Home workouts are becoming more and more the norm, with many people realizing that they can get an extremely effective workout in without the hassle of getting to a gym. If you’re looking for the perfect home gym set up, it’s probably much easier (and cheaper) than you think! There’s no real reason for a whole rack of dumbbells, kettlebells, or weight stacks, especially for outdoor and endurance athletes. Check out my top 5 pieces of equipment for creating your own home gym, and how I’ve had clients create the perfect set up for under $200!
Top 5 Pieces of Equipment for Your Home Gym
1. TRX My favorite piece of equipment, in and out of a fully equipped gym! The TRX, or suspension trainer, is key in a home gym because it allows for “pull” exercise variations, which can be challenging to perform at home without much equipment. You can adjust the difficulty level with a simple adjustment of the strap or your feet, meaning that both complete beginners and true experts can get great benefits from the TRX. Anchor it in a door frame without any damage to your house, or attach an anchor point to your wall for permanent placement.
$70-$130 Travel TRX
Knock-Off Suspension Trainer (not as durable or easy to adjust, but cheaper)
2. Monster Bands Versatile, easy to use, and relatively cheap compared to dumbbells, monster bands once again allow you to focus on pulling exercises to balance out your push ups and lunges. I’d suggest getting a set of 3- ultralight, light, and medium to heavy.
WODFitters (cheaper, durable, not as high quality)
3. Sliders or Towels Used to step up your core routine and make lunges even harder, you can buy sliders for carpet floors or just use a hand towel on hardwood or tile!
**cheaper sliders usually fall apart within a week or don’t slide well at all. I suggest $30 sliders or just use a towel
4. Yoga Block
Perfect for working those stabilizers such as adductors and abductors, as well as adding some challenges with balance work.
5. Backpack w/ “Duct Tape Bricks”
This trick I stole from GORUCK- Instead of spending $500 on a set of dumbbells, you can use a sturdy backpack (GORUCK’s packs or a cheaper, padded alternative with some structure work best) and bricks wrapped in duct tape (to keep the bricks cleaner and prevent them from chipping). Each brick weighs roughly 5lbs, so add and subtract as needed, and use the backpack on your back, overhead, or hugged to your chest!
$10-$$$ (backpack dependent) GORUCK (Expensive packs, but quality. Still have mine after 10 years. Get one if you’re serious about rucking and/or heavy use.)
Bricks can be found at local hardware stores for $0.50 each. I usually recommend anywhere between 4-10 bricks. Have some fun with the duct tape colors :)
What if I want heavier weights?
If you do decide to go the dumbbell or kettlebell route and don't want to buy an entire set, here's what I recommend! Dumbbells
1 light set (something you can do bicep curls with)
1 medium set (something you can overhead or bench press with)
1 heavy set (something you can do a single arm row with)
1 very heavy set or single (something you can goblet squat or dual dumbbell deadlift with)
1 light to medium (something you can KB swing or TGU)
1 medium (something you can goblet squat)
1 heavy to very heavy (something you can deadlift)
I usually go to the gym, but want to do a home or travel workout with minimal equipment. How do I adjust?
Here are some example modifications from a gym routine to a home/travel routine!
Deadlift to Eccentric Slider Hamstring Curls
Shoulder Press to Elevated Piked Push Up
Lat Pulldown to Superman Towel Pull
Ab Machine to Slider Bodysaw
Leg Press to Wall Sit with Adductor Squeeze
If you have any questions, as always, feel free to reach out, and keep Preparing for Adventure!