Welcome to the MAC Fitness Solutions Healthful Living article series where we get key insights from guest experts answering YOUR questions. Today, we are featuring 2 articles from Nick Snow, a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach based in Miami, FL.
Healthful Living: 3 Pieces of Equipment to Start Your Home Gym (Beginner)
Are you a bit nervous about getting started with a workout program and wish you could do it in private, in a place that you feel comfortable?
Are you someone who’s tired of fighting through traffic only to spend half your workout time fighting through the traffic in the gym?
Well today I am going to walk you through what I consider to be the most important pieces of any decent home gym.
All of the equipment on this list is perfect for someone wanting to get stronger; tone or lean out; burn calories; and maybe add some good curves to the body. Naturally, for someone with a more specific style of working out in mind, then there may be some tools more useful to them, but everything in this article is a great place to start for everyone and gives you the perfect foundation to build off of.
- Dumbbell Set
In all my years as a trainer working with clients who train out of their homes, Dumbbells are the best “bang for your buck” tools you can pick up. In a perfect world, you would have adjustable dumbbells, but they may be a bit too expensive for someone just starting out. Instead, a good route is buying two pairs of dumbbells: a set of 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) and a set of 20 lbs. (9 kg).
The amount of exercises you can do with dumbbells is near infinite and for someone just starting out, you can get a ton of usefulness out of these before you “outgrow” them and need to pick up more. As an added bonus, you can find dumbbells pretty cheap, both around town and online.
- Resistance Bands
Similar to dumbbells, you can’t get much better than Resistance Bands when it comes to versatility for price. Resistance Bands tend to be a bit cheaper than Dumbbells and they are perfect for the traveling woman who wants to bring something along on vacation or business trips. Super easy to store, just make sure you also pick up (or have available around the house) something you can use as an anchor for the bands.
There are two types of Resistance Bands, by the way: the big “elastic band” ones (see picture) and the “elastic rope” ones with the handles at the end. Both are fine, but I would recommend the ones with a handle because they are better suited for more exercises.
- Stability Ball (Swiss Ball)
Don’t worry - you don’t need to try to balance on one to still get a ton of use out of it. The majority of my clients use them as a chair/bench substitute and there are a ton of bodyweight only exercises you can do with them that are great for strengthening the entire body. Add dumbbells or resistance bands and you have the makings of a perfect beginner gym.
The size of the ball doesn’t matter a ton, but you should buy a ball that’s roughly up to your knee in height; when you sit on it, your legs should be at a comfortable 90-degrees. When in doubt, going smaller is probably the safer route only because going too large can make sitting/lying on it a bit too awkward.
If you are someone trying to build their first at-home gym that’s perfect for any workout and any goal, then these are my top recommendations for you. Dumbbells, Resistance Bands, and a Swiss Ball - especially in combination - gives you access to almost all of the same exercises you would do at a gym, while not being prohibitively expensive. With these tools, you have everything you need to get started.
Now go forth and kick ass.Nicholas Snow is a Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach based out of Miami, FL. Originally from Connecticut, he is currently in school to become a Registered Dietitian. Nick specializes in nutrition coaching & strength training, with clients all over the world through his business Snow Personal Training. You can find him on Facebook; Instagram and YouTube (@snowpersonaltraining), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.