T Nation

Home Workout Program


Hi every

I'm borderline obese, and would like to lose weight, but can't afford gym fees.

I would like a good program to try at home, which I can ease myself into as I am not very fat and don't have a lot of stamina, and tire easily.

My home equipment consists of:

A bench press which I can either have flat or inclined.
A pair of dumbbells, with interchangeable plates
A skipping rope
Resistants bands
And an exercise bike

As said above, I'm not used to exercise, so would like some suggestions on a decent work out that is not too strenuous, until I get used to it.

I have also read a lot about supplements such as whey protein. When I am just starting out, should I use supplements, or focus on getting my protein from food.

Ideally, I would like to lose weight, and tone up. Should aim for these 2 goals at the same time, or should I focus on what thing at a time.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards



The truth is, you do have money to afford a gym.
If you can't afford 9.95 - 49.95 a month, you have some other issues.

You're just afraid of being judged by others. Which is fine, but the longer you wait to get over that fear, the longer you'll be obese.

Be honest with yourself, if you work out at home, you'll never go through with it.


What's your height and weight?

That's plenty of equipment to start with, as long as the plan is well-designed. I'd consider something like EDT to start. If done right, it's great for fat loss and deconditioned beginners and people with limited equipment. You check all three of those boxes, so, yeah.

3 days a week, using two 10-15 minute "PR zones" per workout, will be plenty to start with. That article should explain most of it (there have been a bunch of other articles about it too.) Basically, you alternate between two exercises for a specific time period, rest a bit, then alternate with two different exercises.

Your one and only goal is to do more reps in each PR zone every workout. Could be one more rep, could be 12. Whatever. It's an awesome combo of "pace yourself" and "push yourself."

With your equipment, some pairings I'd consider are goblet squats and push-ups (hands on the bench if needed); dumbbell deadlifts and resistance band rows; one-arm rows (left side, right side); and/or lunges (unweighted if needed, left side and right side).

Just to clarify, good training is strenuous. It's supposed to be. And you'll still get used to it. If it's easy, it's usually not productive.

A protein shake can help, but you do definitely need to clean up your nutrition no matter what. What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

I like this article for a basic step by step plan to get things in order:

You basically want to burn fat and build muscle, that's what 98% of the guys here want. As a beginner, you can usually see progress in both directions, but depending on exactly where you're starting from (and how "borderline obese" you really are), you'll probably be better off focusing on a smart fat loss plan. You'll build strength and lean muscle along the way, but if you're that overweight, dropping fat should be the priority.


Thanks Jarvan for your advice.

However, I must reiterate that I cannot afford gym fees. I can barely even afford to buy food, and pay my rent, which is more important than going to the gym. So I see working out at home the best way for me to lose weight, whilst saving money.


Thanks for your advice Chris, I will most deffinately look at some of the links you give me. Can I just ask, what is a pr zone?


PR means Personal Record. You try to either lift heavier weight each workout, or lift the same weight for more repetitions.


That's literally the first question addressed in the article I posted. :wink:

Usually, yep.

In the context of EDT, a "PR zone" is the 10-15 minute period that you're training, watching the clock, and actually getting your reps in. In that program, you keep the same weight for most workouts and you only increase the weight when you've gotten 20% more total reps.