Gym Equipment: My Top 3

Gym equipment is expensive and can take up a ton of space. I have put some thought into what equipment I would personally choose if I was very limited on both space and money. Having a large variation of stimulus and movements in my workouts is important to me and my fitness. I love the creative process of writing them and it helps me to never get bored or stuck in a routine.

Now that I write workouts for people, some with little to no equipment, I have had to be even more creative. If they are willing to make a purchase or two… I have to decide which piece of equipment is the most valuable for them to buy and have at their home and provides me with the most options when programming.

Here are my top 3 and why:

  1. Dumbbells: A moderately heavy pair or two
  2. A Box
  3. Kettle Bell: moderately heavy

WHY Dumbbells?

DBs can be used in so many different movements I probably can not even do them justice listing them. They challenge people to use more stabilizer muscles than a barbell would and can be used as a pair or one by itself. They allow you to add some weights into your higher heart rate/cardio workouts or can be used for strength movements by themselves like strict press or rows.

Examples of movements done with dumbbells:

  • DB Thrusters
  • Devils Press
  • Man Makers
  • Double DB snatch
  • Single DB snatch
  • DB squat snatch
  • Single DB clean (hang or squat)
  • Single DB clean and jerk
  • DB Deadlift
  • DB Burpee
  • Strict Press
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • DB Squat
  • DB Upright Row
  • Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Farmers Carry
  • And The List Goes On!!

Almost anything you would do with a barbell can be done with a dumbbell and THEN some. Here are some videos explaining some of the movements listed above that are not as commonly known:

Devils Press
Man Maker
This can be done with just ONE DB or two like shown here
This can be done with or with out the jump at the end. Performing this without the jump is much safer.

WHY A Box?

I chose a box because it adds more opportunities for plyometrics that someone is more likely to get themselves to do (Let’s face it, no-one likes running). It’s lot more inconvenient to have to go find space in your yard or on the street where you live to do movements like these. You do not need much space to use the box and it is a great way to get your heart rate up and can be used for cardio and strength movements just like the dumbbells.

Movement options with a box:

  • Box Jumps
  • Box Jump Overs
  • Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • Burpee Box Jumps
  • DB Box Step Ups
  • Burpee DB Box Step Overs
  • Weighted Step Ups
  • Body Weight Step Ups
  • Assisted Tricep Dips
  • Assisted Push-Ups
  • Depth Jumps

Below are two videos explaining two of the box movements I listed.

Burped Box Jump Over
DB Box Step Overs

And many more! Just by flipping the box and making it higher increases the difficulty and changes the stimulus!

WHY A Kettlebell?

The kettle bell is my most recent purchase for my home gym and I love it more than I thought I would. The movements you can use with this are very similar to a DB so I would recommend choosing one or the other and then a different piece of equipment like the box. This is great for my cardio workouts and they can be used in far more ways than I even know about.

KBs force you to move in efficient ways that you would in every day life. With a very odd center of gravity, they force you to use your stabilizer muscles more than usual and have explosive power from the hips which can translate to many other movements. They are also easier on the wrists to squat with than a barbell.

For movement options with a kettle bell, check out this link:

Examples of KB movements:

  • KB Swings
  • KB Deadlifts
  • KB Squats
  • KB Slingshot
  • KB Sumo Squat
  • KB Turkish Get Up
  • KB Reverse Lunge
  • And many many more

There is an extremely large amount of movements you can perform using the kettle bell. This piece of equipment is often overlooked and not used much. My third would have been a barbell but I did not choose it because of how expensive it will be to get everything you need. With a barbell you would have to buy plates, preferably bumper plates which are much more expensive. Also, not many people would have enough space at home to even use the barbell especially that they can drop it at without cracking their floor.

For those with a higher budget: I highly recommend purchasing either a Concept 2 Rower or a Rogue Echo Bike.

Having a piece of cardio equipment that is as effective as these two opens up so many doors for programming. The bike (my favorite) is a great full body workout itself. By increasing your heart rate and making you really work for each and every calorie/ meter, it can be put into any workout to create a better fat burning stimulus. I often just bike for a workout when I don’t feel like making something up or am short on time. There are Rogue Echo Bike workouts all over the internet. I have a Rouge Assault Bike at home which is very similar and also great but I would pick the Echo over it if I could go back in time.

Here are some of the workouts I have done recently using either the box, dumbbells, kettle bells, rower or bike:

Having some euipment at home is a game changer. Sometimes it just feel easier to stay at your house and get a workout in. I personally don’t feel comfortable going to a gym late at night, it just feels creepy to me. Having a home gym has been one of the best things for me and I use it all of the time. If you have any questions about what my workouts mean because of crazy abbreviating please don’t hesitate to comment or shoot me an email at “”

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