July 15, 2024

Home Gym Essentials by Brett Klika

Home gyms come in all shapes, sizes and most significantly, prices. It’s important to note however, the true worth of a home gym is not in how much it costs; it’s in how much it’s used.  Low cost, multi-functional, space saving equipment that is used regularly is a lot more effective than elaborate, expensive, space hogging machines that are used primarily as clothing hangers (can you even find that treadmill you bought under everything you have piled on top of it?) Odds are your exercise preference will change over the years. There is no one way you will want to exercise for your entire life. When you buy equipment that allows only a limited amount of exercise options, you’ll eventually get bored and quit. You will want to buy equipment that can adapt to new trends and keep you challenged no matter how you chose to get fit. Below are 4 must-haves for an effective, adaptable, and useable home gym that won’t break the bank. 

Selectorized dumbbells ($300-$500). Regardless of your goals or fitness level, dumbbells are hard to beat for adding resistance to your workouts. They can be used in any activity in a nearly un-ending variety of movement patterns to make an exercise more challenging. The only problem with dumbbells is that you often need to have quite a few of them because different activities require different resistances. This can get expensive as well as space-consuming.    

Selectorized dumbbells allow you to use one set of dumbbells and have the ability to change their weight, often from 5 up to over 100 pounds! Different brands use different mechanisms, but you chose the weight you wish to use and when you pick up the dumbbells, it only carries that amount of weight. This not only allows you to do literally thousands of different exercises, it allows you to progress over time.

TRX Suspension Trainer ($120-$150). The TRX is the most significant piece of fitness equipment to hit the market in many years. It’s an extremely simple design, but allows for thousands of exercise variations using your bodyweight as resistance. Developed by Navy Seals to stay strong while in the field, all you need is something sturdy to hang the adjustable nylon straps with handles and foot cradles from. There are an endless number of exercises for strength, power, core, endurance, cardiovascular, and even rehabilitation training. It can be stored in a small bag so you can take the TRX with you if you travel. Multiple videos are available that demonstrate different programs, and TRX constantly updates the information. You will never run out of ways to get fit with this piece of equipment.

Adjustable Weight Lifting Bench ($200-$500).  This is one of those no-frills pieces of equipment that has nearly endless uses.  A bench can be lied on, sat on, jumped on and stepped on. It can be used to modify exercises to make them harder or easier. It takes up little to no space and offers quite a few opportunities, from the creative to the traditional, to shape the body you want.

Resistance Bands with Handles ($15-$30 each, 3 different resistances are recommended).  Resistance bands allow for a unique method of training. Unlike what you can do with the other equipment, resistance bands allow you to work independent of gravity. This offers thousands of exercise options for beginners a well as advanced exercise enthusiasts. With bands you can rotate, push, pull, chop, and do a ton of varied movements, without having to lie on your back or position yourself against gravity. 

Seek professional advice to get started on the right foot. Enlisting guidance from a professional fitness trainer is a great way to learn proper techniques and new exercise methods. Additionally, they’ll keep you accountable in the years to come.

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. For a copy of his new e-book and exercise program “The Underground Workout Manual- Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World” visit www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com.  To contact Brett, send correspondence to brett@fitnessquest10.com.

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