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Home Workouts That’ll Challenge You

Yep, I’m still working out at home in my garage gym. And, yep, I’m still feeling VERY grateful for it.

So, just like I’ve been doing for a few months now, I’m sharing a few my favorite recent home workouts in case you’re in need of a little sweat sesh inspiration.

Before we get into them, just a quick reminder on how to stay well and work out smartly in the time of COVID-19. Even if it’s just you at home, consider doing the following:

  • Wipe down your own equipment with a disinfectant before and after use. Be sure to wash your hands before and after, too. We don’t recommend you working out with others, but if you do, keep at least six feet apart and follow these other recommendations.
  • Remember that very intense exercise can decrease your immunity, so go at a moderate to mild pace where you can talk (reference here).
  • Consider adding some of these mindful elements to your workouts to boost mental health.
  • If you just started working out at home, consider some of these workouts instead.
  • For all of us, rest days are essential. If you don’t feel 100 percent, REST.
  • We are one of many places offering fitness advice, workouts, etc. during this trying time. Get more self-care, fitness, and meditation resources here and here.
  • Exercise should be a way of showing yourself love and self-care, so that you can go do the important work that we all need to do. So, do the workouts that truly energize you.

With that said, my intention in sharing these workouts isn’t for you to do them exactly as written (although if you want to and can, go for it!); rather, I hope they’ll serve as inspiration for workouts you could try at home. Most of these are a mix of cardio and full-body strength, HIIT, and are very short. They also require some equipment, like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, TRX, and a rower — although I’ve listed ideas for modifying with less equipment when possible.

Obviously, virtually talk to your doc and a personal trainer if you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t do — especially if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey. And always listen to your body. Knowing when to push yourself and knowing when to take it easy is a skill that takes honing but is SO important, especially when you’re working out on your own. And especially right now.

Now, let’s get to the home workouts!

Home Workouts That’ll Challenge You

It Takes Two

I’ve shared some other home workouts with this structure, but it’s a sneaky hard one. You start the first move by doing 1 rep, followed by the second move for 10 reps. Then, the first move increases by one rep, while the second move decreases by a rep (the total is always 11). So, for the first workout, you do 1 hang powerclean / 10 bar-facing burpees, then 2 hang powerclean / 9 bar-facing burpees, then 3 hang powerclean / 8 bar-facing burpees, and so on and so forth in that pattern until you get to 10 hang powerclean / 1 bar-facing burpee. Rest until you’re ready, and then jump into the second workout, with the same rep count structure as the first workout but with TRX body rows and v-ups.

If you don’t have a bar for the first WOD, consider swapping hang powerclean for dumbbell snatches and bar-facing burpees for regular burpees or walkout push-ups. For the second WOD, if you don’t have a TRX consider doing pull-ups or renegade rows, and if v-ups are a bit too much, sub with sit-ups or crunches.

Bookend It

A fun twist is to add a buy-in and buy-out exercise for your workout, with a circuit sandwiched in the middle. For this one, you start with a 500-meter row and only do it once (could also be a 400-meter run or 2 minutes of any cardio). Then do three rounds of 8 right single-arm overhead lunges with a dumbbell, 30 kettlebell swings, 8 left single-arm lunges with a dumbbell, and 15 push-ups. Once you’ve completed your three rounds of the circuit, you end the workout with 50 mason twists (left and right equals 1 rep). Fun, right?

Yay, Failure!

Who says failure has to be a bad thing? In this case, it’s quite good because it means you’re pushing yourself to get stronger! This one is pretty self explanatory, but do three rounds of the circuit listed below. If you don’t have a rower, run or walk quickly for 400 meters or do 2 minutes of your favorite cardio move. And, if you don’t have the equipment to do body rows, try doing renegade rows or bent-over rows. Be sure to count your reps to failure, too — if you do this workout once a week for a few weeks, you’ll see how many more you’re able to complete. Again, yay, failure!

Another Bookend

Remember the buy-in and buy-out structure above? Same dealio here, except you’re running 400 meters (walk 200 meters to modify) as both bookends with three rounds of the circuit sandwiched between. If you don’t have a kettlebell, do sumo high-pulls with a dumbbell. And, if v-ups are too much, sub for crunches or sit-ups.

30-Minute You-Go-I-Go Partner Workout

You’ll need a buddy for this one! Set a timer for 30 minutes and then have partner 1 run 400 meters (can sub with a 200-meter walk) while partner 2 goes through their own circuit. Once partner 1 is done running, partner 2 stops their circuit and runs 400 meters while partner 1 begins their circuit. Once partner 2 is back, partner 1 runs while partner 2 starts back into their circuit from where they left off before they began running. So, someone is running the whole time! And, be sure for each partner to count how many circuits they get through — it can be fun to compare if you’re feeling a bit competitive.

Get Our Your Timer

It’s interval time! This one is pretty straight-forward. For WOD 1, do 30 seconds of each move listed at your own pace for a total of five rounds. Feel free to take the intensity down with walkouts instead of burpees and sit-ups or crunches instead of v-ups. If you don’t have a slam ball, you can do snatches with a dumbbell instead.

Once done, there’s an optional second WOD of an 8-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of: 15 deadlifts (with a bar or dumbbells) and a 150-meter row (or 1 minute jog or your favorite cardio move).

Prepare to Be Sore …

This is a goodie from my old gym the Fit Pit, and yeowsers, did it leave me sore the next day. Three-hundred double-unders is no joke! And with every time you break / miss of double-unders resulting in 3 power-cleans, let’s just say that I sure did a lot of power cleans. If double-unders aren’t your thing, do 300 single jump ropes or 600 or even 900 if you need more of a challenge but aren’t ready for double-unders. And, if you don’t have a bar, do 3 sumo high pulls with a kettlebell or dumbbell instead.

For WOD 2, you get to do burpees for every time you break doing 300 air squats. Super fun, huh? And, talk about being motivated not to break!

Reduce By 1

I found this one to be really fun and different. You start with the below rep count, and then each time you go through the circuit after the first time, you reduce the reps by 1 for each move. So, the second round is 11-10-9, third round is 10-9-8, forth round is 9-8-7, and so on and so forth, until the final round when you just do 1 v-up. Feel free to modify with sit-ups or crunches for v-ups, dumbbell snatches for ball slams, and push-ups on your toes or knees for push-ups on a slam ball. But! Be sure to challenge yourself with whatever moves you choose as the reps go down each round, so it gets a little easier as you go on.

Chip, Chip

Chippers are always challenging, so they’re one of my favorite go-to workout structures when I’m looking for a tough workout. And, this one delivers! If you’ve never done a chipper, here’s how it works: start with the first move and do it once. Then, for the next round, do the first and second move on the list. Third round, do the first three moves, and so on and so forth until you do a round with every move on the list. Don’t let it fool you — it seems easy at first, but quickly gets hard! And, if it’s too much, modify by lowering your weight or the reps, or consider doing it as a 20- or 25-minute AMRAP instead of a chipper.

“Four” for the Burn

Another pretty self-explanatory one: do four rounds of all the moves for time. No kettlebell? Try swinging a dumbbell (holding one end). For the split lunges, you can do them holding weights if you want more of a challenge. And, for the push-ups, feel free to modify on your knees, on your toes, or on a ball — but remember, they’re to failure so it’s a great time to choose something a little harder than you normally do.

Fun home workouts, huh? Plenty of challenges in there to keep ya busy!

And! Because I knew I promised to keep y’all updated on my garage gym, I wanted to share that soon we’ll be installing a pull-up bar (I am SO pumped for that), and we recently were sent a Rollga Foam Roller that I’ve been using the heck out of after my workouts. I went with the hard density (see it here), and it definitively delivers that hurts-so-good feeling that tight muscles need. The shape is especially good for getting into those tough spots to reach.

I’ll be sharing more workouts in the weeks to come, but in the mean time, tell me: what workouts are you loving now? And, if you try any of these home workouts, please, let me know how they go in the comments!Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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2 Comments
  1. Mill Ex says:

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  2. Brilliant!! Thank you for the information.