Finding time to hit the gym for a workout is out of the question for busy men; getting fit at home can be a time-saving alternative. Men need exercise to help build and maintain lean muscle tissue, strengthen bones, improve heart health, and maintain testosterone levels. It’s important to integrate both aerobic and resistance training to build muscle and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Home gym equipment and dumbbells aren’t necessary to start, but consider investing in some equipment as your fitness level improves. You can create makeshift dumbbells using empty one-gallon milk jugs filled with water. This will help you get started -- and consider purchasing a set of adjustable-weight dumbbells in the future.
Create a workout plan that specifies the exact time each day you plan to exercise, type of exercise -- resistance or aerobic -- goal for that workout, and other details you feel will help you stick with it and succeed. Setting a schedule will help reduce the risk of procrastination. Exercise Monday through Friday for a total of five workouts per week. Each workout should last 30 to 60 minutes.
Perform a resistance training workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Include the following exercises, in this order: pushups, weighted squats, crunches, bicep curls, tricep dips using a sturdy desk or chair, calf raises on a step, supermans for your lower back, bent-over reverse flyes, and seated shoulder press. Run through this set of nine exercises two or three times, doing each exercise until failure. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between each exercise.
Do an aerobic workout on Tuesday and Thursday. Any exercise that gets your heart rate elevated to about 60 to 75 percent your maximal heart rate, or MHR, will do the trick. Determine your MHR by subtracting your age from 220. Effective aerobic exercises you can do at home include cycling, elliptical training, treadmill workouts, jogging in place, skipping rope, jumping jacks or running stairs.
Eat foods high in protein and fiber to promote muscle growth and to help you feel full throughout the day. Good foods include vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, oatmeal and whole grain foods. Avoid foods high in sugar, white breads and pastas, and foods loaded with saturated fats. Make sure to eat a snack loaded with good protein and carbohydrates following each workout, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a glass of chocolate milk.
Consume 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day, which will lead to a safe rate of weight loss for most men. This should get you on track to losing one to three pounds per week. As an example, to lose two pounds in a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories per day. As long as the number of calories you burn during exercise and cut during meals equals or exceeds 1,000 calories, you can hit a two-pound per week goal.
Change up your workout each subsequent week to help keep it from getting boring and to avoid fitness plateaus. Make simple changes, such as swapping bench press for pushups. Adding sets or exercising a few minutes longer each session are other ways to keep progressing.