Which Home Workout Program Is Right For You?
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Are you planning to embark upon your first home workout adventure and are unsure which program to buy? Perhaps you’re a home workout veteran looking for your next challenge.
Either way, this article will provide you with the ideal home workout program for you based on your current lifestyle and level of experience.
If you have very little time to workout: Focus T25
If you’re a working professional, stay at home parent, or generally busy person, then Shaun T’s T25 program is a great option for you. As the name suggests, T25 is a 25-minute workout program that Shaun leads in his trademark upbeat, demanding style.
The workout has short, intense workout moves that are interval-based exercises. Except unlike other interval programs, T25 has no rest periods in between the moves, which is why it’s so brutal and effective. Don’t think that because the workout is short, it’s going to be easy, because that’s just not the case. It’ll give you a high intensity workout in a short, rapid-fire time frame.
If you’ve only got 25 minutes to workout, then they need to be an intense 25 minutes, and T25 delivers. To be fair, when you factor in set-up and intro time, the workouts might come out closer to 30 or 35 minutes in length, which is still pretty short in my book, but it might be for you. Depending on just how busy you are, you may also want to factor in time for stretching.
This at home workout program works in two stages of intensity: alpha and beta, so you can expect a jump in difficulty after the first month is complete. It has modifiers for every move, and includes a resistance band to add more intensity to the workouts, a food guide, and a wall calendar.
If you have absolutely no time: 10 minute Trainer
Okay, but if you’re someone who doesn’t even have 30 minutes to workout? First of all, consider making more time in your day for exercise, because it’s a real investment in your overall health and quality of life. But if you can’t do that, give Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer a try.
Ten minutes? Sound crazy? It’s not. Tony’s premise here is that many people don’t stick to a workout routine because it takes too much time and they don’t enjoy doing it and so, to overcome that, he made a 10 minute daily workout series. I haven’t seen as much press about this program as I think it deserves, because I think what Tony does in this one is really unique.
You’re probably wondering “How can anyone make make progress with only ten minutes’ training a day?” To save time, the moves incorporate multiple muscle groups at once to give you the most workout bang for your limited time. The result is a super intense, high-energy 10-minute program that gives you a solid workout in a small amount of time.
It comes with a resistance band, cardio belt, and travel workout DVD among its extras, so it’s great for people who don’t have or don’t like using a lot of equipment. The travel DVD is a great addition this kit, especially for hyper-busy traveling business people who want to bring one DVD with a comprehensive workout on it.
If youre an experienced trainer or athlete looking to push yourself: Insanity
If you’re looking to take it up a notch and you’ve already got a solid fitness foundation underneath you, then the right at-home workout is pretty obvious: Insanity. Insanity is Shaun T.’s legendary workout program that rocketed the brand to fame for its difficulty, energy, and results. Personally, Insanity is one of my favorite workouts just for the sheer craziness of the thing. For especially fit people, I think it can be difficult to get a real sweat going, and Insanity will certainly give that to you.
The program is 60 days long and uses interval training to work you out with maximum efficiency. The two month program makes this a good option for athletes who are away from training for a few months and don’t want to lose strength, and the structure is like having a real coach in front of you to make sure you’re doing your workout.
You will sweat. You will be in pain. You workout as hard as you can for 3-5 minutes and then you take a quick break to drink some water and curse the heavens for your aching body, then you get back into it. Insanity, surprisingly, doesn’t require any weights or equipment to do what it does, so this is a good fit for anyone who’s used to working out a gym and doesn’t have anything at home. The set also travels well and works well in group settings, so you can get your athlete friends and suffer together!
If you’re preparing for an upcoming event: 21-Day Fix
If you’ve got less than a month before a big event that you’d like to get in shape for, such as a holiday, vacation or participating in a sporting event, the 21 Day Fix is the most obvious choice for a number of reasons: It’s one of Beachbody’s shortest programs and it’s specifically designed to reach it’s completion in 21 days, instead of a typical 60 day program.
It’s lead by Autumn Calabrese, who is a fun and upbeat trainer, and requires only 30 minutes per day (albeit 7 days per week). All things considered, I think that’s a pretty decent amount of time to get in shape in such a short amount of time, but if you prefer to workout for longer, it definitely can’t hurt. I think it’s a much better option than only doing 21 days of a different program, because some other programs are designed to ‘ramp up’ intensity and start slowly. They won’t give you the same leaning down results you want if you stop a third of the way through, so don’t do that!
The 21 Day Fix has perhaps the biggest focus on diet of any Beachbody program (or indeed any home workout program I can recall), and it’s definitely not something you can skip if you want results in 21 days. That short a time isn’t enough to make a fitness difference without a clean diet to go with it, and you really do need to make sure your eating is up to par if you want results. The plastic containers that come with it are color coded and pre-portion controlled, so all you do is fill them with whatever type of food that goes with that specific container. For example, fruits, grains, veggies, etc. It’s pretty foolproof. It also comes with a shaker cup for Shakeology, but you can use your own protein shakes if you prefer.
If you’re REALLY in a pinch for time, there’s also the 3 Day Quick Fix, which, as the name suggests, is a 3 Day System for quickly shedding a few pounds, but don’t expect the same results you’d get if you followed the 21 Day Method.
If you’re looking for increased mobility: Tai Cheng
If you’re older, you’re not going to like the jumping around and lunging of P90x or Insanity. Tai Cheng, one of Beachbody’s lesser known program, is my personal recommendation for people who want more flexibility and strength in a flowing, low impact routine.
It’s a 90-day program, which is a great length, especially considering that it’s one of Beachbody’s cheaper programs, so you really get a pretty good bang for your buck.
Tai Cheng’s name comes from its leader, Dr. Mark Cheng, who is a master Tai Chi practitioner who developed the program and gave it the flowing movements that are the basis of its routines. There is no impact at all in this program, which makes it supremely accessible for just about anyone, and the moves are, frankly, gorgeous. They flow into each other in an elegant, smooth way that builds flexibility, range of motion, and strength in a slow and steady three-month program.
Like some other Beachbody programs, it uses a tape grid on the floor to make sure that movements are accurate and easy to follow, and it includes some free removable tape that you can use on your floor. It also includes a resistance band and foam roller for some of the moves that require it, so you don’t need to buy any additional equipment. It also includes a travel version, which makes it a good option for keeping your mobility up while traveling and visiting family members.
If you’re recovering from an injury: Total Body Solution
One of the most remarkable programs in the Beachbody collection is the Total Body Solution, which aims to reduce pain and injury through 15 minute guided workouts that target pain, stiffness, and injury in the neck, shoulders, core, lower back, and knees.
Lead by Debbie Siebers and Chad Waterbury, this low to no-impact program is gentle and strengthening, and would be a great addition to any rehab program, or just to do on its own. The short length might deter and recovering athletes used to grueling hour long practices, but I believe it’s a good length to prevent further injury while you’re recovering. Increasing the strength of your body should be done in stages, but of course you should use your own discretion and modify any moves that seem like they might aggravate any injury you have.
Every body is different, and I think Debbie and Chad do a good job reminding viewers to trust their bodies. Exercise is a powerful tool towards healing, and I think the best part of the program is the message of hope it gives. You don’t have to live in pain, and Total Body Solution might help you get on with the rest of your life.
There is an at home workout program for just about anyone or any type of person, and no matter what your constraints are, you can find a way to make fitness a reality in your life. Always use discretion when doing your exercise and stop if anything hurts, but make it a priority in your life. Consider it an investment in your life and in your body. You are worth it, and you can do it!