In 2020, when the world basically blew up, working out from home became the mainstream. We stopped going to work, the the store, to park, and to the gym. Prices on gym equipment hit all time premiums, and honestly, I probably could have sold all my home gym equipment and had enough money for a new car. Dumbbells were selling like hotcakes people.
I, for one, am happy to have most things back to normal; however, one thing I am happy that is here to stay is the resurgence of the home workout! As a gym rat, the gym culture will always have a place in my heart, but nothing beats the convenience of grabbing a couple of dumbbells or bands and sweating it out in the living room, basement, or garage before the kids wake up, or even in between zoom meetings.
I’d be lying if I said my business didn’t take a small dip during 2020. I couldn’t train all my favorite clients (that’s you people!) in person anymore, and had to start either writing programs for them or recommending some trusted resources to help keep them moving along in their fitness journey! Goodness knows, staying healthy was more important than ever and I wanted to support that in any way possible. Now, having shifting into the online coaching space (I know, get with the times Liz) I have more people than ever asking “what do I really need to workout at home!”
More of my clients work out at home over the gym, so naturally a little list of home gym essentials has been passed around for a while now. The honest truth is that what everyone “needs” is a little different and will depend on so many factors
Goal – What are you trying to accomplish? Someone who wants to get their first pull-up will have a different need than someone trying to build that booty.
Time – How long do you have each day or week to devote to training?
Budget – How much money are you willing to invest in a program, equipment, food or supplements.
Space – Do you have a full home gym, or just a little spot in your office or living room?
All of these are factors in determining what type of plan and equipment you need. While every plan and everybody is different there are a few staples that I almost always recommend.
Check them out below
Dumbbells – No matter the weight or style, dumbbells provide endless possibilities for movements, rep ranges, and fun! Having a light pair and a medium to heavy pair is usually enough to get started with a well rounded program. Amazon has a pretty solid selection but I am partial to these bad boys…
Bands – Stretchy, flexy, and oh so portable – bands are a staple for busy, traveling professionals just as much as they are so the stay at home parents with limited space to dedicate to a lot of bulky equipment. Feeling deconditioned and just getting back into working out? Bands are easily accessible and not intimidating. The worst you could probably hurt yourself is having one snap you in the bum (which does hurt btw) A variety of styles, strengths, and colors they are also a fun addition to any home gym.
Bench or Box – While this maybe could be considered an extra, it really comes in handy for modifying exercises like a plank or a pushup, adding some extra range of motion for things like a chest press or step ups and can just add a little variety. But if you had a chair or a coffee table you could probably use those just as well!
If you have some extra space or are really looking to deck out your home gym here are a few extras you might be looking into
Squat Rack – If you are going to do this, I strongly recommend you don’t go cheap on this one. There are plenty of places to save your dollars in a home gym, but having gone through quite a few racks before finally investing in one I love, I can tell you it’s cheaper in the long run to just get the one that will last forever the first time. Plus, you can customize it. Who doesn’t want that?
Barbell – I know there are cheaper ones out there, but trust me a good bar is an investment. Treat it well and it will last you for years. Plus this is named after my home state .. O-H !
Bumper Plates – A good plate, just like a bar will last for years. I prefer rubber bumper plates so I can safely drop them if needed and use them for Olympic lifts as well.
Cardio Equipment – A Rower, bike, treadmill are a nice addition to have but again not totally necessary. A jog around the block will do just as well to warm you up, but if you are an indoor cat like me you may not enjoy the PNW rain and prefer to stay covered and dry.
You may have noticed, I am a bit of a Rogue Fitness fan. Not only do they craft fantastic equipment, but I need all of my stuff to match which is a “me” problem! Amazon, Giant, and Titan also make awesome products, but Rogue being born and bred in OHIO just like me, will always have my heart.
There is so much more that I know many people find helpful in their home gym – stability balls, core sliders, kettlebells, foam rollers, medicine balls, heavy bags, the sky is the limit but as always it comes down to preference, accessibility, budget and what you want!
So tell me, what equipment have you found to be essential for you home fitness journey?
Happy Monday friends,
Let’s get after it this week – xoxo, Liz