Believe it or not, that time of year is just around the corner. The holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.) which is quickly followed by the New Year and all the resolutions people make to get into shape. No wonder sales of treadmills, ellipticals, cable machines, and the like are heavily promoted in post holiday time frame. Never fear… there’s going to be an onslaught of new fitness products too that promise to be the best thing since sliced bread. However, you’re time and money well ahead to skip the latest fads of machines and equipment and keep to the tried and true basics. Even then it’s not cheap, but doable a little bit at a time…. more on that in a minute.
The good news is if you are just starting out on your journey to fitness and are a “do-it-yourselfer” there is a very low costs option… bodyweight exercises. There’s plenty of information out there on bodyweight excercise routines, from our own Travel WODs (Workout of the Day) to lengthy explanations of all types of bodyweight routines to target certain muscle groups. Most can be done with little investment. A jump rope and a door frame mounted pull-up bar is all you need to get started. I prefer a pull-up bar that allows for both narrow and wide grip pull-up/chin-ups like this one.
If you’re like me, after you’ve been doing body weight exercises for a while and are seen good progress towards your fitness goals you’ll be yearning to move on to that next level… getting strong lifting heavy stuff. Even used, the stuff you need here isn’t cheap so start gathering it little by little over time for your home gym. If you want to know what the essentials are, read Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength article on what he suggests to have for a good, solid home gym. If you’re more of a listener than a reader, he reads the article for you in this podcast. It’s a big investment so please pay attention to bar selection so you don’t waste money on a junk bar!!!
Don’t be surprised to spend $2500+ building a home gym over time. The convenience and accessibility of a home gym is a great thing to work towards. The other option is to try out a gym membership while building that home gym, or to just see if “lifting heavy stuff” is your thing or not prior to shelling out a bunch of coin for equipment. Everybody’s new to it at some point in their lives, so don’t be too shy to give it a try… we’ve all been there (including myself). You’re new, you’re there to learn, and you don’t have to worry about looking foolish. You’ll find most seasoned gym-goers to be exceptionally friendly and helpful, reflecting back to their early days of starting out. That’s one thing I especially love about our gym… our community is like family and treats each other as such. Always willing to help, not criticize or judge. This isn’t a reflection of our business, but a reflection of the quality of our members… they are what make our gym (in my biased opinion) the funnest, greatest, best gym around!
But I digress. Whatever gym you may decide to check out just make sure before you fork over your money that you see what they have for equipment. Do they have plenty of free weights you’ll have access to (especially during busy times), or is the gym just loaded with a bunch of weight machines (avoid the machines!!! This is a topic for another article). Big box gyms usually don’t have an expansive amount of free weights and racks. CrossFit gyms on the other hand are stocked with a plethora of free weights and racks, and many CrossFit gyms (ours included) offer an “open gym” membership option for a fairly reasonable monthly fee. The open gym membership allows you to come in and use the equipment without obligating you to sign up for CrossFit classes, and many don’t require you to sing up for some lengthy contract.
So do some research, plan ahead, and get prepared for starting your fitness journey. I sure don’t want to see you wasting your valuable time and money on junk. I’m not saying that machines and new fitness equipment fads don’t work. I’m saying why waste your resources on building a custom scooter when you could be building a custom race car?
Till next week…. stay healthy, stay happy, and stay strong! ~Ryan