With COVID-19 turning the entire world on its head, forcing the closure of schools, businesses, and, yes, gyms, lots of folks are finding their workout options limited. For individuals not used to working out at home, the prospect of working out during the quarantine can seem daunting. Luckily there are tons of options for how to workout at home.
While not every workout has an associated spreadsheet, I tried to include those when available.
I’ll be updating this page on an ongoing basis to highlight different resources being made available for home workout ideas.
If you would like to recommend I add a particular resource, please shoot me a message!
Before I get to the fitness resources, here are some quick general health COVID-19 resources in case you need them.
Stay safe & healthy. Flatten the curve!
All the best,
Kyle @ Lift Vault
Table of Contents
- 1 Stronger by Science: How to Make Gains Without a Gym (Article & Podcast)
- 2 Home Workout Equipment
- 3 Quarantine Home Workout Programs + Ideas
- 4 Online Fitness Classes & Yoga Instruction
Stronger by Science: How to Make Gains Without a Gym (Article & Podcast)
Greg Nuckols, the super strong & smart person behind Stronger by Science recently published an article and podcast on the timely subject of how to make gains without a gym.
You can check out the article and podcast here:
Home Workout Equipment
While many of the workouts below do not require any special equipment, having a few pieces of equipment on hand can exponentially increase the effectiveness and flexibility of your workout programs.
If you have some extra space for more serious equipment, I recommend checking out this home gym guide from Garage Gym Reviews. It goes into way more depth than this article on how to build out a great home gym.
Resistance bands are generally a loop that come in varying thicknesses. Thicker = more resistance, thinner = less resistance.
Elite FTS has a short band pack for $73. This might be a bit steep, but these are high quality bands and should cover all of your needs. They are also the bands used in the John Meadows resistance band workout below.
Another set of resistance bands that are pretty cool are Kootek resistance bands on Amazon Prime, which can be “stacked” to create various degrees of resistance. They also have a door stopper, which you can use turn any door into a mini home gym. It’s not perfect, but basically nothing is ideal at the moment.
Sandbags can be used for a ton of different strength and conditioning exercises. Rogue Fitness makes excellent bags, but you pay for the quality.
Another solid option are sandbags from Rep Fitness, which is what I went with. I’m also waiting for them to arrive and will update y’all when they arrive.
To help give you an idea of some possible training ideas for sandbags, here’s a word from Brian Alsruhe:
If you can find them, a set of “light” and “medium” dumbbells can help you add resistance for a variety of upper body movements. I personally did not purchase any dumbbells since I figured I’d be covered by the resistance bands.
Places you can check for dumbbells:
Quarantine Home Workout Programs + Ideas
The below workouts are best suited for individuals that feel comfortable working out alone and guiding their own workouts.
Home Workouts with Some Equipment
If you have access to dumbbells, resistance bands, and sandbags, you can have a pretty rigorous strength training workout. Here’s a collection of different gyms and coaches that have published some guidance on how to get a great workout in with limited equipment.
John Meadows “8” Resistance Band Workout (Push/Pull/Legs Split)
John Meadows posted an at-home workout using only resistance bands. He recommends using Elite FTS bands.
Animal “Homegrown” Home Workout
Animal posted this their Homegrown program that can be run with just bands and bodyweight. It features two different volume levels to help make the workout easier/harder depending on your current fitness levels. It is split up as a 6 day PPL.
Thank you to reader Marc-André for submitting this program via the program submission form.
Osborn Performance Systems (Workouts Posted M/W/F/Sat)
Osborn Performance Systems, where Redditor /u/BigCoachD coaches, is posting home workouts each Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. These make use of some very minimal equipment (e.g. a table or chair you can lean against, a rock you can throw, etc.).
Stacy Burr (@bamaburr) Home Workout Spreadsheet
Powerlifter, gym owner, and coach Stacy Burr has posted a spreadsheet of a home workout routine you can use with just bands, or kettle bells and other resistance implements could be added if available.
Westside Barbell Home Workouts
The folks over at Westside Barbell have provided a full blog post full of Westside-approved home workouts.
Juggernaut Training Systems – Limited Equipment Workout Template
Chad Wesley Smith and the folks at Juggernaut Training Systems put together this workout template that can be completed with limited equipment. It is hosted by them as a free PDF available here.
It consists of “A” workouts and “B” workouts, each with some variation options (a “+” denotes an overload of that workout). Exercise types include, but are not limited to, explosive lower body movements, explosive upper body movements, primary squat variations, primary upper body push movements, high rep pressing variations, core work, etc. There’s a lot to play around with.
Joey D Home Workout (Video + Spreadsheet)
YouTube bodybuilder Joe Delaney (aka Joey D) released this home version of his full body workout program. Check out the video and accompanying spreadsheet below.
Alan Thrall Mini Circuits
Alan Thrall posted a few workouts ideas for when the gym is closed. These require some light equipment.
Alan Thrall Mini Circuit #1
- 20 jumping jacks, 20 bodyweight squats
- Pull Ups
- If you have a pull up bar, monkey bars, door frame or anything to hang off:
- 1 pull up, 2 push ups, rest 10 seconds
- 2 pull ups, 4 push ups, rest 20 seconds
- 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, rest 30 seconds
- Etc. Do this until you fail, recording how far you got.
- If you have a pull up bar, monkey bars, door frame or anything to hang off:
- Single Leg Work
- 4x 4-6 single leg explosive jumps (each leg).
- 4x 4-6 single leg box squats (very difficult)
- 20 second palm plank / 10 second modified mountain climbers – max intensity
- Do this until you fail, recording your time
Alan Thrall Mini Circuit #2
- 4 sets of 5 jumping jacks, 5 squats, 5 pushups – no rest.
- Handstand pushup (against a wall) – 4 x 6 reps
- Inverted rows with tow straps 4×12 reps
- (tough to do without monkey bars – maybe towels can be used instead?)
- Grocery bag/heavy water bottle lateral raises 3×12 reps
- Stationary lunges with heavy bucket or other heavy object – 4×10-20 reps
- Squat with heavy bucket or other heavy object 4×10-20 reps
- Car pushes and pulls (tow strap) empty parking lot no handbrake – don’t even worry about this on
Big thanks to /u/Von_Huge1103 for tipping me off to lots of great home workout resources.
Bodyweight Home Workouts (No Equipment)
Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodyweight Home Workout
Arnold Schwarzenegger shared an old bodyweight workout he used to do that can be performed out of the home using only bodyweight exercises like push ups, pull ups, and air squats.
Check out the full details and spreadsheet: Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodyweight Home Workout.
Armstrong Pull Up Program
The Armstrong Pull Up Program (spreadsheet included) is a great way to build strength in the back and shoulders. Click the link for more details and an accompanying spreadsheet.
Reddit’s Recommended Bodyweight Workout Routine
Reddit has a dedicated bodyweight fitness community (/r/bodyweightfitness) that has a standard recommended routine you can follow.
Full details and spreadsheet available here: Reddit Recommended Bodyweight Workout Routine.
Juggernaut Training Systems Bodyweight Workout
From the video description:
1a-Depth Jumps from 12-24” 5×3
1b-Clapping Pushups 5×3-5
2a-Pushups 5×20 seconds. Add weight with backpack if you can Rest 10 Seconds
2b-Air Squats 5×20 seconds-Add weight if you can with a backpack, zercher holding something heavy (a child possibly) Rest 40 Seconds
3a-Reverse Lunge 3×10 each leg
3b-Side Plank w/ Rotation 3×10-15 each side
3c-Front Plank w/ Reach-3×10-15 each side
1a-Squat Jump 5×5
1b-Hand Switch Pushups 5×2-3 each way
2-Closegrip Push-up Mechanical Drop Set 3xAMRAP. Each set goes Feet Up to 3RIR, Flat to 1-2RIR, Hands Elevated to 0RIR. Rest 2-3 minutes b/t sets
3-Lunge Matrix 3×5 each way/each leg. Fwd, Lateral, Reverse
4a-Deadbugs 3×10 each side
4b-Copenhagen Plank 3×20-30 each side
4c-Bear Crawl Birddogs 3×10 each side
Bodyweight PPL Routine, Conditioning Programs, and Total Body Workouts (Ben Pollack)
Ben Pollack (powerbuilding training programs at Myoplasmic) has shared a number of different resources for at home bodyweight training, including two different PPL routines, a conditioning program, and two total body workout routines.
All of these are available here, most with a downloadable spreadsheet (use the left hand nav to look at different programs).
Here’s a sneak peak of what one of the PPL routines looks like:
Core Overhaul Program by Stacy Burr
Push ups are a great exercise for building muscle and maintaining strength in the chest, triceps, and shoulders. For a program with built in progression, check out 100 Pushups. It uses an initial test to gauge your current strength levels and recommends you a starting point within the program based on your results. This makes it approachable for beginners and more advanced strength trainers.
Another fun (or masochistic) push up workout comes from Josh Bryant over at @JailhouseStrong, The Juarez Method.
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At a hotel or at home and looking for a good workout? Check out the Juarez Valley Method (featured in our original bestseller, Jailhouse Strong). It can be done with push-ups, dips, lunges, or just about any bodyweight movement. The Juarez Valley Method is a great way to increase volume because it offers alternating ascending and descending reps. The Juarez Valley 20 is performed in this manner: Set 1 – 20 reps Set 2 – 1 rep Set 3 – 19 reps Set 4 – 2 reps Set 5 – 18 reps Set 6 – 3 reps Set 7 – 17 reps Set 8 – 4 reps Set 9 – 16 reps Set 10 – 5 reps Set 11 – 15 reps Set 12 – 6 reps Set 13 – 14 reps Set 14 – 7 reps Set 15 – 13 reps Set 16 – 8 reps Set 17 – 12 reps Set 18 – 9 reps Set 19 – 11 reps Set 20 – 10 reps Once you complete each set, walk eight feet in one direction. Turn and walk the eight feet back to the starting point. This serves as an active rest. #selfhelp #selfimprovement #selfdefense #bodyweighttraining #calisthenics #physicalculture #groundngrat #individualoverinstitution #GASSTATIONREADY #Jailhousestrong
Planks are a great way to develop and maintain core strength. Check out the 30 day plank challenge for a variety of different plank exercises you can do every day to keep your core strong.
Squatting without a barbell might feel weird, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some air squats into your daily bodyweight routine to keep limber. Lift Vault has a spreadsheet for a 30 day squat challenge to give you some ideas and help you stay on track.
If you prefer more than planks for keeping your core muscles strong, check out the 30 day ab challenge.
Online Fitness Classes & Yoga Instruction
The below resources run the gamut from yoga to aerobic workout classes. These are for people that prefer the direction of an instructor or enjoy the more social atmosphere of a group class.
Online Yoga & Meditation
A number of different yoga instructors and studios are providing free online classes during the quarantine period. I’ve included several below, but please let me know if there are any I missed.
Online Fitness Classes
Other fitness providers are hosting free online cardio and strength training classes. Some are offered on demand, while others are hosted live at a given time each day.
- Orangetheory Fitness YouTube Channel (New Video Each Day)
- Life Time Fitness – Strength & Cardio Classes (On Demand)
- LesMills Strength & Cardio Classes (On Demand)
- 305 Fitness Dance Classes – YouTube (Live Twice per Day)
Good luck, have fun, and stay safe!