Through the chaos of the last couple of years, more people than ever are finding the value in having a home gym. So many are working from home, and with family and other commitments, getting rid of the gym commute time can ensure you always have time to get in your workouts in your own space, around your schedule.
Home Strength Training Equipment
Bodyweight, yoga and pilates workouts are easy to achieve at home, but strength training can require a bit more space and equipment to still get in a solid session without a full gym. It’s easy to go overboard and think you need a fully tricked-out home gym like Dwayne Johnson, but you can get a solid full-body training plan done with some multi-purpose essentials.
- Kettlebells – This is one of the most efficient pieces of strength equipment and is available in weight options that suit your ability level or as an all-in-one adjustable weight. Kettlebell workouts are great for home use, provided you have a space to safely swing the bell around without damaging anything! You can get a full-body strength workout in with just kettlebells or use them as part of a larger training program. The efficiency that the combination of strength and cardio kettlebells provides also means you can get an effective training session without committing to a large amount of time.
- Adjustable Dumbbells – A good set of adjustable dumbbells is an essential part of a good home gym setup. Rather than having to have space for multiple weights, it’s just one stand and one pair of weights with so many options. While the initial cost is higher than buying a couple of pairs of standard dumbbells, you won’t have to worry about constantly purchasing more as you get stronger or figuring out where to store all your weights.
- TRX Straps – TRX Suspension Trainer straps are one of the most home- and travel-friendly pieces of equipment available. There are countless online resources that show you how to strengthen your body head to toe. The beauty of the TRX straps lies in their simplicity — they have over-the-door as well as ceiling mounts and can be thrown over a sturdy tree branch or park equipment. Because the resistance is provided with your body weight, the moves can be made easier or more challenging by changing the angle of your body as you get stronger, and every movement involves core stability and balance.
- Squat Rack – If you have the space and you are a heavy lifter, a squat rack at home can be the most important piece to get a solid strength training program in without going to the gym. With the multitude of options — from wall-mounted foldable racks to freestanding racks to large indoor/outdoor rigs — there is sure to be a model that suits your space. Most companies offer garage gym starter packs that include your rack, barbell and a weight set, which you can build upon as needed. Local Austin manufacturer Fringe Sport has great home gym packages, and Texas Garage Gym Builders can do custom installations and help get you the perfect equipment and storage for your space.
Home Strength Training Programming
Once you’ve got your equipment and space ready to rock, the next hurdle is your programming. Not everyone can or wants to design their own strength training program, and it can certainly make it easier to get it in if you have a program to follow.
- Online Trainers – Many trainers, both local and not, offer options for online training programs. Depending on your needs and how you work best, you can hire a trainer to do the session one-on-one with you via Zoom or similar, or you can hire a trainer to provide you with a self-paced training program to follow on your own. Any good trainer will offer support and guidance, track your progress and be available to answer questions, check your form and provide feedback.
- App Training – If you’re looking for the simplicity of on-demand training, there are many apps available to help you get started with strength training at home. From big names like Peloton that offer subscription-based training (including strength workouts!) to more focused programming with online communities like Starting Strength, Stronger by the Day and Street Parking, there are endless resources to find a training program that works for your preferred workout style, with your equipment, and that you enjoy.
Fitness is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, and the fewer hurdles you have to overcome, the more likely you are to be successful long-term. A home gym allows you to get your strength training in without a commute, the annoyance of the equipment you need already being used at the gym and the ease of being to hop onto a Zoom meeting afterward without worrying if you remembered that deodorant. With a small investment in equipment, you can have a lifetime of workouts without leaving the house.
About the Author
Sarah Leahy is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin, certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Leahy’s passion for strength extends to your business, with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services.