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Home room into home gym.

Let me start off by saying the generic disclaimer - "The equipment you'll need for a home gym will vary based on your fitness goals and current levels". Alright, now that is out of the way, let's talk about what I suggest for a home gym...

Quick backstory before we get there.

I started J.Gil Fitness with minimal equipment - we're talking resistance bands, agility ladders, jump ropes, and cones for Group Training outdoors at a park. A year later, slam balls and battle ropes were added. This was partially due to not knowing how the brand would take off, partially due to the pain of transporting equipment to/from classes, and partially due to equipment just being freaking expensive. I'm pointing this out, one; so you can better understand my stance on equipment, and two; so you know you can get in an awesome workout with minimal or NO equipment. I'd also like to point out that we have way more equipment now that our Studio is open, and it's super great to have options too.

So, what equipment do I suggest to start a home gym?

  1. Resistance bands - rubber or fabric. Both loop and mini loop bands are minimal hits to the budget, and are so good for added resistance, and so easy to store. Invest in a good set - PerformBetter, Synergee, or Te-Rich to name a few.

  2. Exercise mat - keep that sweat off the carpet, and avoid slipping.

  3. Dumbbells - 1 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy set. Start with a medium to you set, and build your collection as needed. You can always change tempo, number of reps/time under tension, movement pattern/position, or add bands to change it up before needing to add more weights to your collection. But there may come a time after some consistency and progress that these sets need exchanged for heavier sets. Maybe sell those that you're no longer using to make some money back - be a good person and set the price reasonably. Sorry, pandemic flashbacks. Pro tip: weigh your weights - what it says isn't always what it is.

  4. Cardio equipment - cardio is a great option for an active warm up. This equipment almost didn't make the cut. Still contemplating deleting it as I continue to type. Is it required? Absolutely not - head outdoors, hit the stairs, jog in place, the options are endless. But for me, hopping on a treadmill is more appealing that heading outdoors in the Midwest Winter, or tripping over my dog on the stairs. If you're on a budget, save this for later, or never. There are so many awesome warm up/cardio options out there without it.

Now there are so many more items that you could use in your home gym, and maybe should depending on your goals. This list is simply a starting point, and a perfectly great ending point.

And most importantly, go into your home gym with a game plan each and every time. A lot of distractions happen at home so have your workouts planned. Block the time on your calendar, write out your workout, and stay until it is complete (there are always exceptions to rules). Ideally you have a door to shut for some self-care time -- move that body, and crank those tunes. And as a shameless plug, maybe consider hiring an Online Personal Trainer to assist with your journey. I'll write the workouts and keep you accountable, plus my app offers how-to material on every exercise to eliminate the guesswork and get you to optimal results.

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