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The Staples That Create a Solid Home Gym

With the entire country still shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working out from home has been the only option for a vast majority of people. And even with the proper knowledge and a decent amount of creativity, bodyweight workouts are often not challenging enough to see continued results for a lot of people. This is when an investment of a home gym pays off big time.

But too many people hear ‘home gym’ and automatically think of a fully stocked and dedicated room for exercise equipment that costs several thousand dollars. And while there are a few select individuals who do indeed have this setup, it’s far from necessary for most people. A solid home gym can often consist nothing more of a few key pieces of equipment that won’t destroy your wallet upon purchasing them. So if you’re debating adding a few key pieces of equipment to your home, here’s where to start.

Must have: 2 kettlebells

While you can achieve many quality workouts with just bodyweight, there will be a time and a place where a couple free weights will prove invaluable to help optimize your at home training sessions. Kettlebells fill this void nicely because of their versatility and simplicity. Why two? There will be certain exercises that require lighter weights, such as overhead presses, and then certain exercises you can go heavier with, such as squats or lunges.

Plus there are countless ways to incorporate kettlebells into your routine. With a little bit of practice, you’ll feel comfortable handling them in any exercise. Pretty soon you’ll be able to string together several movements in a nice flow for an incredible workout.

As a rough estimate, women will do well with a 15lb and 35lb kettlebell, while gentleman might want to go with a 25lb and 50lb. Everyone will vary!

Must have: (TRX) Suspension trainer

The TRX makes this list for one big reason: rows.

Rows are super important for all around health, quality posture, and keeping your shoulders healthy in the long run. The only problem is that rows are kind of difficult to perform at home with no equipment. Sure, you can row various items around the house, but the intensity might not be there depending on what you have lying around. But suspension trainers allow you to up the intensity rather easily in a convenient setup. For this reason alone suspension trainers are worth their weight in gold.

Plus suspension trainers allow you to perform various quality anterior core exercises, like the fallout. In terms of bang for your buck, rows and fallouts are at the top of the list of any exercise you can perform. If you only performed these two exercises, the suspension trainer would still be a solid investment.

Solid investment: Resistance bands

Resistance bands are versatile, idiot proof, and highly portable. This makes the choice of investing in them a smart move on your end. If you’ve got a sturdy post to tie them to, these little bands can provide one hell of a full body workout. Invest in several thicknesses to help adjust the intensity if needed for various exercises.

They also sell resistance bands with handles which will make certain exercises, like rows, much easier in terms of setup and execution.

Solid investment: Pair of dumbbells

While you can get away with a kettlebell for almost any exercise, some exercises just feel more natural with some dumbbells. Plus they open up the option for bilateral movements with even weight on both sides… something you can’t do if you’ve already invested in two kettlebells that don’t weigh the same.

Plus you can perform certain complexes (several exercises performed back to back with no rest in between) with dumbbells that you can’t do with one kettlebell. Invest in a pair of ‘medium’ weight dumbbells to cover a good chunk of exercises you should be able to do with them.

Solid investment: Adjustable bench

If you’ve got the space for it, an adjustable bench can be a game changer in terms of what it allows you to do in your workout routine. From presses to step ups to hip thrusts, an adjustable bench can really open up a lot of options for you.

Adjustable is ideal as you can create several angles, but a flat bench can work just as well. But just keep in mind, you’ll be more limited with a flat bench.

I’ve got space and money to burn: Assault Air Bike

How to intelligently perform high intensity intervals: _ 1. Wear a heart rate monitor. _ 2. Choose between 5-10 second intervals. 15 seconds MAX. Anything longer and you’re performing medium intensity intervals. _ 3. BUST. YOUR. ASS. during that short interval. Balls to the wall, 100% effort. _ 4. Question why the f*k are you doing this to yourself? You probably like pain don’t you, YOU WEIRDO. _ 5. Look at your heart rate. Wait for it to drop back down to 120bpm. _ 6. Repeat between 5-10x. If you can do more, you’re doing step 3 incorrectly. _ 7. Enjoy the same benefits of 30 min of steady state cardio in 1/3 of the time. _ #cstrainingsystems #workout #fatloss #exercise #fitness #weightlifting #personaltrainer #trainer #strength #strengthtraining #muscle #movement #fit #getfit #fitpro #health #movebetter #kettlebell #dumbbell #barbell #cardio #hiit #hiitworkout #conditioningtraining

A post shared by Chris Sanchez (@cpsanchez89) on Nov 19, 2018 at 12:09pm PST

The assault bike isn’t necessarily cheap with a price tag near $700 for a new one, but if you’re looking to invest in a quality piece of equipment that will challenge you cardiovascularly while sparing your joints, this is it.

And if space is an issue, the assault bike is relatively small and portable when compared to most cardio machines (ex: treadmill). The only potential downside is the noise it makes, especially as you get to higher speeds. But hey, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Noise aside, the assault bike is worth the investment if you’ve got some money to spare.

Worth mentioning:

  1. Minibands – these can make certain movements harder, or isolate the hips and shoulders for a serious isolation burn

  2. Valslides (furniture sliders) – these bad boys can up the ante on several movements, as well as allow for some very challenging core movements

  3. Fat gripz – these attach to kettlebell or dumbbell handles increasing the thickness of the handle, making for a simple but very effective way to increase the difficulty of movements

  4. Jump rope – doesn’t get much more basic than this. Jump rope is simple and a great way to get your heart rate elevated, plus it serves as a low level plyometric exercise which is crucial to maintain your ‘youth’ as you age

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