Over the years on my personal journey on the Road to Gainzville, I’ve accumulated several pieces of workout equipment. I’ve purchased a couple kettle-bells, three pairs of dumbbells, multiple jump ropes, a pull-up par, a set of the perfect push-up sliders, two foam rollers, a small ball for rolling out, three yoga mats, a pair of weightlifting gloves…none of this is counting the gear I use for long-runs such as knee sleeves and running belts, of which I’ve several. Despite my affinity for buying equipment with a specific purpose, if you’re in the market to build the “ultimate” home gym, I’m going to tell you the three (only three!!!) pieces of equipment I think you should purchase.
Please note-I’m not currently sponsored by any company nor is anyone paying me to state this. If you truly want to build the ultimate gym at home (and this is information I’ve relayed to every single client that’s ever asked me this exact question), I believe the goal should be maximize function and allow you to work out every part of your body. There’s no need for significant variety in equipment so long as you can achieve variance in the number of exercises you can perform and the number of muscles you can target. In the opinion of this particular certified personal trainer, if you want to build the ultimate home gym for approximately $150 USD, you only need to purchase the following pieces of equipment, and I’m here to tell you how you can leverage each of these tools to maximize gainz while minimizing the impact to your wallet:
- TRX Suspension Trainer
- Jump rope
- Quality foam roller
A TRX trainer allows you to target every muscle in your body so long as you’re willing to get creative. I vehemently sing the praises of bodyweight training as typically these exercises can be performed more frequently and safely than training with weights, and I’ve always figured you can do chin-ups while focusing on the negative as opposed to performing exercises like dumbbell curls. As long as you have a sturdy doorframe, a TRX trainer is the only piece of resistance-training equipment you need. Why haven’t I picked one up yet for use at home, you may ask? $$$$. Already bought all the other stuff and IT WAS FOOLISH. Should’ve spent $150 one time instead of $30-$40 multiple times. Lesson learned.
A jump rope is your piece of cardio equipment, as using one will surely cause your heart rate to spike. We’ve all seen montages of boxers/professional athletes using jump ropes insanely fast and in wildly inventive ways-while these are certainly advanced maneuvers, so long as you’re able to jump safely you can adjust the intensity to your skill and comfort level. You can perform marathon sessions or quick spurts of high intensity exercise and the only thing you need to do is go outside or into a garage. For around $10, I’d say that’s an efficient use of time and cash.
A quality foam roller contains a variety of widths/indentations/protrusions in order massage each muscle it’s used on in-depth. Think of a foam-roller with indentations versus a solid flat roller akin to the difference between massaging with the palm of your hand versus with your thumb-not only can you exert more force with the smaller surface area, but you can reach places you otherwise would be unable to. If you want to train for longevity and improve strength and flexibility, I’d recommend incorporating a foam-roller into your daily warm up.
The point of this post is not to encourage you to go out and buy these specific products (since I only own two of three aforementioned and again, no one is compensating me for any of these recommendations), but to cut through the noise and demonstrate you can build a home gym for full-body resistance training, high-intensity (or moderate) cardiovascular exercise as well as stretching and flexibility for a relatively low price. As long as there’s a will, there’s a way. More often than not people are just trying to sell you gimmicky equipment to try and make a quick buck, but there’s no substitute for time and effort when it comes to traversing the Road to Gainzville. What do you have in your home-gym? What equipment have you found to be useful or useless? Let me know in the comments!