How to choose equipment for your home gym

April 10, 2016



The type of equipment you need for your home gym depends on your current fitness level, your goals and the amount of time you plan to devote to training.  I believe that anyone who intends to be fit and exercise regularly should plan to workout at home from time to time.  As a mom, I work out at home often and doing so has been a real life savor for many years and has enabled me to maintain fitness throughout pregnancies, toddler years and everything in between.  My personal training career began by training people in their homes and designing programs with little to no equipment required.


So, let's break it down into 3 categories: the novice who needs to build a foundation and wants to achieve improved body composition and overall "toning," the cardio enthusiast who wants to improve their running performance and prevent injury, and finally, the gym rat who needs to be equipped at home to fill in the gaps when they can't make it to the gym.


The Novice: this type of client makes up the majority of my client base.  People who have maybe tried to get fit on their own, but feel overwhelmed with the loads of information available and who have been unsuccessful in their attempts, those who don't have time to go to the gym, don't like the gym atmosphere, don't want to leave their kids in child care, those who can't afford a gym membership....the list goes on and on.  For this group, a home gym needs to consist of absolutely NOTHING.  Basic equipment can be added but, is not required.  The number of exercises that can be completed using only your body weight is lengthy and I have been able to design countless programs to achieve basic fitness in your living room any day or time that is convenient for you!


The Cardio-a-holic: for the individual who thrives on long, long, long runs, bike rides or hikes, working out at home, even if you do have a treadmill or spin bike can seem like a real drain.  You exercise outside for a reason and being confined to your home for a workout may feel like torture BUT, it doesn't have to!  It has been proven that both long distance cardiovascular training AND high intensity interval training are both effective at improving VO2max, or your body's ability to use oxygen to generate energy.  So, what this means for you, is that a home workout program should consist of short bursts of strength exercises followed by a recovery period.  This can be accomplished with many different types of equipment, or none at all.  Some options may include: TRX, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine ball, stability ball, or resistance bands.


The Gym Rat: otherwise known as a "Meat Head," "Bro" or "Dude Bro."  This is a little bit more challenging, because these individuals are so accustomed to lifting heavy weights and/or using the isolation machines at the gym, that a home workout make feel like "weak sauce" comparatively.  So, here's my solution: plyometric training, plyometric meaning explosive, dynamic movements.  This is a form of cardiovascular training, but it will also develop fast-twitch muscle fibers, which body builders and Dude Bros are looking for.  The other plus to incorporating plyometric training is that it requires little to no equipment!  Maybe a box or step to jump on, but other than that, you need your body weight, a good program, a towel - you will be drenched in sweat - water, and a stop watch or timer.


If this still seems overwhelming, or you're not sure which category you fall into, get in touch with us today and we'll design a personalized program for you and your goals.


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