I used to think that in order to live the so called “healthy” lifestyle you had to have a gym membership. I remember first joining a gym back in high school during my senior year. I had NO idea what I was doing. Not the joining the gym part but the what are all these machines part.
Joining the gym in those “days” back in 2002/2003 was more the cool thing to do to say you went rather than actually doing something effective I feel. I would walk on the treadmill, push as hard as I could on an elliptical or pedal a stationary bike as fast as possible. Yes, I was “breaking a sweat” but I was for sure not doing it in the most effective way possible.
Each year I would bounce from gym to gym never really finding a home. I even tried a year membership at Curves where I was the youngest person in the room. Do they even still exist?
Then about 4/5 years ago I purchased a Groupon deal for a Zumba class. It was a great deal with 15 classes for like $10 or $15. I really enjoyed the classes, the instructor, and the other ladies in the class. It was not only a Zumba class but she did abs and who doesn’t want them? After my groupon was up I continued with it and bought some small class packages. The instructor started to offer other classes like Ballet Barre which I immediately fell in love with. I began taking classes like crazy and this was my new “gym.” I continued with these 2 classes for many months paying an arm and a leg to take them. I also started to do a few pole classes and something called PCS which is like interval training. The PCS became my favorite class to take and I refused to miss a session. It is the one class I still miss if I had to pick. I was single and had no real commitments to spending my money. After a while I just didn’t want to commit to spending that kind of money and wanted to have time with friends and family. When you are spending crazy money for an unlimited fitness package I felt I needed to use it nearly every day.
It was during this time that I found Tone It Up. Yes, I was really slow to their game. I first discovered them on Facebook around Thanksgiving time. After a few weeks of just watching their posts and looking at their workouts I began to dive in. It was a slow start but that’s how it has to be sometimes. After following the workouts for a few weeks I realized I do not need to spend a fortune at a studio so I stopped. I went to the store and bought a couple sets of weights. I already had a yoga mat from the classes so I was pretty much set. I still belonged to a gym, which one at this point I am not sure of which one.
I began waking up a little earlier each day to get in what they call “Your TIU BootyCall” and before I knew it I was up at 5:30-6am each day working out. I would go to the gym a few times a week to run in the colder months and even do some toning on the machines. After a couple years of doing this I realized how much I don’t like going to the gym. I would rather work out at home and bundle up for a run or bike ride. I only really used the gym for about 4 or 5 months a year and would workout at home the rest of the time. It did not seem practical to me to spend the money. I finally stopped going to the gym about a year and a half ago although because of contracts only stopped paying for it about a year ago.
I slowly started adding equipment to my home gym.
Here are my top home gym items!
- A good yoga mat. This is super important to have a good base to do most of your workouts on. I suggest one that is not going to slip and slide all over the floor if you are on hard wood. For the past year I had one that did this and I was afraid to do certain exercises on it. I upgraded and my husband got me the Tone It Up Yoga mat and it is AMAZING!
- At least 2 sets of hand weights. I suggest a light and a heavier set. Currently I have a 5lb and 11lb set. I want to upgrade to an adjustable set of weights in the future.
- A 10-15 lb kettlebell. This is such a wonderful workout tool. I currently own an 11lb one and may add a heavier one to my gym soon. I ordered mine on Amazon.
- Foam Roller. I have 2 of them. One is a full body roller and one is textured and smaller. My larger one I also bought on Amazon. The smaller one I recently got from, you guessed it, Tone It Up!
- Resistance Bans – I have handle, non handle, and mini bands that can be used on your legs. These are great to use in place of weights for a different type of resistance.
- Exercise Ball – These are great to use to sculpt the body as well as use as a “bench” or “chair”. I picked mine up at Marshall’s for about $10. I was also gifted an Ugi Fitness Ball which I have used a few times and really need to look into some of their workouts!
- My newest addition which I have not yet tackled is a WOSS training system. I plan to set this up over the next week.
There are so many great home workouts that you can do whether it be DVDs or on YouTube! So start your home gym today and leave that gym membership behind! I promise you will not regret it.
What items are in your home gym?
What items would you like to add to yours?
Share in the comments below!