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If you know me at all, you know I love me some workout DVD’s (see here, here, oh and here)! Because I work from home the gym is not convenient (too easy for me to make excuses due to weather, lack of car, etc.) and although I love getting outdoors for exercise, workout DVDs are the PERFECT no-excuses way for me to work out. Not to mention it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to set up an at-home gym than it is to pay gym memberships (although I love group classes).

The downside to working out at home is that  you don’t get the added benefit of having a trainer in the room to let you know if your form is good or the social system that gets you to push yourself to work out harder.

Now, I’m not a fitness-expert (yet… ) but I am an at-home workout expert so here are my biggest tips on making sure you get the most out of your at-home workout program!

  1. Focus on your form! Because you don’t have a trainer to tell you that your form is off, you need to become an expert yourself. Bad form will not only increase the chance of getting injured but it’ll also make the moves you’re doing ineffective (and really, do you want to be doing planks for no reason whatsoever? I didn’t think so… ). How can you do this without a trainer? Several ways actually! You can: use a giant mirror to watch yourself while you work out (or use a window if you work out at night), videotape/Skype yourself and play it back later or get a trusted friend or spouse to watch you and ask them to keep your form in mind.
  2. Pay attention to your body! The last thing you want to do is injure yourself but you also don’t want to cheat yourself! There’s a fine line between not doing enough and doing too much when it comes to working out. Just because your brain is tired that doesn’t mean your body is so tell yourself you’re not tired and keep going! The majority of the time you can keep going but we stop because you think you can’t go on but you can! Take as many breaks as you want but don’t stop unless something hurts, something twinges or your form fails. Trust me, you CAN do it!
  3. Stay consistent. This may be the hardest part. If you don’t have a coach or a trusted partner to go to, keeping yourself accountable can be tricky. To keep yourself accountable, schedule your workouts in your calendar and tell yourself and everyone around you that your workout time is non-negotiable. You’re not to be disturbed unless there’s a super emergency (i.e., death or trip to the emerg) and set up a rewards system. I use fancy shower gels on a weekly basis – if I get through a week of workouts without skipping I get to use my fancy gel on Saturdays! Do whatever works for you! Screw staying motivated and focus on consistency instead!
  4. Challenge yourself! With no one watching it’s easy to cut yourself a lot of slack so pretend the trainer is in the room with you or has a camera aimed at you! Even if you can’t work out as hard as they do in the video (or even DO what they do in the video), challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and do what you can. If you can’t do push-ups on your toes, do them on your knees but every time you do those push-ups, try at least ONE on your toes and work your way up. Your body adapts easily to your workouts and if you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll stop seeing results!
  5. Switch ’em up! Like I just said, your body adapts very quickly to your workouts so if you don’t switch things up every couple of weeks you’ll doin’ ’em for nothing! If you’ve been doing the same workout for months, treat yourself to another one. Even if you’re not doing all the advanced moves, each program and trainer works to their own style. Switching up your programs and trainers will help you get better overall fitness, you’ll achieve your goals faster and it’ll keep you from getting bored!

Now that you’re armed with the info – get out there and get ‘er done!

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