While everyone wants to be healthy and stay in great shape, only a few are actually willing to put in the hard work. However, staying in great shape doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sweat it out at the gym for 60 minutes every day of the week. You can easily achieve a fit and healthy body by doing a simple full body home workout instead.
Yes, a gym membership may help you progress faster in your fitness goals, but it is far from mandatory if your goal is simply to build a lean and muscular physique.
If you don’t have the money to afford a gym membership or the time to travel back and forth to a commercial gym, or perhaps the patience to handle ego-maniacs and Instagram-bros in the gym, it’s not the end of the world. This full body home workout might just be what you’re looking for!
Let’s get straight into it.
This full-body home workout is intended to be an overall fitness program to help you achieve a healthy, lean and muscular body. It is not solely a weight loss program, nor is it solely a bodybuilding program, but rather a gentle mix of the two to help the average busy person achieve above-average fitness levels with little (but optimal) time investment. This program is not for advanced trainees.
This home workout runs with the philosophy of keeping things simple, yet highly effective. You’ll be working out for just 30 minutes for 7 days a week, which is equivalent to exactly 3.5 hours of exercise per week.
All you need to do is set aside 30 minutes every day (preferably in the morning) to incorporate this full body home workout. The easiest way is to get yourself to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Discipline is key here.
The program revolves around bodyweight exercises that have stood the test of time. So you won’t be needing any equipment. The program requires you to do ONLY four (4) exercises:
- Bodyweight Squats
- Choice of Cardio exercise
With just these four exercises, you can already engage your entire body, from the shoulders down the legs, and everything in between. This is because all the exercises are compound in nature. Here is the order in which you will rotate the exercises.
|Day||Exercise||Sets x Reps|
|Sunday||Cardio day||30 mins|
The first 6 days of the week will comprise of two days each of push ups, pull ups, and squats, and the 7th day will be a cardio day. This sequence is then repeated week after week.
This way, you’ll be working virtually every muscle in your body twice a week and burning more than enough calories to keep you lean, provided you keep your diet clean (e.g. high in proteins and green vegetables, low in carbs).
Push-ups are one of the best exercises to build upper body strength and definition. Military workouts don’t include it for no reason. Push-ups primarily work your chest, shoulder, and triceps (push muscles) and secondarily engage your core muscles.
On the push-ups day of the program, you’ll do 4 sets of push ups till failure, with about 3-5 minutes of rest in between each set. However, if you can’t do 10 push-ups as of the moment, you’ll need to follow the progression as shown in the chart below and adjust your workout accordingly.
So for instance, if your current number of push-ups is only 6, your push up workout will consist of 5 sets of 6 reps each. Eventually, the goal will be to progress over 10 push-ups, after which you will do 4 sets till failure for your push-up workout.
Over time, you’ll be able to increase the number of push-ups you can do significantly. Again, this workout should only take around 30 minutes since you’ll be doing only 4 sets. To take things to the next level, you can do push-ups wearing a weighted vest – or alternatively – a backpack full of heavy stuff.
On the day after your push-up workout, you’ll be doing bodyweight squats to target the lower body. Arguably, the squat is the king of all exercises as it works your entire body and activates your nervous system. While squatting heavy weights can build overall strength pretty quickly, doing high volume of squats can be beneficial for muscle hypertrophy, endurance, and fat loss.
The primary muscles worked are the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core – these are the major muscles that comprise the lower body.
For bodyweight squats, you’ll be doing 3 sets till failure as part of this program. But that’s only if you can do at least 40 bodyweight squats per set. If you can’t, then follow this progression for body weight squats.
Eventually, your squat day workout will consist of 4 sets till failure. This high volume and intensity will really help you get strong, muscular and defined legs, as well as build your stabilizing muscles of the core. Although the results won’t be the same as weighted squats in the gym, it is still worth it. Besides, you can’t complain since this is a home workout.
The last strength exercise in this full body home workout is pull-ups. The pull-up is the ultimate test of upper body relative strength and it builds muscle mass very quickly as you increase your pull-up numbers. In fact, the U.S military uses it as an entrance test and requires you to do at least around 8 pull-ups to qualify.
With pull-ups, you’ll be working your pulling muscles. A correctly performed pull up hits the upper back muscles, lats, traps, biceps, and abdominal muscles. Anyone who can do 10 or more pulls is clearly in great shape and will likely have a sexy thick back.
Now unlike push-ups and squats which you can do in any vacant space at home, you’ll need a pull-up bar for pull-ups. If you don’t have a bar like that at home, you can always install a doorway/wall mount pull-up bar.
For pull-ups, you’ll be doing 4 sets till failure, if you can do at least 10 pull-ups. If you can’t do 10 yet, follow the same progression as you would in push-ups (see chart below).
The goal is to do more than 10 pull-ups per set. This may sound paramount right now but with regular training, you can achieve it within a few week’s time!
These three exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, squats) collectively work all the muscles in the body, heavily work your core, and provide a heart-rate pumping workout to help you lose fat too.
The last piece in this full body home workout routine is Cardio! While the three aforementioned exercises stimulate your cardiovascular levels significantly, adding in a cardio day will really help keep that metabolism high and burn unwanted calories.
You’ll need to do 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio every 7th day of the week, so once every week. You are free to choose what form of cardiovascular exercise you want to engage in, whether it is running, swimming, cycling, or any other sports. For indoor cardio, your best bet is exercising on a treadmill or indoor bike.
And that’s it! Just 30 minutes of strength exercise every single day will do wonders for you! Those high volume push ups and pull ups will give you a lean and strong upper body while the squats will define your lower body. The cardio on the last day switches things up and will burn extra calories.
Do this program for at least 3 months and you’ll see drastic changes not only in your physique but also in your overall health and fitness. Not only will you be in the greatest shape of your life, exercising every day will boost your energy and keep you mentally stronger in your day to day activities!