Happppppy HUMP DAY! I cannot believe it’s September already. Byeeee Summer 🙁 Any other cold-weather friends get a heavy heart when the summer months end and you know that soon you won’t be able to feel your fingers when you step out to get the mail?
I actually love the festivities of fall and winter, but I’m sure they would be even more enjoyable in a warm weather state. Floridians, count your blessings 🙂
The purpose of this post is not weather related, so I’ll move on. Because I am frequently posting selfies in our home gym, (don’t judge me) I get asked a lot about what we have down there! As most of you know, both my hubby and myself work out from home, with the exception of running outside when my knee isn’t killing me.
I don’t necessarily have anything against the gym, it’s not just my jam. I don’t feel comfortable there, I don’t like to be around a bunch of sweaty people, I can’t walk around in my itty bitty shorts and sports bras, and I think exercise should be a source of focusing your mind and enjoyment, not something stressful or uncomfortable. So, for that reason, I choose to do my workouts at home. Plus, I like the structure of a program that tells me what to do, how to do it, and how long to do it. I have a tendency to skip the workouts I don’t like if I don’t have structure, and you know what that means? Ripped biceps and a lumpy ass. HA. But really.
We didn’t spend a lot of money on our home gym, however, if I had known how often I was going to post it on Instagram, I guess I might have made it a little classier. Our basement is unfinished, so we chose a little nook in the back and it works out perfectly.
If you’re putting a gym in where there is hard flooring, you’re going to want something soft for your feet to land on. We searched high and low for different floor mats, from having the industrial kind installed to the colored kind that little kids have in their playroom. They all seemed to cost a fortune, and none were really that comfortable. Our solution = anti-fatigue foam mats. They are about as comfortable as any other (note; you don’t want to bang your face off of any of those options, it won’t feel good) and we found ours at Harbor Freight for $7 with a coupon. We got 3 packages to have enough room to move around, and we just lined them up. You can see them here!
We painted the walls white – not necessary, but it brightens it up. We had to use Masonry paint since it’s in the basement, so your paint depends on WHERE your gym is going to be located. We also installed vinyl plank floors – again, really depends on if you need floors. If you were turning an extra bedroom into a gym, you’ve probably already got these two things covered.
Our mirror was probably the most expensive thing we ordered, but it’s SO worth it, and for the size, it’s a really good value. We ordered it through Gigantic Mirrors for $349, which also included delivery and installation. I don’t know how the heck you hang a 6′ x 8′ mirror on a cement wall, but I was glad they did it and we didn’t have to worry about it. The only downside is that it took a good month from the time we ordered to the time it was delivered, but we are really happy with the end result, so I would say it’s worth the wait.
If I were the only one using the gym, I would be perfectly content with my hand weights from Five Below. Yep, they have weights! They go up to 10 pounds, which may be all you need, depending on what program/workout you’re doing, and how strong you are (or plan to be!). Hubby, however, needed a big set of weights, so we ordered these adjustable dumbbells from Amazon. Again, not the cheapest thing in the world, but it does give us weights ranging from 5 pounds to 70 pounds. Definitely not necessary for most people unless you are super strong and an active lifter, so you can probably get away much cheaper. Ours are linked here, in case you’re wondering what we went with.
Hubby also wanted a weight bench. I’ve honestly never used it one time (maybe to take pictures on!) but he loves it. Definitely not a necessity, but if you have the space for it, it might make an impact in your lifting routines!
Have you heard of the TRX suspension trainer?! This thing is incredible. Since we don’t have a doorway in our nook, this takes the place of a pull-up bar, plus you can do SO many things with it. Another “extra” that certainly isn’t needed, but really fun to play around with. If you have a doorway available, you can get a pull up bar from Walmart for less than $30, so don’t feel like you need to invest in something like this to have an awesome home gym, but if you can, DO IT because it’s an amazing workout.
That pretty much sums up our gym. I use my laptop with me to play my workouts, and hubby either does what I’m doing with me or his own thing. A TV/projector would be a great investment, we have just been lazy about looking for what we want. However, that sounds like a great excuse to get out on Black Friday, so I think I’ll keep that in my back pocket for now.
This post is SUPER old, I know because I am not rocking those abs you see pictured above right now – because, #chicagodeepdish – but, this is a really weird time, and almost all of us are working out from home right now! Welcome to my world, friends! I’ve been doing home workouts since 2014, because honestly, I fell in love with the freedom to wear whatever, be whoever, and do whatever while I was sweating it out. Mid-squat dance party? Here for it!
Anyway, I know that so many are used to working out, outside of their homes, and trying to make it work right now. I wanted to share some of the tools I’ve been using to workout from home over the years. The items you see in the original post are still awesome – but we purchased all of those things when we lived in a big Ohio home, with a full basement that we could totally deck out!
Now, we live in a tiny city apartment that’s old and makes a lot of weird sounds when you jump around. Hubby has even put his foot through a floorboard, just simply walking around. And lots of our stuff just didn’t work here, so we had to make a few changes. Below, I’m sharing all the updates that we’re using in Chicago, so no matter where you’re at, hopefully you’ll find some ideas to improve your current quarantine-exercise situation.
Like I mentioned, the floor here is old and rickety, and we have human beings that live above us, so we wanted to lessen the noise and rattling from the jumping around (because your girl still loves HIIT workouts). This Gorilla Mat has been an incredible investment. And it is an investment, but it’s a game-changer. It’s huge, but incredibly easy to roll up and stuff in a closet. It’s thick, but it isn’t a squishy material that makes it difficult to jump. And it’s easy to clean – yesterday, I used the Swiffer on it.
We’re still using the same adjustable weights that we bought years ago, which just goes to show that it’s another great investment. Unfortunately, everyone decided to build a home gym at the same time, so most things are sold out. The ones we have are made by PowerBlock, found on Amazon, but they’re not available at the time of this update. However, you never know when Amazon updates items, so definitely keep checking if this is something you’re interested in.
I’m also loving loop resistance bands right now because they’re so easy to store in a drawer and grab quickly when needed. They take up zero space, and you get to decide how effective they are for you, simply by the amount of resistance you choose to use! I use the Beachbody Resistance Loops because they’re the only ones I’ve found that actually fit around my legs and wrists. Most others I’ve tried have been really wide loops, so I could only use them for back exercises. I can use these for all body parts!
Right before quarantine started, I was doing a ton of yoga at my fav studio, Core Power. So it was important to me to keep working on my strength and flexibility, which is why I’m so happy I have the FeetUp Trainer. It’s a small piece of furniture that hides in my closet, but helps maintain my yoga practice in a big way.
That pretty much covers the equipment, but I wanted to add a quick section about finding workouts to use during this time when you might not have a plan to follow.
I’ve been streaming my workouts through Beachbody On Demand for years, and I’ve got to tell you that they’re amazing. There’s a huge library that’s so diverse, and whatever you’re into, they probably have something you’ll enjoy. And the good news is that even if you don’t have a single piece of equipment, you’ll be able to find some kick-ass workouts. You can start with a 30 day free trial to test it out before you commit – and even once you do, it’s only $100 for the entire year. Get started here.
If you’re looking for some free options, Blogilates workout series are always amazing, and totally free. A local Chicago fit babe, Froyo to Fitness posts workouts live on her Instagram and offers a free at home workout guide.
I hope this helps as you navigate through this new version of normal while still getting your workouts in at home! If you have a favorite product or exercise platform that wasn’t mentioned here, please share below! I’m always looking for ways to make improvements to our set-up!
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