Archive for August, 2009

My Workout Without a Budget

August 11th, 2009 No comments

It's possible to get effective exercise with a limited cash supply, in fact it's more than possible to get a total body workout without spending any money at all. But if you've got some extra green and are itching to spend it, there are worse ways you could go about it than buying fitness toys.

I for one would rather pay for non-essential items that can help me stay fit and healthy than ones that keep my eyes glued to a screen with my butt on the couch and a remote in my hand.

My dream home gym:

  1. Elliptical machine or cross trainer - What cardio machine would I buy if I had unlimited resources? A gym-quality Precor elliptical is a the top of the list, but I'd be just as happy with a good cross trainer. Treadmills are good for variety but I love how easy ellipticals can be. They're great for adding cardio to strength training intervals or just jumping on for a 10 minute sessions throughout the day.
  2. Free weights, bands and accessories - In my dream gym there would be no isolation machines. I'd have a row of dumbbells of every possible weight and resistance bands of every strength. And for those situations where skipping from a 10 to 12 pound dumbbell is difficult, I'd have a supply of  half pound weight magnets to make progression easier. I'd use the resistance bands alone to work my muscles in new ways and pair them with dumbbells or bodyweight exercises to make things more challenging. Push-ups alone are tough, but with a resistance band pulling down against your upper back there's no comparison.
  3. Cables - The other weight training I enjoy most is done on a cable pulley machine, so of course I'd need one of them. Glute kickbacks, cable chops, airplane rows and more can keep me busy for hours.
  4. Flat screen TV - I'm not picky about this aspect of my gym. Just a television that's a decent size and mounted on the wall.
  5. Workout video library - Pilates, yoga, dance, kickboxing. I don't do workout videos on a regular basis but I love watching them for new ideas and the dance ones are just plain fun.
  6. Balance toys - BOSU, fit disk, foam roller (also useful to roll the tension out of sore muscles afterward). All these essential balance tools have an important place in my gym. Did I mention a stability ball, which I could use for killer ab workouts and the most challenging balance moves.

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