Take a two-week BREAK from the gym and continue to build muscle, boost functional strength, and nix body fat with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson’s at-home workout.
BY GUNNAR PETERSON, C.S.C.S. /// PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL
Clients and random people at dinner parties to strangers on airplanes and vacationers at resorts, I’ve heard every excuse imaginable as to why none of them can make it to the gym: or “I’m uncomfortable at the gym” are common. “I’m going to do cardio on my own, lose 10 pounds, and then start going to the gym.” Stop the excuses, get some equipment, and work out at home. Dumbbells should be the first acquisition. Whether it’s 10 to 35 pounds, or up to 50, or a set of adjustables — that’s a good start. Next, find a quality jump rope that’s yours and only yours, add a medicine ball and a utility bench.
Don’t tell me you can’t afford it. Skip a couple of Saturday nights out with the boys, and say no to poker, golf, fishing, and happy hour for two weeks. Find deals on used equipment on gumtree and ebay and save money on retail prices. Then put that equipment to good use by following this two-week at home workout program.
You’ll see results because your training will involve big-boy full-body exercises with weights. There are intense intervals thoughtfully and scientifically sprinkled throughout to help you start knocking off body fat. There are hypertrophy exercises and power strength but no exercises in futility. There’s running, jumping, calisthenics and core work. And all of this can be done in the comfort of your own home gym. Now leave your excuses at your front door and go after it.
2-WEEK AT-HOME PROGRAM
*A set of adjustable dumbbells or three pairs of dumbbells (light, medium, and heavy)
*Medicine ball (or a 5 to 20-pound dumbbell)
*Shoes with a solid base of support. Other clothing optionalyoure at home, thats your business.
Dumbbell Reaching Lunge with Lateral Raise For the lunging portion, focus on taking a big step forward to maximize the stretch in the hip-flexor of the rear leg and touch that knee to the ground at the bottom of the rep. Do the lateral raise in the up position of the lunge (standing), not at the bottom.
Lying Leg Raise to Hip Thrust Lie on your back and do a leg raise to perpendicular, keeping the legs straight throughout. At that point, push your heels toward the ceiling until your lumbar spine is off the ground.
Dumbbell Side Lunge with Monkey Row A side lunge is when you step laterally instead of forward for each rep. A monkey row is like an upright row, except you drag the dumbbells up the sides of your torso with your palms in. Get those hands as close to your armpits as possible. Do a lunge to one side, do a monkey row, then lunge to the other side—that’s one rep. Think monkey rows are for wusses? Use a heavy set of dumbbells and get back to us.
1. WEEK 1
DAY 1 WARMUP: 10 minutes of any cardio activity REPEAT 4 TIMES:
|Dumbbell Reaching Lunge with Lateral Raise||12|
|Standing Dumbbell Overhead Press||10|
|Bench Dip||to failure|
|Jump Rope||100 skips|
*This isn’t an all-out sprint for one minute but should be more than a jog. Push yourself as if you’re running a 400-meter dash. If you have a treadmill at home, run a minute on that. No treadmill? Run down the block for 30 seconds, then turn around.
**Every 3 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds; walk or jog in the 2½ minutes between sprints.
DAY 2 WARMUP: 5 minutes of any cardio activity, then jump rope x 100 skips REPEAT 3 TIMES:
|Dumbbell Side Lunge with Monkey Row||12|
|Pullup or Inverted Row*||Wide grip x narrow grip to failure|
|Lying Leg Raise to Hip Thrust||15|
|Dumbbell Squat Curl||10|
*No rest between grip changes.
**Or use a sandbag or another heavy object that can be lifted off the floor while maintaining a flat back.
***Every 2 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds; walk or jog in the 1½ minutes between sprints.
“Ease into it and focus on the hamstring stretch at the apex of the kick.”
Rear Lunge to High Front Kick On each rep of rear lunges, go right into a high front kick (leg extended) with the leg you stepped back with. Ease into it and focus on the hamstring stretch at the apex of the kick.
Single-leg Supported Squat Jump Do a one-legged squat, hitting parallel to the floor with the thigh. Go right into a jump at the top of each rep off one leg. As you lower down into the squat, hold onto something lightly with one hand for balance. Let your hand off as you jump up.
WARMUP: 10 minutes of any cardio activity, and then jump rope x 200 skips REPEAT 4 TIMES
|Side Plank (30 sec.) to Hip Bridge||10 (per side)|
|Single-leg Supported Squat Jump||8 (per leg)|
|Jump Rope||50 skips|
|Rear Lunge to High Front Kick||8 (per leg)|
|Standing Medicine Ball Rotation||20/30/40/ 50|
*Reps increase each round.
**Cardio activity of your choice, going at least 10% faster than in your warmup.
REPEAT DAY 1 but do the exercise cluster three times through and add 5 minutes of cardio.
REPEAT DAY 2 but do the exercise cluster four times through and add 10 minutes of cardio after the cluster.
TAKE A 45-MINUTE WALK OUTSIDE, regardless of the weather. Dress accordingly.
Pullup or Inverted Row Not all of us own squat racks or a lat pulldown machine, so find somewhere to do pullups or inverted rows. Get a pullup bar for your garage, invest in a suspension trainer like TRX, find a playground jungle gym, or use an underhand grip on a firm tabletop. You can also sub in dumbbell rows.
2. WEEK 2
WARMUP: 10 minutes of any cardio activity: 1 minute easy, 30 seconds hard (sprinting), 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy, 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard, and so on until you reach the 10-minute mark.
REPEAT 4 TIMES:
|Pullup, Inverted Row, or Dumbbell/Barbell Row||20|
|Jump Rope||200 skips|
*Same pace as warmup but for 15 minutes.
WARMUP: 15 minutes of any cardio activity: 1 minute easy, 15 seconds hard (sprinting), 30 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, 1 minute easy, 15 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, and so on until the 15 minutes are up.
REPEAT 3 TIMES:
|Pushup Position Windmill*||20/30/failure|
|Dumbbell Snatch||6 reps per arm|
|Running Interval||5 rounds of 10 seconds on (sprinting); 10 seconds off (rest)|
|Dumbbell Triceps Extension||20|
|Medicine Ball Lateral Hop with Stuck Landing||20/30/40|
*Reps increase each round.
**Steady-state cardio activity of your choice.
Medicine Ball Lateral Hop with Stuck Landing Hold a medicine ball underneath your chin as you would for a goblet squat. Explode laterally off one foot and land softly on the opposite leg. Make sure that the medicine ball stays in position and that your core is braced throughout.
Weighted Crunch Holding a plate, crunch upward. As you come back down, make sure not to fully rest at the bottom. The closer the weight is to your body, the more resistance you’ll feel. If you have trouble completing all the reps, hold the weight farther away from your chest.
Jumping Rope If you’re serious about your fitness, there’s no excuse to not own a jump rope. You can get one for less than $10 at most sporting goods stores or online. If you want to go hardcore, splurge and get a weighted rope. Either way, get a rope.
Pushup Position Windmill From a pushup position, lift one arm off the ground and rotate your body until your arms form a straight line toward the ceiling. Bring your up arm back down to the pushup position, then repeat with the opposite arm. That’s one rep.
Lying Medicine Ball Russian Twist If you don’t have a medicine ball at home, use any five- to 20-pound object you have (other than a newborn baby).
Barbel Row Bend at your hips so that your torso is at a 45-degree is at angle. With an underhand, wider-than-showidth grip, grab the bar and row to your belly button.Make sure you’re squeezing your shoulder blades shoulder together at the of the movement. Use if a barbell is unavailable.
DAY 3 WARMUP: 5 minutes of any cardio activity, then jump rope x 500 skips
REPEAT 2 TIMES:
|Bulgarian Split Squat*||12–15 per leg|
|Seated Medicine Ball Rotation||30|
|Lying Medicine Ball Russian Twist*||12–16|
REPEAT DAY 1 but do the exercise cluster three times through and add 10 minutes to the cardio and 100 skips to the jump rope after each round.
REPEAT DAY 2 but do the exercise cluster four times through and add 10 minutes to the cardio after each round.
TAKE A 55-MINUTE WALK OUTSIDE, regardless of the weather. Dress accordingly