Since Fall 2018, we’ve been training Monterey Bay residents in their home and offices. One of the questions that pop up the most is “What workout equipment do I need to buy?” While our clients don’t have to purchase anything specific to get started (we bring all the necessary equipment for each session), here is a list of our own 5 must-haves when it comes to setting up a gym in your home.
If you do have running shoes that are in good shape, by all means, use those to workout. But if you plan on doing mostly indoor workouts, a good pair of cross-trainers is a minimum. While running shoes are designed for heel-to-toe motion, cross trainers are made for all sorts of aerobics and provide the support and cushioning needed for side-to-side movement. Prices vary a lot depending on the brand, but you should be able to get a great pair under $90.
Resistance Bands ($20-$50)
Unless you have a full room dedicated to your gym with lots of space to install machines, weights and heavy equipment, you’re going to have to get creative. And there is nothing like resistance bands to give you a full-body workout that fits in a tiny bag! We are in love with the OlarHike 13 piece Kit because it’s super versatile – especially with the door anchor and ankle straps! We use the resistance bands especially for upper body workouts (arms, shoulders, core, back) and take them with us everywhere. It’s perfect for strength workouts, rehab exercises and prehab workouts too. A good buy at only $23.
Stability Ball ($15-$35)
The Queen of all fitness accessories is, according to us, the stability ball! You can simply do so, so much with it, it’s ridiculous! Core, Hamstring Curls, Pilates, Decline Push-Ups, Back Extensions, and the list goes on and on! If you need a stronger core and better balance, get a stability ball (also called swissball) and get to work!
What stability ball size should I pick ?
It all depends on your height. You are 5′ and under? Get a 45 cm ball. If you are between 5′ and 5’5, you should get a 55 cm ball. For our folks out there who are 5’5 and taller, get a 65 cm.
The Dynapro Ball is professional grade therefore it is puncture resistant. You can get one from $18 to $30 depending on the size.
When it comes to getting fitter, whether you want to simply get “toned”, “strong”, or “jacked”, there are a few principles to keep in mind : overload and specificity. If you wish to get big biceps, you will have to work that specific area of your body – but how? Well, the good ol’ bicep curls work quite well (along with many other exercises too). But if you try doing bicep curls with the same 5 lbs weights you’ve had for 10 years, chances are you’re not going to get much stronger than you already are. You need to gradually overload your bicep in order for your muscle to adapt and get stronger. That means getting heavier weights, slowing doing your negative reps, increasing your reps, etc.
How do I choose the right dumbbells for me?
That’s a really good question! It all depends on how much you can handle in the moment. Don’t go out and buy a pair of 40 lbs dumbbells if you haven’t worked out in a while.
The Neoprene Dumbbell Pairs by Day 1 Fitness are a good start if you only need a few dumbbells. Start off with a pair of 3 lbs, 5lbs and 8lbs if you’re just beginning and move up as you get stronger. If you are super serious about your workout plan and know you will keep up with your regimen all year long and much more, get the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells ($300). They are great and allow you to gradually change resistance with time without cluttering your home with different sets.
Foam Roller ($20-$90)
The #1 largely underestimated component of fitness is flexibility. Why? Most likely because by the time we’ve done our cardio and strength/endurance training, we’re just tired and want to shower and move on with our busy schedule. The problem is, if you’re into exercising to live longer and better, flexibility is something you can’t just ignore. From helping with injuries, pain, posture and performance, a foam rollers can go a long way while increasing your flexibility. Super easy to use, they’re incredibly helpful, aid muscle recovery and pain relief. A smooth surface will be better if you’re just starting your fitness journey while an indented one will provide for a deep tissue massage feeling – watch out! It is quite intense! Start off smoothly the first few weeks.
For beginners, check out the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller ($20).
When you’re ready to graduate to a deeper massage, check out the RumbleRoller ($65)
This is not an exhaustive list and definitely not prescriptive. You can get a really great workout at home with very little equipment – usually what you already have in your home. The key is having a structured program that is tailored to your specific needs. That program should always be designed by a professional who knows your health and fitness and who can make adjustments along the way. If you would like us to create your customized program at home with the equipment you already have, send us an email or schedule an assessment. It’s always free of charge!
We have a few spots available for personal training in Marina, Seaside, Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove.
Book your Health and Fitness Assessment to know precisely where you’re starting from and draft personalized goals and strategies.
Prioritize your own well-being even, for an hour or two. It will make you so much more of a better and happier parent, friend, colleague.
The good thing is that you don’t have to get to the gym or go anywhere. Your personal trainer comes to your office or home for maximum convenience!