Unable to set foot in the gym?  Get yourself covered with this full-body workout plan that will guarantee you hold onto your hard-earned progress.


Often people are trying to “squeeze it in” early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  If you find yourself saying, “Yes, that’s’ me!” then aim to get the workout in during the morning if you can. Why? Research in the journal >Medicine and Science In Sports and Exercise found moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning actually reduces a person’s motivation for food. So, if you’re trying to shed some of that unwanted body fat, consider making time in the morning to torch your workout before everyday tasks and chores reduce your likelihood of ever getting it done.


Embrace The New

You may be accustomed to blasting one body part per day – or some sort of split style training – where you train only certain body parts each workout, but that doesn’t mean there may not be some benefit to switching to a full-body routine for a little while. If you have access to a full home gym, then go ahead, but there’s always benefits to be had from adapting to the situation. In fact, recent research in the journal >Biology of Sport suggests a full-body workout can increase fat loss, help combat some metabolic diseases, and improve testosterone levels, which can bolster muscle size and strength.


Come Back Stronger

The goal of these at-home-workouts is to focus on is stimulating the muscle. Sure, you might not be able to overload the muscle the way you would have if you went to a full-blown gym, but that’s OK!  You may even be afraid that you’ll lose all your progress if you miss the gym, but that’s not the case.  In fact, there is research in the >European Journal of Applied Physiology demonstrating that over a 6-month timeframe, periodic breaks (3-week detraining/6-week retraining cycles) resulted in similar muscle hypertrophy that existed in those who continuously worked out for six months. Therefore, if you aren’t training everyday (the way you once were) it’s not worth worrying about it and the stress that comes along with that!


Rest Options

Consider just taking some time off.  For many keen exercisers that can be harder than training, but time off can do your body a lot of good. It can ease sore muscles, give you back some time in your day, and – most importantly – allow for full muscle recovery which helps fight off injury. Naturally the big concern in the fitness community is that gains and progress will be lost. Research in the journal of >European Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that it takes around two months of inactivity to loss all progress, so don’t worry too much.


Cut and Paste

Cut out the following page and stick it on your home gym space so you’ve got an idea of what needs to be done today and tomorrow. A few of the exercises will require resistance bands, dumbbells, or some sort of weight (weighted back-pack, gallon water jugs, reusable grocery bags filled with items to make them heavy, suitcase, etc.) However, you’ll notice there are plenty of exercises to select from, so if there is a move that you are unable to perform, just swap it out with another exercise on the list. On a similar note, if the exercise doesn’t feel right, or the make-shift alternative you are trying to use to make the exercise work doesn’t quite feel right, just swap out the exercise with something else – it’s not worth getting hurt!


Lastly, focus on pushing yourself to near failure or failure. Since you aren’t using heavy loads, you want to ensure you train in this rep range to adequately challenge the muscle and help maintain as much muscle mass as possible. A paper in the >Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests training to failure activates a greater number of motor units and may enhance muscle hypertrophy. Oh, and one last thing, these workouts can be done as a circuit (move from one exercise to the next after each set) or do one exercise (all 3 sets) and then move onto the next exercise. Got it? Good – let’s go!


Day 1

Weighted back-pack squat or prisoner squat – 3 sets to failure

Calf raises – 3 sets to failure

Dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets to failure

Push-ups – 3 sets to failure

Table body row – 3 sets to failure

Dumbbell curl or suitcase curl – 3 sets to failure

Triceps dips – 3 sets to failure

Ab roller or crunches – 3 sets to failure


Day 2

Pistol squat – 3 sets to failure

Bodyweight hamstring curl – 3 sets to failure

Incline push-ups – 3 sets to failure

Resistance band lateral raise – 3 sets to failure

Doorway body row – 3 sets to failure

Reverse grip curl (use back-pack, suitcase, or water jugs) – 3 sets to failure

Bodyweight skull crushers – 3 sets to failure


Day 3

Sissy squat – 3 sets to failure

Bulgarian split squat – 3 sets to failure

Isometric pec squeeze – 3 sets to failure

Pull-ups (if you have an at-home pull-up bar) or resistance band lat pull downs – 3 sets to failure

Resistance band curls – 3 sets to failure

Lying triceps extensions – 3 sets to failure

Resistance band flyes – 3 sets to failure


Day 4

Straight-leg deadlift – 3 sets to failure

Leg raises – 3 sets to failure

Hip thrust – 3 sets to failure

Push-ups superset with push-ups on knees – 3 sets to failure

Dumbbell row – 3 sets to failure

Cross-body hammer curls – 3 sets to failure

Overhead dumbbell triceps extension – 3 sets to failure

Ab roller or plank – 3 sets to failure