Cheap Home Gym – Part 2

First a note about safety! When normal people start telling me that what I’m doing seems “unsafe,” I know I’m doing the right thing . In fact, something is only unsafe if you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, from a risk management perspective, I think it’s less safe not to take on any challenge in an exercise that could cause harm if not focused on it 100%. Too much safety can be dangerous. If safe and “protected” exercises are always chosen, what happens the moment one faces a real challenge such as breaking a fall by holding on to the bar of a ladder. You shatter your shoulder. Basically, the safer something is the less experience will be gained through “unsafe” practices at the expense of one’s personal safety when the fan really hits.

Read the first part

Okay, enough with the rant! The following is A selection of exercise methods, I used and the associated cost. Be aware that these exercise methods tend to replace brains with expensive equipment. Please obtain qualified instructions if you believe this is necessary. Personally, I’ve always stuck with educational DVDs.

Before I begin, I want to stress that a good exercise program should include all of the following:

  • power
  • power
  • to bear

One could add a host of other aspects such as agility, dexterity, toughness, coordination,…but Strength, power and endurance should be the foundation From all of these. Most people are familiar with strength training and endurance training. These are the forms of training that one finds in commercial gyms. I’ve never seen a gym with a strength section, and strength training is often discouraged in such gyms, so I’ll discuss strength here.

Power is a measure of how quickly work can be performed over shorter periods of time. Consider stacking one hundred 50-pound bags of corn. Strength doesn’t measure this well because most men can lift a 50-pound bag of corn. Endurance doesn’t measure this well either because an endurance-oriented person who has to lift a bag of corn every 5 to 10 seconds won’t be able to keep it up for long before he needs a break. The reason is that the intensity of endurance training is very low. Most everyday challenges such as working in the yard, moving furniture, carrying objects, cutting wood, … require neither strength nor endurance. They demand strength which is why it is so sad that the strength aspect is neglected in a typical fitness routine.

less I list several ways to build a “gym” that range in cost from free to a few hundred dollars For the top equipment, that is, you can’t get anything better. Notice I *didn’t say* thousands or even several hundred! The challenge here is not how much money you bring into the game but how much motivation you bring and how willing you are to learn. It’s always about motivation.

Free Gym – Bodyweight exercises such as one-arm push-ups, regular push-ups, single-leg squats, regular squats, burps, and handstand push-ups. Since you only need yourself, you can do it anywhere. It is free but boring.

Lifeline USA – Lightweight cables for strength, door pulls, and jump ropes, combined with the body weight exercises mentioned above. I OwnsDoor pull bars were installed on my office door. The beauty of Lifeline gear is that it weighs nothing and fits easily into a travel backpack.

Kettlebells – Imagine a cannon ball with a thick handle and you’ve got it. A kettlebell takes up almost no space (less than a dumbbell) and you only need one (although two are fine). Kettlebells build raw strength that translates well to strength and endurance events. Kettlebell lifting is also a more technically demanding routine than gym exercises, so it will still be interesting.

Bat Bells – Imagine a very heavy baseball bat covered in thick rubber. Clubbells are very similar to the Kettlebell except they are more dynamic and use more leverage. This means that with a weight of 25 pounds, you will experience forces ranging from 25 pounds to over 100 pounds. Additionally, these forces are generally circular as opposed to linear up-and-down or back-and-forth dumbbell forces. Plus, exercising with these develops a grip that will crush bottle caps in the palm of your hand.

My favorite is probably [heavy] com. clubbell. Paddle bells require more skill than kettlebells, so they are more fun for me. However, they take up more space, are a little more expensive, and are not as versatile. A set of 25-pound clubs will cost more than $200. If floor space is at a premium and I want to focus more on raw metrics, I’ll choose the kettlebell. A single bell can last a lifetime and be passed on to the next generation. If your ceiling is 8 inches, you can do most of the exercises in doors, but it’s really best to do them outside where you can lose weight if there’s a problem(!), so go to the park or your backyard. If I don’t have any money or travel a lot, I’ll learn the free exercises and spend the next $5-$20 on some lifeline equipment like a jump rope and a set of pull-up handles.

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Originally published on 2008-01-27 07:43:34.

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