Use My Tips to Create Your Own Amazing ‘At Home’ Workout*

*By Matt Dean




As someone who is a bit of a fitness freak, I understand the convenience and appeal of being able to exercise from home. So, it’s about time you took a leaf out of my book and came up with your own ‘at home’ workout regime. Use the guide I’ve come up with below to create your own amazing home workout.

Gym Space

When it comes to working out at home the first thing to sort out is a gym space. If you have a spare room that’s just gathering dust, this would be ideal. You can use the room to set up your home gym and then you’ll have a dedicated exercise domain. However, if there is no space in the home you might consider converting part of the garage. Finding the optimum space for your home workout is essential, so spend some time on this.


In order to get a full and proper workout at home you’re going to need to have the right equipment. Now, depending on where your gym space is you might be limited to what you can use. Now, I think you need to make sure you have the basics plus a bit more. So, something like a cross trainer and some weights would make the ideal starting point. I’d also recommend a pull up station and an exercise ball. You want to make sure you have enough of a range that you can have a proper workout session.



Do Some Everyday

One thing I do think you need to get into the habit of doing is working out every day. This is something that I have had to condition myself to do. It takes discipline and dedication, but it is essential. If you want to enjoy the benefits of it, then you need to make sure you do some as much as possible. The good thing about having a home gym is that it allows you to do this with ease! So, I don’t want to hear excuses from you! Make sure you set aside a bit of time every day to do a bit of exercise, even if it’s just half an hour.

Reward Yourself

I think it’s important to reward yourself, and recognise when you have achieved something. And that’s why my suggestion for part of your home workout regime is to ensure you reward yourself. You need to have an incentive for all your sweat and tears, and that’s why rewards work very well. Try to keep the reward healthy if possible, but I know this will be difficult! Just make sure that after an extra long workout session you do something that will help to make you feel good, and feel that it was all worthwhile.

I love to workout, and being able to do so at home is much more efficient and appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the gym, and I go a lot. But, some days I don’t feel up to it, or I don’t have the time. But, with a home gym I can still get in the workout I need anytime, and now you can as well. Use my tips to come up with your own ‘at home’ workout right now!

First Lt. Jennifer Silvers, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 material control officer, bench presses at the Air Station Fitness Center, Aug. 8. Silvers works out mostly at home, waking up every morning to weightlift for 45 minutes to an hour. When she's training for a competition she completes two workouts a day.

Do you like to work out at home? Personally I always get distracted by other things that need doing, so I much prefer to be away from home. Plus I do love fresh air.

Company on a long run

But first, Saturday. In the week I had received an email saying they were short of volunteers over the next few weeks. I wasn’t sure of my plans for later in February, but I saw they needed someone to do the new runner’s briefing this week, and as I was planning on running it anyway, I said I would do it. Back in the summer when I did this for the first time I was so nervous that my legs were actually shaking (I really hate speaking to adults that I don’t know, or speaking in front of groups of people)- but I have done it a few times now (I think maybe 4) and each time it has been easier. This week as I asked who was a tourist and who was new to parkrun, one guy told me neither, that he was doing the briefing in a few weeks and wanted to see how to do it! I did joke that I hope I would get it right, but that is the good thing about parkrun really- it’s all volunteers, and everyone is in it with you really. A few people came late to the briefing, so I just had time to tell them what they had missed before taking my place in the crowd for the main briefing- I forgot to tuck my laces into the special pockets!

The start can be a bit congested, so I started a little further up and this worked well as I didn’t get stuck behind anyone. I did have to take off my jacket after about a mile as I was getting hot, but I felt like I kept going (although my long run was in the back of my mind for the next day). It was not too muddy which meant the running was easier, and I enjoyed it, which is the main thing- the wind wasn’t too bad (blowing at me as I ran down the hill, and behind on the way up), and I managed 9.32, 8.59 (this has a big downhill bit) and 9.12 for a time of 28.24. My fastest time of 27.44 is getting within reach again.

Afterwards I had a load of work to plough through before we had a house viewing booked. Then I had to get my car tyres pumped up (the pressure light keeps coming on, and despite my best efforts visiting the air station twice on Thursday I managed to deflate my front tyre completely- then Andy had to use the foot pump- it’s been a pain), and then as a treat I got my car washed and we had a drink in Costa while we waited. No longer do I get filthy hands when loading work into the boot!

Later I made caramel shortcake (but didn’t take any pictures!) and some peanut butter stuffed dates, covered in a little of the chocolate left over from the caramel shortcake.

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Sunday was long run day, and I had planned with a couple of other girls from the club to do an out and back route along an old railway line. In the end it was only two of us, and it was great. We wanted to do 12 miles, so headed out until our watches beeped, and then turned around. Although my friend had run to the meeting point, and had her watch on km rather than miles. It was lovely to have company and for most of the run it was cold but dry (it rained a bit in the last few miles, but not too heavily luckily), and as we were along a path we were fairly sheltered from the wind. We did have to clamber around a fallen tree that was blocking the path at one point. I had taken a bear yo-yo with me, as I liked those on long runs last year, but actually felt fine the whole time. I much prefer half marathon training in that respect as I do hate having to eat before I run.

As we got back to the start, my watch said 11.5 miles, and so we went for a little extra bit, and ended up running around a little town square to get it up to 12. We could not work out how it had happened, as we had run in a straight line and didn’t even have the option for any short cuts or corner-cutting.

I got home and had some water and a pb stuffed date (they are so good) and the yo-yo’s from my pocket, before having a shower. Then I made some French toast with left over panettone, and then I plugged my Garmin in….

Strava popped up right away, telling me I had a PR (which annoys me because I call it a pb…) for fastest mile- in 5.44. Er, no, that can’t be right! I then looked on the map and realised that it thought I started in a different place, which is why the out and back didn’t match up properly. So, actually we only ran 11.5 miles. Still good half marathon training, and by the time I had noticed I was full of breakfast and not going back out for the extra half a mile!

I suppose normally I would have mapped out a route and just run it, so perhaps I should have looked on the map to see where the 6 mile point was, but at the end of the day it was a good solid run, and still a good amount of miles to put in.

I did some foam rolling later in the day, and we had a little walk which helped, but I felt pretty good. I think that sort of distance is what I enjoy in training- long enough to make me feel tired, but not so long that I spend half my day running and are shattered afterwards.

So you like running with others or on your own? I do like listening to a podcast and zoning out a bit, but I also do love a chat on a run.

Why is house buying so stressful? I know it’s the same everywhere, but having to make the biggest decision on a 15 minute look around is very hard indeed!

So that was January!

I am pretty glad the month is gone. January always seems to drag, and this year I have had a few viruses/ illnesses which have disrupted running and gym plans.

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But things have been generally good (I like to look on the bright side). Following the Wholeheartedly Healthy bootcamp, I bought myself some pretty tulips the other week. We are trying to move house at the moment, and hosted an open house (seems to be the way things are done now) so they brightened it up a bit for that too.

Running has generally been going well. I have the Brighton half in my sights, and my plan is to hang on to the 2 hour pacer for as long as I possibly can. Last year I ran it as part of my marathon training, and I managed 2:04, and felt like it was hard but comfortable. I didn’t want to push it too hard as it was not my “A” race, and I didn’t want to spoil a week of training. But on the other hand, I would love to do one half under 2 hours, and I hope that wasn’t my only chance.

I have tried to keep the training similar to last year, and looking at my Strava I have not done too badly. I did the Fred Hudges 10 mile race in a fairly similar time to last year, but last weekend I did the London Winter Run 10K, whereas last year I did a longer run. I’m consistently going to the Tuesday night club run, trying to do a hill session on a Wednesday (run 1.5 miles to the hill, run up and down 5/6 times, then run home- not that hilly but where I live is very flat, plus Brighton isn’t hilly at all so I am not too worried about that aspect of it)- I’ve only managed that a couple of times so far, but I still have 3 weeks to go. I have not managed Body Pump every week, again due to being ill, and although I have been the last 2 weeks, I can’t go this week due to work. Then it’s been a parkrun on Saturday, and a longer run on Sunday. Last January I did 98 miles, and this January I did 83 miles, so a little less, but I did miss a couple of Wednesday runs, one parkrun, and did the 10K instead of a longer run, so I feel like I am fairly close still.

I think one thing that helped me was going over the half marathon distance in my training- it was a bit of a cut back week, so I am doing 12 miles tomorrow, and then the weekend after hopefully 14 miles. I will see how I feel for the final long run- I think last year it was 16 but that seems a bit far for half marathon training, so I shall decide nearer the time.

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My mum bought me these amazing socks (I think it”s the third pair she bought me as she knows I get such cold feet- I used to get chilblains a lot- one lot got infected and that is very painful indeed)-they are so thick that I can’t wear them under shoes, but for around the house after a long run they are just the best thing ever.

Speaking of running in the cold, I was kindly sent a kit to help me with winter running:

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It contained plenty of goodies including Carnation Footcare foot lotion and a foot roller, What Skin Needs super moisturising skin cream (I love this- I get such dry skin and my hands get so sore, so I have been putting it on my hands before I go out running in the cold, and it really helps), vegan multivitamins, Ubiquinol Qu10 by Quest Vitamins, effervescent vitamin C tablets, Nature’s Plus Source of Life Garden, toe protectors and blister plasters. I had to use the blister plaster after Fred Hudges as my shoes gave me a weird blood blister thing on the side of my big toe- I think my sock had bunched up as the trainers have been fine since.

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I was also sent some Deep Heat in a roll on bottle, which is loads better than the cream as I hate getting it on my hands. I used some last weekend, but it seems stronger than the cream- I rolled it on, waited, and then the burning came! It was OK, but since then I have tried to use a little less at a time as I think it takes a while to warm up. It has a herbal scent too, which I prefer to the traditional one.

Tomorrow morning is a 12 mile run with some of the girls from the club- I am looking forward to it although I hope the wind and rain will have stopped, as parkrun was tough in the wind, and now the rain is pouring down, it’s not that inviting!

Do you have any essential running kit?

*Items sent to me, but all opinions are my own.

OH annual awards 2016

I’ve been in my running club for over a year now, and last Saturday was their annual awards evening. Last year I could not go, but I was looking forward to it this year, although on Saturday I missed parkrun as I didn’t feel well and kept feeling dizzy, so I nearly didn’t go. It was dinner and a disco, plus a raffle organised by some people running the London marathon, and the awards. Earlier in the week they had sent out the list of nominees for the different categories, although they didn’t announce the the fastest 5k, 10k and half marathon times (but I knew I would not win any of those, although I might have been close for the 10k). One of my work friends told me I might win something, and I told her that no, I was not nominated, and anyway if I was I would be so nervous- I was glad I could just turn up and enjoy.

It was all set out beautifully, and the meal was good (as well as accommodating the vegetarians, they also gave me a separate dessert as I didn’t want the Baileys that was in the profiteroles!). It was so funny seeing everyone dressed up- sometimes it was hard to recognise people as usually we have our hair scraped back and we are all in leggings and high viz! After dinner they started announcing the winners. Last year they let everyone vote, but now the club is bigger they said not everyone knows everyone else, so the committee had chosen. Different run leaders were coming up to announce each winner, and it was very exciting to see who had won. One of the ladies I run with a lot won Most Improved- she had only began running earlier in the year and has been steadily increasing her distance (she did the 10 mile race last weekend) so that was great to see.

There was a bit of friendly competition (banter) over the fastest 10k and 5k times, as there are a couple of very speedy ladies. Each award was given out by a different run leader. They then went to the final award- Runner of the Year. The girl next to me was announced as the runner up, as she had joined less than a year ago and had run 100 miles in the summer (impressive especially as she has 3 children)- she was over the moon and it was so lovely.

Then our club leader started talking about the winner- she started talking about someone who represented the club at different races, and encouraged others, and then the run leader I run with came up to hand it out, and I was looking across the room to see who it would be, and they called out my name! I was so shocked, and proud. As I went to collect it my legs were shaking! I really get so overwhelmed. All the others had collected theirs, had a photo, and gone to sit down again, but someone called out “speech”- I think I looked terrified as someone said to me “you don’t have to”, but then I felt like I should say a few words because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I said something about how I loved running before I joined the club, but since joining it I have loved the support and encouragement of the club, and seeing how everyone else does too.

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As well as the lovely trophy thing (which had my name already engraved!) I was given a lovely shoe tag, which I am wearing as a bracelet as it’s too nice to get muddy. I love it.

Here are all the winners! (We had to pose in the hall as it had better lighting!). I still can’t quite believe it. I have never had a trophy before, having ever being in a sports team at school or anything.

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Blurry photo I know!

Now I need to find a place to display it. I actually found it hard to get to sleep when I got home because I was just so surprised by it all. It’s weird in a way being given an award for basically doing a lot of something that I enjoy, but it’ lovely too.