In case you missed it, on Wednesday I wrote part 1 of this post, where I talked about a few pieces of my home gym, and how you can get such things while on a budget. I recommend checking it out, if only for the great picture of dogs who eat poop.
Now I know you’ve all been in suspense, just dying to know
how I got so awesome what else I have in my home gym, so today we’ll finish up that business and then also talk a little bit about other things I want that will help me to make my home fitness experience even better.
Let’s get to it!
Weight Vest – A weight vest is an excellent piece of equipment for many many reasons. You can use it to add weight to your pull ups, push ups, lunges, squats, and other full body movements. You can use it as additional weight for things like goblet KB squats for heavier lifts without a lot of big, bulky equipment. You can also wear it while running stairs or stadiums — talk about an ass kicker.
Price Point: You can find these new for anywhere from $40-$250 on Amazon, depending on how much weight you want (20-80 lb). The one we have holds about 40 lb, and is listed at about $240 new. Budget Tip: Again, buy used! Craigslist, Ebay, Second hand sporting goods stores; these are all great places to find something like this. Ours came from Ebay for the very reasonable price of $120 and is in good-as-new condition.
Foam Roller – I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here because I have a post about foam rolling coming up in the very near future, but this piece of equipment is great for keeping your muscles healthy. And we all know that unhealthy muscles are unhappy muscles! There are also other smaller, more portable tools that are similar, such as The Stick, and The Tigertail, both of which I love.
Price Point: A foam roller will run you anywhere from about $20-30 depending on the quality. The Stick and Tigertail both retail for around $25-30 as well. Budget Tip: If you’re really brave, cruise on over to your local hardware store, and ask them to cut you a piece of PVC piping to use instead of the foam roller. You’ll spend a fraction of the price, and it’s actually an excellent, durable version that makes the foam roller feel like a cloud. We’re basically talking NFL vs. Powder Puff football here. And instead of a smaller, portable roller, an athlete of mine told me that he uses a rolling pin at home. Genius!
Suspension Training Set: Of course I’m referring to the TRX or something similar. This is an extremely space efficient piece of equipment that you can use to do virtually any exercise, and it’s easily portable as well for when you travel. And now that you’ve got that pull-up bar, you’ve got the perfect place in your house to use it!
Price Point: A new TRX set will cost you about $200. EEK! Budget Tip: Make your own! My genius boyfriend made one using gymnastic rings and these nylon straps, all for the hefty price of about $40. Simple, inexpensive, yet ridiculously valuable in terms of workout potential. WIN.
Val Slides – Val Slides are a great tool for adding a new twist to lunges, mountain climbers, supine hamstring curls, all types of ab exercises, among countless other things. The only problem is, as small as they are, they’re pricey little buggers. Price Point: You can find these on Amazon for about $30-$40. Budget Trip: 2 words: Furniture Sliders. You can find a set of these at a hardware store, Walmart, Target, etc. for anywhere from $5-$10. Essentially the same thing at a small fraction of the price FTW.
Drawer O’ Fun – You know how you have that junk drawer in the kitchen with everything from batteries and scissors to old buttons and thimbles? Yep, it’s like that, only filled with workout gear. Assorted resistance bands, band loops, a set of ab-wheels, and a jumprope; this drawer is anything but “junk”. It’s the little things that can add just enough extra challenge to your workout, and can help you to get creative in order to avoid stale, boring workouts.
Price Point: The priciest thing in this drawer is the ab-wheels, and those were about $40 new. Budget Tip: Little things like this you can acquire over time, and many times you can find small pieces of equipment like this on Amazon, or in stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Also, if you have any friends who are Athletic Trainers, they may be nice and give you a few band loops to use 😉
Other: We also have a heavy chain that’s about 40 lb. Really its only purpose is to make me feel badass. On a side note, if you get one of these, be careful of rust. What a pain.
My Home Gym Wish List – Although we have a lot, there are still more things I would love to have. I would absolutely love to have battling ropes, although those pose a serious space issue, and I’m not sure I have a great place to use them. Will and I have also thrown around the idea of getting a truck tire (you know, a big one), and a sledge hammer, for some backyard fun. What is more badass than flipping tires in your own backyard? Or hacking away at one with sledge hammer? Nothing at all. If we do get one, I’ll be sure to get some good pictures of me using it, because I’m pretty sure that would provide some serious comic relief.
So there you have it! My home gym in a (2-part) nutshell, and some ideas for creating your own. I would also recommend checking out Alexandra’s post about making her own squat rack (talk about ambitious!), and Juliet’s post about making her own TRX, which is much different than mine, to give you some more ideas.
What else would you include in your home gym? Do you think that it’s necessary to have a lot of equipment? How often do you work out at home or do you prefer the gym?
Have a great weekend everyone! Stay classy.