Here’s a started pack and intermediate version of workout equipment you’ll want at home. Pick any items you have, can find, can afford, or would enjoy using. You don’t need the complete list to have, easily, two month of workouts. Click the links to lead you to the cheapest and best options (I receive no $ for my endorsements). Also, I’ll denote weights with options A/B, or lighter/heavier. You don’t need both. Start where you feel comfortable.
Clear Floor Space
Yoga Mat*, towel, or carpet
Dowel: wood, PVC pipe cut from Home Depot, a Swiffer or Broom
Dumbbell (5lb, 8lb, or 15lb), these are OK to start. You can graduate to tougher handles.
Kettlebell (8kgKB/12kgKB), (18lbs/25lbs), the link sends you to my favorite bells…but most are out of stock right now. Fine to use a department store brand, just try to match these in texture. No color ones with painted or “metal” handles
Sand Bag (8lb/15lb), or a bag of rice or something in a back pack. Books kind of hurt 🙂 Also, the sandbags don’t come filled.
Two Dumbbells (20lbs/35lbs), recommend octagon shape and textured handle
Single Kettlebell one size up (16kgKB, 24kgKB), the link sends you to my favorite bells…but most are out of stock right now. Fine to use a department store brand, just try to match these in texture. No color ones with painted or “metal” handles
Battle Ropes, need a lot of space and tolerant downstairs neighbors
Body Bar or light bar (5lbs pair of plates, 15lbs of plates each side –so two fives and two 10’s), or a plain barbell
Tip: The heavier the weights, the more likely you’ll want to put something under them to protect your flooring. Child’s puzzle piece flooring is a good/cheap option. A yoga mat or piece of wood also work.
Final thought: You’re thinking, “This is silly, why isn’t a bench on there?” Well, if you can’t stick to the basics at home, regularly, then why buy a bunch of bulky equipment you won’t use? A couple of bands can be tossed in a closet. Also, at this moment, most racks and heavier weights are hard to order. If you really want a barbell set up, you’re probably best off buying a squat rack (with safeties) and removable bench. If you want to Olympic lift, make sure you have the space and proper setup.
As always, if you have questions, please email me at strengthinprogress @ gmail.com or join below.
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Does one person have more of a drive than the other? Sure, it can be great to have someone who is more dedicated at first, as an accountability buddy. But you want the same level of respect for the work. If you’re both there to have fun and goof around, OK. If one person is really anxious, the other might pick up on that energy.
Fill out this buddy checklist to see if you’re on the same page:
How much of the session is spent chatting/goofing around versus working out?
Will you both be on time and able to commit to a schedule or will you need to frequently adjust last minute?
What happens when someone has to cancel?
Here, I like the little-used bet “no show pays…unless they make up the workout on their own.” Careful though, once someone gets in the hole too far it’s just another excuse to give up.
Do you have similar goals?
Do you understand the differences between working to increase general fitness?
Do you have the patience to work with other people?
If someone is going at a slower pace, are you going to get all huffy? Will you get frustrated if someone is doing a “more cool” move than you?
Are you at similar pain levels?
Honestly, it’s almost more fun working with a newbie and someone who is more fit. But if there’s pain involved, that takes a lot of attention at first. The group might want the newbies to have a few private sessions or more of an intro class at first.
Are you going to be comfortable sweating, struggling, and sometimes failing in a group, as well as succeeding?
If any of these questions made you re-think your buddy system plan, let me make some recommendations:
Get a gym membership and sign up with a buddy. Don’t rely on them to teach you anything to feel comfortable. Pick a place where you think you can use with only mild discomfort. Maybe the staff is nice and shows you things (NOT THE SALES PEOPLE). Maybe it is clean. Whatever gets you in the door without overwhelming anxiety. Lots of places have semi-private or community-owned gyms. Maybe you start with a yoga studio and ask for a recommendation about a weight place later. But start moving comfortably in a space. Yes, even your home. Invite friends to try a workout routine (Zoom anyone?), but don’t be bothered if no one shows up. Same thing with attending a class or trying the free weights. Learn how to do some basics (from a professional or good class atmosphere) and try them on your own. No one is paying attention to you. If it’s weird attention, they can suck it. DO NOT RELY ON OTHER PEOPLE TO TAKE YOUR GOALS AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU.
“I get it. I just….I need to remember to just use my butt more.” ~M.S.
Use my butt more…words to a trainer’s ears.
1.) She can feel a major muscle group involved in the lift doing it’s job. Always a plus.
2.) Though I don’t personally love cueing clients to “activate” anything, when you realize that putting more oomf or drive into a body segment provides more force and feels better against the weight, it’s probably best to feed into that feeling. Either that’s great and should be encouraged, ooooooor we need to adjust the lift, the weight, or the form to make it better suit your body type or athlete level.
3.) She’s starting to describe the lift in her own terms. Instead of leaning on me to tell her when her reps are “right,” she’s identifying cues that help and transferring them into language she understands. So there’s a good chance when I’m not around she’ll remember them better (very helpful for all the monthly and 1x weekers out there).
You can go through the vast internet hole and find many successful lifters using the thrust of their chest and thoracic extension to explode of out the hole. However, this is a specific example of one client, not a professional lifter, and the variation of lift I’ve chosen specifically to work for her. Why? Many reasons, but mostly we’re working on Ms. Thinky Type A not just using her head to provide the initial spark for movement. This is the job of thought, breathe, and the main drivers— not just getting stuck at the head and neck. We’re not going for perfect; we’re just seeing how far we can get.
I mean, which is better for a squat, a strong neck or a strong boooooty?
Hugs & high fives.
Be strong for yourself so you can be strong for others.