One thing I have noticed about the home gym health and fitness industry which makes things difficult is that they are always changing the rules! There’s always some new concept that is the way to do things.
Currently, it’s Burst Training. And actually, this time I like the idea a lot.
Who should use Burst Training?
Since high intensity is the key to bursting, only those in decent health who can push themselves really hard should practice burst training. Always consult with your doctor first. (I have to say that, don’t I?)
What is Burst Training?
Burst training, also referred to as surge training, is a form of interval training where you exercise at maximum intensity in short bursts of 30-60 seconds followed by a recovery period of about 2-5 minutes. The intervals are repeated for 15-30 minutes. Maximum intensity means you should push as hard as you can and should be out of breath at the end of the interval. Recovery means your heart rate and breathing should be back to normal and your muscles should stop burning.
Where do you Burst Train?
With your home gym of course. Even entry level gyms give enough options to give burst training a try.
Why Burst Train?
Short burst training burns a maximum amount of calories during exercise and also continues to burn fat calories long after your workout is complete. Oh… And of course, it takes less time than traditional cardio exercise.
When should you Burst Train?
You can burst train whenever it fits into your schedule, which should be a lot easier now that you have shorter workouts. The average recommendation for frequency of burst training is every other day. This gives your body a change to recover completely from your workouts and keeps you from over-training.
I tell you, Iron Tony has given this short burst training thing a try. It really kicks your butt! I always feel like I’ve had a better workout than when I do longer exercise sessions with my home gym. Not only that, but I get it done quicker and don’t have time to get bored. Try it!
Calmly, I walked over to the weight machine—and positioned myself facing in the wrong direction. Luckily, a kind soul rushed over and advised that one hard pull and my shoulders would be ripped from their sockets.
Trying to regain my dignity, I strolled over to the barbells and promptly overloaded one side and forgot to used collars. Nothing screams “geek!” like heavy metal plates crashing to the floor in a loud, echoing crescendo!
My point? We’re all beginners at some point. And I, Mike Mejia—currently a contributing editor to Men’s Health magazine—was one of the clumsiest beginners ever. But since then, I’ve become a nationally recognized expert in strength and fitness—and learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
All of this has helped build my database of Home Gym articles and reviews where I lay out to you everything I have learned as I have bulked up and super-shopped the market.
That is why I started Home Gym Reviews. By building up these reviews, trying out new machines, and getting input from other bodybuilders we all win.
When first creating a home gym, you want to determine how much space you have available and what type of workout equipment you will be buying. Weight-training equipment can come in the form of free weights or one of today’s popular total trainer machines.
If you are simply wanting to get your feet wet and see if this is the right path for you, then buying a few sets of quality free weights may be the best way to get started. If you’re eager and know that a home gym is right for you, and you have the space, then a total trainer machine is your answer to home fitness.
Just keep in mind that your level of experience matters. When deciding on what equipment to purchase, the majority of exercises that can get you into shape and build muscle fast can all be done with basic free weights, which are a cheaper route than a machine. The biggest issue with that route, however, is that it takes a person with solid experience in weight training to do the exercises right using free weights. So, if you are a beginner to weight lifting, purchasing a machine will greatly benefit your workout experience.
Before getting started, you will want to check out some of the weight training equipment review sites such as RealHomeGymReviews.com. They cover total trainer reviews as well as free weight sets, and also give you valuable insight into pricing and workout styles.
As with other products, when purchasing a weight set there are brand names that emphasize high quality and you will want to go with one of these. Among them are Yukon, Titan, Body Solid, Bodycraft and Bayou.
The benefits of purchasing a brand name weight set over a generic one is the guarantee of accurate weight measurements, higher quality, and the fact that these manufacturers support their products with both DVD workout videos and plenty of videos available for free on YouTube to help you start your training.
When you are setting up your home gym, don’t forget that a good workout means more than just lifting weights. You will want to create a home gym environment that will keep you pumped up and hydrated while you work out. So include a small refrigerator to store bottled water, energy drinks and bars, and chilled towels. Keep a good selection of dry towels nearby. And get the right stereo or CD player so that you can have your favorite music when weight training.
Keeping fit in the middle of a tight schedule is not an impossible task for men, if they are willing to invest in a home gym. It’s also harder to say no to a workout when it’s a few steps from your living room instead of across town. So set up your own home gym and start getting fit the easy way today.
One of the things you really need to watch for as the owner of a Home Gym is overtraining.
Although having goals and being aggressive is great you can take it too far. The more aggressive your fitness goals…the more diligent you will need to be with your training, nutrition and sleeping patters.
Know when it’s time to hang up the gym clothes and give your body a rest, because if you push your body too hard….chances are you will be overtraining your body.
Recovering from over training can be detrimental to your workout regimen which can mean losing several days of workouts.
You will know right away if you have pushed your body too far because you just won’t have the energy to get through a complete workout, and you will feel completely exhausted all the time.
I’ve even heard of extreme cases taking several months to fully recover!
By all means…don’t hold anything back during your workouts. Go full throttle…but make sure you know your limits. Overtraining can set you back months on your fitness and body building schedule.
The Body Solid pec dec is a great machine for isolating the chest muscles. Before you start, adjust the seat height so that the bottom of the arm pads are about level with your chest when you’re sitting on the machine. Select the weight you want to use on the stack. Sit on the machine, grasp the hand handles and place your forearms on the padding. Take the weight off the stack slightly. This is the starting position for the exercise. Keeping your body fixed, slowly bring the forearm pads together. Don’t let them touch. Squeeze the chest muscles for a count of 1-3, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps.
The Body Solid pec dec is an awesome machine for targeting the pectorals, but you need to use strict technique and focus on stretch and contraction to get the most out of it. Don’t let the stack drop during the set, don’t touch the pads in the center, and keep your body fixed. Don’t bring your torso forward as you squeeze the weight up. Pause at the top of the exercise (pads in) for a count of 1-3, squeezing the chest for maximum intensity.
The Powerline Vertical Leg Press provides an impressive platform for obtaining huge muscle gains through isolated lower body workouts. The unique vertical design not only reinforces support for your back and hips, but also minimizes space used to perform the exercises.
Weight training benches are at the center of any home gym setup. There are a large variety of different manufacturers of weight benches available to purchase online or on the high street. They fall into four main categories: flat, vertical, decline, and incline. It is crucial that you use the correct kind of workout bench so that you don’t hurt your body and still have an effective workout as well.
The one most often seen is most likely to be the flat weight bench. As the name strongly describes the flat bench is simply a long, narrow bench. This type of bench is appropriate for exercises such as the dumbbell press or bench press. The type of training bench helpful for exercises such as the shoulder press is the vertical bench. It helps the person exercising maintain the correct position by providing sufficient back support. Composed of two main pieces it looks almost like a chair.
The most suitable bench for people who are looking to increase the development of the lower chest muscles is the decline bench. This is most likely the least well known kind but is ideal in certain situations. As the name suggests the decline bench is an exercise bench that is sloped slightly downwards so that the upper half of the body is slightly lower than lower half.
Last of all is the incline bench which is quite similar in appearance to the flat bench, except that it is slightly raised. Usually, the incline bench is adjustable so that the person exercising can set the proper incline for the exercise being performed. This facility enables the user to target very specific muscles.
Each of the individual types of weight bench has its own strengths and weakness, which is precisely the reason why a weight training bench that can easily and quickly adjust to all four positions is the ideal bench to own.
Weight benches provide a stable object for a person to lie or sit on when lifting weights. The best ones are adjustable, allowing you to raise or lower one end of the bench so you can do incline and decline exercises.
Inclines and declines change the emphasis of exercises onto different muscle groups or different parts of muscle groups for a more complete workout potential. They up the options of exercises available.
Weight benches can be used to do a wide variety of exercises. Here is a typical seated workout using weight benches:
Home Gym Weight Benches Seated Workout Routine
Step one. Sit on the bench sideways with your feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight and squeeze your abdominal muscles to maintain good posture and exercise form.
Step two. Incline the bench all the way up like a chair to relax against to do certain exercises if you want to rest your back or use the back rest for more support when lifting, if your bench is capable of raising that high. Do this by pulling out the pin underneath the bench and pushing up on the long part of the bench to make a seat with the shorter portion.
Step three. Do seated exercises with dumbbells such as bicep curls, hammer curls, seated triceps extensions, shoulder presses, bent-arm lateral raises or chair squats. Use heavy weights and rep numbers of less than six to build maximal strength. Do six to 12 reps with medium weights to make your muscles larger. Do 12 to 20 reps for increasing muscular endurance.
Step four. Work your upper body with overhead presses. Sit up straight and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows and raise the weights to shoulder height at chin level with your palms facing forward. Straighten your arms at an angle slightly forward at an incline and bring your weights together. Bend your elbows and return to your starting position. This exercise primarily works your shoulders, triceps and chest, with your biceps and back getting some work on the downward movement.
Step five. Bend your elbows and rest the dumbbells on your shoulders. Make sure your feet are hip width apart and that your feet are parallel to each other. Stand up and straighten your legs. Sit back down slowly with a controlled movement so that you do not drop back onto the bench. This action works your quads and glutes with some work for the hamstrings.
If you don’t have a weight bench yet you should check out the selection at a site like Home Gym Deals and get your home gym equiped.
Total trainers are the number one tool of a home gym, and the benefits they give you are enormous. When you strength train with weights your muscles going to get stronger and you’ll also work the ligaments and tendons that are connecting bones, muscles, and other tissues.
This reduces the chance that your body becomes injured when participating in other physical activities. Weight lifting will increase also your bone density and help ward off osteoporosis or stress fractures in the future. Check out these total trainer posts:
Many people think running is the best exercise for increasing bone density, but running actually promotes muscle breakdown in the body, while weight lifting, which is an anabolic process, helps to promote the building of tissues and is going to be much better for preserving your bone mass.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that regular weight training can have a positive effect on health by reducing the rate of insulin resistance, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer.
Most immediately, weight training raises your metabolism and helps you prevent the buildup of fat, which everyone is interested in and which has gigantic health benefits.
A quality dumbbell set is where every beginning fitness buff should start and what every advanced bodybuilder comes back to. Dumbbells are the basic starting point for getting your body in the shape you need it to be. Not every fitness buff knows it, but you can work out your whole body with just dumbbells. Dumbbells are superior free weights for working your arms, chest, shoulders, back, abs, and legs.
With just a simple dumbbell set you can do biceps curls, triceps extensions and kickbacks, forearm curls and wrist rotations, lateral raises, dumbbell military press, high pulls, bent over rows, squats, pistals, and dumbbell dead lifts.
With free weight dumbbells in the 5 to 50 lb range 8-12 reps/ 3-4 sets are a good starting place.
My 5 to 50 lb set is the Troy VTX Dumbbell Set. It is high quality yet affordable, and super resistant to coating and chipping. There is also a lifetime warranty.
I was using USA Sports Dumbbells for my 5 to 50 lb set but I sold them for $900, which ironically is more than I had to pay to get the superior Troy VTX set.
The dumbbell sizes included in your set should include everything I have in my Troy VTX Set, which are: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 pound dumbbell pairs (10 pairs total) for a total dumbbell set weight of 550 pounds.
If you are just getting into total body fitness you need a solid set of 5 to 50 lb dumbbells. If you’re a more advanced user you probably already have one.
You can find the Troy VTX that I use at Home Gym Deals. I use them the most due to their price speed, and reliability. You can also get them at Fitness Edge or Net2Fitness, though the price is quite a bit higher.