heavy squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts, followed by some sprint training in the afternoon, and then a 5-mile “rucking” walk with 20kg in your bag in the evening, then you’d still lose weight.
Now, this is definitely not something I’d recommend, but hopefully you get my meaning.
Firstly, that’s an awful lot of processed foods and saturated fat to consume in one day.
You can lose all the weight you want in the world, but still have rolls of fat on your body – hence the term “skinny-fat” (although skinny-fat has more to do with the fact that you’re burning lean muscle, as opposed to body fat) .
Secondly, it’s highly unlikely that you’d have the energy to perform the prescribed workouts, as the crap you are ingesting is going to give you huge insulin spikes and crashes – basically you’re going to feel terrible for most of the day.
Additionally, this type of eating and potentially overtraining will typically cause the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is more likely to make you hold onto body fat (especially around the belly area)
Finally, there is such a thing as diabetes, heart disease, and a vast array of other terrible conditions that this type of eating can cause.
So, yes you can lose weight by burning more calories than you consume, but this also requires some common sense.
You can read more on this subject in my article, “How Many Calories Does the Average Person Burn in a Day?”
Plus, the article provides you with the tools to calculate how many calories you’re burning while at rest, as well as the type of activity levels you need to reach your body composition goals.
3 Tips For Losing Weight While You’re Stuck At Home
If you’ve read my article above about the calories we burn while at rest you will understand that just simple bodily functions such as breathing, blood circulation, cell regeneration, etc. burns calories.
Even just lying down in your bed while doing absolutely nothing, most of us will be burning at least 50 calories per hour (and potentially much more depending on your weight).
So, it makes sense that the more we move, the more calories we burn, thus meaning the more weight we lose.
Therefore, if you find you have been sitting in the same spot for a number of hours, get up, move around, do something/anything.
Even just tidying up, doing a quick 10 minutes of household chores, or simply climbing up and down the stairs, all add up and will help you expend more calories while you’re stuck indoors.
Do The Right Types Of Exercises
One of the best ways to lose weight is to actually increase lean muscle mass and raise your metabolism.
I’ve spoken many times before of how many people avoid any form of resistance or strength training for the fear of getting too bulky.
I even recall making a very tongue-in-cheek statement about what it would actually require for us mere mortals to become “bulky”.
Trust me, it takes a huge amount of effort, some additional “help” in the form of supplements, and an excessive amount of daily calories to “get bulky”.
Lifting weights or adding resistance to certain bodyweight exercises will not do this.
Plus the more lean muscle the body possesses the more calories you will burn while at rest. This means that you are more likely to lose weight and burn fat.
You can still produce lean muscle from bodyweight exercises while working out in the comfort of your own home.
It’s just a case of doing the right types of exercises.
Your focus should also be on producing the “afterburn effect”.
Once again, something that I have spoken of many times before.
This is typically achieved through strength training, high intensity interval workouts, circuit training, etc.
Basically, any form of exercise that has your heart rate going up-and-down over a specific period of time, or that uses added resistance to place more “strain” on the muscles.
The vast majority of people tend to focus on moderate-intensity, steady-state cardio, which typically keeps your heart pumping at more-or-less the exact same rate throughout the entire workout.
However, by performing short bouts of exercise, whereby your heart is pumping near maximum capacity, then slowing right down and allowing your heart rate to get somewhere near to normal again, and then alternating this process, you will produce the afterburn effect.
This is when your body is still burning many calories even after you’ve stopped moving.
You can read more about the afterburn effect in my article, “How Many Calories Does Strength Training Burn?”
You Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet
Okay, my example above about eating copious amounts of food and then performing huge bouts of exercise was a little crude, but there has never been a truer saying than, “You can’t out-train a bad diet”.
With that said, there is nothing wrong with the occasional cheat meal, or even having an entire cheat day every-now-and-then, just don’t make it a regular daily habit.
However, if your current eating plan is focused around processed, fatty, and unhealthy foods, you can do all the exercise you want, you are still going to have body fat.
Sitting around at home often leads to boredom and I know from personal experience, if I’m bored I typically snack.
This is why it’s important to keep yourself busy, but also to be aware of what you are eating.
I’m not saying you have to be strict with yourself 100% of the time, as I’m certainly not.
Nevertheless, for the main part you should concentrate on eating whole, natural and nutritious foods.
There is a particular eating plan that is more inline with the way I choose to eat (which allows you to “cheat” a little more often), and you can read more about this in my review of The Metabolic Reboot Program.
Now before we get into the at home workouts for weight loss, let me just introduce you to probably my favourite exercise ever.
My Favourite Exercise Ever
I’m someone who has spent some time in a boxing ring.
I come from an era when all our sports training was focused around “old-school” bodyweight exercises.
I have now spent over 25 years regularly training with weights in the gym.
I’ve lifted heavy, I enjoy Olympic lifting, I’ve tried density training, circuit training, superset training.
I love hybrid workouts where you focus on a mixture of weights and bodyweight exercises within the same workout.
I’ve done the running thing, I love sprints, I’ve given yoga a go, and even some freestyle dancing.
However, there is one form of exercise that tops them all in my mind.
In fact, still to this day, even with all the exercise I love doing, I still complete this form of “exercise” every single morning without fail.
Admittedly, you will probably have to leave the home environment to do it, but I still class it as the best form of exercise there is.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…
I’m not sure how much more I need to say. I could go into the ins-and-outs, the physical benefits, the unbelievable psychological benefits of enjoying a morning walk, etc.
But I won’t.
Everyone should be walking.
Okay, now let’s get to the workouts.
At-Home Workout Program 1 – Bodyweight Burn
Bodyweight Burn is an at-home workout program created by Adam Steer.
Adam is someone who has been involved in creating workout programs for well over a decade.
He’s even created and taught workshops and seminars in various locations around the world.
Adam’s love of bodyweight training has earned him the nickname, “The Bodyweight Coach”, and all of his workouts can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
The Bodyweight Burn program is based around 21-minute workouts which will help you lose weight and burn fat.
The workouts are short, but intense, and anyone who knows their stuff will tell you that these types of workouts will do far more for you in terms of weight loss and fat burning than long, strenuous, or even moderate-intensity exercise.
Bodyweight Burn introduces 3 methods:
- Cardioflow – This replaces traditional cardio, such as treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and even jogging outdoors. You basically perform a series of bodyweight exercises one-after-the-other in a smooth sequence.
- Afterburner – This is a sequence of high-intensity exercises aimed at propelling the metabolism into overdrive and producing the afterburn effect. Adam has cited a 2002 study which stated that these types of exercises still burn body fat for up to 38 hours after you’ve STOPPED exercising.
- Metabolic-Muscle Sessions – This where you learn how to build lean muscle and actually accelerate your weight loss efforts through insulin sensitivity.
Check out the beginner fat-burning workout in the video below.
You can discover more in my full review of the Bodyweight Burn Program.
At-Home Workout Program 2 – Toned in Ten
Toned in Ten initially appears to be aimed at women, as it focuses on burning belly, hip, and thigh fat, helps you to lose cellulite, as well as helping you to achieve a more youthful complexion through exercise and diet.
But as far as I’m concerned Toned in Ten is great for both men and women looking to burn body fat or lose weight.
Plus I don’t know about anyone else, but even as a guy, as I get older the more I yearn to look a few years younger.
The program was created by Erin Nielsen, who certainly looks much younger than her actual years.
Toned in Ten is based around performing five 10-minute workouts a week.
Erin does explain that you can add workouts together to create a longer workout if you wish.
However, because of the types of exercises you’ll be performing the afterburn effect once again comes into play, so there’s no need for long, boring workouts.
You’ll also learn about the “Primal Diet”, a specific way of eating that was initially created by Mark Sisson in his Primal Blueprint program of 2009.
In its most basic form this means only eating the foods that our primal ancestors had access to.
So, definitely no processed foods or man-made grains.
As well as follow-along videos of the workouts you’ll also receive grocery shopping lists so you’ll know exactly what to buy.
Check out one of Erin’s Full Body Burn 10-Minute Workouts
You can read my full review of the Toned in Ten program here.
At-Home Workout Program 3 – Old School New Body (Dumbbells Required)
The Old School New Body workout program once again teaches us that long, boring, cortisol-producing workouts are not required, and should be banished forever.
In fact, the starter program, which only involves 4 exercises to be performed for 30 minutes, three times a week, is the only training protocol that many of you will ever require.
The program does require dumbbells, although I know that many of you will probably have a set of dumbbells lurking somewhere at home.
The basis of this at home workout is to use a weight that you could perform 15 reps of an exercise with.
Then simply perform 10 reps, rest 30 seconds, and go again.
The fourth and final set you should aim for as many reps as possible.
This is actually a form of density training and I can confirm that this is one of the best ways to burn fat, lose weight, build lean muscle, increase your metabolism, and produce the afterburn effect.
Old School New Body was created by Steve and Becky Holman.
Steve is actually the editor-in-chief of the world-renowned, Iron Man Magazine.
However, you don’t have to worry about bodybuilding routines that the magazine is famed for.
These types of workouts are perfect for both men and women, of any age or fitness level, and will definitely help you lose weight and attain your body composition goals.
Check out what Emy had to say about this program.
And you can read my full review of Old School New Body here.
At-Home Workout Program 4 – Unlock Your Glutes
Now this at-home workout program may seem a little “out there”, but if you want to lose weight, burn fat, and create a sleek, sexy, and athletic body, then hear me out.
It wasn’t until I herniated two discs in my lower spine that I realised how weak my glutes (backside, bum, whatever you wish to call it), hamstrings and hip flexors were.
Furthermore, I didn’t realise just how important these areas of the body were in achieving an aesthetically-pleasing body.
In fact, during my recuperation from my injury I focused most of my efforts on lower-body training and I couldn’t believe the dramatic knock-on effect it had on the rest of my body.
I produced an awesome set of abs without doing a single crunch or sit up. My upper body was toned, muscular and looked great, and yet I was hardly doing any upper body work at all.
The glutes happen to be the largest muscle in the body.
It now makes perfect sense to me that no matter what your goals are, if you train the largest muscle in the body, you’re pretty much going to achieve them.
This is definitely true when it comes to losing weight and burning body fat.
Just think about it for a moment – the more of the body you use, the more calories you’re likely to burn.
So, it’s a given that we should exercise the biggest muscle we have at our disposal.
With that said, I’m actually pretty sure that if anyone concentrated solely on training their glutes for a couple of days a week, for a month, they would definitely have a far better looking body.
As I’ve said, from personal experience I know this to be true.
Additionally, I wasn’t aware of just how much we use the glutes on a daily basis.
Walking, running, sitting, stepping, climbing, jumping, and even standing still will require your glutes to be activated.
The knock-on effects from exercising your glutes doesn’t just end at your physical appearance, but is tied to overall health as well.
The Unlock Your Glutes program was created by Brian Klepacki.
Brian’s background includes training bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness models, so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff.
The program will introduce you to a total of 36 exercises.
You will only need to complete 2 workouts a week (lasting 15 minutes each) for a total of 4 weeks.
So, in effect 8 workouts, or only 2 hours of exercising over an entire month.
The results have got to be seen to be believed.
Here’s Brian explaining the 3 most common glute training mistakes.
You can read my full Unlock Your Glutes review here.
Even More Workouts
So, if you’re looking for at-home workouts for weight loss, you need look no further.
I know 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, and in truth there is currently no end in sight as to when things will return to “normal”.
I guess you could say what we’re currently experiencing is our “new normal”.
However, this doesn’t mean that we should let our health slide.
Even though the gyms have closed down, the fact that it’s colder outside, doesn’t mean that we have to let ourselves go and start piling on the pounds.
In fact, I view this as the perfect opportunity for many of us to get into fantastic shape.
So please, choose a workout based on your goals, and let’s get exercising.