If you follow me on my social media accounts, you’ve probably already noticed that I’m currently on a workout hype. My behavior lies on both ends of the spectrum – on either extremes. It’s either a NO or GO for me. Sometimes I get really down and not workout for weeks. But there are days that I live and breathe working out. Right now, I’m in the second mode. I always share my workouts on my social media accounts because I know how it feels to be so clueless about exercises. I once started that way, too, even ignoring the dumbbells as much as I could for fear of looking muscular because then I didn’t know better (more on this later). I’m also not a very secretive person. In fact, I’d like to believe I’m the complete opposite. I like sharing stuff with others because.. well, I’m not sure why, but it’s in my nature.
Anyway, I’ve already posted several workout programs on my blog yet I never focus too much on equipment. And it’s so odd that I never realized this until Rae, a fellow blogger and friend, pointed it out to me. I mean, really, Bae? You blog about exercises but not what you actually use when exercising?
So to make up for that, I’m writing this blog post! *throws confetti*
Disclaimer: Let’s keep this on a personal level since I know most of my readers are not extreme gym goers. In fact, let’s tackle equipment that you can use at home. Now, you’ll have one less excuse for ditching that “Home Workout” video on YouTube. 😉
Okay. So, working out. Not the most exciting word we hear, right? I believe exercising has two completely different effects on people.
- You feel like dying.
- You feel reborn.
Either way, I really encourage you to workout, not for the physique but because you love your body and you want to take care of it. A “hot body” (what does that even mean, anyway?!) can only give you so much happiness. Take is as a bonus of your hard work, not your end goal. Your goal is to be fit and healthy as you can be, every day, consistently, as much as you can. Should you build nice abs with that strong core or sexy triceps with those abled arms, then great! You just had that cherry (physique) on top of your sundae (fit and healthy body).
Am I making sense here? I really hope to God I do because this is something I want you all to understand.
Anyway, I think that’s enough talk about physique and whatnot. Let’s focus on keeping your body fit and your mind alert (plot twist, working out is a brain exercise, too).
Granted that you:
a) don’t have time to go to the gym
b) work long hours
c) are shy to enroll in a gym and work out with strangers
d) live on a tight budget
e) don’t feel comfortable with the whole gym vibe (you don’t like people)
f) don’t know what to do/how to start
g) all of the above,
but really want to workout, don’t worry, I got you covered.
So first things first. Do you really need to buy gym equipment if you just want to workout at home?
Well, to be completely honest, no. Numerous “no equipment workout” videos on YouTube can attest to that. It’s not mandatory, but it would be really helpful if you do. You can only do too many exercises when you’re using your own body. Throw in a dumbbell and you can do twice as many exercises. Not everyone will think this way, but I consider gym equipment as investments. Why?
- You don’t need to keep going to the gym just to work out (my main reason for buying gym equipment).
- They’re basically just lying around, waiting to be used.
- You can use them anytime you want.
- You can use them for a really long time (provided the quality is good).
- They’re one-time purchases (refer to #1).
The (Gym) Shopping List
I’d like to think I’ve partially convinced you by now to invest in gym equipment. Or hopefully, I’m getting there. Either way, here are some things you should consider purchasing if you’re planning to just workout at home.
Note: I’m targeting readers that belong in the middle-class category, meaning they (or you) can actually afford to buy these equipment. Otherwise, I have alternative equipment for you in my next blog post.
This may not exactly be a gym equipment, but it will really come in handy if you don’t want to lie on dirty floors. Your mat will really come useful once you start working on your core exercises. On days that you don’t feel like doing anything extreme, you can turn to a relaxing sweat session like yoga or pilates. Get a mat that’s easy to clean and maintain. Some mats come in cheap quality that after a few uses, the material would easily rub off. Make sure to spray off your mat with a clean towel and water after every use to keep off the sweat and funky smell. Store your mat where it won’t easily catch dust. You don’t want to inhale dirt while doing your push ups, do you?
Related: How To Choose A Yoga Mat | WikiHow
Some workouts to try:
I don’t personally own any resistance band but I realized that whenever I search for a specific program, say, I want an infographic on an entire leg workout, I often come across resistance band in one or two of the exercises given, so I thought I’d just add this equipment on the list. The resistance band is a good alternative for dumbbells in some certain exercises. It gives your body more tension, which is then compelled to work harder. The power of the Internet will allow you to look up different programs where you can use a resistance band, although I already looked up some for you. See below.
Some workouts to try:
This one’s a no-brainer. You can easily use a jump rope to do your cardio. And guess what, you can do this every single day since it’s just cardio. It’s not going to leave you with sore muscles or an aching body. Performing jump ropes helps you improve your body’s rhythm and your “feet and arms” coordination. While jumping rope is not as intense as doing HIIT, it’s still a good start if you want to pump up your heart and feel that burn. It will surely have you heaving in no time (but in a good way). If you’re not used to jumping ropes, maybe start little. You can start with 20 jumps, rest a little, and do another 20 until you reach 100 jumps.
Related: Choosing Your Ropes
I could do as much as 1,000 jump ropes before but since I’m no longer as physically active, I cut it back to 500 jumps. Afterward, that’s when I do my weights. You can do this every day or 3 times a week. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try more challenging moves like what @mzjourneytobefit does!
You can try: The Perfect Beginner Jump Rope
As knight in shining armors would say in cliché movies, “Pick someone your own size!” No, really. Pick a pair of dumbbells that fit your built. I say pair because they usually come in twos. But, of course, you can buy just one if you’re okay with that. If you’re a beginner and you’ve never worked out a day in your life, go for something light. Been working out for years but thinking of investing in gym equipment for your home workouts? Then go for your usual weight. As always, leave your ego out the door and don’t jeopardize your form for mere appearance. Anyway, who are you trying to impress when you’re just working out at home? I’m pretty sure you have no audience there except for your walls and windows.
Related: Leave Your Ego Outside The Gym
Dumbbells are the most basic gym equipment you can purchase. It takes weeks, even months, for your body to get used to a certain weight, so don’t be proud to be lifting something that’s even two pounds more than you can really handle. Go for something that you can use for a long time. Especially since you’re not really training for any competition, you can stick to a certain weight for a prolonged period.
Hint: it might even take you as much as one year to go a weight higher. For example, if you only exercise once a week, it can take you as much as 6 months to accelerate from a 5 lbs. dumbbell to 10 lbs.
Dumbbells vary in prices per weight. The heavier you go, the higher the price will be. For example, a 10-lbs. dumbbell can cost you Php 500 per hand while a 2-lbs. dumbbell is only Php 160. But don’t cut back on the weight just because you have a budget to follow. Think about your health. You’re investing on a 5 to 10-lbs. equipment for your own benefit.. and for a lifetime! You’d think PH 1,000 is expensive for gym equipment, but a hospital bill is much more expensive, don’t you think?
Now, this is the part where I rave all about kettlebells. If I’m not mistaken, it poses a “hate it or love it” appearance. Either you love it so much you can’t get enough of it or you hate it so much the mere sight of it makes you roll your eyes (or makes you sigh in despair). Kettlebells are an absolute pain in the butt, no questions asked, but that’s also why some people freaking love it! They love the hype it brings. It really challenges you to push beyond your limits. Even the lightest kettlebell can feel heavy once you use it for hours on end.
Invest in a kettlebell because it will help you accomplish so much. For one, it’s a good start with HIIT programs. A kettlebell tests your strength while allowing you to lose weight by making you sweat a lot. Its exercises involve slow- to normal-paced movements that require your entire body’s strength. And the more you exert effort and tension, the more you sweat, no matter how slow you’re moving. Get it?
If you’re going to ask me, start with 10 pounds (provided you carry a 5-lbs. dumbbell for starters: this is just for reference). Kettlebells are really supposed to be heavy, so don’t worry about that. Anyway, kettlebells require big movements, so you’ll be using your entire body to perform those exercises. I have a 15-pound kettlebell (you don’t need a pair) at home and I personally use it sometimes as a substitute for my dumbbell, which is too light for some exercises like back rows. I love using my kettlebell when 1) I want to get really tired, 2) I want to perform a strenuous workout, and 3) I want to test my physical strength.
Don’t be intimidated by the kettlebell. Once you get the hang of it, it can be an absolute addiction. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
So that’s it! I hope you learned a thing or two from this blog post. I know it’s a bit lengthy, but I hope you found it helpful and informative. I made this list from my personal preference. I like strength training so I focused on gym equipment that I already have and use, and some that would be helpful for one who’s looking to working out at home.
I have other fitness-related blog posts in the works, so hang in there!
Disclaimer: I do enjoy working out; I love the adrenaline, the power, and the mental kick it brings, but it’s still smarter to look up articles by fitness experts if you’re planning to buy some of the equipment on the list. I’ve already included some links that I believe would help you kickstart (or continue) your fitness journey, but if they’re still not enough for you, by all means, take advantage of the Internet and do more research! 🙂