When the country started shutting down gyms and other businesses due to the COVID-19 virus, a lot of fitness influencers and personal trainers put their home workout guides on sale. So, what else was I to do except impulse buy like, five of them? [That’s an exaggeration, but you get my point 😉 ] Among the training plans I did buy was Mari Llewellyn’s Home Guide 1. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how effective an at-home strength training program could be, but after completing the five week challenge I fully rescind my skepticism.
Mari’s training program is split into four strength days and I supplemented with my own cardio. Each week, there are two lower body workouts and two upper body workouts which can all be completed within 25 to 30 minutes [PERFECT for a pre-work day sweat!] and the only equipment you need are a few sets of dumbbells and booty bands. But, despite the brevity of each session, the intensity is not sacrificed.
Each circuit comprises four to six different exercises with little to no rest between each move. Reps range from six to 15, depending on the move, and each circuit should be completed four to six times. Most upper body days also include a short ab circuit and some sessions include a “circuit slayer” to really burn your already fatigued muscles.
I found that using the first three rounds as a “warmup” ensured that I wouldn’t push myself harder than I needed to, and allowed me to complete all six rounds without getting tired too quickly. I typically completed the first three rounds with lighter weights or only bodyweight and then increased my weight for the last three.
When you’re limited to only lighter dumbbells, most trainers encourage you to increase the amount of reps you’re doing in order to get the most out of your workout and that’s exactly what Mari’s program does. Throughout all five weeks, most of the moves stay the same but are ordered differently and require a different number of reps [usually increasing week after week], so you’re never doing the same workout twice. Trust me when I say that even using only five-pound weights was a struggle for me when I was doing 15 reps of lateral raises for six rounds!
The best part about Mari’s program, though, is the fact that after purchasing her plan, you’re invited to join a private Facebook group intended only for those who are also completing the plan. Every day, there is new content from women across the country offering words of encouragement, sharing tips on form or simply connecting over a shared love of health and fitness. Through her Home Guide 1, Mari has created a community that would otherwise not be present with home workouts!
Stay up to date with Mari and her latest workouts on Instagram.