I’ve never been one to work out in my own home. I’ve tried it, I’ve failed. But with the current circumstances, I’m forcing myself to get off the couch and still get in a workout. If I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll not only be back to my BEFORE photo from my TRIM Bootcamp transformation, but I’ll also just feel blah. With the heavy 24-hour news cycle, a good workout is good for your mental health just as much for your heart.
I am still following TRIM Bootcamp which means I’m doing a mix of HIIT and strength training. I’m thankful for a small apartment gym that has a few good basics. But sometimes I also like to get a decent workout in my own living room for any HIIT and body weight exercise workouts. There are a few things you can have on hand to get in a good workout to build lean muscle, strength and get that heart rate up. Plus, there are some great programs out there to follow. In addition to TRIM workouts, I also recently tried ClassPass’ video classes too. The yoga one was great and I plan on doing a LOT more of them!
Whether you’re building a small home gym in your tiny studio apartment, or have the luxury of additional space with a garage gym, these are some of the home gym equipment essentials to get for a great workout.
Home Gym Essentials Checklist
It’s important to get your heart rate up for some of your workouts. Especially those HIIT ones. A jump rope is SUCH a great workout, especially if you can master double-unders (raises hand, I crush some double-unders). This takes up no space at all and something you can do for a quick cardio workout.
8 and 15 Lb Weights
These are two great weights to have on hand to do most of a full-body workout. If you’re in between these 2 for certain movements, you can easily modify the move to still get the workout in. Or, cut the heavier weight in half by using one but with both hands.
Heavier Set Of Weights
Choose at your discretion, but a 25lb weight set can also be beneficial if you’re lifting a little heavier. Plus, it’s great for deadlifts (use both!). Or again, use one of the heavier, with both arms to cut the weight down. Either way, investing in a few free weights to have will help maximize your workouts. These adjustable free weights are great to have and you can adjust the weight with the various plates they come with.
A really easy tool for a full body workout. From arms, to legs, butt and abs, resistance bands can help you do it all. Plus, these are great to bring with you while you travel since they take up barely any space. You can also do booty bands that aren’t as resistant but can make your free weights work even more by adding additional resistance on specific movements.
Items You Already Have
There are also a few things you can use that you probably already have in your house for a workout. A chair is great for step ups or dips and even Bulgarian split squats (killer butt workout). Stairs work for sprints and the wall is ideal for a good lower body burn with a wall sit.
There’s just something about doing push ups on a rug that I’m not okay with it. Having a mat is very helpful if you plan on doing any sort of yoga at home. And if you don’t have any carpet around, it can be really helpful for any ab work, hip raises and so on. I swear by my Lululemon mat that’s a tad on the more expensive side. But it’s great if you do hot yoga ever. If not, a more affordable option works just fine for workouts.
More Gym Essentials
If you’ve got additional space, you can definitely add in a few other things for a more well-rounded at home gym. From being able to have your own cardio equipment to adjustable benches and racks. These are a few things to invest in so you’ll never have to pay for a gym membership again.
I’m a big fan of a rowing machine and think they’re the perfect cardio equipment for a gym. They don’t take up a ton of space and can be stored vertically. If you’ve never done a rowing machine workout, get ready for a butt kicking. They are INTENSE. Such a great workout and easy to do in a short amount of time. They don’t even require a power chord. You can also invest in a small treadmill like this one, or even a Peleton. How I wish I had space for that!
Having an adjustable bench can be great for doing a ton of different movements. From bench presses, Bulgarian split squats, step ups and more. It’s a much more stable piece of equipment than trying to do these things on a chair at home.
I love a medicine ball for a few great core exercises. And even some arm movements too. From v-ups, to crunches, slams, and even weighted supermans. There are even a few full body workouts you can do with a weighted medicine ball. This article has tons of ideas! Medicine balls can be a fun workout and something new and different than just dumbbells.
For an amazing home garage gym, I would 100% invest in a squat rack with bumper plates. As a former CrossFitter, I do love great Olympic weight lifting this way. I was surprised to find these are not super expensive and not only can you do a bunch of your Olympic weight lifting, but you can also get in some pull-ups with this under $200 squat rack with a pull up bar. Plus, all your go to lifts like front and back squats, presses and more. You’ll need to invest in some weight plates but I think if you’re serious about a home gym, this would definitely be the way to complete it.
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If you’re interested in joining TRIM Bootcamp, this is a program I swear by that’s helped to get me eating well (and deliciously!) and getting my body looking and feeling its best ever. Take $10 off with code AID for this 8 week program. It comes with 800+ recipes, weekly workouts and more.
Photo by Hannah Lozano
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