The first, and at the same time the most important of these, is owning the necessary equipment. If, besides this, you also have a partner who trains with you, the exercises can be as effective as the ones performed in the gym. Of course, we are talking now about the ideal situation of affording a gym in your own house.
Even with these conditions fulfilled, some practitioners, especially the more extrovert ones, might lack the stimulating atmosphere, the sharing of experience, the communication that they can find in the gym.
In most of the cases, what you can do at home is improvise a room or just a corner of a room, for fitness. Besides, most of the times you have to train by yourself. As these are the most frequent situations, we’ll deal with them now. Anyway, it is preferable to have constant training at home, rather than interrupt it a lot because the gym is too busy, too far, too expensive, etc.
The minimum of equipment necessary for training at home includes: an adjustable bench, a set of two dumbbells, with increasing weights, a barbell, with free weights and a fix bar for pull ups. This equipment will enable both executing basic exercises (squats, bench presses, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.) and diversity of exercises, necessary for avoiding routine.
The main disadvantage of not having a partner to train with is reflected in the amount of loading in some exercises, which cannot reach its maximum. There are many exercises which can be loaded to maximum without any risk, even if there is no partner to assist you (pull-ups, dips, shoulder presses, barbell curs, dumbbell curls, etc.).
An advantage which comes from training at home is that you can choose the training time without any restraint. Moreover, the speed of exercising can be increased a lot if the practitioner chooses to execute supersets, tri sets or giant sets. You can also save time, as you are not distracted by casual conversation, by waiting for the machines to be available, by having to change the weights for every personal series of exercises, etc.
In the extreme case when we can only afford as equipment a mattress, chairs and a towel, we can focus on exercises using the weight of the body (push-ups, reverse push-ups, between chairs push-ups, squats, sit-ups, crunches, hyperextensions, lunges, plyometrics, plunks, etc.).
All the exercises involving the body weight are considered as really demanding, because they mobilize more stabilizing muscles that ensure coordination and balance. The body-weight exercises are often introduced in the programs at the gym due to their proven effectiveness. They are also used in training and testing people in special troops, as these need a lot of force and discipline in their training.