I Did Home Workouts Every Day For A Month & Here’s How It Made Me Feel
What happened when one writer skipped the gym and got a sweat on at home. For a month.
I’m not going to lie; when I set out on this challenge, I wasn’t expecting ground breaking results. But, in the age of working all hours while also trying to have some realm of a social life, this was a good experiment to see if there was a part of my life - albeit, an important part - where I could save some precious minutes.
We’ve all been there - you go to the gym after work, before having to cut your workout short because you’re meeting friends for dinner. Or, worst case scenario: you get the dreaded post-work slump and you fail to go at all. But, what if I said that home workouts might be the answer? I embarked on a challenge to complete one home workout every single day for an entire month. This is what happened.
Want to work out at home yourself? Try this booty workout:
I soon noticed that it’s very easy to get bored of working out when you’re doing it at home – with little space, probably very little equipment and potentially even less motivation to get up off the sofa.
Thus, it quickly became clear that trying new things and keeping workouts varied was going to be crucial.
Throughout the challenge, I must’ve tried countless different YouTube videos (FYI – there are a hell of a lot), however, there were a few which particularly did the trick.
I’m pretty sure YouTuber Carly Rowena is sent from heaven because not only do her workouts actually work, but she breaks down each move so that your form is accurate.
It’s so easy to let your form slip the minute you’re not working out in the gym but Carly’s accurate and detailed approach makes sure that you feel comfortable and in the right amount of pain.
To keep things interesting, I incorporated some of Danielle’s dance workouts into the fold.
I’m not going to lie, this may not be for everyone as it does involve a lot of carefree dancing around your workout space, but this was a fun way to keep things varied and different.
Yoga With Kassandra
I’m by no means an expert when it comes to yoga but I definitely feel the benefits when I do it regularly.
Kassandra’s channel has a magnitude of difficulty levels on it – everything from easy to near-impossible for those more accomplished yogis. However, with a lot of my workouts now being body weight based (gym dumbbells, I miss you), I found that adding a stretching session into my week really helped.
Top tip? I tended to do this on a Sunday afternoon or evening as her one-hour beginner yoga flow is the dream way to end a manic weekend.
I’m aware that this isn’t strictly an ‘at home’ workout but, for me, cardio and running are really important. For my mindset, burning off excess energy and tension and also making sure that you really do work up a sweat, I just couldn’t give up pounding the pavements all together.
I continued to do my 5K and 10K runs about three or four times a week during the challenge but supplemented these with the living room based workouts of around 30 minutes.
Other videos worth checking out included:
Do Home Workouts Actually Work?
This question is hard to answer as essentially, yes, they do but it ultimately depends on the person and their determination. Providing you are prepared to put in a little more time and effort into your home workout, it can be just as effective as the gym.
I didn’t notice much of an aesthetic difference, but this isn’t necessarily a reflection on the home workout ethic. There are many things that could’ve contributed to this; was I doing too much of the same that I was already doing at the gym? Was I working the same muscle groups as I always do? Did I need to up my cardio?
I think my biggest piece of advice would be to have a weekly plan of your at home workouts. That way, you still have the targets that you have in place for the gym.
I’m not convinced that outside of this experiment home workouts would be a permanently enjoyable and continuous option – for me, at least. However, there were some definite benefits.
Changing Up Your Workouts
Having to get experimental with your workouts to keep things interesting and to ensure that your workouts continue to deliver results was really fun. I’ve found some workouts that I’ll definitely continue doing, despite being back at the gym.
It Takes The Fear Away
The prospect of going to the gym can be daunting and therefore exercising at home is definitely a more appealing option.
Rich Tidmarsh, owner of Reach Fitness and Reach Training on Demand agrees and adds, “for beginners who are fearful of entering a gym environment, home workouts will enable you to build a certain level of fitness with basic moves and within the privacy of your own home.”
Rushie works out at home using one classic piece of equipment:
Working out at home means you can forget the sometimes extortionate gym fees. Rich continues that “If you’re on a tight budget, it’s still worth investing in an online programme that’s been put together by an expert PT – these come at a much more accessible cost that physical gym memberships and the fact that they’ve been crafted by a qualified and experienced specialist helps to ensure a safe and effective workout within home limitations.”
I was less stressed about when I could fit a work out into my day - at points, I even got up before work and squeezed in a solid 40 minutes. And because I was less stressed about that, I noticed the niggling ‘you need to work out’ voice had gone too.
However, as mentioned, I definitely noticed that I struggled more with motivation. I can’t tell you how many times I nearly just stayed sat on the sofa instead of working out in front of it.
Lack Of Motivation
Come week three, motivation began to falter. Big time. It was like something switched in my head and I began resenting using a space in my home that was intended for relaxing to work out in.
I longed for the gym, for a space where you go to specifically workout.
Not only do you lose the social side of going to the gym when you decide to workout at home but I really missed the gyms grueling classes, the instructors shouting at you to put more effort in and the comradery between the class members to get to the finish.
You suddenly begin to associate a space which is meant to be for relaxing and recharging your batteries with something that sometimes you’d rather not be doing – a workout. The lines blur and you begin to resent both the space and the activity.
Lack of Discipline
The other downside, for me in particular is unless the video or workout that you are following provides strict rest times and the instructor does it with you in ‘real time’, then I found myself trying to sneak an extra few seconds on my rest period.
Whilst a few seconds may not seem like much, it does add up and a challenge which was meant to save me precious time suddenly took the same amount out of my day as if I’d gone to the gym.
Rich also comments that “one of the main things you need is suitable flooring and at home, you might struggle with this. For example, if you’re practising yoga, you’ll want a hard floor and a mat – partly to keep your workout safe and partly to avoid ruining your carpet with sweat!”
I’m glad to be back at the gym.
The combination of YouTube videos and self-directed workouts (which ultimately ended up being an amalgamation of my favourite videos) had no comparison to the feeling that I have when I leave the gym. Sweaty, a mess, but ultimately, a successful session nailed.
That said, for those with children, working long hours or travelling a lot, then I can definitely see the benefits of opting for a living room workout – it’s transportable and versatile.
Though, rest assured because the one thing that I couldn’t fault was the impact working out had on my mentality - regardless of the location.
Words by Katie Meadway