T Nation

Training From Home

Long story short: Back in March I decided to use quarantine as an excuse to dial everything in — personal, profession and fitness wise.

Specifically, I wanted to shed my powerlifter/ defensive tackle body and get back into my linebacker body of old. This meant going from 6’1” 275 to 235 — although my goal didn’t have a weight, rather a feeling and performance.

So with minimal equipment I embarked on this journey in garage.

Equipment included:

Various Bands
1x 70 pound KB
1x 55 pound KB
1x Rouge Sandbag Eventually Loaded to 150
2x 20 pound DBs
1x 40 pound vest
1x 60 pound vest
1x Jump Rope

My weekly lifting parameters were as follows:
1:1 ratio of press to pull
1:1 ratio of squat/ lunge to hinge

My weekly “movement” parameters were:
1 Jump
1 Sprint
1 Throw
1 Carry

My weekly condoning parameters were:
1 session of anaerobic conditioning
1 session of rucking
1 session of intermediate distance running
1 session of full body crossfit-style HIIT

So without further ado, here is my general template:

  1. UPPER
    Shoulder Press
    MB Slam (or throw)

Cardio: Run 3 miles for time

  1. LOWER
    KB Swing
    Box Jump (or vertical/ broad jump)

Cardio: 10x Farmers Carries 30 seconds on/ 30 seconds off

  1. ABS
    Sit-up or Crunch
    Leg or Knee Raise
    Lateral Flexion (side bend)
    Rotation or Anti-Rotation (banded Palloff Press)
    Anti-Flexion (plank)

Cardio: Ruck 1 hour w/ 60 pound vest for max distance

  1. FULL BODY HIIT (as a circuit)
    Sandbag Row
    Sandbag Front Squat
    Sandbag RDL

Cardio: Hill or Treadmill Sprints


I typically did the following:

  • 5 sets per exercise
  • Mostly performed on Tabata Intervals or similar timing
  • Doing all sets of each exercise before moving to the next (except HIIT circuit on Day 4)
  • Exercise too easy? Add weight, increase time, decrease rest or change tempo.
  • Big lifts like squats I’d do 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off
  • “Little” exercises like abs I’d usually do 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off
  • Conditioning exercises like loaded carries I’d do 30 seconds on/ 30 seconds off


  1. If you don’t have kettlebells or something to press overhead, just do more pushups

  2. If you don’t have a pull-up bar or can’t do pull-ups, just do more rows

  3. If you can’t do KB swings, do more RDLs or Good Mornings

  4. For farmers walks buy two buckets from Home Depot and fill them with gravel or sand. Too easy? Duct tape fat grips to the handles.

  5. On upper body days I would finish with supplemental shoulder work via DB laterals supersetted with Band Pull aparts or band face pulls

  6. I have a neck harness so I did neck flexion/ extension everyday. Obviously not necessary.

  7. Squats too easy? Wear a weight vest AND clean and squat the sandbag. Still too easy? Slow down the tempo. Still too easy? Do a few rounds of 20 second static “holds” in the hole or at parallel before you begin your sets. Still too easy? Do your BSSQs before your squats.

  8. After a few months of this I was doing what I call “extreme volume” which was 10 sets of each exercise on a five day. But when I did this I’d switch it up like this:

Push-up 5x regular 5x closegrip
Row 5x regular 5x underhand or neutral grip
Shoulder Press 5x strict 5x push press
Pull-up 5x regular 5x neutral or underhand

Squat 5x front 5x back
RDL 5x Good Morning 5x
BSSQ 5x Walking Lunge 5x
KB Swing 5x KB Clean 5x

  1. Why a whole day for abs? Because it’s that important. And because if I “tag” them onto the end of a workout I will skip them :man_shrugging:. It also spaces out your other workouts and gives those muscles a rest.

  2. Want to do curls? Loop your weight vest over a broomstick or shovel. No vest? Loop a rope through a kettlebell. No kettlebell? Loop a rope through some milk jugs

  3. Triceps? Fasten a light to medium band to the ceiling or wall.

QUESTIONS? Fire away. Glad to clarify anything.