Home Gym – Expectations?
When you do something that requires commitment, you’d better have a plan. It does not have to be perfect. And the beginning is always the hardest part in the journey. The same goes for working out at home. Indeed, before you buy a home gym, you should make a plan and stick to it. Hitting your home workout without giving it any thought will yield results, but to maximize gains, do make a plan! Before you can make it, you should know what you can actually achieve with the help of these home fitness stations. In this article, I will tell you what realistic expectations you can have.
Do you want to lose fat?
The advertisements of home gyms are usually full of promises of fat loss. Buy this, lose fat now. Buy that, shed the fat quickly. These ads exist to make you buy the product. They may have some science and tests backing the claims up, but it is never as straightforward as the ad copy wants to make you believe. Because, home gym alone will not make you lose a gram of fat! You need another, equally important component in your quest. And that, my friends, is dieting!
I talked about this subject in another article. But let me reiterate: to get that lard off your body you need a calorie deficit. Meaning you must eat less than you consume. When this happens, your body will use its own resource to survive. One resource is fat, another is muscle. Unfortunately for us humans, the body will use muscle first, only then fat. A catastrophe, it might sound.
So, how does this connect with home gym? Simple! Do your home workouts and you’re giving your muscles a reason to exist. This way, the body will mostly use fat as its energy. And that is exactly what people wanting to shed the lard want! So yes, home gym together with calorie deficit is the key to successful fat loss. If you only eat less than your body consumes, but don’t do any resistance training, be prepared to end up looking very famished due to loss of muscle as well!
Do you want to build muscle?
If you are skinny by nature, or don’t have fat anymore due to your recent dieting efforts, you are in a good place. Now you are ready to build muscle. Again, the good marketing people in home gym companies tell us that their products are ideal for fast muscle gains. Well, let me tell you one thing. The home gyms will help you to grow muscle, but only in beginner (and perhaps intermediate) stages, and anyway it will not happen very quickly.
You see, building muscle is a slow processor. It’s slower than losing the fat. It’s easier to throw something you already have (fat) away than getting something you still don’t have (muscle), right? So, if you start to work out hard with your home gym, do not expect to see any visible results in the first few months. After about three months you would probably see a chance. Take yourself a before and after photo to be sure about this.
But let’s not forget the dieting here, either. To build muscle the fastest way (still not fast, but the fastest that is naturally and safely possible), you need to eat at a calorie surplus. Yes, the opposite of what is required for fat loss. Remember, you are building new muscle. For that, you need building blocks. And the blocks are the food you put in your mouth. Do not eat like a pig, restrict your calories to maybe 100 or 200 over your daily limit. Now, if you train hard at home, the extra calories will be converted mostly to muscle, not fat.
Just remember the last important thing for muscle building with home gyms. It is possible, and will happen for sure, if you’re not an advanced lifter. But if you’re already buff or have some decent muscles, chances are very high the home gym is not the right tool for you. You see, there’s usually a weight limit in home fitness machines and it’s not too big a limit. Maybe 100, or a maximum 200 pounds of resistance. If you can lift that like nobody’s business, you have outgrown the home gym. The next step is to move to a commercial gym.
Do you just want to get/be in shape?
So you’re already quite lean, and have some muscles not to look like a skeleton. And you want to maintain this. In other words, not gain fat, but not really gain muscle either. Perfect, this is probably the best case with home gyms. You see, especially for muscle building the home fitness machines are not ideal when you’re past a certain level in your training – I talked about that above. But to keep the muscle you already have less training is required. And that, even working out with home gym can do for you.
So, being in shape also means maintaining the current level of body fat. As we already know, it’s not so much about exercising but your diet. So, home gym will not do too much for your body fat percentages. But still, if you hit it everyday, or almost everyday, you will burn some extra calories. This will aid you a little in keeping the level of body fat you currently have.
Wrapping it up
Home gyms, when used with right dieting, are a good tool for fat loss and maintaining your current physique. No matter which of these targets is your goal, you need to use the machine actively and eat healthy. You will reach your desired body fat percentage before long, and staying in shape will also happen. However, you might want to think again if you really want big muscles. The unfortunate truth is, home gyms do not offer enough resistance or exercise possibilities for your muscles to grow very big. A commercial gym is your best bet in that case. Yet, if you want to shed the lard and stay in shape, home gym is one of the best ways to go!