Working out at Home – an Effective and Efficient Way to Train

When my daughter was born, I had neither the money nor the time to go to a gym. My options were limited, yet I needed to find a way to keep in shape (not just diet). Something that was not only effective, but also flexible time-wise, something I could accomplish with little or no equipment…all within the comfort of my home.

If you’re anything like me, you tried home exercise DVDs. In my opinion, most of them are completely worthless. They fail to get your heart rate up to a level high enough and long enough to promote cardiovascular improvement, let alone facilitate weight loss. And, several fail to even address building lean muscle, which is paramount for optimum health and metabolism.

So what are your options?

Answer: HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is a training method that alternates moderate intervals with high intensity intervals, usually lasting 3-4 minutes per set, with 30-second rest periods in between. Research shows that HIIT not only significantly improves endurance, capitalizing on aerobic and anaerobic energy, but also burns calories for longer periods of time, well after the workout is complete. Combine that with lean muscle building calisthenic exercises and viola…you have an excellent in home exercise program.

HIIT interval workout example –

(NOTE: before attempting any new exercise regimen, please consult your doctor)

Warm-up – Stretching, jog in place, jumping jacks

3 Minute Interval Set (Repeat 3x) – moderate to high

  • Jumping Rope 45 seconds
  • Moving Pushups 45 seconds
  • Running – High Knees (stationary) 45 seconds
  • Burpees / Suicide Jumps 45 seconds

3 Minute Interval Set (Repeat 3x) – moderate to high

  • Mountain Climbers 45 seconds
  • Jack Squats (stationary) 45 seconds
  • Butt Kicks 45 seconds
  • Jack Pushups 45 seconds

Cool Down – Stretch

Total workout time, including warm-up and cool down: 30 minutes

As you become stronger and your cardiovascular endurance increases, you can add multiple interval sets to extend your workout and diversify your overall body training. Look online for more HIIT training ideas and exercise programs. Make sure you choose exercises that work your whole body, not just one area (i.e. legs). And, if you prefer a ready-made training program, I recommend the “Insanity” series with Shaun T.* It’s incredibly effective and he’s amazing.*Please Note – I may receive a commission from the purchase of any products from the link provided.*

HIIT helped me lose all my post-pregnancy weight quickly and efficiently, along with rebuilding lean muscle tissue throughout my whole body. Working out at home is great time-wise since an effective workout can easily be accomplished in 30 minutes. And, it’s flexible enough to be worked into your daily schedule at a moment’s notice, sans scheduling gym time. It’s an amazing workout for anyone, especially for time and cash-strapped parents.

My daughter is 8 years old now and I still use HIIT 1-2 per week to compliment my other training. As a runner, the anaerobic and aerobic conditioning has elevated my pace time significantly. And, as a weight lifter, I find the endurance muscle building exercises (e.g. pushups, jack squats) further compliment my strength training.

It’s, by far, the best at home exercise option. Quick and efficient, flexible and effective. It’s also challenging and fun. Work at your own pace, slowly but surely building up your endurance and strength. And don’t forget to take at least one to two rest days per week. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Give it a try – no excuses now…

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    […] training is ideal; something they can easily fit into their often hectic, time-strapped schedules. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is the best solution. No special equipment or gym membership needed…just 3-4 days per week, 30-45 minutes a day. […]

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    DR J 2211 – Rachael Jezierski, PhD