Of all the health and fitness myths floating around these days, one of the most over-played, and completely unfounded, is that you absolutely need to belong to a gym to really get in shape. Now, maybe this was the case 20 or 30 years ago, when home workouts were relegated to Cindy Crawford workout tapes and a whole lot of crunches. Nowadays, there are so many tips, tools, and exercises geared towards the at home exerciser, there is no excuse for thinking you need a gym to get fit.
Granted, if you’re training for a strongman or body building competition, you’re gonna need some really heavy weights (and an insane diet) to bulk up…but how many of you fall into this category? If I’ve been hearing you correctly, you primarily want to maximize your fat loss, add lean muscle mass in all the right places, and generally transform yourself into a lean, mean, athletic machine? Sound about right?
So check this out, not only am I going to show you how to turn your place into the ultimate training zone, I’m going to show you how you can actually save money in the process. For the person already paying for a gym membership, I’ll assume you’re paying the national average of $55 per month. For discussion purposes, we won’t even calculate the expense of gas to and from your gym or the value of your wasted time in the car. Using that figure, you’re looking at $660 per year. Some of you may pay less, some more, but the bottom line is, I’m going to show you how you can completely eliminate the monthly cost of a gym and create a cost-effective home workout wonderland with the money you’ve saved.
Of course, there may be a lot of you with less money to spend, and that’s just fine too. I’ve got several home gym options for all budgets, so stick with us, and you’ll no doubt find something that works for you.
The Equipment You Need for the Ultimate Home Gym
Remember above, we said our ultimate goal was to increase fat burning potential, build muscle mass, and generally develop the body and health of a high-caliber athlete. Well, the pieces of equipment I’m laying out achieve those goals. With these core pieces of equipment you’re going to be able to unlock a wide range of high-intensity workouts that burn calories, target multiple muscle groups, and spike your metabolism. Forget about cardio vs. weight days for a minute. These pieces of equipment provide best of both worlds; giving you the challenge you need to your jump start your total body transformation.
If you’ve got the space for exercise ropes (about 30 feet), this is perhaps the ultimate home workout tool. These ropes are so versatile – you can easily target almost every muscle group in your upper body, while giving yourself a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping, cardiovascular workout. By using a variety of different arm movements or swings, you’ll effectively burn out major muscles groups and shred through fat. Purchase price: $80.
Now, I realize a lot of you don’t have the space for this in your yard or house. For those that don’t, another great option would be….
A heavy bag is the ultimate option for those wanting to increase their strength and endurance, while building that lean and defined physique. Similar to exercise ropes, a heavy bag will allow you to fatigue the muscles in your upper body, while providing an all-around awesome cardiovascular challenge. We’ve touted the benefits of heavy bag training in the past, as seen here in this intense boxing workout (please ignore our cheesy title). Purchase price: $75.
Water jugs? Huh? That’s right – water jugs. Like the kind a lot of you gather around to discuss the latest reality TV happenings. The big multi-gallon water cooler jugs are quite possibly the greatest piece of home-made workout equipment you’ll ever encounter…hell, even the small ones are effective. Forget spending hundreds or even thousands on a kettlebell set. Water jugs can easily be filled with varying amounts of water to increase/decrease weight per exercise, provide identical benefits of kettlebell or weight training, and bring an added dimension of difficulty; stabilizing the jug as the water sloshes around inside. This combination provides a serious muscle-sculpting burn session that will change how you look at weight training forever. Check out a detailed description about water jug training and see how they’ll instantly increase the difficulty (and effectiveness) of you’re at home workout forever. Purchase price: $15.
A classic. The jump rope is an amazing piece of equipment that is often overlooked for reasons unknown. The jump rope is a must for any serious home gym. Working well on its own or when combined with resistance movements in circuit format, the jump rope is sure to get your heart-pumping and calories burning. The plyometric nature of jumping rope provides the additional muscle building benefits for your lower body. Purchase price: $~7.
A strong core is a necessity for anyone seeking a well-rounded and healthy body. Forget endless sit ups or boring planks. Get yourself an ab wheel, throw in some weighted crunches using your handy-dandy water jugs, and you’ve got yourself one killer core workout. Try an ab wheel for the first time and be prepared for some serious soreness to follow. It hurts so good, you just know you’re doing your body a favor by incorporating this piece of equipment into your home gym. Try ab wheeling on and off for 30 second intervals….make it more than 10 minutes with out crying for your momma and I’ll be really impressed. Purchase price: $~10.
Again, forget about expensive weights and use one of your best at home workout friends; water. If you have no clue what a slosh pipe is, check out this very helpful YouTube clip about how to make one in less than five minutes. With a slosh pipe, the sky is the limit. Deadlifts, clean and presses, bent over rows….all of the big power lifts you “need a gym for” from the comfort of your own home. Use a slosh pipe just as you would a barbell, adjusting the water level as needed. Consider using sand and/or rocks if you want to create a heavier pipe. I would shoot for a 2″ thick PVC pipe so you’re sure you’re able to get a good grip on it…..remember, you can’t lift what you can’t grip. Purchase price: $15.
Here’s another do-it-yourself project that won’t take more than 10 minutes of your time to build, but will provide a killer total body challenge. Since we’re training to look and feel like an athlete, why not take a page from some of the most fit athletes on Earth; gymnasts. Using parallette bars, you’ll instantly unlock a wide array of resistance exercises and static-hold combinations that will leave you shaking like a leaf in the wind. You’ll soon realize how effective this piece of at home workout equipment is at helping you build a strong, tight core and defined muscles across your body. Here’s another handy video showing you just how easy it is to build your own. Purchase price: $15.
The Cost of an at Home Gym
There are of course a hundred and one other home workout tools that can be created. Anything from suspended pull up
“bars” (baseballs at the end of chains) to TRX-esque suspension cables are easily do-able with a little internet surfing and a quick trip to a hardware store. These six (or seven, depending on how you look at it) pieces of equipment are what I consider to be the ultimate tools necessary to build an effective home workout zone. All of the above could be purchased and/or made for less than $250. When compared to your monthly gym membership, it should be clear a home gym is actually quite cost-effective.
If you didn’t know it was this easy, I can’t blame you. For years, the at home exercise industry has been pushing us their relatively limited products that often cost hundreds of even thousands of dollars. A little ingenuity, a good plan, and a healthy dose of determination are ALL you need to not only get in shape, but completely transform your body like you never thought possible.
Taking Your At Home Gym to the Next Level
If the idea of an at home gym sounds appealing to you, but you just aren’t sure if you’ll know how to vary your workouts enough with the limited pieces of equipment available to you, I’ve got something else to fill you in on. Here at Share It Fitness, we’ve been working on something called FitPlan. FitPlan is your daily personal training tool. We give you video workouts, text workouts, and whatever else you need to help you reach your goals. Each FitPlan is completely customized to you and your goals. As your abilities improve, the algorithm-based FitPlan delivers harder workouts to make sure you’re always making progress. What’s important here, is FitPlan is completely customized for the gym OR at home exerciser. If you’re only looking for workouts that you can do with what is available to you, FitPlan has you covered. There is no more guessing, no more hoping you’re doing the right thing. This kind of custom coaching is something that is often not available to the at home exerciser, but now it is. If you like the sounds of this, head on over to our full site and get on the waiting list for your own FitPlan. We’ll be launching in May and for a limited time are offering 50% discounts to anyone who gets on the early sign-up list…so don’t wait!
Continue checking back as we’re going to start featuring at home workouts with some of the equipment listed above over the course of the next couple of weeks. With everything we’ve gone over today, you should be well on your way to creating an amazing home gym and building the body and health to prove it!