I’ve found that my favourite gym is the tiny one that I created at home in various corners of our house and I finally decided at 47 years of age to do this! I love the equipment and that it’s always clean and available, the membership fee is cheap if you amortise the total cost of the equipment on a monthly basis, there’s always an episode of some Bravo show I haven’t seen on TV there, water is free, and there are never any lines for anything! Seriously, after spending last summer working out with a trainer, I realised that I could replicate most of the routines he taught me by buying my own minimal amount of equipment and working out at home, but taking his advice and following it ‘to the dot’!
If you’re interested in doing the same, I highly recommend you consult a trainer first about the right routine for your own body, especially if you’re working out with an injury or you’re a beginner with little knowledge of how to use weights properly. I was having a lot of problems with my shoulder and thanks to DL (my trainer’s initials), they’ve essentially gone away. But, I had constant supervision while training with him and he designed routines both for the gym and home that are catered strictly to my needs.
I wanted to share with you what equipment I have, but only if you’re advanced enough in your workouts to know exactly what to do and most importantly, HOW to do the exercises properly.
three sets of neoprene hexagonal dumbbells weighing 2.5kg, 4kg, and 5kg (I need to work up to using 5kg and really favour the 2.5kg for now). DL had suggested 5lb, 7.5lb, and 10lb weights, but the ones I have were the closest I could find. You can go with various brands- mine are Neo Hex- and most sporting goods stores should have them and of course, you can search online (Amazon!).
Another important must-have to add to your ‘gym’ is resistance bands. Mine are from Reebok since Slastix, but my trainer had recommended Slastix, which I thought I couldn’t find in the UK because I had looked for Stastix! The point is that you want the kind of band that has thick fabric covering the elastic band itself. The bands will last longer and if it grazes your skin, not take your arm or leg hair with it! You should get three bands in three different resistances.
This video (click here), and more, are available on YouTube and could help you figure out:
And last, but not least, my absolute favourite piece of equipment is my Bosu (get the original Bosu trainer that comes with an air pump and DVD)! It’s great for balance training as when you stand on top of it, knees slightly bent, and do bicep curls, for example, you’re contracting tiny muscles in your legs, and even your abs, just to keep yourself balanced, while you try to avoid favouring one leg or the other. I also bought a book from Amazon that has Bosu exercise routines.
Like I said, please please please head to your local gym and consult a professional trainer before setting yourself up at home. If you have a good friend who’s very experienced, work out with them a few times since you need to know how to protect your joints properly, how especially to avoid injuring your back or your neck, and what exercises work out which parts of your body. You may think you know, but unless you have a lot of experience, the chances that you could injure yourself from simple routines are pretty high.
By the way, I bought everything I have from amazon.co.uk since I live in London.