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Training Smart From Home

Coach Emily gives some insight into how Madlab approaches at-home training.


A quick scour of the old Internet during this time and you’ll find everyone and their dog offering home workout advice. Most of the time, it’s people prescribing bodyweight training sessions featuring workouts like 200 lunges and 200 air squats, 150 sit-ups and 100 burpees for time.

I cringe every time I see that.

For starters, 200 lunges on repeat three days a week is quickly going to lead to hip impingements.

High-rep bodyweight workouts for max speed are not the end all be all.

They often...

Don't create sustainable results (you’ll pretty quickly end up in pain with overuse injuries).

Create improper movement patterns, as you end up compensating with other areas of your body once you begin to fatigue. Compensating lets you keep moving and keep the intensity up, but your movement patterns become sloppy (again, this will quickly lead to overuse injuries).

Increase cortisol in your body (i.e. stress, and now is not the time to add stress to your life).

Actually can lower your immunity (especially for fitter athletes, because they’re able to work intensely enough to turn an intended aerobic effort  into the glycolytic and lactate energy systems, which leads to negative adaptations that can lower your immune system, especially if you’re training this way every day)

This, of course, doesn’t mean you can’t hit some high-rep bodyweight workouts sometimes, but it shouldn’t be the foundation of a training program.

Coach Andy’s interpretation:

“A program entirely made up of high rep stuff has its drawbacks:” Because:

  1. High reps equal high fatigue. High fatigue inherently means a lower quality of movement.
  2. Highly repetitive movements can be tough on the joints and connective tissues.
  3. Reps have an inverse relationship with force and velocity, which means low strength and power adaptations.

“Managing training stressors allows us to capitalize on the adaptive response and better handle accumulated fatigue,” he added.

OK, so if you shouldn’t be doing 5 rounds of 50 push-ups, 50 squats and 50 sit-ups for time, what should you be doing?

Well, if you have been following our program during recent weeks, you probably are starting to gain a bit of an idea of what we are trying to do.

Conceptually, our training program through this time has remained the same as always. Not in terms of the movements you have been doing each week, and not because of the equipment (or lack of equipment) you have been using, but the intention has remained the same.

This brings me to the first point:

1. Intention

The goal/intention of the program has remained intact. Our intention is a program designed for long-term health and wellness. One that takes into consideration each individual’s skill level, and builds from one week to the next, so our clients become fitter over time.

2. Balance

Again, although our clients haven’t been back squatting heavy in recent weeks, when you break down the movements, they all pretty much fall into one of just a handful of categories:

  1. Squat
  2. Hinge
  3. Push/Press
  4. Pull
  5. Midline
  6. Carry

Our at-home program is still a balance of the above movements.

Second, our program is balanced in terms of what you do from one day to the next. Some days are more aerobic, while other days are more of a full-body resistance training session, so as not to overload any one aspect of fitness. 

3. Progressive

Though we’re unsure exactly how long we’re going to be away from the gym, the last six weeks have built upon the previous week in terms of volume, repetitions, speed, as well as the difficulty of tempo work.

4. Caters to individual needs

As always, the individual needs to be taken into account. Regardless of whether you’re at the gym or at home, you have a personal coach for a reason: personal guidance.

If you feel you need more guidance, contact your coach and book a Zoom pt.

Keep training hard. And more importantly, keep training smart!