Of the things I would buy if I won the lottery tomorrow, a home gym would be at the top of my list. Imagine never having to deal with packed weight rooms, smelly treadmill neighbors or the peering eyes of creepy men. While I technically have enough space to exercise in my apartment, I am the upstairs neighbor and I feel like my movements would cause my neighbors to think we are having an earthquake. There shall be no burpees happening in this 1 bedroom.
Another reason it would be baller to have a home gym: fewer distractions. When I’m laying on the carpet of my bedroom trying to do abs, all I can think about is how I should probably vacuum. Or if I’m in my living room attempting to plank, I’ll probably stop to fast-forward whatever DVR’ed show I’m watching while I “work out.” I’m one of those people who are just bad at being productive at home. When I’m home, I want to be under a blanket with a plate of food and a great book, not sweating and being self-conscious about how much noise I might be making.
But sometimes you want to get a workout in and you just don’t want to go anywhere. Most of the time, this happens to me when I don’t work out in the morning and then I’m too tired to go to the gym or a class after work. Here’s how I motivate myself to still get a workout in without leaving the house:
- Change into your workout clothes as soon as you get home from work and then hit play on your workout
The longer you wait to work out when you get home from work, the more time you have to come up with excuses for why you deserve a night off. Changing into my workout gear kind of guilts me into going straight into my workout before I can distract myself with dinner, dishes and DVR.
- Clear away anything that might distract you mid-workout
If you know your laundry basket that has yet to be unpacked is going to drive you crazy during your workout, take care of it beforehand. I personally HATE having dirty dishes in my vicinity so I know I have to clean up my kitchen before I can be productive. Putting your phone in another room helps, too. If I hear that someone has texted me, I will pause what I’m doing to read it and respond and then I’ll probably just lie there scrolling through Instagram and before I know it, 15 minutes has gone by.
- Find your go-to home workout videos
I’m someone who needs a full routine to follow or I will stop when I got tired or bored. There are so many great exercise videos available for free or for purchase online. Once you have an arsenal of videos to choose from, it’s much easier to motivate yourself to stop, drop and exercise because you know exactly what you’ll be doing and how long you’ll be doing it (ie: how soon you can be done).
Two of my favorite videos come from Jeanette Jenkins, a personal trainer in LA whose impressive client list includes Pink, Kelly Rowland and Serena Williams. I got her Power Yoga and Sexy Abs videos during a flash sale, and they are tough workouts that can be done on your living room floor, with no equipment. Both videos are broken down into chapters so you can customize what you want to do for your workout.
My friend Lauren introduced me to the LivestrongWoman YouTube channel, which has a TON of great resources for at-home workouts. The girls from the insanely popular Tone It Up program have a series of workouts on that channel, and Tara Stiles has a beginner’s yoga series with videos on core strength, balance, inversions and openers.
I also have some old favorites that I used to have on VHS in the early 2000s that have made their way onto YouTube. Beachbody’s Slim in 6 program came with a 12-minute ab workout that I’ve been doing for years called Slim & 6 pack. It’s a killer and you’re done in 12 minutes. What’s not to love?
I’m not kidding when I tell you that I bought this Crunch Pilates VHS tape from Walmart when I was 13 years old and have the whole thing memorized to this day. I used to do this beginner’s pilates tape every day when I first started working out, and I’ve revisited it so many times over the past 10 years. It’s broken into three 10-minute segments for belly, butt and thighs.
Do you ever exercise at home? What’s your go-to workout video when you can’t make it to the gym?