Your Home Is Your Gym

Who doesn't hate going to the gym?

I personally know that even some of the most gung-ho fitness fans -- old and young alike -- drag when it comes to their daily trip to the gym.

Face it: It takes time to go to the gym, to work out and to take care of all the other necessary duties that accompany this endeavor.

But it doesn't have to be this way. When it comes to results, you may be even better off by not going to the gym -- if you play your cards right, that is.

It's a fact that many of those who go to the gym are not necessarily getting in shape. When many people work out on gym equipment, they exercise using the same movement pattern, and many times the same resistance, every time they work out.

I just observed this on my recent vacation. Individuals were just moving from machine to machine without sweating.

Many times, I was approached about why I was performing exercises using my own body resistance instead. And I gave the same answer over and over again: "I like to achieve results." And the best results that I can achieve are by using full, integrated movements with my own body weight.

Oh, did I forget to mention my body fat is 10 percent?

Your Body Weight Is Good for Something After All

Think for a moment about an athletic, lean body such as those possessed by ballerinas, modern dancers or fencers. How do they look? Toned, lean and in shape.

Many dancers will never use dumbells, barbells or machinery to hone their bodies. Still, they have great physiques and body control that many of us can only wish for. Not to mention their six-pack abs and the tight butt that many men like to see on women and many women like to see on men (I heard this through the grapevine from my clients).

The workout of these fit and toned individuals involves controlled muscle activations of their entire bodies while using gravity as resistance.

What else is it about these athletes' regimens that gets them in shape? The answer is that they jump, land, roll, fall, turn, crawl and change their speed while executing their movements.

From a scientific perspective, this approach allows them to develop their fast twitch muscle fibers and short twitch muscle fibers, all the while performing an intense cardio-strength interval workout. This approach has been proved to burn not just the most calories but the highest fat calories overall.

Starting a Home Workout

So what does all of this have to do with working out at home? Everything. Simply make your home environment your workout zone and start using your own body.

Start by using your stairs in the house for interval training, using a solid chair as a bench, and a low sturdy box as a step.

Use great music to get you going when the going gets tough. It doesn't matter what it is -- Mozart, hip-hop or house music. You need to like it.

Here is a sample workout program that you can do try out after an eight- to 10-minute warm-up:

Single leg step up on a chair: Place your right foot on a sturdy chair and lift yourself up. Lower yourself and repeat 20 times on the right followed by the left leg. Focus on your thighs and butt.

Walkouts: Bend your legs and place yourself into a squat position. Reach for the floor with your hands, and walk them forward until you are in a push-up position. Perform one push-up. Walk back with your hands into the squat position. Stand up and repeat again 15 times. Focus on your thighs, shoulders, triceps and chest.

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