Tag Archives: strength training

Home Workouts: What Equipment do I need?

My first in-home gym with kettlebells, a pull up bar with rock rings, and a picture of Marilyn Monroe lifting weights. It was conveniently right off my kitchen so I could workout while waiting for things to cook.

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.

Starting Equipment

  • Clear Floor Space
  • Yoga Mat*, towel, or carpet
  • Yoga Block
  • Dowel: wood, PVC pipe cut from Home Depot, a Swiffer or Broom
  • 18′ Foam Roller
  • A steady, elevated surface like the end of a kitchen island or couch to do push ups (DON’T LET IT MOVE)
  • A hard box or step
  • Band (sprint, resistance)*
  • TRX (if you have somewhere to attach)
  • 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.
  • Mini-Band (light/medium)*
  • Ab Wheel
  • Medicine Ball or Slam Ball (10lbs/20lbs)

*Careful if you have latex allergy

Slightly More Advanced Equipment

  • 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
  • Pull Up Bar (if safe to attach over door or to wall)
  • Jump Rope (regular or speed rope your preference)
  • 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.

My favorite places to order from are Rogue Fitness and X Training Equipment. If you can support these businesses, I recommend them.

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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Absence Does Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Sometimes taking a break is necessary for mental clarity, healing of the soul, or simply to rest.  But don’t seclude yourself from what continues to move.  If you take or give time from a situation, you will not go back to it the same.   And just like in the gym, the progress you make can’t be held onto without work.  Could you disappear from your partner for “just a couple months” and expect things to be OK when you get back?  Someone would get hurt.  At the very least, you would need to reassess.

My biggest question is, “Why is a break going to help?”  Usually it’s because life builds up like a pressure cooker and the easiest thing to give up is yourself; your happiness, your time, your money.  If no one else is going to do the work, it has to be you, right?  Or your support system.

Wait, whaaat?

Yes, a support system.  We’re pack animals.  Need evidence?  Look at all the systems in place for us NOT to feel alone when we die.  Morbid, but true.  And on this grim topic, if you don’t have enough money or people around you to help in your attempt to get healthy, then what’s going to happen when you’re sick?  Ignoring the little aches and pains or warning signs will make them give way to something worse.  At some point you have to break down and go to a doctor.  But how much time did you waste because you were just putting it off for more important things?  Your decision is to take a break from the most intimate thing you do (taking care of your body) and give it to….what?

Online dating?

Are you going to take a break from showering, too?

That will not help said online dating.

And why is suffering alone (quietly “dieting” or more likely not eating/wearing headphones and beating yourself up on some weird machine that causes you pain two days later) an easier social choice than being part of a healthy community? Labels be dammed, any group of people trying live positively gets credit for trying.  Why?

It’s fashionable to hurt yourself.  It’s normal to quit.

So OK, take your break.   I know, you need time.


But why?