Just wanted to give you a heads up that I’ve updated my Home Physique Training course with some resistance band exercises. I’ve been digging integrating these into my private clients’ (and my own) home, outdoor, and virtual workouts. They allow us to re-create some of the favorite movements I used to do on a free-range cable system (split stance pulldowns, single crossovers, external rotations, triceps extensions, etc.), and really round out our exercise menu options.
Bodyweight and dumbbell exercises are a great foundation, but the resistance bands provide some different angles of contraction, muscle activation patterns, and resistance curves (peak tension in different positions, often where we’re the weakest). This is great for prioritizing weak muscle groups, whether it be for purely cosmetic reasons (for me the “chesticles”), or to offset muscle imbalances brought upon by spending too much time in the seated computer posture (external rotations strengthen the shoulder girdle muscles that get lengthened and weakened from spending all day in internal rotation and pronation).
If you are already in the course, the content has been updated automatically, and you should have received a separate notification. If you aren’t, and want to check it out, you can do so here: Home Physique Training
Regardless, I hope you are getting after it with your home workouts. The progress I’ve made just furthers my belief that you don’t really need a gym to build or maintain a high-quality physique. I was disappointed to see some gym owners and trainers put up posts implying that you can’t get good results with just in-home or outdoor workouts. I get that many are just trying to save their businesses, but I totally disagree with the message.
Now, it may be different if you are a performance-based athlete, and I do feel bad for these demographics. Depending on the physiological demands and skillsets of your sport, you may indeed need various cardio machines, lifting platforms, racks, and training apparatuses to optimize your sport-specific training program.
But for physique-focused training, keep in mind a couple of things:
1. Research has shown that a much wider variety of loads and rep-ranges are equally effective for building muscle IF training with a high degree of intensity = 40-80% of 1-rm, for roughly 8-35 reps per set. So, you have to train hard to get results, but you don’t necessarily have to train heavy.
2. There are no movements that you must do for physique training. You simply need to find a way to activate, overload, and ultimately develop each muscle group. Body type, equipment access, injury history, and even just personal preferences should all be factored into the program design process.
If you look at natural human movement and biomechanics, what you see, and what I generally lean towards with most of the exercises in my programs (even pre-COVID), are a lot of unilateral movements with closed-chain lower body exercises (split squats, single stiff-legs, glute bridges, etc.) and open-chain upper body exercises (various dumbbell and free-range cable/resistance band rows, presses, extensions, and curls). While a gym may be a nice luxury for that (especially if there are some hot girls or guys – whatever you prefer – training around you at the same time), it is definitely NOT a necessity.
And I’d say that not only do unilateral movements with bodyweight, dumbbells, and resistance bands for relatively higher reps transition well to home gym/outdoor training set-ups, it’s probably better for long-termjoint health, risk-reward ratios, and program sustainability, especially for certain demographics (older/40+ athletes, those with injury history/limitations, etc.).
So, don’t see the current home exercise situation as a limitation. Adapt, re-calibrate, and go get after it.