Gym memberships in Australia are expensive, and you often end up paying for equipment and facilities that you don’t actually use. A good way to get around this while still being able to work out is to set up a gym at home. Having your own gym equipment means you can work out any time, and only get gear and equipment that you will actually use. In the long term you can save a lot of money!
High intensity training
High intensity interval training is a very popular fitness strategy, as it enables you to burn a lot of fat (and build some muscle) in a shorter overall workout time. A lot of people think that you need to go to a gym and pay for expensive classes to get involved in HIIT training, but with the right gear at home that isn’t true.
Boxing is excellent training for upper body strength, fitness and weight loss, so a punching bag and pair of boxing gloves are a great investment if you want to do this kind of training at home. You will be surprised at how quickly your shoulders will start to burn as you get started, but if you follow a good workout plan you will be channelling your inner Rocky in no time.
If you have a bit of cash to spend then you can’t beat a rowing machine for a lung-busting session that will get your heart rate skyrocketing. You can do higher intensity sessions designed to get your heart rate up and build some muscle, as well as longer, lighter sets to improve your endurance and stamina – and in fact a mix of both in a week will give you the best results.
Kettlebells are also excellent for this kind of training, as you can work on your strength and fitness at the same time with a full body workout. You also don’t need a lot of equipment – just a few kettlebells with increasing weight to move to as you get stronger!
Of course you will also do bodyweight work for HIIT training, mainly core exercises but also incorporating push-ups and various leg movements. You don’t need equipment for these, however, as you can just spread out a towel and do them on your floor.
Cardio training at home can be very simple – just go for a run. If, however, you don’t like running, the weather often isn’t suitable (too hot or too wet), or you live in a dangerous area, then you can set up some cardio equipment easily at home.
An exercise bike or a treadmill is an easy way to do long distance training inside – and you can watch TV while you do it! The bike option also lets you do moderate to intense exercise sessions without putting the pressure on your knee and ankle joints that you get running.
A rowing machine can also be used for endurance training, as mentioned above. If you are into full body endurance sessions, a cross-trainer is excellent for toning your whole body with minimal impact on your joints.
Swimming and regular bike riding are also excellent for cardio training, and you don’t need to join a gym for them (for swimming you will need to live near a public pool or beach). You also can’t really put an Olympic swimming pool in your house, however, or a bike path.
Weight training is crucial for building muscle, and people often think you need to go to a gym to do it. Unless you want to be an Olympic powerlifter, however, that isn’t true. While a gym will often have specialised equipment that targets specific muscles, you can get the same effect (and also help your stabilising muscles) with free weights.
Just grab yourself a set of dumbbells, a bar and some weights for the bar and you have most of what you need for a serious lifting session. If you throw in a bench as well you can do virtually any movement you would do in an expensive gym.
With all of that equipment you are perfectly set up to both build muscle and burn fat. You can use the dumbbells to target specific muscles, while the bar weights will let you put your whole body into compound movements to get your heart beating and big muscles working.
Exercises like a clean and press use virtually every muscle in your body, while deadlifts and squats let your legs take on all the weight they can handle in a heavy load, as well as forcing you to use your core for stability.
So there you are – all of the equipment you need to set up your very own home gym, no matter what kind of training you are into! For the greatest health benefits a mix of all three workouts is recommended, but if you can’t afford all that gear (or fit it in your garage) then HIIT style exercises will strike a good middle ground between cardio and weights focussed regimens – and help you lose weight.