A gym membership has many positives, but a weekly routine can be taxing in so many ways: the money, the journey back and forth, the early starts, the late finishes, the queues for equipment that rival a Supreme pop-up. It can be nothing short of infuriating. For those with a bit of the extra space (and cash), taking the train to #Gainsville home is a welcome alternative – and these essential pieces of kit are the perfect place to start.
Bad day at the office? A punching bag trumps a stress ball and is much healthier than a round of pints. Plus, you can carry out a full-body cardio workout that’ll torch calories and unearth muscle definition. Heck, even print out your boss’s LinkedIn picture beforehand for some extra motivation. Everlast C3 Foam Heavy Punch Bag, available at Amazon, priced £85.74.
Without A Paddle
Hench arms and shoulders aren’t just created in the water. Make a splash on dry land with a rowing machine that will improve general fitness levels, build muscle and strengthen the body’s cardiovascular function. No wet feet necessary. Roger Black Air Rowing Machine, available at Argos, priced £224.99.
On Your Bike
A leisurely 20 minutes on a stationary bike while catching up on Coronation Street is not exercise. So, up the ante with an air cycle. The harder you pedal, the more resistance is produced by the fan, which means a Tour De France upgrade for even the most dilatory of cyclists. Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Dual Action Air Cycle, available at Fitness Superstore, priced £699.
A home gym is nothing but a vanity project without a barbell and some actual weights. Opt for an Olympic bar (the type you would find in a commercial gym) with a selection of easy-grip weights to allow you to complete core lifts – bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows – that’ll help you pack on size from the discomfort of your own home. Body Power 145Kg TRI-GRIP Olympic Weight Set, available at Fitness Superstore, priced £232.
No free weights regime is complete without a bench. This Weider Pro version switches easily between incline, decline and flat so you can hit your chest from all angles, and also incorporates a preacher curl and leg extension attachment, so you never have an excuse to skip leg day. Weider Pro 490 DC Bench, available at Fitness Superstore, priced £239.
Bent-over rows, squats and pull-ups are essential to any true muscle-building regime, so invest in a piece of equipment that can accommodate all three. The space-saving Power Rack supports weight loads up to 363kg, and in the event that you push yourself too hard, the adjustable bar catchers will ensure your safety and that you don’t end up on a #gymfail video. DKN Heavy Duty Power Rack, available at Sweatband.com, priced £299.
Adjustable dumbbells are both efficient and space-saving. With the flick of a dial you can quickly take your workout up or down a notch – important if you like to switch up your intensity regularly or are a fan of drop-set finishers. Bodymax Selectabell Dumbbells, available at Powerhouse Fitness, priced £269.
Don’t let the floor feel the burn, too. Invest in protective flooring to prevent damage from equipment and heavy weights. Not only will it absorb even the heftiest of drops, but it’s also remarkably easy to install. Easy Lock Free Weight Flooring, available at Jordan Fitness, priced £14.44.
Put The Kettle On
Compound, whole body exercises are the backbone of any effective training program, making kettlebells indispensable. A selection of weights will work almost every muscle in the body, and they’ll take up little room. Bodymax PVC Vinyl Kettlebell Set, available at Powerhouse Fitness, priced £59.99.
Working out in private means you can experiment with moves you might not dare try in front of any gym buddies. Yoga, for example, is an ideal way to cool down and improve flexibility, while Pilates can help build a strong core. For extra stretching points, add a foam roller to iron out any muscle kinks. Namaste indeed. Yoga Mat Foam Roller Combo, available at Amazon, priced £72.