In the summer of 2009 I decided to quit the gym and slowly build my own over time. I love the gym environment and various machines, but the closest gym to me is 25 minutes away. 50 minutes of travel time, plus workout time, plus gas, plus a pricey membership really wasn’t working for me anymore. I slowly started building my own gym in my basement, saving money for equipment that might seem expensive, but makes sense to buy because I’m not longer spending the money on a membership, and I keep the equipment for life.
I have various weights, a bench, etc, but this post I’m focusing on what I use for bodyrock workouts. I started bodyrock right after my half marathon was over back in April. Since then, I haven’t looked back. Bodyrock brought a new intensity to my workouts, and I am a huge fan of short + effective workouts. Once I did a few of the workouts, I was hooked and new I had to buy equipment to see more changes and improvement.
The first thing I bought:
Whether you “bodyrock” or not, this thing right here is awesome. Intervals are set up for you, with timed rests and amount of rounds you want to do. I now can’t live without it.
Next (something I already had):
You wouldn’t think jumping rope would be as effective as it is. At least I didn’t. Doing high knees with the jump rope in between sets is the perfect way to get your HR up and a cardio blast in. If you don’t have one, just do high knees. Sounds simple, but it works. Pushing at your max effort will give you results! Trust me when I say, it took me a while to get over the fact that I didn’t need to X amount of miles to get in good cardio and to stay in shape and see results. This thing is a life + time saver.
Next purchase I made was a sandbag
At first I was using dumbbells for squats, lunges, swings, etc, but I realized I needed to buy this since I became so involved with the workouts. Also, dumbbells hurt when you put them on either shoulder and are doing a ton of squats. I bought cheap rice and filled it up and use the bag in some way with almost every workout I do. I love this thing! When I went away on some weekends I just threw it into the car so I can use it while away. Amazing what a bag full of rice can do.
Next up: dip station
It took me a while to decide to get this. I was modifying the exercises (and using a walker at one point, haha) but it wasn’t the same. I bought this 3 months into “bodyrocking”. Again- I knew I would have it for life, and that it would help me build strength. The thing I do most is reverse pushups: pain in my ass but my upper back totally transformed. I don’t slouch anymore either. My posture has significantly improved! Having muscles and strength kind of makes you present yourself differently to the world. There is a ton of other exercises you can do on this to, especially for abs.
Last but not least: pull up bar
Mine technically isn’t really an official pull up bar. Its a pipe thats in my boiler room Works just as well!
A pull up bar can be super intimidating. Let me say that when I first started, I HATED doing them. I only could do 2-3 unassisted at the most. Over time, I gained more strength and that 2-3 has now turned into 25 unassisted. Yes, 25! I am so proud of that number. It is actually pretty cool seeing how strong you get over time. You are working SO many muscles at once doing pull ups- abs, upper back, arms, shoulders, etc. Challenge yourself and try doing a few a week and build up slowly. Doing aimless bicep curls with moderate weight isn’t going to get you anywhere if you are looking to build muscle, strengthen your bones, and fire up your metabolism. It is frustrating and hard at first, but over time it will get easier and you will want to keep improving!
I also love doing hanging leg raises from the bar: hang from the bar, keep your legs straight, and raise them up as high as you can. Talk about transforming your abs…
Remember, these are my opinions and what works for me! Check with a doc before jumping into anything crazy.So, for all of my home-workout-ers, what equipment do you rely on? Do you have any of the above or want to have it at some point? Or do you prefer going to the gym? I think the gym is great and definitely miss it from time to time, but it just doesn’t work for me at this point.
You don’t need to be a slave to the gym to get in amazing shape and be healthy!
When theres a will theres a way