Lately I’ve been getting more inspired by how much people can accomplish in their home gyms, or even by being creative in how they use their neighbourhoods. This morning I went for a run and stopped to do some body weight exercises in a local park, where there are often other people around with the same idea. I noticed a guy throw his own set of TRX straps over the monkey bars and get stuck into his workout. If you’re not familiar with TRX straps, they are AWESOME.
Here’s a good Youtube demo of how they work. The pikes she’s doing (the third exercise where her legs are straight and she raises her bum in the air) are something I do at the gym for core strength. You can really feel your abs the next day! There’s a link to TRX straps below.
I have friends who have set up very inexpensive home gyms using things like adjustable dumbbells, and it’s made me think about a day in the future where I might have enough space at home to dispense with a gym membership in favour of a DIY set up. It certainly works out cheaper in the long run! In my eBook (Have you subscribed to G.I. Gen yet for your free copy??) I list a couple of highly recommended books and DVDs that you can follow for a workout plan that will see you building up your strength and fitness from home.
Below is my ‘wish list’ – the home gym equipment I’m lusting after and would absolutely buy if I weren’t about to head off overseas travelling.
Marcy Utility Flat Bench
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
I think these look great. Really easy to use and I love the idea of the dial system eliminating the need to take weights on and off all the time. Especially handy if you’re doing a workout where you need to switch quickly from one exercise to the next. The weights go up from 5 pounds (2.2 kilos) to 52 pounds (23.5kg) which is pretty damn heavy. There are few exercises that I would currently be able to do with a pair of 23kg dumbbells. Click on the images below to have a closer look and read some customer reviews. Of course there are dozens of similar products available through Amazon and you may spot something that would suit your needs better.
CFF Adjustable Russian Kettlebell Weights Includes DVD, 40-Pound
Now these I’m really lusting after. They’re adjustable, just like the dumbbells above, and these go from 10 pounds (4.5kg) to 40 pounds (18kg). Kettlebells and dumbbells can be used interchangeably for many exercises but the advantage of the kettlebell is that the odd shape and their tendency to swing requires you to activate so many more muscles in your body in order to keep the weight under control and complete the exercise. If I had to only choose one, I’d go for kettlebells over dumbbells. This one below comes with a DVD. And it looks cool 🙂
TRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit + Door Anchor
I like the look of this kit because it comes with books and DVDs as well as an anchor to attach it to your door frame, so you don’t have to find a set of monkey bars like my neighbour did (although of course you still could). There’s almost nothing that you can’t do with a TRX – no type of physical strength, endurance or fitness that you can’t develop and work on with these. Just the TRX system alone, and none of the other products listed above, would get you a long way towards your goals.
Speed Rope for Cardio Fitness Training
This might seem like an odd inclusion, but cardio, particularly of the high intensity sort, does have a place in any fitness regime. People spend a fortune on treadmills, cross-trainers, etc, and of course if that’s what you want in your home gym then go for it, but something as simple as adding 30 second bursts of skipping into your routine will do the trick.