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5 Home Gym Tips and Tricks for Better and Faster Workouts! Personal Trainer Tokyo Titan

You're home gym and how you use it could be making your workouts less efficient and less effective. In this article, I'm going to share five tips and tricks for more effective home gym workouts in less time.


  • Trick 1: Numbers

  • Trick 2: Sorting

  • Trick 3: Time

  • Trick 4: Opposites

  • Trick 5: Tracking

Trick 1: Numbers

Just by adjusting the height of the bars and the safety bars, you can change the rack from a bench press set up to a squat set up. But on racks, especially the ones sold for home gyms, there are a lot of pinholes. This is good because it allows for very fine adjustments for the exercise and your body, but it also makes it very easy to set the rack to the wrong settings.

If you gauge the rack settings just by looking at it, it might not happen every time, but you will set the rack to the wrong settings. Now, those safety bars are getting in the way of your bench press, or you're trying to squat but that rack is more narrow than what you're used to.

And when you're close to the rack, it can be hard to accurately judge the height. So every now and again, you will set the bar to different heights on each side. All of these things waste time, making your workouts take much longer than they need to. To completely avoid these problems, number your rack’s pinholes. It takes all the guesswork out of the rack adjustments and saves so much time.

Numbering your rack doesn't just make it less likely you'll make mistakes. It also means each exercise now has a specific setting number. High bar squat? Set the bar height to nine and the safeties to six. Bench press? Set the bar to one and the safeties to two. This saves so much time in workouts. You could count the holes each time, and while this would avoid most mistakes, it still wastes a lot of time. Number those pinholes.

Trick 2: Sorting

For a long time, I stored all my training equipment on the floor. This was a big mistake. Items got tangled and small equipment was sometimes hard to find. Plus, when I needed to use a larger area for my workouts, I'd have to move some of the equipment. All of this wastes so much time.

Using shelves and hooks to store all my equipment avoids all of these problems. Equipment no longer gets tangled, and when I'm looking for a specific piece of equipment, I can find it right away. This saves a huge amount of time in my workouts. And of course, visually it looks so much better.

One more unexpected benefit of storing my equipment on the shelves is having an overview of all my equipment. When I look at the wall and I see a piece of equipment I haven't used in recent trading cycles, I put it into the next training cycle. This applies a type of stimulus to my muscles that they're not used to receiving, achieving more effective muscle growth.

Trick 3: Time

If you're working out at home, chances are you're doing other things at the same time. Most trainers will tell you not to do this, but personally, I think it's one of the advantages of having a home gym. Want to hang out washing during your workouts? Go for it.

Even myself running my own personal training business, I'll often send emails and write blogs while resting between sets during my workouts. This is much more efficient use of my time. But if you let them, these additional activities during your workouts will drag out your rest time, making your workouts longer.

To avoid this, use a timer to limit your rest time between sets. For straight sets, the rest time should be enough to allow you to sufficiently recover so that you can perform at the same level each set. The specific amount of time you need for rests will change depending on various factors, such as how heavy the weight is, how close to muscle failure you’re training, genetics, and also how you feel that day. But as a guideline, I recommend 2 minutes and 30 seconds rest between sets to allow you enough time to recover without making your workouts too long.

When you finish a set, start a timer and feel free to do other activities that require very little energy. But as soon as that timer goes off, immediately stop what you're doing and go straight back into the next set.

Trick 4: Opposites

The part of workouts that takes the most time is the rest between sets. And as I just mentioned, for the most effective workouts, you need to give your muscles enough time to recover between sets so that they can perform at the same level every set. So obviously you can't make your rest shorter to save time. But you can perform double the amount of work in the same amount of time.

Opposing muscle super sets train opposing muscles in back-to-back sets, only taking a rest after the second exercise. Because they are opposing muscles, when one muscle is tensing, the other one is mostly relaxing. For example, you can perform dumbbell curls and train the biceps, and because there is very little activation of the triceps in this exercise, you can go straight into dumbbell skull crushers.

So now, instead of two rests between these exercises, you only need one rest. And because the first muscle is already starting to recover during the second exercise, you can actually make the rest shorter. Using opposing muscle super sets like this allows you to do more training in less time.

On my website there is an advanced training program template that incorporates opposing muscle super sets. If you want to do really effective training in your home gym in half the amount of time, I recommend checking it out.

Trick 5: Tracking

If you can remember the exact weights you need for a specific number of reps for every exercise, you are a genius. Unfortunately, most people, myself included, cannot do this. Especially for exercises that haven't been done in a while and for muscles which aren’t as strong, the weight that's guessed can be way off.

This is where tracking your workouts comes in really handy. For each exercise, I track the amount of weight I use, the number of reps and sets I perform, the total volume, and also how far away I was from muscular failure. With these records, every time I know how much weight I should be using for each exercise.

And even if there's an exercise I haven't done in a while or I'm targeting a number of reps that I don't normally do for an exercise, I can check my records and make very accurate estimates of the amount of weight I should be using. Not only does this save a lot of time in my workouts by eliminating the need to guess and avoiding mistakes, but it also allows me to really fine tune the weights I use to get the best results from my workouts.

For effective training, contact Tokyo Titan!

I am Tokyo Titan, an internationally-certified bodybuilding specialist personal trainer and nutritionist. Using bodybuilding techniques, together we will create the body that you want in a short amount of time. Lessons are provided in three formats: online, in-person at my private gym in Ota-ku, Tokyo, a few minutes walk from Omori-machi Station on the Keikyu Line, and in-person at a convenient location for the client, allowing for a flexible lesson style that suits each client's preferences and schedule. As a bilingual Japanese native English speaker, I can provide lessons in either Japanese or English, allowing customers to train both their bodies and their language skills at the same time. For more information, inquire today!


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