Health lao che's home workout routine

lao che

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Apr 21, 2013
***Edit*** maybe this should be in lifestyle? Mods, wanna move it?

hello everyone,

working out at home is great. what would you rather: get yourself ready, dressed, bag packed, than travel to a gym, get changed, workout out with other people, wait for equipment, get frustrated, have to shower and change again, then travel again back home or wherever


workout for 20 minutes at home with no extra costs in terms of money or time? shit, i work out in my underwear then shower and i'm ready to go do whatever.

i'm in very good shape and i look 10 years younger than my 39 years. i'm pretty ripped, and i never go to a gym. i work out at home with minimal equipment. i'm going to share my secrets here.

NB don't forget to warm up properly!


  • a chin-up bar (i use the type that hooks onto a door frame. simple and cheap)
    a stack of books about 12 inches high
    a skipping-rope (optional)
    dumbbells (optional)

first, i'll go through the exercises then i'll give examples of how to combine them. the exercises are listed in order of difficulty/strength required. this is the order you should do them in. i.e. hardest (requiring most strength) first. but you shouldn't/won't need to do, all exercises listed in a single workout

CHEST(for added difficulty raise legs onto back of sofa or equivalent)

  • 1 arm pushups *
    plyometric (clap) pushups
    "fighter's" pushups (just made that name up) using your stack of books, place left hand on the books, right hand on the floor a little away from books/body, pushup forcefully and switch hands, so left hand goes to the floor, right hand onto books
    "diamond"(close grip) pushups
    regular pushups


  • one arm pull-ups**
    "Climber's" pull ups*** (again i just made that name up)
    "triangle" pull ups (both hands with wide-ish grip, pull yourself up to left hand, then down, then up to right hand, then down etc
    regular pull ups - hands wider than shoulder width, palms facing away from you. do not do pull ups with palms facing you, this is an unnatural movement and is hard on the wrists


  • single leg "pistol" squats - (for added difficulty hold a dumbbell (i use about 20 kg) close to your chest) google it you'll find how to do them.
    squat jumps - hands behind head, legs spread further than shoulder-width, squat down as low as you can then power up into a full jump
    bulgarian squats - one leg on sofa, something about 2 feet or so, other leg in front, squat down almost so back knee touches floor
    lunge jumps - stand with legs together then push one leg back so you are in a lunge position, back knee on floor, then power up into a jump and switch legs so front leg goes back to knee on/close to floor

hand-stand pushups - these are hard for a beginner so don't do anything stupid. know your limits. don't be surprised if you can't do a single one.

for added difficulty i do these on my stack of books (extra range of motion), split the books in half and you have to kind of climb on to them, then you are using just one arm supporting your body weight while you get the other hand onto the books. hope that's clear i'll explain better if anybody cares.

ok that's it. if you have dumbbells you can add in some side/front/rear raises for your deltoids or some arnold presses. it's not necessary. up to you

observant readers will have noted that there is no "arm" or "abs" category. i don't do either specifically. yes i have abs. yes my arms are muscular, more so than i would like.
push up/pull up variations will strengthen your core more than you realize, and build your arms, too, of course.
stick to compound movements. i strongly recommend staying away from 'isolation' exercises. your body works as a unit.

now, there are three ways you can do this, well three ways i do it. feel free to experiment a little.

  • 1. full body workout
    2. split workout
    3. single body part workout

generally i'm training for strength and power first and foremost. note i am not stating number of reps. this is too variable on the individual.
you want to build dense, functional muscle, so keep it in the 2 -6 rep range. i would say if you can do more than 5 reps you wanna add weight.
DO NOT DO CARDIO. these workouts will make you fitter than you would believe, cardio will destroy you. i personally finish most workouts with 5 - 15 minutes of skipping (jumping rope)****

full body workout

if you are unfit or have not trained for a while do this. take it very slow if you have not trained for a while. 1 or 2 sets of this then 1 full day rest. overtraining will set you back.

my example

one arm pushups, legs raised, superset with clap pushups
one arm pull ups, superset with plyo pullups
pistol squats
handstand push ups
squat jumps

rest 1 minute or so, then repeat 3/4 times

intermediate/beginners example,

legs raised/regular pushups
triangle/regular pullups
body weight squats
handstand pushups
squat jumps

split workout

this is what i currently do

day 1 chest and back
day 2 rest
day 3 legs and shoulders
day 4 rest

my example

day 1-

one arm push ups, (legs raised) superset with clap push ups
one arm pull ups, superset with plyo pull ups

rest. repeat (usually four sets)

fighters push ups
triangle pull ups

rest. repeat (3 sets)

diamond push ups (legs raised)
regular pull ups (or alternate grip pull ups)

rest. repeat. 3 sets

day 3-

pistol squats
handstand push ups (on the books)

repeat for four sets

bulgarian squats or lunge squats
handstand pushups (no books, requires less strength)

repeat for 3 sets

squat jumps (3 sets)

i'm sure you can figure out an intermediate or beginners variation.

single body part workout

this is how i did it for the longest time but now i prefer the extra rest afforded by the above workouts.

day 1 chest

e.g. four sets one arm pushups, plyo push ups, fighters push ups, diamond push ups. done.

day 2 back

e.g. four sets one arm, 3 sets triangle, 3 sets regular, 3 sets alternate grip

day 3 legs

e.g. four sets pistol squats, squat jumps, bulgarian squats, lunge jumps

day 4 shoulders

e.g. 4 sets handstand pushups, side/front/rear dumbbell raises and, equipment dependent, some arnold presses, maybe some shoulder shrugs.

day 5 rest

ok, that's it. if anyone has a question or suggestion i'd be happy to respond.

i'll finish by saying diet is important! i eat a shitload of fresh veg, plenty of healthy fats and protein, few carbs, but i'm an old man now. i have to control, to some extent, what i eat otherwise i'll be huge and bulky and i don't want that. i'm pretty knowledgeable about nutrition, too, so go ahead and ask.
oh, and i was a fatty a few years back :)

*you can not do this yet. it takes time to build up this much strength. i started by doing them on a door-frame, almost standing straight up, then something lower, e.g. washing machine, then lower still, e.g. coffee table, until i could do them on the floor, horizontal, now i do them with legs raised on back of a sofa.

** as for one arm pushups, this will take a long time to build up to. google, or ask, for progressions

***this is how i progressed to one-arm strength. you pull yourself up using both hands, but you alternate taking off each hand and grabbing a different part of the bar, changing your grips, and also on the way down. you will be surprised at how much this will strengthen your core

**** finish every workout with 5 - 15 minutes of skipping. technique is key here. you can't be lackadaisical about it. you gotta go hard as you can. obviously you can't go full on hardcore for 10 minutes but go hard as you can and slow down/speed back up as you are able. make it interesting by varying your techniques - single legs, double unders, etc and also by challenging yourself - max reps in a minute, max without tripping etc