Do you find yourself trying to reinvent the wheel every session while your clients are homebound with access to only a few pieces of equipment? With the Covid-19 quarantine extending for many months, does it feel like you’ve had to throw all training plans out the window? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone.
Though training is currently at home for many, you can continue to help your clients make progress. This blog will lay out three steps to implement at-home training programs that are aligned with your clients’ long-term plans.
It may feel daunting to prescribe effective resistance training with minimal equipment. Keep in mind that you can continue to create adaptations through physical and mechanical challenges, you just have to get creative. Most clients won’t have access to large external loads required for maximal contractions like heavy back squats, so you will need to shift your focus to motor control and strength endurance exercises.
Motor control is required for a client to perform an exercise with precision and accuracy. By focusing on motor control training, you can help your clients make improvements in movement efficiency that will pay dividends once they are back in the gym lifting heavy loads.
Motor Control Examples:
Bodyweight Tempo Air Squat: @80X0; 5 reps x 3 sets; rest 60 seconds
Bodyweight Split Squat: @80X0; 5 reps/leg x 3 sets; rest 60 seconds
Muscle Endurance training will allow your clients to train specific muscle groups and will preserve muscle strength and mass.
Muscle Endurance Examples:
Dumbbell Goblet Squat: @10X0; 20 reps x 3 sets; rest 60 seconds
Dumbbell Split Squat; @10X0; 20 reps/leg x 3 sets; rest 60 seconds
The squat is just one example, and motor control and strength endurance training can be applied to all movement patterns.
Create a list of available equipment for each of your clients. This could include dumbbells, kettlebells, a pull-up bar, resistance bands, and random objects around the house. Once you have a list of equipment, select your client’s priority movement patterns.
Strive to create variety and safety with the right intention for each movement pattern, and importantly, make it fun. There are endless combinations that you can prescribe in a daily training session. Below are some examples:
1 – Squat + Locomotion
2 – Push + Pull + Core
3 – Bend + Push + Core
4 – Lunge + Core + Locomotion
5 – Push + Pull + Squat + Lunge
6 – Bend + Locomotion + Lunge + Locomotion
7 – Push + Pull + Squat + Lunge + Bend + Core + Locomotion
Progressing week to week does not have to be complicated. Simple progressions can create stimulus and adaptation. Here are four progression variations you can implement to advance training from week to week.
Increase volume example:
Week 1: 10 reps x 3 sets
Week 1: 10 reps x 4 sets
Week 3: 10 reps x 5 sets
Decrease rest example:
Week 1: 12 reps x 4 sets; rest 90 sec
Week 2: 12 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 sec
Week 3: 12 reps x 4 sets; rest 30 sec
Manipulate time under tension example:
Week 1: @20X0; 15 reps x 4 sets
Week 2: @30X0; 12 reps x 4 sets
Week 3: @40X0; 9 reps x 4 sets
Simple to complex exercise selection example:
Week 1: Push-ups
Week 2: Chair dips
Week 3: Decline push-ups
The principles explained above are simple and effective ways to create consistency and progress with limited resources. If you are interested in hearing a more in-depth conversation on how to prescribe OPEX Gain at home, watch the webinar we hosted on this topic:
The OPEX global community of coaches are faced with the challenge of keeping their clients active and healthy in the face of gym closures, lockdowns, and social distancing.
If you, like so many, are faced with this challenge, it is important to know that you can continue to offer a valuable and important service. Download our guide, How to Program At-Home Workouts, and learn how to adapt your programming and continue to support the health of your clients from a distance.