If you are looking for ways to maximize training progress without breaking the bank or wasting valuable hours, then it might be time to finally embrace home training as a viable and minimal-fuss means to shaping up fast.
The reasons to favor home training over commercial gym environments are many and varied. Indeed, provided we have a good amount of training experience and are comfortable working out by ourselves (or with a partner or two), working out at home might be an ideal way to navigate some of the common barriers associated with regular gym training.
Without any further delay I present:
- Top Five Immunity-Boosting Supplements
- 6-Week Home Workout for Superior Results
- 5 Benefits of Home Training
All are guaranteed to get you re-thinking your current Supplement and Training arrangement and even signing up to become an ALLMAXED Trainee!
Simplification also extends to supplementation. In other words, rather than taking every conceivable product from a variety of different brands, it’s best to stick with a trusted brand that has a reputation for delivering only the best quality, every time. This way, instead of chancing it on untested products of dubious efficacy, you know you are getting the very best.
In addition, when picking the best supplements, always start with the time-tested basics; products that have been proven to work over many years and for countless consumers.
Among the many such mandatory products are those that enhance immunity (strengthened immunity being the most basic and essential training requirement of all). To build a great physique fundamentally comes down to addressing overall health and wellbeing, of which immunity forms a major part. Here are five immunity-boosting products that all trainees should have in their supplemental repertoire.
Each 9-pill, seven function VITASTACK pack contains every essential nutrient needed for complete health and wellbeing. Included among its broad array of nutrients are many of specific importance to immune function.1, 12 Featured as part of its Immunocharge Antioxidant Immune Support matrix are extremely potent versions of vitamins’ A, C, E along with Zinc, Selenium and Calcium for essential mineral fortification. Further immune-specific compounds include: Milk Thistle Extract, Turmeric Extract and Alpha Lipoic Acid. This could be the most important immunity-boosting product of them all.
Whey protein isolate remains an important training companion for many reasons, not least of which is its immune-boosting advantage.11 While whey protein continues to be revered among hard training athletes for its muscle maximizing benefits, some of its more important features go largely unheralded, immune fortification being one of these.
The body needs protein for the rebuilding of our entire cellular network, including the cells of the immune system (namely, antibodies that fight illness and disease). An inadequate and/or subpar protein composition can thus result in weakened immunity and greater susceptibility illness and disease. In short, without enough protein the body manufactures fewer white blood cells to combat the various antigens that invade our system on a daily basis. On this basis alone the superior bioavailability and absorption of whey isolate makes it perfect for building stronger immune systems.
What also sets whey apart from other proteins is its ability to enhance glutathione, a compound notable for preventing damage to important cellular components caused by, among other things, an accumulation of free radicals.10 According to the United States Dairy Export Council: “In comparison to most other protein sources, whey proteins are unique in their ability to optimize a number of key aspects of immune function.”
But not all whey isolates are created equal. ISOFLEX, today’s preeminent whey product, uses an advanced extraction process to ensure each serving contains a complete array of immunity-boosting bioactive protein isolate fractions along with a massive protein yield per serving
Like whey, Glutamine is well known for it muscle building benefits, but also has other features of importance to boosting health and wellbeing, via enhanced immunity. Glutamine is an important fuel source for immune cells and certain intestinal cells and a lack of it can result in compromised immune function.2, 3, 4, 6
The degradation of Glutamine is a very real possibility for strength athletes, including bodybuilders, given that the body’s need for Glutamine is, at the best of times, greater than the body’s ability to produce it. This means that the body must break down muscle stores to liberate Glutamine for more important functions, such as immunity. In fact, studies have shown that supplemental glutamine can decrease infection and enhance immunity to improve health and, in certain instances, shorten hospital stays.7
But, again, only the most bioavailable forms of Glutamine will have the desired immune-boosting effect. ALLMAX GLUTAMINE is perfect in this regard as it is extracted through a hyper-particulation process called Glutasure to minimize its particle size, thus rendering it optimally absorbable and 100-percent pure.
Everyone’s favorite research-backed muscle builder may also be of great benefit to boosting immunity.12 In particular, Creatine may serve as a molecular battery for immune cells by enhancing the storage and distribution of the energy needed to power the immune response. According the lead researcher of one key study Lili Yang, “This creatine-powered hybrid engine system enables killer T cells to make the most of their available energy supply in an environment where they have to compete with fast-growing tumor cells for nutrients.” 5
To receive Creatine’s full range of benefits, including immune-enhancing, requires a pharmaceutical-grade product that is big on purity and bioavailability and short on fillers and fancy processing methods which result in poor product efficacy. Micronized to enhance absorption and of the highest purity, ALLMAX CREATINE MONOHYDRATE ticks all of these boxes, and more.
It’s well known that protein and other key nutrients are critical for enhancing immune function. What is not as widely recognized is that many of the beneficial enzymes responsible for allowing these nutrients to be properly digested and absorbed are destroyed during the formulating, preserving, and cooking of many of the foods we eat.
Therefore, it’s important that we take a quality digestive enzyme product to maximize the beneficial immune-enhancing properties of the foods we depend on for excellent health and vitality. ALLMAX DIGESTIVE ENZYMES cover of all our nutritional bases in that they contain 11 specific high-potency enzymes designed to enhance the absorption and assimilation of proteins, carbs, and fats.
- Rest between sets: 1 minute (between straight sets), 2 minutes (between circuits).
- Select weight in accordance with prescribed rep range. Choose resistance that ensures failure on the last rep of each work set.
- SS = Supersets
- TS = Trisets
- DB = Dumbbell
Morning: Cardio Workout
- 45 minutes steady state (maintaining a maximum heart rate of between 100-120 beats per minute).
- DB Squats (Wide Stance) SS with Lunge Jumps: 3 sets of 15 reps per set (per side with lunge jumps)
- DB Alternating Stationary Lunges SS with Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps per set (per side). Outside Option: Walking DB Lunges (2 minutes) SS with Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps per set (per side)
- High Knees: 3 x 1-minute sets. Outside Option: Sprints: 3 x 15-second sprints
- DB Stiff-Legged Deadlifts SS with Star Jumps: 3 sets of 20 reps per set
- DB Calf Raises (use step or other elevated, stable object): 3 sets of 50 reps per set
- Floor Crunches SS with Lying Leg Raises: 3 x 1-minute sets
Evening: Upper Body Workout
- DB Presses TS with DB Lateral Raises/Bent Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps per set
- Clapping Push-Ups: 3 sets of 20 reps per set
- DB Hammer Curls SS with DB Zottman Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps per set
- DB Deadlifts SS with Two-Arm DB Rows: 3 sets of 12 reps per set
- Close Push-Ups/Chair Dips/DB Front Raises/DB Shrugs/DB Punches: 4 circuits: 15 reps per movement, per circuit (1-minute sets for DB Punches)
Morning: Cardio Workout
- 30 minutes of HIIT
- Alternating between 30 seconds moderate intensity and 30 seconds super-high intensity
- Maintaining a maximum heart rate of between 130-140 beats per minute during high intensity phase
Evening: Legs/Abs Workout
- DB Squats (Narrow Stance) SS with Side Lunges: 3 sets of 15 reps per set (per side with lunges)
- Jump Squats/Mountain Climbers/High Knees/DB Stiff-Legged Deadlifts/Reverse Lunges: 4 circuits: 20 reps per movement per circuit (per side, where applicable).
- Outside Option: perform circuit outdoors and substitute 15 seconds of sprinting for the Reverse Lunges.
- DB Split Squats (use chair or other stable object): 3 sets of 20 reps per set
- DB Step-Up (use chair or other stable object) SS with Standing Calf Raises (use step or other elevated, stable object): 3 sets of 15 reps per set (per side)
- Lying Leg Raise TS with Floor Crunches/DB Side Bends: 3 x 1-minute sets, per movement
Morning: Cardio Workout
- 45 minutes steady state (maintaining a maximum heart rate of between 100-120 beats per minute).
Evening: Upper Body Workout
- DB Curl-Hammer Presses: 3 sets of 15 reps per set
- One-Arm DB Triceps Kickbacks SS with Chair Dips: 3 sets of 12 reps per set (per side with Kickbacks)
- Wide Push-Ups SS with Alternating DB Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps per set (per side with curls)
- Renegade Rows/DB Deadlifts/DB Floor Presses/Push-Planks: 3 x Circuits:15 reps per set, per circuit
Morning: Cardio Workout
- 30 minutes of HIIT, alternating between 30 seconds moderate intensity and 30 seconds super-high intensity (maintaining a maximum heart rate of between 130-140 beats per minute during high intensity phase).
Evening: Core/Glutes Workout
- DB Hip Thrust (from floor): 3 sets of 20 reps per set
- DB Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts (stationary): 3 sets of 15 reps per set (per side. Outside Option: DB Single Leg Walking Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15 reps per set (per side.
- Plank-Hold: 3 x 2-minute holds (or as long as possible up to 2 minutes)
- Burpees: 3 sets of 15 reps per set
- Figureheads: 3 x 1-minute holds (or as long as possible up to 1 minute)
It is Less Expensive to train at home, the initial outfitting of an adequately-furnished home gym. In fact, a good home gym can be designed with basic equipment purchased at minimal financial cost so even the initial set-up can be remarkably cheap.
This is great news for those who do not want to be beholden to a gym whose primary reason for existence is to extract maximum consumer dollars (the very nature of being in business). Besides, it is well-known that most gyms rely on a large percentage of non-attendees whose payment plans remain in place despite a lack of training commitment (a far greater reality than when training in a more convenient home gym environment).
Training at commercial gyms can, on balance, be enormously expensive. First, there may be joining fees. Then there are regular ongoing payments which appear to be getting more and more costly. In addition, there is the cost (both financial and time, which for some can mean the same thing) of getting to and from the gym. As a result, daily training may, over the course of a week, take from us valuable time that may be better spent making money, or training more. Included also are fuel costs not to mention parking fees and vehicle wear and tear.
Commercial gyms, like all good businesses, are also encouraged to sell more. This means one is more likely to enlist a personal trainer at exorbitant rates (the gym always gets a large cut of all PT earnings, making session costs generally much higher than private personal trainer fees or home trainers who can come to your home gym). This is in addition to food, supplements, drinks and other tempting add-ons, often sold with a heavy mark-up on recommended retail price.
Overall, home training is a much less expensive, with no driving to and from the gym, no parking fees and, best of all, no fortnightly payment plans. And because we have no excuse for not being at home, the gym is always there, ready for us to get in another session. The only payment: sweat and effort.
Commercial gyms can, at the best of times, be breeding grounds for the proliferation of a wide range of various pathogens.9, 13, 15 In fact, treadmills and exercise bikes found in the average commercial gym can have up to 74 times more bacteria than a public toilet tap. Free weights are worse with approximately 362 times the number of germs as a toilet seat.8
Some common infections to be acquired from sharing dirty (or even previously “cleaned”) gym equipment, including gym showers and changing rooms, include: athlete’s foot, Staphylococcus Aureus (staph infection), Cold and flu virus, E. coli, Hepatitis A, and ringworm.
Let’s face it. Compared to when training in smaller areas there is always going to be a heightened risk of infection when working out alongside hundreds of people wearing next to nothing and sweating profusely in larger training spaces. And regardless of how hard many gyms try to keep their equipment clean, it is virtually impossible to provide a completely pathogen or, for that matter, body-odour free environment (with home training you are not forced to smell or bathe in anyone else’s stale sweat, but your own). For these reasons alone, many have chosen to completely avoid commercial gyms.
A typical gym environment can, for many, be an intimidating place to be. Newbies and people with body image problems or the overweight, for example, may feel awkward and even embarrassed working out around others. This may lead them to come up with all manner of excuses for missing sessions, which, of course, defeats the purpose of joining a gym in the first place.
Rightly or wrongly, the potentially threatening nature of gyms is a fact made verifiable by the thousands of trainees who simply do not feel comfortable working out in heavily-populated training spaces (as a long-time private-gym trainer I’ve met many such people). After all, we are all wired to compared ourselves to others, an act that may only create unnecessary stress and tension, thus depleting us of necessary training energy. While some can block out the stares of others and do not feel out of place training alongside picture perfect physical specimens, a surprising percentage are not so fortunate. Home gyms effectively solve this problem.
Furthermore, with home training we need not fear failure when experimenting with different training approaches or simply beginning the training process from scratch. In this way, whatever end of the training spectrum we are on, a home gym may allow us to focus single-mindedly on the training process and not on the broader training context. Whether we would like to admit it or not, most people care too much about what other people think, a fact that is particularly apparent in big commercial gyms. Add this to the fact that there is at least one ‘creepy gym dude’ who appears to spend much training time appropriating equipment for the express purpose of checking out fellow gym members of the fairer sex.
With home training we can wear what we want without feeling the need to adhere to gym clothing trends, many of which are not appropriate for all body types. In fact, lose fitting rather than figure-hugging clothing can, for example, enhance freedom of movement, thus improving the training experience.
When it comes to the training itself, more experienced people may even be put off by onlookers, or singled out by staff, unaccustomed to witnessing or unwilling to accommodate a high intensity output. At home we can train with as much force as we can muster, holding nothing back and not having to apologize for the extra noise and aggression that so often accompanies a brutal and, by consequence, productive training session.
With home training we have complete freedom to train the way we want to – within reason and considering obvious personal health and safety requirements. We can crank our favorite music up loud (no more cumbersome headphones). We can train with one or more people, or by ourselves. We can pick and choose from the best home trainers to help us reach our goals faster.
We can also set up training equipment to our unique specifications. While regular gym training often requires that we wait for equipment and, due to time constraints and availability of equipment, compromise on how our session ultimately unfolds, home training allows us the freedom to go from movement to movement without any wait time beyond that needed to recover between sets.
Besides the more direct training-focused variables, there is no need for females to dress up in the latest training fashions or apply copious amounts of makeup, as seems to be the case in many larger gym environments. In a home gym you are free to be yourself with no pressure to conform to the expectations of others.
In short, home training environments may further incentivise the training experience by giving the trainee much more control over how, when, and why they work out. Having such freedom makes training a more enjoyable process and also provides the space and time to get the most from one’s training efforts.
Regardless of context, a big part of a given project or activity’s success often comes down to a willingness to simplify. Here, the fewer tangibles we must concern ourselves with the more time we have to focus on factors that will push us closer to achieving our goals. This applies equally to gym training progress.
With home gyms we may stock just enough equipment to help us to achieve our specific training goals and adhere only to processes that work for us (to get in shape does not require hour upon hour of ab work or a wide variety of expensive, largely redundant machinery, which may only side-track us from our gym training mission while cutting into our valuable training time).
In fact, as the home training programs in this article series have shown, a good gym workout need not enlist multiple machines and other such commercial gym staples. As such, by simplifying and getting back to basics we are encouraged to utilize only those movements that provide the most return on training investment. In short, having access only to what is most effective will ensure we do only what is most effective.
To simplify also means to relax our expectations concerning what many may assume to be most important, such as: letting the ego take over and seeking to outlift fellow gym members, dressing in a certain way, following subpar training trends because it is, well, trendy to do so. Home training allows us to completely relax and enjoy the training process without being side-tracked, and possibly influenced, by what is going on around us.
We are also more likely, in larger gym environments, to model our workouts after those who have incompatible physiques and training goals – because it looks ‘cool’ to do so or is the ‘expected’ standard. Gym training is not, and never will be, a never-ending quest to reach an idealistic and impracticable standard of excellence. Instead, you should simply do what you need to do to enhance your own unique training results in a safe and effective fashion (minus comparisons with others).
Finally, because others require the latest training device to inform them that they are working hard enough does not mean you too must needlessly concern yourself with such time-wasting gadgetry. In fact, when setting up your home gym you are less likely to get caught up in the hype surrounding those slickly marketed, but largely useless pieces of equipment that are inevitably used only once then piled up in the corner. Forget the ab machines and butt sculptors. Focus instead on benches and dumbbells. Simplify to succeed.
- Aranow C. (2011). Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine: the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 59(6), 881–886.
- Cruzat, V. et al. (2018). Glutamine: Metabolism and Immune Function, Supplementation and Clinical Translation. Nutrients, 10(11), 1564.
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- Cruzat, V. F. et al. (2014). Amino acid supplementation and impact on immune function in the context of exercise Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition volume11, Article number: 61
- Di Biase, S. et al. (2019). Creatine uptake regulates CD8 T cell antitumor immunity. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, (12): 2869–2882.
- Demling R. H. (2009). Nutrition, anabolism, and the wound healing process: an overview. Eplasty, 9, e9.
- Fan, Y. P. et al. (2009). Effects of Glutamine Supplementation on Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery. Chin Med Sci J, 24 (1), 55-9 Mar
- Examining Gym Cleanliness. [Online] https://www.fitrated.com/resources/examining-gym-cleanliness/ – retrieved on 24.3.20
- Goldhammer, K. A. et al. (2006). Prospective Study of Bacterial and Viral Contamination of Exercise Equipment. Clin J Sport Med, 16 (1), 34-8 Jan
- Kent, K. D. et al. (2003). Effect of Whey Protein Isolate on Intracellular Glutathione and Oxidant-Induced Cell Death in Human Prostate Epithelial Cells. Toxicol In Vitro, 17 (1), 27-33 Feb
- Lothian, J. B. et al. (2006). Effect of Whey Protein to Modulate Immune Response in Children With Atopic Asthma. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 57 (3-4), 204-11 May-Jun
- Mora, J. R. et al. (2008). Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nature reviews. Immunology, 8(9), 685–698.
- Mukherjee, N. et al. (2014). Diversity of bacterial communities of fitness center surfaces in a U.S. metropolitan area. International journal of environmental research and public health, 11(12)
- Riesberg, L. A. et al. (2016). Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine. Int Immunopharmacol, 37, 31-42 Aug
- Washington Post. Your gym is teeming with invisible members: Germs. Here’s how to avoid them. [Online] https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/your-gym-is-teeming-with-invisible-members-germs-heres-how-to-avoid-them/2019/07/26/404bf414-9f4f-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html – retrieved on 24.3.20