One of the most frequently asked questions I get it: “what equipment should I get for my home gym?”
With gift-giving season coming up, I thought I would put together this list for you so you can subtly (or not so subtly) email the link to your spouse, grandma, or neighbour, post it on the fridge, leave it taped to the mirror - whatever you have to do to drop the hints this is what you’d like Santa to leave you under the tree.
This list is the BASICS - I’ve kept it short and sweet to make it as accessible to people as possible. I also kept it short because you REALLY can get great workouts at home with minimal time and equipment.
I’ve included some links to where you can purchase items - I’m not in any way affiliated to these companies, they’re just where I tend to shop for these items. Note, prices may change after this post was written, so may not be exact. Kijiji is also a great place to find used equipment, especially for simple things like dumbbells or kettlebells.
I find I’m generally better able to handle life when I engage in regular physical activity, so my list this year is to help me accomplish that from the comfort of my living room, garage, or basement. Thanks in advance for providing me sanity, and a few sweaty minutes to myself. My wish list is below.
Quantity: 1 lighter set for upper body + 1 heavier set for lower body
Weight: This is TOTALLY dependent on you. If you are relatively new to lifting, 8-12lbs may be enough for upperbody, and 15-20lbs for lower body. If you're deciding between a set, my recommendation would be to pick the heavier option - ie. go with the 10lb set instead of the 8lb set for upper body - because initially you can decrease reps, and then add in reps as you get stronger. If you go for the lower weight that you can comfortably do now, you'll be needing a new set in short time - not a bad thing, but if cost is a consideration, go for the slightly more challenging weight now.
Style: I prefer the hex dumbbells, simply because they don't roll across the floor when I set them down, and can also be used from a plank position safely.
Fitness Depot sells dumbbells at the lowest price per lb I've found and are usually just under $1/lb. Click here to shop dumbbells
Quantity: 1 medium band, 1-2 heavy bands
Resistance: I'd recommend getting one medium and one heavy resistance to start so you can swap between the two or combine them. Even if you’re relatively new to weight training, usually the lightest resistance will be too easy, so skip it and head straight to medium resistance.
Quantity: 1 light, and 1 medium
Resistance: One light band is a great start (0.5"), but for some movements you want a heavier one as well (0.75") - again this will totally be dependent on you!
Bonus item: Box or Bench
Having a raised surface can be great for hip thrust variations, step-ups, etc.
For a Rogue box shop here, cost is $160.
For some movements, an exercise ball will do the trick as a raised surface, and are much friendlier on the budget if you’re starting off. For $12.88 you can get a 55” ball at Fitness Depot here. Adjust the ball size based on your height.
P.S. If you’re a newly postpartum mom (less than 1 year postpartum), or have not yet returned to exercise consistently postpartum, I’m launching an at-home workout program for moms in January. It will be early-postpartum friendly and build each week, with short effective workouts you can do at home with baby watching you, with minimal equipment, so you can feel yourself a little more each day. To join the waitlist click here. Can’t wait for this!!