STOP! Put down the credit card and pen! Don’t get a gym membership! A lot of people this time of year buy gym memberships as part of a new years resolution. I GUARANTEE you’re wasting your money. Gym owners love people who sign up for the gym and only use their membership for the month of January. Because they make a boatload of money off of your failure. Save your money! Use the month of January to take advantage of deals on workout equipment. You only need a couple of items to do full body workouts at home.
I have nothing against gyms. However, most people don’t need all of that equipment to workout. I would say the gym is a positive if you need the social component to your workouts. I found gyms to take too much time. Think about it. You have to drive there, change, workout (and get interrupted by people using the equipment you want), shower, change and drive home. I also found a lot of people attempt to socialize when I just want to get in the zone. I prefer working out at home. It saves me time. You can do it whenever you want. With only a few things, you can get in shape. Here are the basic items I use at home for a great workout:
- Dumbbells (with flat sides)
- Workout mat
- Jump Rope
- Workout gloves
- Workout shoes
See, nothing fancy. On my hard days I can burn up to 600-700 calories with just these things. All of these things can be purchased at a discount.
I use 15 pound weights for my workouts. This is a challenging weight for me.
For the dumbbells, buy a decent size. Ladies, that means buying at least a set of 10lb dumbbells. I’m talking to the ladies here because we have a habit of buying those ugly pink 2lb things thinking that we are “toning” and not bulking up. Get a grip! Building muscle will help you burn more calories. Screw the toning crap! (Steps off soapbox). The dumbbells should be heavy enough that you get to the last two reps and they are hard. The flat sides are necessary if you want to use the dumbbells for things like push-ups.
A kettlebell should be at least 20lbs. You can do a lot of great exercises with a kettlebell. I use mine a lot. If you have knee issues, a kettlebell swing can help build your butt without wrecking your knees.
The workout mat is self-explanatory. If you have good carpet, you may not even need this.
The jump rope is my go-to cardio equipment. They turn a workout with weights into a high intensity interval training. You don’t need a fancy rope. You don’t need to learn complicated moves. Doesn’t even hurt my knees. That’s because you are bouncing lightly.
A set of workout gloves will help keep your hands from turning into a callused mess. They also improve the grip on dumbbells and other workout equipment. These you can get on sale at most sporting goods store. Make sure they fit snugly and have some padding in the palm.
Finally, here is what I believe you need to spend your money on, workout shoes. Whatever you do, don’t go cheap. Cheap shoes wear out faster and don’t provide what you need. Buy the type of shoes for the main type of workout you do. If you like to run, buy running shoes. If you like to walk, buy walking shoes. If you like high intensity interval training, buy shoes for that. Shoes are specifically designed to do the activity. I have walking shoes for walking, and cross trainers for my hard workouts. It makes a difference. Cheap shoes can lead to another thing: injury. Especially if you are older, cheap shoes can wreck your body. A good pair of shoes will protect your feet and joints.
There you have it, a set of workout equipment that is way less expensive than a gym membership. These items don’t take up much room, but are great for someone just starting out or for the advanced workout fanatic. These are the items I use every single time I workout. The only thing I didn’t include was the pull-up bar, but there are many of those you can add to your home for not much money. We have a full squat rack that also works as a pull-up station.