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Josie Mai is a NESTA Certified Personal Trainer and has shared her fitness and health lifestyle through her Instagram (@josievmai) and YouTube channel (josievmai). She lives the lifestyle Moderation Not Deprivation and inspires others to Fight for Balance throughout their lifestyle journey.
It’s that time of year again! New Year’s Resolutions, new goals, and new gym memberships are bringing in huge crowds to YOUR favorite training place. On one hand, this is great! We should encourage anyone wanting to change his or her lifestyle for the better, but on the other hand, it can damper your routine to find a squat rack with 50 people lined up in front of it. You need to escape this crowd of ‘January Joiners!’
Take fitness into your own hands… and your own home! Four big reasons I’ve always been a fan of these workouts:
You can start working out whenever you feel like it! No driving to the gym, no opening or closing hours to worry about, and most importantly: no excuses! In the thick of winter, at one point or another, we’ve all thought to ourselves, “It’s so cold and snowy outside… maybe I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow, instead.” Don’t let the crowds end your workout streak!
If you want to build muscle and carve a nice figure, you need all the right tools. Hit the kitchen immediately afterward and make a super simple protein shake! My favorite protein powders are Quest, since they’re so high in protein, mix up great with just water and ice, and taste better than any others out there.
This is your environment, so enjoy the flexibility of creating your perfect atmosphere. You can look however you’d like when working out – can you wear Christmas onesies while doing squats in the gym? Probably not… but at home, GO FOR IT! Play whatever music YOU want to sweat to, and enjoy being comfortable in your own home (I know some people may feel uncomfortable facing crowds in the gym, or are unsure how to navigate the machines).
If you fall in love with at-home workouts, this is the best perk of all. No more crazy gym membership fees! The only things you’ll have to invest in are your own weights, resistance bands, and a yoga mat! Once you get the hang of your own routine, invite a few friends to join in. You never know… the life of a personal trainer could be right around the corner…
Just like in a typical gym, it’s all about your own goals. This time of the year, I’m trying to lose those adorable bits of fluff I’ve put on over the holidays. I have a combination of strength training and cardio circuits developed with that exact goal in mind:
It’s important to build muscle, regardless of your goals. You can’t maintain a nice figure by just sitting around all day. Besides building gorgeous curves, strength training protects you during normal daily activities by building connective tissue, increasing bone density, and preparing you for the unexpected. The more muscle on your frame, the more calories you burn (even at rest), which prevents a slow metabolism. I rarely work the same muscle groups on back-to-back days, so that I give them time to repair, recover, and ensure I work them as hard as possible during every workout.
I like to do HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuits, which includes alternating between intense activities (like burpees or squat jumps) with less intense activities (power walking or lightweight dumbbell reps). Dedicating some days to LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio keeps your heart rate low during the majority of the workout, which burns primarily your body fat for fuel. This also helps build endurance and cardiovascular health.
I like to do a hard strength day, HIIT day, and then LISS day. Rest and repeat!
Here’s a list of my favorite workouts you can include in your own at-home routines. On Upper body and lower body days, choose 4-6 exercises from the list below and work for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Choose challenging weights that will make your muscles grow and never be afraid to try a bigger resistance band!
In your HIIT circuit total-body workouts, alternate strength moves with high intensity moves! Try doing a lighter weight strength move for 60 seconds, then straight into a 30 second high-intensity exercise. Do as many rounds as you can in 30 minutes. It’s a killer! Here’s an example circuit:
Repeat as many rounds as you can for 30 minutes!
For abs and LISS cardio day, choose four exercises from the ab moves below. Do 3 sets of 20 reps each and finish off with 30-45 minutes of your favorite cardio.
VOILA, there you have it! Your own at-home workout program! Whenever you feel like you need a break from the gym environment, or to escape the remaining gym crowds of ‘January Joiners,’ look no further!
Ready to hit the kitchen for a recovery drink? Try out this super simple, delicious and nutritious recipe below!
It’s my favorite way to build and repair sore muscles… because believe me, they will be!