Disclaimer – Exercise at your own risk
If you love and pretty much live for fitness, Jiu Jitsu and/or MMA, then having kids is often a bit of a bottleneck in your training.
Your priorities should change, so that after you have carried out all of your fatherly, and husbandly duties – which nowadays includes, cooking, cleaning and washing up…then and only then, do you have time for training. So to summarise – you don’t get hardly any time.
Space soon becomes a sought after commodity too. I used to have a bit of a makeshift gym in the spare room, but it’s now a nursery. Boohoo.
But fear not, there is a solution – workout with the kids, in your home.
Your mrs/wife/girlfriend, will not let you workout with the kids again, if you end up smashing everything and destroying the lounge and/or the child. So here’s a few things to consider adding to the home to make sure your training is accident-proofed as much as possible
- Plumbs Furniture Covers (I’ll often use the sofa to ‘base on’ for glute bridges and split squats)
- Foam padding/guards for corners of tables
- Anti-fall furniture & TV straps
Some training equipment which is ideal for home use include:
- A folding mat
- Strength / Resistance bands
- Pool noodles (cut in half) for outside or in the garage
- Door Frame chin up bar
- Stability Ball
- If you’re training alone – kettlebell(s) – be careful not to throw them through the TV or a child. Only use these if you have plenty of room!
Some Great Bodyweight Exercises
- Hindu Press ups
- Prison Press ups
- Superman Press ups
- Single leg squats (tricky, be careful)
- Bulgarian split squats
- Jumping squats (on a soft surface if possible)
- Normal press ups, with your feet elevated on the sofa for extra resistance
- Handstand press ups
Some Workout Principles for Great Home Workouts
- Tabata intervals – 20-second bouts of maximum intensity work, with 10 seconds rest in between. One Tabata interval lasts a total of 4 minutes
- 2-4-2 tempo for reps – ‘constant tension’. For example, when completing a press up, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom (so you are hovering an inch above the floor), take 4 seconds to push yourself up, and pause for 2 seconds again at the top.
Don’t fully extend your arms, instead only complete 90 to 95% of the rep, so that you are holding yourself at the top of the movement for the 2-second pause, using your muscles rather than joints.
- Plyometrics – You can use plyometrics to stimulate fast twitch fibres and sport-specific power. However, be careful not to injure yourself, warm up and try out one or two sets to begin with, and gauge whether the high impact is worth it
- Volume isn’t required – to build muscle or definitely not to maintain it. Two sets, or even one is enough, as long as the intensity is high. Consider doing some eccentric muscle contraction exercises, some explosive and some super-slow (2-4-2). This is much more efficient then doing lots of heavy, slow, repetitive lifting or cardio.
Some Great 30 minute workouts
- Tabata interval of bodyweight squats
- 2 sets of chin ups (use a chair if they are too difficult) – 8 to 12 reps
- 2 sets of Hindu press ups (2-4-2 tempo) – max reps
- 2 sets of band or kettlebell bicep curls – 8 to 15 reps
- 2 sets of superman press ups (2-4-2 tempo) – max reps
- 1 set of plyometric ‘clap’ press ups
- Downward dog – static hold with 1 arm if possible
- Tabata interval squats
- 2 sets of Handstand press ups (advanced) or seated shoulder press using bands – 8 to 12 reps
- 2 sets of Bulgarian split squats – 8 to 12 reps on each leg
- Crunches super-setted with dorsal raises – 20 reps on each exercise. Complete 2 sets on each exercise. No rest in between.
- 2 sets of bicep curls – 8 to 12 reps on each arm
- 2 sets of burpees – 25 reps
- 2 sets of hindu press ups – max reps
Some exercises you can actually do with the kids
Obviously be VERY careful with these
- Squats – either holding them in front, or on your back
- Tug of war – one arm vs two – do this in the garden!
- Press ups with child on your back
Yoga is also great to do with the kids. I would be careful with some of hte back hyperextension stuff like up-dog though.
For MMA specific training, the big, folding gymnastic mats are great. Preferably for use in the garage though. You can train by yourself, drilling techniques and movements like double leg takedowns.