I let my gym membership* lapse back in December after deciding I wasn’t really getting my money’s worth. I really loved my gym. It was close (about a 90 second drive), never busy and had all the awesome equipment I loved. But even with all of that, I found myself only going once or twice a week, especially when the weather was nice. And 4-8 sessions a month just wasn’t worth the membership fee, to me. So to save a bit of cash, I decided to go without, and it’s worked out pretty well so far!
We’ve accumulated all of our equipment over the past five years or so. Some were big splurges (our elliptical and treadmill) some were cheap, cheap, cheap. I’m pretty happy with our set up. Currently it’s in our spare bedroom which serves lots of purposes (storage, craft room, office), but when we buy a house, I’d love to create a dedicated gym space complete with an entertainment system, soft floor and mirrors.
Weights, Odds & Ends
We have a terribly mismatched set of 3, 8 and 15 pound hand dumbbells that do pretty much everything I need. The 3-pounder barely gets used because it’s too light for my
totally ripped guns stronger muscles, but between the 8 and 15, I can do most everything I need. I’d really love to get a nice set like this one day. We also have a basket on the shelf to store our weight lifting gloves, Body Glide, sweatbands and heart rate monitors. That way we never have to go searching around the house for them when we’re ready to work out. Also stored on this shelf (and on the pegboard above) are some of the smaller, lesser used equipment—resistance bands, jump rope, foam roller, pull-up bar.
Does my husband know how to buy an awesome Christmas gift, or what? These beautiful, shiny, heavy guys were under the tree this year and I’m giddy with excitement over them! I prefer to have a mirror when doing kettlebell work, because form is so vital to prevent injury, but for now I just go easy and use the lighter bells.
Elliptical & Treadmill
I had a crazy moment a few years ago where I decided I must have an elliptical and plopped down in front of Amazon with my credit card and bought this guy. I’ve since stopped using credit cards, but I’m happy to have the elliptical. For a few years it stood almost entirely unused, but now that I’m more active, I’m really happy to have a piece of equipment I can just hop on and work up a good sweat on.
Mr. Tready is the newest and most-used member of the Johnston Home Gym family. This sucker was on special at Menards and after doing some research, we realized we were getting a mega deal and pounced. We brought him home and absolutely love it. It’s so nice to be able to run or walk regardless of the weather. And I love the iPod/iPad jack.
We bought this bike with some of the cash we got from our wedding almost five years ago. It’s not all that great of quality, but the pedals move and the computer display tracks distance and time. That’s about all I need! It doesn’t get a lot of use, mostly only when one of us is injured and need a low-impact workout. We might get rid of it when we move.
Yoga Mats & Stability Ball
They are really poor quality, cheap yoga mats stacked on top of each other, but I just wanted something that I could use to cover up the carpet. I hate doing floor work on our itchy carpet, and these guys do the trick. Eventually, if we ever do a tricked-out home gym, I’d love to have real gym floors installed.
If you only can afford to buy one piece of home gym equipment, I recommend the stability ball! I use it all the time and have since I bought it four years ago. There are so many great exercises you can do on and with the ball in all different levels of intensity.
This bench was only $30 but it does pretty much everything we need it to do. It’s sturdy enough for me to do tricep dips off the side, but light enough that I can pick it up and move it without a lot of struggle.
Motivation & Tracking
Because no gym is complete without some motivation on the walls, we have our race medals and bibs tacked on the walls. I also have a calendar up to track my fitness minutes and progress on my plank times and pushups. I’d love to eventually have a home gym with a half corkboard half chalkboard wall so I can post motivating things I find and write out workouts and motivational quotes. Y’all know how much I love a good motivational quote.
*Note: Thanks to the nice folks at Anytime Fitness, I do have a membership there that is still going strong. But the only location in my town is about 20 minutes away. I go there on weekends when I’m really craving a gym session, but I do most of my workouts at home. I do love my AF membership for traveling! If you are a member of one Anytime Fitness you are a member of ALL 1800+ Anytime Fitness locations, which rocks. I wish that my local AF was closer to my house and office, because it is a beautiful facility with awesome folks.