For the video version, click here or on the image above for the full YouTube video!
You know what really irks me? When I go onto google and search, “athlete workout at home,” and all these search results pop up from sources that clearly have no experience in training like an athlete or training athletes. I’m sorry, but simply doing 100 bodyweight squats and bicep curls with a milk jug just isn’t going to cut it for these people who truly train like athletes. I know this article is starting a little more aggressively than usual, sorry about that, but it just frustrates me to no end. And not because I provide content on how to actually train like an athlete at home, which will be discussed when my temper tantrum is over, but it’s irritating because a couple years ago, I used to be that kid googling workouts to train like an athlete to prepare myself for ski season or for my upcoming soccer preseason in college. When I used to see all those results from magazines or youtube channels that clearly did not know how to actually train like an athlete, I just kept thinking to myself, “what the f*** this is NOT training like an athlete, this is barely training at all.”
Today’s fitness industry is enveloped by people claiming to be what they aren’t. Everyone is an expert in every single topic, even if they have absolutely no experience. That’s pathetic. But the issue for me is that when you have people actually searching for a specific thing, such as an at home lower body power workout for athletes, and all the results are just fitness instagram models doing tricep dips on a chair in a bikini without even breaking a sweat, it genuinely makes me want to vomit. That’s just the biggest bunch of bullshit ever.
There is absolutely no good reason for me going off on this major rant, other than the fact that this is my company and my website so I can do whatever the hell I want. And I deem it fit to express my feelings of disgust towards people who claim to know how to train like an athlete when in reality, they don’t know the first thing about even being an athlete. Now I must clarify, there are many Instagram fitness people who have been athletes, and thus know how to train like an athlete in the broad sense of the term. However, when it comes to actual athlete training, there is a legit certification that one must have in order to show they understand all the principles and applications of strength and conditioning.
Okay, I’m still trying to think of a good reason to excuse my rant, which I can’t come up with. But I wanted to provide an athletic workout people can do at their homes that actually falls in line with athletic training principles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tear others down just to promote myself or claim that I know everything, because it’s so far from the truth. If that’s all you took away from this, then your opinion is wrong. The whole point of this beginning is to say that there is an actual way to train like an athlete and to train athletes while at home. Training athletes is a very scientific and precise art. So claiming that your workouts are “training like an athlete” when they are not is just a disrespectful move to all of those who have spent their lives perfecting this craft. That’s like me putting together a video claiming I know how to rehab someone after a torn ACL because I work in the fitness industry. That’s disrespecting all of the physical therapists who’ve spent years studying and working in an area that solely focuses on rehab for injuries just like that. Phew, now that I feel better, this rant is over.
Back to the main point of this article, which up until now is basically just about how people suck. But for all of those people who are stuck at home, without the ability to go to the gym and who are struggling to keep up their athletic training, hopefully I can help you out by giving you a workout. Most people who train like an athlete have the major lifts in their programs, back squat (or some form of squat), bench press, and deadlifts, and auxiliary exercises to complement those and target other specifics. The first 3 exercises listed are foundational to training like an athlete, but it’s how you use them and apply other training means that really makes the training program great. Without getting too technical, it’s not just the exercise selection that determines the legitness of the workout, but it’s also the other variables, such as intensity, load, rest, reps, sets, tempo, etc. But when we’re trying to workout at home, we don’t have the opportunity to worry about any of those variables because chances are, you don’t even have the proper equipment to perform any of these exercises. So instead of just doing 100 bodyweight squats, or split squat jumps, or burpees, like everyone and their mother are doing during this time, there’s actually a trick you can do to step up the workout at home and make it as sport specific as possible. Before I give you my actual at home lower body power workout, I just want to give you one little trick to manipulate exercises if you don’t have the ability to perform them with any sort of load or weight added.
One thing you can do is change up the speed of the exercise you’re performing. Let’s look at a squat for example, the faster we lower down and explode up, the harder it is. That’s because we’re adding a lot of momentum to the move by increasing the speed. What this does is actually force our muscles to contract so much harder and faster than usual to stop that increased momentum and reverse the movement. Additionally to making the exercise harder, it also makes it more sports specific. Sticking with the squatting example, if we quickly lower and explode back up, that movement is extremely transferable to the sports field. Right before we’re about to go up for a jump or cut to change direction, our body lowers super fast to ignite the stretch reflex and stretch shortening cycle to help us propel in the other direction. Let’s specifically look at going up for a jump. We hinge our hips back and flex our knees for a split second, and before you know it, you’ve jumped. The key here is being able to load the muscles in the eccentric by absorbing force quickly, and then to use that to turn around and produce force quickly. As I’ve said before, strength is a very specific thing. We gain strength how and where we train strength. So training this type of strength, lowering down fast and reversing that movement fast, is an amazing tool to use in your training at home. Although being able to squat with heavier loads is essential, if we don’t have that ability, then adjusting the speed of the movement can still help to work on power and strength gains during this no gym time.
Real quickly, I’m fortunate to have some equipment that I purchased before this whole pandemic, however, I noticed that I don’t really use much of it when I’m training like an athlete at home. That’s partly due to the fact that I created a makeshift barbell that consists of my dad’s gardening tool with cement buckets and bleach bottles attached as weights. I highly recommend watching my YouTube videos to see this device because it’s freakin hilarious. Not gonna lie, that thing actually weighs like 170 pounds so it’s safe to say I’m very proud of my creation. That’s basically what we’ve been using as a barbell for squatting and benching, but up until a week ago (that’s when I created that contraption), I just stuck with performing fast squats or squatting while holding household items. That being said, other than a resistance band, skateboard, and my weird barbell, this athlete training plan uses no equipment.
You’ve waited long enough, so here’s the workout:
1A) Back Squat 5×3*
1B) Explosive Split Squat Jumps 5×4 total
*if performing these fast with no weight, do 5×8-10
2A) Glute Hamstring Thrust 5×4, 0/2/0/0**
2B) Bulgarian Split Squats (For Speed) 5×4/side
2C) Single Leg RB Hip Extensions 5×4/side
**if performing these without weight, do a single leg bridge with your foot on an elevated platform (ex: lying with your back on the ground and your foot on a couch)
3A) Lateral Lunge 3×8***
3B) 45º Lateral Bounds 3×6 total
***we performed this with a skateboard but can also do in socks
4A) Single Leg Pistol Squats 3×5/side
4B) Single Leg Hamstring Curls 3×6/side****
****we performed this with a skateboard but can also do in socks
If you watch this workout on my YouTube channel, then you’ll also see the core work I added at the end and the top speed training drills we did at the beginning. So if you want the full on training session – the top speed mechanics, lift, and core work – then definitely watch the video! But as you can see here, this is a phenomenal workout that kicked my ass without the use of really any equipment. Making small adjustments like increasing the speed of an exercise or doing it explosively really works wonders when trying to train like an athlete at home without any equipment.
At the end of the day, doing something is better than nothing, so I’d rather you do those 100 bodyweight squats, milk jug biceps curls, and burpees then doing nothing at all. However, if you’re going to spend your time working out, I want that time to be put to good use and to actually help you when it comes to performing your sport or hobby. The situation we’re in right now is less than ideal, but with the help of everyone, I think we’ll be able to get through this. Also, if you were offended at all during this article, then I’m sorry…. that you have thin skin. Just kidding, but also kinda not. That’s just my sense of humor: bitchy with a side of sarcastic asshole.
Alrighty guys, that pretty much wraps this one up. Hopefully it was helpful in giving you a way to train like an athlete at home. Make sure you’re checking out our instagram, @powerlux_fitness, and our YouTube Channel for more athletic workouts and ways to train like an athlete for the everyday person! If you’re interested in working with PowerLux Fitness, if you want programming, training, or a consultant, don’t hesitate to reach out! We have top of the line trainers with experience training professional athletes ready to help you!
Until next time, stay rad ??