This is a guest post from Liz Muirhead, who blogs about health and fitness at Looking Good (for a mom). Liz is a thirty-something working mom of two wonderful kiddos, who got fed up with using her kids to explain her flab and found a way to get the best body of her life!
So you want to get in shape, do you?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go into debt to succeed! I’m Liz, author of a fitness and nutrition blog called Looking Good (for a mom). While I write about eating healthy and staying fit on my own blog, I love reading about personal finance and living frugally. That’s why I’m thrilled to be writing for The Centsible Life to help Kelly’s readers get in shape and healthy on a budget.
In the first post in this series, I’ll be helping you determine what equipment you need to start getting in shape. Rather than spending $20-$100 per month on a gym membership, or $3,000 on gym equipment for your home, there are a few ways to build out an inexpensive home gym.
When investing in items for a home gym, focus on resistance training (weight training). It’s more effective and efficient than traditional cardio for weight loss, so you’ll get more results out of an investment in resistance training materials than you would in spending $800 on a treadmill or elliptical machine. Besides, cardio is cheap! You can run outside, jump rope, or do calisthenics to get a great, high-intensity cardio workout.
Bargain home gym (about $40)– all you need to start bodyweight resistance workouts:
- Stability ball — Generally priced from $15-$30, a stability ball is a versatile piece of equipment that open up a wider range of bodyweight exercises.
- Chin-up bar — The bargain in this category is the portable Iron Gym at $20, while the Cadillac systems generally affix permanently to a wall and cost around $80-$100.
Mid-range home gym (about $150-200)– start with the above and add:
- Weight Bench — You can get just a bench (that inclines, lays flat, and declines) for about $50-$60. There are more expensive configurations, but they’re generally full of gimmicks or for people with an olympic weight set.
- Adjustable dumbbells — You can buy an inexpensive adjustable dumbbell set for around $50, but it will take a lot of time to change from one weight to another. If you want a really versatile quick-changing set that’s easy to use, you should expect to spend closer to $400 (the price of the Powerblock dumbbells in our home that go up to 50lbs per hand).
- Suspension trainer — As an alternative to the weight bench and adjustable dumbbells above, you can take your bodyweight workouts to the next level by investing in a TRX Professional Suspension Training system for $150. The TRX increases the range and intensity of bodyweight exercises you can do, and is a great system that’s earned the respect of many professional trainers.
Although the items listed above are fairly affordable, you can occasionally score items for an even better price if you watch Craigslist or his a local second-hand store. One of the best times to find items is just before summer, as people who purchased items at the new year come to terms with the idea that their purchases are just glorified dust and/or clothing collectors.
Want a bodyweight workout you can use with your $40 bargain home gym? Subscribe to get email updates from Looking Good (for a mom)’s RSS feed and Liz will send you one!
Kelly’s notes: I am thrilled that Liz will be coming on as a sometimes writer for the ¢entsible life! Look for her posts in the Health section.