The gyms are back open!

Sure, you might have to deal with scheduling workouts and social distancing protocols. Who cares? You’re back in your happy place, your iron sanctuary, your—

—or… maybe not yet?

After a few months away and a whole lot of adapting, folks are starting to dig training at home. At least that’s what many clients are telling me. Which is surprising considering how out of sort everyone was back in March (myself included).

No, training at home is not the same. How could it be? But it’s low stress, convenient, and clean. And even with just basic equipment, it can be pretty damn effective.

Or at least good enough for you, right now, perhaps… half the time, give or take?

Perhaps not for legs and back, but certainly for shoulders, arms, cardio and selfies.

It’s a hybrid approach.

And best of all, once you’re set up, you’ll never be locked out of the gym again. Take that government!

If that sounds like you, you’e not alone.

The past few months of coaching in a quarantine have taught me a few things, such as avoiding Facebook during pandemics.

But the most relevant is that the new “hybrid training” will be strength training programming that can work in both a fitness center and a reasonably equipped home gym.

In my business, the variants have included:

1. Inter-changeable

Stripped down but effective workouts that work in either a basic gym or a functional home setting (a barbell, dumbbells, bench, pull-up bar, and work ethic).

While exercise variety is largely overrated, subtle changes in other parameters (sets, reps, rest, order of exercises, etc) are usually enough to stay ahead of the adaptation curve

2. Separate gym days and home days

…with the assumption that gym workouts have more exercises or more use of things like machines.

3. A periodized approach:

Month 1: Push & Pull at Home; Legs at the Gym

Month 2: Legs at Home; Push & Pull at Gym.

You can even micro-periodize (is that a word?) by rotating every week or two.

The key is to have a decent system you follow, ideally one that incorporates flexibility. I.e., you gotta train legs at home today even though it’s supposed to be a machine-heavy gym session. You simply switch to a PLANNED home workout of single-leg work and front squats.

That way you can still track your progress and constantly try to do better and/or make adjustments without tumbling down the boondoggle of muscle confusion.

Though even those kinda random workouts have their place, as part of a STRUCTURED overall plan.

And yes, I can help you of course. I sure have done my share of new hybrid programs the past few months.

Next post will be a guide to heading back to the gym, the right way.


I’ve been plugging away at building a home gym and while its been frustrating finding equipment (it’s a popular idea!) it sure is nice having a little iron sanctuary just steps away.

If doing something similar is on your radar, here’s what I recommend:

Must Haves:

  • Power Rack (or squat stands)
  • Barbell
  • Good adjustable bench
  • Weights
  • Collars
  • Bands
  • Mats
  • Pull Up bar (a power rack can usually double for this)
  • Swiss ball

Really Nice to Haves:

  • Good dumbbells/PowerBlocks
  • Trap Bar
  • Landmine
  • Second barbell
  • EZ bar
  • TRX
  • Flooring
  • Cardio piece — Concept 2 rowers are great. Treadmills get expensive
  • Functional Trainer (cable system)
  • Mirrors

All of the above is MUCH cheaper second-hand, though thats been a tall order during the shutdown.

The absolute WORST expense? Freight.

I guess shipping WEIGHTS isn’t too smart.