At home workout proograms saw a huge surge because of COVID. The gyms closed and panic washed over the fitness community. People bought out the dumbbell section, and then sold their weight on Facebook Marketplace for 3x what it is worth. Reputable suppliers were out of equipment, for weeks. It was pretty insane, actually. As the pandemic remains a constant in our world, people have resorted to building their own home gym, because making an appointment at their fitness center is either nerve wrecking or highly inconvenient.
For those of you looking to purchase equipment for home, I hope this guide helps you prioritize what equipment to purchase first.
How to Build a Home Gym According to Your Budget.
(Get it, Brad!)
The $25 Home Gym: @MegSquats, an Instagram influencer and powerlifter, has a fitness supply company called Strong, Strong Supply. When the pandemic hit, her team began creating at home workouts for her Stronger By The Day program. This gave the members of her program an opportunity to continue building their strength from home. Because people needed fitness equipment, they put out a kit that includes equipment you can utilize in any space. The cost of the kit is $24, but you can split it into $6 payments for four months, if necessary.
What the kit consists of: - 2 Sliders (A versatile tool you can use for leg and core workouts.) - 5 Small Loops with Different Resistance (These can be used for bicep curls, rows, and all sorts of booty work) - One Large Pull-Up Resistance Band (You can deadlift, do lat pull downs. shoulder presses, and resistance push ups with this bad boy.) - A Guide for Recommended Exercises (Look at that shit! MegSquats tells ya what to do!) - Convenient Little Carrying Pouch (Shove all the stuff in the bag and go workout in the park!)
Click Here to Get the Kit **I have to say that I'm not an affiliate and do not get any type of commission for suggesting this product. I am a member of Meg Squats Stronger by the Day lifting program, and a follower of her's on the gram. She's quirky, wonderful, and she won't steer you wrong. The $50 Home Gym: Of course you have already purchased the Strong By The Day at home workout kit, so now you have $26 left to spend. Perfect.
Buy yourself a gravity trainer (aka a knock off TRX Band). This will cost ya 15 bucks. Freaking steal! You literally close the door on the stopper and get to work. It has four separate anchor points that you can utilize to adjust the length while performing different moves. Using this product allows you to leverage your body weight in a way that makes basic moves more challenging. It helps build core strength, increase your flexibility, and build up strength endurance. When you open the box, you will also find a guide that includes different exercises you can perform.
I, personally, have this gravity trainer in my own home gym and I love it. Again, not an affiliate. This is actual shit I use. Click here to pick one up.
$24 spent on the Stronger By The Day Kit. $15 spent on the Gravity Trainer.
So we have $11 left......Yoga Mat Time.
It may be challenging to find a high quality yoga mat for $11, but remember that you can always upgrade to a nicer one later on. Right now, it is important to stick to the budget we have set for ourselves. Here's a mat I really enjoy.
1) It's in our budget. ($10) 2) It has pictures of yoga poses on it, which may encourage you to practice yoga on an active rest day. This mat is thin, and may wear out quickly, but, it is important to have something to do ab work on for the time being, and you can look at other options after you figure out exactly what you need. Get it here.
The $100 Home Gym: So you've bought the Stronger By the Day Kit, Gravity Trainer, and Yoga Mat, but you have an extra $50 burning a hole in your pocket. What should you buy next? A medium weight kettlebell. If a 5 pound kettlebell is light for you and a 15 pound kettlebell is heavy, buy 10 pounds. Grade where you are with this and purchase a middle of the road weight. Ideally, you should be able to do 12-15 reps with this weight and feel very challenged on the last few reps. Having this versatility will allow you to program the amount reps according to how challenging you want your workout to be.
Want a quick burn you can move through and keep the heart rate up? 8 reps in a circuit training style workout is the key with your medium weight.
Really looking to challenge yourself and work on your strength? Try hitting 12-15 reps with that weight. Maybe plan a set where you complete reps until failure.
If you become strong enough to do 20 reps with your medium weight, add the large pull down band you have. This creates more resistance and allows you to change up your workout. We all know working out from home can be challenging enough, so don;t make your workout repetitive and boring on top of it. I suggest buying a kettlebell because you can do all of the work with a kettlebell that you can do with a dumbbell. The only difference is that you will have to do single arm work, instead of double. Honestly, its not that big of a deal. Single arm work is more challenging anyways. ;) You can do full body work, such as kettlebell swings, squat to overhead press, clean and press, and snatches. A kettlebell can be utilized in core and arm work also. Another reason I suggest it is because of the price. Dumbbells are often sold as a single unit and the prices are jacked through the roof right now. Any sort of kettlebell you'd like to get will work. They have cast iron ones, which will be cheapest, or you can look for a higher quality vinyl or rubber coated bell. This $50 should be spent on a kettlebell. Some will spend more than others, just be mindful of your allotted amount on this one. The $200 Home Gym: - Strong By the Day Kit
- Gravity Trainer
- Kettlebell We are at $100 so far and have an extra hundo to spend. Next up: Stability Ball and Dumbells.
I had you wait on a stability ball purchase, only because you didn't have any dumbbells or kettlebells yet! A stability ball is an amazing thing to have after you've purchased weight because you can use it as a bench. Sure, you've been laying on the floor to get your chest presses in, but now you can put your back on the ball and feet on the ground. Chest pressing this way is more challenging because of the controlled but unstable environment you're in. Now you have to use your core and leg muscles to keep you from rolling off the ball.
Ab workouts can be done using a stability ball as well. Need help with your squat form? Smash the ball between you and the wall. This will help with your squat tracking pattern. Have I used the word versatile in this paragraph yet? No? Well they are super versatile and only $20. P.S. It comes with a guide! Here's an option that allows you to pick a fun color.
Purchase dumbbells next. We have $80 left in our budget and all of this money will go to dumbbells. Like the kettlebell, you will spend more for more weight, which leaves you a choice. You can either buy a heavy set of dumbbells that you will grow into and challenge yourself with low rep workouts, or a medium weight so you can utilize them for doing exercises with both arms. My advice is that it really depends on your goals. Looking to build a lot of strength? Buy heavy. Looking to tone and build strength endurance? Go medium. I really wouldn't spend money on light weights, unless your budget magically increases. Light weights aren't really a priority, th the exception of rehabbing an injury....then look into it.
If you have some leftover cash check out these items: - Battle Ropes (Usually run $50) These can give you a full body workout and can be used as a cardio exercise. Add these into your circuit or superset it with a strength exercise. Your heart rate will jump! - Jump Rope (10ish dollars) A jump rope should be somewhat of a staple if you like a quick cardio warm up or like hitting a cardio round between your weight lifting. These take up zero space and can even be stored in your Stronger By the Day pouch.
- Medicine Ball ($20 depending on the weight you purchase)
Not going to lie. Going down in the basement after an annoying day at work and whipping out some ball slams serves as a decent stress relief. Other than utilizing it to take out your anger, ball slams are a great full body exercise. The medicine ball can also be used for lumberjacks (wood chops, lift and chop, or whatever everyone else calls them), ab work, balance work (lunge with the ball placed overhead in your hand and don't drop the ball), and step ups. Final Thoughts: The internet, as per usual, can provide you a convoluted pish posh of information about what to buy when starting your home gym. Many blog posts include affiliate links, which is probably the ONLY reason why that person is suggesting the product, so can you really trust the opinion or review? Idk. Maybe. (Insert shoulder shrug emoji which this website creating software doesn't carry. Get it together, Wix.) This post is different because, although I do provide you links so you don't have to waste time searching on Amazon, I get paid zero dollars if you buy the stuff. This is stuff I legitimately use in my gym or that I think would be super helpful. For example, I do not own a yoga mat because I have foam flooring, BUT before the flooring I totally owned a yoga mat. Ya see what I mean? I've built a home gym. I bought what was cheapest, just to have stuff, and then upgraded when I was ready. The products I have listed are super versatile, can provide you with endless ways to work out and are fairly easy to store! If you are struggling with picking out a product, finding something the fits your needs, or need suggestions on larger/higher end equipment (squat racks, bars, benches, etc.) PLEASE reach out. Email me. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Send me a DM on the gram or the book (Is that what the kids call it these days?) I'd love to chat with you about your needs/wants/dreams for your home gym. To you, my Maiden Friends! - Coach CoJo