At this point, most of you know that I’ve been working to get in shape with the support of other friends online known as the Shreadheads. In fact, many of us recently finished our first 5K races. (My official time was 32:43.) I’m going to be spending the next few months ramping up for a 10K! The last time I ran more than 3 miles was, well, never. That 5K was seriously the furthest I’ve ever run so a 10K seems absolutely crazy. But, I digress.
A fellow Shredhead asked about what others had in their home gyms, so I promised to post some pics of my setup, which is by no means stellar but does a good job of providing me what I need for not a lot of dough. So here’s a quick tour of my “home gym.”
My home gym is in my garage. I live near Sacramento, California which means it gets HOT. We paid a little extra to get our garage insulated and that seems to help so when it’s 95 degrees outside, as it was today, it’s probably more like 85 degrees in my garage. Warm but not impossible to work out in. And it’s never freezing in there. Cold but not freezing, even when it’s freezing outside.
I’ve got an elliptical and a stationary bike. I’m not a big treadmill fan, in large part because I hate running (see above). But I also like that an elliptical can give you a full body workout. Use just your arms to build your biceps and triceps; use just your legs to build your quads or do it in reverse to build your hamstrings. And it does all this while raising your heart rate and giving you a great cardio workout. Dollar-for-dollar I truly believe it’s the single best investment you could make in your gym.
Other things I LOVE about my elliptical: it’s got a heart rate monitor, tracks distance, time, etc. and last but definitely not least, it’s got speakers and an iPod connection. Woot! Nothing like having some tunes to keep you motivated.
The stationary bike was given to us a week ago by Scoot’s mom when she moved out of her house in San Francisco. It’s a pain to move but I’m looking forward to starting to use it. The stationary bike was my go-to piece of cardio equipment when I was in college. Which is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but whatever.
I have two weights that I use, a set of 10 lb. dumbbells and a 9 lb. body bar. I really need some lighter dumbbells, perhaps 5 or 8 lbs. but until I get them, I use the 10 lbs. for most arm exercises. If something is too hard for those, then I’ll use the body bar.
We have some other weights as well that I really don’t use including weighted vests, ankle weights and a weighted medicine ball. They’re left over from when Scoot played football in college and worked out like a mad man.
What I really want: a bench. There are some exercises that are so much easier to do with a bench. I don’t need the full rack with it or anything, just the bench. Maybe like this one.
I didn’t realize how great it was to have an exercise ball until, well, I got one. It can be used for so many things including stretching and engaging your core during other exercises (like military presses). You can even use it as a computer chair and get your ab workout in while tweeting. Bonus! If you don’t have any idea how to use it, I highly recommend checking out Sparkpeople. They have demonstrations of exercises using balls, weights, rubberbands and other equipment or no equipment at all. I’ve printed some of their suggested exercises out and have them in my garage ready for reference when I need them.
My Secret Equipment
For my loyal blog readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love rollerblading. When I do it, I feel like it engages all the muscles in my legs that need working. My parents gave me a pair for Christmas in 7th grade and I still use them. They’re about 15 years old but they totally function, even if they look very 1993.
So those are the pieces of exercise equipment I can’t do without. What are the must haves that I’m missing?