Becoming a new parent is amazing and, as the Lean Machines explain, it doesn’t have to hamper your training regime.
Not sure if you know, but the two of us have both become dads in the last few months. It’s been amazing, and the funny thing is that we’re now getting loads of interaction from other parents. Most people talk to us about how we manage to train around our parental duties, but also what we use at home; if you follow our social media channels, you’ll know we’re spending more time training at home rather than the gym. So, we’ve listed what we think are essential items for exercising at home, with options to suit every budget, and highlighting the things that give you the most bang for your buck. We’ve also got some advice to help you use them. They key is to maximise your time. We’ve found that having to focus the mind on utilising what little time we have has helped our training rather than hinder it, so use it as a positive rather than a negative.
Chalk board paint or whiteboard
Get yourself a whiteboard or some chalk you can use on your garage floor/wall. It sounds old school, but setting a plan and writing it down will help you maximise your precious time. No matter how long you have, maximise it. If that’s 10-20 minutes, then try a HIIT session or OMOM, (that’s Crossfit talk for ‘on the minute every minute’. If you have 20 minutes, for example, spend every odd minute doing burpees, every even minute doing another exercise. If that’s too much, split each minute down into 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest.
Barbell and plates
The barbell and plates are the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have. You can do squats, bench press, overhead bench press, Olympic lifting, single leg work… it covers everything. You can even do burpees over them, They’re so much better than dumbbells and benches. When time is precious, versatility is king.
These are great, though we find they’re not always great at home, and people aren’t always sure how to use them. However, they are versatile and they’re great for the core. They’re also good for getting your feet off the ground, so doing planks etc. Brilliant for rehab too!
The assault bike is king. It’s not just a bike, you use your arms too, so you can do arm and leg sessions. It’s also great for progression. It’s the hardest thing for cardio, so you’ll hate it… but the results will be big! If you really want to take your home gym further, you can invest in a wall-mounted rack, which will enable you to do pull-ups, squats etc.
So, now you have some gear, how do you utilise it? You inevitably have less time now, so give yourself a realistic window and then maximise it. As an example, I now work out when my son sleeps. That’s usually around 90 minutes, so I give myself 45 minutes a day to workout. Don’t worry about what you were able to do before, focus on what’s possible now and make the most of that time. A lot of people struggle because they compare their new situation to what they did before. Don’t. Think positively and focus on your new and more time-efficient regime. Don’t try and juggle. Even if it’s
10 minutes, max it. Plan it and get stuck in, smash it and go back to your kids a winner.