Question: I read your article this week about senior training and was interested in how could someone train at home without any equipment at all? Is it possible to make progress without equipment?
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Answer: It is possible to make progress without weight training systems and gym equipment but the changes would occur more slowly than they would if you have access to heavier weights. What’s more likely to occur is you would be able to avoid any muscle loss, atrophy, for a short period of time, a week or two, if you’re used to training with heavier weights and can’t get to the gym. If you haven’t been training though, you should be able make some progress. You can effectively train major body parts with this workout.
Begin with Crunches and Reverse Crunches doing 3 sets of 20 reps each in superset fashion. That means doing one exercise immediately followed by the second exercise before you take a 30 to 45 second break. After Crunches doing the next exercise can be risky, so you have been warned. Using two sturdy chairs, anchored preferably with two friends or relatives who are sitting in them, place the chairs back to back about shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the top of the back of the chairs and do chair dips. Let me emphasize the chairs need to be sturdy and anchored. Do three sets of 10 to 20 reps per set. Superset the dips with chair rows. Using a strong broomstick place it between the two chairs and grasp the broomstick while lying beneath it with both hands. Keep your body in a straight line with your butt off of the floor and pull yourself up touching your chest to the bar each rep. Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps. If you are strong enough to do pull-ups and have a secure place to hold on to, you can do those instead of chair pull-ups. For legs, simply squat. Place your hands under your chin keeping your elbows and ribcage high, which maintains good posture. Sit down doing deep knee bends keeping your heels flat on the floor. By the time you have done 50 reps on your third set you’ll get a good burn in your thighs. Calf raises can be done standing on the edge of a stair or on a thick phone book. Do each leg independently and do 25 reps for each calf for three sets. Finally you have push-ups. It’s not how many or how fast you can do these, it is how well you perform each rep that makes them most effective. Do 25 to 50 reps for three sets.
If you keep yourself moving at a good pace, you should finish this routine in 30 minutes and though it’s not as effective as a gym workout you will at least feel better about yourself and your training by doing something.
God bless and keep training,