The Best Strength Training Programs to Do At Home

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woman wearing yellow sneakers, lifting a kettlebell

Are you in search of a new way to exercise at home? Particularly if you want to get stronger, it can be a bit tricky to find a good strength training program to do without a gym, and I just saw a good roundup of different programs, so I thought we’d discuss. Readers, what are your favorite strength training programs to do at home? In general what are your favorite exercises or programs to do at home?

We’ve discussed a lot of the most-recommended programs previously, so here’s a quick listing of the ones that are probably familiar to you already:

I still really like the Sweat App, but I’m always on the hunt for more, so when I saw a big discussion in a Facebook group I saved the conversation for myself, and I thought I’d round up some of the answers here!

I also signed up for a January challenge from something not mentioned here, in part because I’m annoyed at the app as well as at half of the workouts… but maybe that’s a me-not-figuring-it-out-yet problem. I was also on the cusp of signing up again for a program I’d done in the past and really liked the workouts (FASTer Way to Fat Loss, circa 2018) — I hadn’t liked the nutritional advice component (spoiler alert, there’s fasting) but the workouts were really solid, so I was thinking about signing up for the next round again.)

One more note — I know readers swear by Peloton workouts, but I haven’t found good ones for strength training — do tell, which are your favorite instructors for strength training? When I tried to look a few weeks ago it seemed like 1–3 lb. weights?)

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{related: lifting for women (2014 discussion)}

The Additional Four Strength Training Programs At Home I Hear About the Most

Honestly I feel like people still love the ones we’ve already reviewed! But there are a few more programs that I keep hearing about, so let’s get into them.

Let’s do the free ones first…

Caroline Girvan

Caroline Girvan — 10-week EPIC program, free on YouTube — here’s the first workout

Sample review, from the site Girls Love Evidence:

The EPIC Program focuses on functional movements that often recruit more muscles than what is explicitly being worked. This allows for better stability and overall movement. I was shocked by how often the exercises that were bodyweight or balance-based were more challenging than those where I was lifting.

My notes: I’ve only done a few of these workouts — they’re kind of reminiscent of the Bodypump options in that they will kick your butt but are fairly repetitive movements with lighter weights, at least the one I did. Some of the early workouts were beyond my skill level (like the one where you did a round of pushups every three minutes, unless I was doing them against the wall or on my knees), but people absolutely love her so I keep wanting to try her out further.

{related: how to find a trainer you like}

Sydney Cummings

Sydney Cummings — If you look at her YouTube playlists she has a number of 4-week programs, as well as a few longer ones.

Here’s a sample review of Sydney Cummings, from Reddit:

I am noticeably stronger, have more endurance, and have moved up in weights. She’s easy to follow and it’s taken a lot of the planning out of my exercise! I’m really pleased with where it’s put me physically and mentally.

The next few cost a bit of money, but not much…

MegSquats / Stronger by the Day

Stronger by the Day, by Strong Strong Friends — $9.99 a month gets you at-home and gym plans for barbells, complete with gifs. Their pitch: “If you’ve been cherry picking workouts from Instagram influencers or have seen a plateau in strength, it’s time to find a dedicated strength program that provides a focused path to a stronger you. We take care of all the planning, so whether you want to use our in-gym barbell version or at-home bodyweight version, all you have to do is show up and follow the plan.”

Here’s a review from blogger LiftBakeLove (who notes that she’s an experienced lifter coming back from a serious back injury):

There’s a ton of variety week to week and block to block. I never get bored with the workouts.

There’s so many substitutions offered for the different movements so if I shouldn’t do something because of my back injury or it’s not available at the gym, it’s super easy to still get the workout done.

Beyond the strength gains, I can definitely see a change in my body composition which I’m super exited about.

The founder, Meg, just had a baby, so they’ve added prenatal and postpartum fitness programs. They also have a program called “Before the Barbell” if you’re just starting out with strength training…

{related: how to find time to exercise}

THINNER LEANER STRONGER

Michael Matthews, the author of this bestselling book, also offers a Year One Challenge book, laying out the exercise program (the original book focuses both on nutrition and strength training).

Sample review from Amazon:

The book covers meal planning, how to adjust your macros based on your goals (losing weight/gaining muscle or maintaining), and strength training. I’m a 37-year old mom of two and I work full-time as an attorney. I have always been athletic and comfortable in the gym—I played tennis and volleyball in high school, was on the rowing team in college, and have ran two marathons and many half marathons. But I never prioritized weight lifting and knew nothing about progressive overload training.

. . . Even with my imperfections, it hasn’t even been two months and I’ve lost 10 pounds. Most importantly, my scale also shows fat loss and muscle gains. My clothes fit better and I’m excited to see where I am 6 months from now. Equally exciting is my progress in strength. 

It’s a 12-week program that you “unlock” by paying for the Bodybuilding app for $6.99 a month (or $48 for the year).

Even More Apps and Programs to Try for Lifting Workouts at Home

Readers, do you have thoughts on any of these lifting programs and apps?

  • Alive App
  • Biolayne Workout Builder
  • Bodybuilding.com App — particularly, the Jamie Eason LiveFit program
  • Blue Star Nutraceuticals on YouTube
  • Booty by Brett
  • Clank: Weight Lifting App
  • Dr. Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size
  • Emily Skye Fit or HIIT Burn
  • EOU, Cathe.com
  • Erin Stern
  • Fit by Katy
  • HASFIT
  • Hybrid Performance Method
  • Kim French Fitness
  • Kristie Barker’s Girl Hustle Bikini Fit
  • Lyle McDonald’s Generic Bulking Routine
  • Mari Fitness Slay App
  • Mark Carroll’s programs – Bikini Body
  • Paula Nordine Fighter Diet
  • PHUL – Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower
  • PowHer Fit
  • Sweeney Fitness
  • Swolenormous
  • TheWkout.com
  • Tonal
  • TTSL Thick Thighs Save Lives from Constantly Varied Gear (I also hear great reviews of CVG leggings, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet myself.)

Readers, what are your thoughts — are you still working out at home? What programs or apps do you follow most religiously? Have you started anything new recently (perhaps for a resolution)? What are your favorite strength training programs at home?

Stock photo (woman wearing yellow sneakers, lifting a kettlebell) via Stencil.



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