Sometimes even a 215lb bodybuilder needs a break from the gym.
You can stay on track with your bodybuilding goals by using short, challenging workouts at home instead of just skipping your workout altogether. Sure, the gym will always be the best place to workout for most of us due to the atmosphere, the equipment and the like-minded people, but don’t underestimate the need for change to keep things fresh.
Since we know we need to keep the momentum going if we’re going to reach our goals, the trick is to come up with quick, challenging workouts that we actually look forward to and enjoy. I like to keep a few pieces of equipment around the house for these times – including a dynamax medicine ball. Recently, I’ve been doing a medicine ball chest workout at home when I want to do a short, effective workout. Vince Gironda was a big fan of quick 10 minute or less bodybuilding conditioning workouts. He would do 10 sets of 10 pull ups, 10 push ups and 10 dips back to back on a set of parallel bars outside of the original Golds Gym when he wanted to do something different. Lee Priest would workout in the hotel gym and just move from station to station to get a pump when he didn’t have time to do a full, all out workout. I was there with Lee during one of these Hotel workouts which turned into something else – here’s the video. Herschel Walker was famous for doing push ups and sit ups at home, while watching TV. He would do hundreds of reps of each exercise and got great results.
Here’s the home chest workout that I’ve used with good success:
EMOM (Every minute on the minute)
- 10 Medicine Ball Push Ups
- 10 Alternate Medicine Ball Push Ups
- 10 Alternate Medicine Ball Push Ups
Set your kitchen timer, stop watch, smart phone time for 1 minute. When ready, do 10 medicine ball push ups, immediately followed by 10 alternate medicine ball push ups, followed by 10 alternate medicine ball push ups. Once you finish all 30 reps, you should have around 20 seconds or so to rest before starting on the next minute.
Each 30 reps should take around 40 seconds.
Once the second minute starts, repeat this sequence – 10, 10, 10 reps. The alternate medicine ball push ups are done by placing one hand on the medicine ball and the other hand on the floor. Switch hands for the next 10 reps. You’ll hit your chest from different angles, using bodyweight, while improving your balance, strengthening your shoulders and yes, working your core (abs). Use perfect form with full reps.
Repeat this for 5-6 sets. By then, you will have knocked out 150 – 180 reps for chest in 5-6 minutes. It will get harder at the 4th, 5th and 6th minute and your rest time will get shorter. Therein lies the challenge. There’s no time for chit chat or looking at your smart phone, you’re forced to pay attention. One way to spice up this workout from time to time is to change the way you’re placing your hands on the medicine ball. Try a close spacing, medium spacing, wide spacing, staggered spacing when doing the first set of 10 reps. During the alternate medicine ball push ups, you can try different hand placements as well. Experiment. Try to find the hand placement that targets your chest best. Your triceps and shoulders will benefit as well. In fact, you’ll be strengthening tendons and muscles that you may not normally use which could help you reach your goals more quickly.
Here’s a demonstration of this workout with Ed Brown, Jr. (the 215lb bodybuilder mentioned above).
Give this quick chest home workout a try and I’m sure you’ll feel a different pump in your chest! Its always a good idea to mix up your routine on a continual basis. That way you can keep your body guessing and growing to adapt to the changes in stress that you place on your muscles.