Weight Training | Discover the secrets to training at home

Today I was home alone with my boys. During the middle of the day my youngest boy still goes down for a sleep. My oldest boy is past that stage so he normally just chills out in the middle of the day and watches one of his favourite tv shows. Today I felt like doing my weight training during the day instead of waiting till tonight. So I had a chat to my oldest boy and asked him if he wanted to come into the garage today with me to do some exercise, whilst his brother was asleep.

Much to delight, he was keen as to exercise with me. Such was his keenness that he insisted on putting on a singlet like I was wearing and was excited at the prospect of sharing a water bottle with me. Knowing that he would want to do what I was doing while I was exercising, but being fully aware that a boy his age should never touch weights, I got a plastic pole from one of his toys and tied a footy sock on each end to make it look like he had his own weights.

So at about 1:00pm we headed into ‘The Pit’ for a session of Chest and Back. As I have outlined on previous posts, I have set myself several strength goals, which I am aiming to achieve by the end of the 12 week program. I am placing these goals in brackets after the exercise that I am performing.


My Program for Staying Lean and Strong


Pre-Workout Nutrition:
• About an hour before training I downed a Pre-workout shake.

• 5 minutes of skipping
• Dynamic Stretching
• Push-ups x 20


Flat Bench Press (Goal Weight: 120kg)
– Set 1: 10 reps x 50kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 80kg
– Set 3: 4 reps x 110kg
– Set 4: 4 reps x 110kg

Incline Bench Press (Goal Weight: 90kg)
– Set 1: 8 reps x 70kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 80kg
– Set 3: 5 reps x 80kg

Bent Over Barbell Rows (Goal Weight: 120kg)

About to do a set of Barbell Rows. My little buddy’s pretend weights set up in front of me.

– Set 1: 10 Reps x 50kg
– Set 1: 8 reps x 80kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 105kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 105kg

Barbell Shrugs (Goal Weight: 140kg)
– Set 1: 6 reps x 110kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 130kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 130kg

Pulldowns (Goal Weight: 70kg)
– Set 1: 8 reps x 50kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 70kg
– Set 3: 6 reps x 70kg


Finishers – My High Intensity Fat Burning Circuit


I am still incorporating finishers at the end of my weight training session. Today I alternated between Jump Squats and Explosive Push-ups. I started by doing 10 of each back to back, then 9 of each back to back and so on until I reach zero. The whole circuit is done without rest and took me only about 4mins to complete.

Warm Down:
• Static Stretching

The whole session including warm-up, the workout, finishers and warm down took me 49mins to complete burning about 363kcals with an average heart rate of 114BPM.

Post-Workout Nutrition:
• Straight after the session I downed a Post-workout shake.

• All reps and sets are done with good form (no cheating or swinging the weight)
• Rest for exactly a minute between all sets except for the last 2 working sets where you rest for 2mins.
• During the workout sip on water.

Today was an example of how you can incorporate training whilst you have small children around. On occassion Mrs Niko and I have done a boxing session in our backyard whilst our young boys played. On another occassion I have taken the boys to local playground and whilst they played I have done hills spints (always were I could see them, just in case I am needed). Now I’m not going to kid myself and say that the sessions that I have the kids around are the most intense sessions that I have, they can’t be I am splitting my focus between my training and looking after my boys. But I believe that training in these circumstances are better than not training at all. My priority is always my family, I’m not an elite athlete, but I do love to train, so when I can incorporate both into my busy lifestyle, why not do it.

The other lesson that can be learnt from today, is that your children are a product of you. Your behaviour good or bad, influences your children’s behaviour. My son was so excited to be exercising with his Dad, soaking up every minute of it. For the worriers out there, no he did not do wieghts, that would be ridiculous, but what he did do was imitate me using his plastic pole and footy sox. He also was proud to show me that he could do squats, sit-ups and some new inventive leg swing manouvers which despite his insistence Dad could not perform without causing himself a serious injury.

Let me know of any ways you have managed to train whilst juggling the responsibility of looking after small children.

The other thing that came out of today’s session is the fact that I reached my goal weight on pulldowns. This was a goal weight that was dictated by the maximum load that is recommended to be put of the pulldown section of my home gym. So what to do? Easy, I now do chin-ups in place of pulldowns.

  1. Niko,

    I love it when my daughters say YES to joining me for a workout in my equivalent of “The Pit.” They get a good understanding of what a solid workout is all about, and it’s also a great bonding experience for the three of us. Good memories, too.


    • Mitchell, My oldest went to daycare the other day and was telling all of his friends about training with his Dad. I was very proud. You’re right about it creating good memories.

  2. Hi Niko, I don’t have any children as yet but when I do I would like to instill in them the importanace of a healthy lifestyle.

    Kids learn from what their parents do and I think that we have a responsibility as parents to show them how to make wise health choices. I think you have done a great job with your boys and it is good that your son is emulating you. 😀

    • Chris, thanks for the feedback. I couldn’t agree more with your comment. I cannot believe how much he loved it. He keeps bugging me to train again. I can see lots of years ahead of me having two little training buddies.

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