Whether it’s bad weather, time constraints or just lack of get-up-and-go, all of us have skipped going to the gym. If you’re a diehard bodybuilder, guilt can consume you for days, even if missing the workout was unavoidable. One solution is to have a basic home-gym setup so you can do a brief but effective workout at home. How does 20 minutes sound?
My favorite is called the Fantastic 4 workout—four of the most effective exercises you can do. All you need is a selectorized dumbbell set, like the PowerBlock, and an adjustable bench—one that goes from flat to inclined. Regular adjustable dumbbells will work too, but the workout will take longer because you’ll have to unscrew collars and change plates. Selectorized dumbbell sets are pricey but well worth the expense, considering the amount of time you save, the reduced amount of space they take up and the fact that you’ll use them for a lifetime of home workouts.
Speaking of home workouts, here is the Fantastic 4 program:
1) Incline-bench presses
or flat-bench presses
2) Bent-over rows
Do one or two progressively heavier warmup sets and then one, two or three all-out work sets. Do that for each exercise.
My favorite method is to pyramid the weight on my work sets—I add weight to each so my reps go something like 12, nine, seven—and I rest about
2 1/2 minutes between sets.
Notice that bench presses work your chest, triceps and front-deltoid heads; bent-over rows work your back, biceps and rear-delt heads; squats train your legs; and upright rows train your medial-delt heads, upper back and biceps. That’s a very complete workout. In fact, it’s so complete that I’ve stopped going to the gym and use a version of the Fantastic 4 Workout at home as my only weight-training program.
I say a “version” of it because I may add other exercises periodically, like one-leg calf raises or ab work. Any way you slice it, though, this bare-bones program is efficient, productive and, well, fantastic!
Editor’s note: For more on training at home with dumbbells, get a copy of the “All-Dumbbell Workout” DVD, available from www.Home-Gym.com. You can find Becky Holman’s complete transformation story, diet and training program in Chapter 6 of the e-book X-treme Lean, a diet, nutrition and training guide for getting a defined, muscular physique. It’s available at www.X-tremeLean.com.