I am a freelance programmer working from home, I recently realized that my physical condition is getting worse so I would like to start with some sort of exercise program which I can do at home, it would be fun and I would eventually build some muscles or strengthen my body (don't really need to loss weight - at least not yet :)).

I am not completely lame, I go swimming occasionally and I play local amateur badminton league. I used to sport a lot in the past (martial arts, squash for couple of years, gym, climbing, swimming at least once a week for ~5 years). But I kinda became lazy in past two years so I want to change that :)

So what do you think is a good exercise system for such a person? I've heard about various like P90 or others but I cannot really decide which one would be a good fit.

Thanks a lot for any answers

  • To build strength/muscle, I suggest barbell strength training. Perhaps you can use barbell equipment at a local facility or obtain such equipment for your home. Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 21:20
  • fitness.stackexchange.com/a/24596/7091
    – Eric
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 0:02
  • Look into body weight exercises. You won't need any equipment. Then, when you progress, join your local gym.
    – rrirower
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 13:49

3 Answers 3


What do you have available, or what are you willing to buy?

If you don't have much in the way of weights, then bodyweight is the way to go, a healthy diet of bodyweight exercises is a fantastic way to stay in shape, and I'd highly recommend checking out the Reddit bodyweight fitness sub for info and routines.

If you have a little room and don't mind spending a bit of money, then you can get yourself a kettlebell or two and put together a fantastic routine consisting of swings and Turkish get ups (Pavel's Simple and Sinister routine) or throw in some squats, presses and rows for more variety.

Or, with about the same amount of room, you can get some dumbbells and a bench, find a routine, and do the same kind of things, but throw in some curlz for the girlz.

Finally, if you've got a spare garage that's not being used for anything important (like junk storage or keeping your car dry), you can get hold of an old barbell and some plates and build a routine based around deadlifts, cleans, front squats, overhead presses and rows. Throw in a bench if you have to to bench on (you don't have to) or a squat / power rack for squats (again, not necessary). Again, routines are pretty freely available.

I would avoid things like P90X purely because they cost money, and you can easily find free resources and online communities without spending that much (yes, I know the Simple and Sinister link was for an e-book you have to pay for, you can find free kettlebell routines, but I like that one dammit, so I'm going to recommend it).


Bodyweight exercises are in general a good way to go. If you don't want to leave the house or buy expensive equipment then look into plans like Under Armour, Nike Training Club, or Freeletics. Running and biking are great ways to keep up your cardio shape. Even just walking can help you keep in reasonably good shape. At then end of the day look around for a set of exercises or equipment that works for you.

The hardest part of any workout plan is the first step: starting it. I'd just recommend a vetted and researched program. Don't go to crazy on equipment or anything until you've committed to something you want to do and then you can decide what to shell out on.


Athlean-X is a great option that can be done at home. It is ran by Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist and strength coach who (to his credentials) has trained professional athletes and celebrity clients. He has a YouTube channel if you'd like to get a taste of who he is as well as how he approaches fitness.


He has several programs, I'm currently doing the "beginner" program, AX-1. It's been pretty challenging, but also rewarding. Jeff knows his stuff and I get to benefit from it.

Whatever you do, just find something that seems reputable. Good luck!

  • 2
    Do you get a commision or something? This is the third time I've seen you answer basically selling an Athlean-X program. I even saw you post it on a question regarding protein intake / diet... This website is build around giving fact based answers to questions, not anecdotal answers like recommending a fitness program based on the fact that you are in the beginner program (which suggests you don't have a lot of experience you can compare Athlean-X's programs with) and that you personally like this program.
    – MJB
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 10:54
  • You know, that would be cool! But no, I get no commission. I think you’ll find that my answers are entirely on topic however. This comment of yours though? It certainly is not on topic. Everything I’ve said is verifiable and good advice. I don’t appreciate this little harassment of yours, I’m not sure what spurred it, but I’m willing to move past it. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 14:28
  • The person who made the question LITERALLY asked “So what do you think is a good exercise system for such a person?”, so I answered the question. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 14:30
  • I'm not talking about just this answer, I'm talking about the bigger picture of answers you've given. You have been promoting Athlean-X to the point where you said "cough up some cash", sounds like promoting. And if we can't maturely give eachother feedback, what's the point of this entire website? Furthermore, I don't see how what you said is verifiable, thought it might be good advice, it's still based on your opinion. This website isn't opinion based, these are just the rules around here. I'm not harassing anyone, I'm stating the facts.
    – MJB
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 14:39
  • Thanks for taking the feedback into consideration, I highly appreciate that.
    – MJB
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 14:40

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