The Case For A Home Gym

Some people wonder why I keep exercise equipment at home, when the average gym has the most sophisticated workout equipment that one’s heart can desire. I’ve usually justified this making an excuse about saving time, my odd work timings etc, but decided today, to put forward what I thought are the main reasons for you to keep exercise equipment at home.

To begin with, this is the equipment that I have at home.

1) Kettlebells : 24Kg, 16Kg, 8 Kg (now used as a doorstop)

2) A custom built Pull-Up rack, 8 1/2 ft tall, to accomodate pullups with legs straight. This device also has an attachment that allows me to secure a bar across it to perform inverted rows.

3) A heavy punching bag (4ft).

I strongly believe that that most gym equipment is unnecessary for building a functional and powerful body. A regimen of bodyweight exercises and cardiovascular training, backed up by a sensible diet is sufficient to bring most people to a decent level of fitness.

My own exercise regimen consists primarily of body weight exercises – namely pullups, pushups, and un-weighted full squats. I occasionally do lunges, and rarely ever do crunches.

I have been using Kettlebells for high intensity workouts, alternating 35-60 seconds of activity with 15 seconds of rest, for 16 or so cycles. Kettlebells themselves are quite amazing, I consider them to be a complete weight training system that you can store under your bed.

So, why keep exercise  equipment at home?

Unless you live in a matchbox 20 floors above Manhattan, you probably have enough space to keep some basic fitness equipment at home.

1) Ability to use uncommon systems of training.

Until a few months ago, no gyms in Hyderabad offered Kettlebell training. I learnt about Kettlebells from another enthusiast who was kind enough to spend time with me trying to teach me the basic exercises (Thanks so very much, Vicky!). With no gyms offering this training, it made sense to get my own equipment and exercise at home.

2) Save on the gym commute.

I did have a Gym membership, but even the daily 20 minute round trip to the gym is precious time saved by working out at home.

3) Hygiene

Yup, in Hyderabad in summer, even airconditioned gyms can smell like the galley of that ship in Ben-Hur.

4) Circuit training.

This is hard to do in a gym, especially if there is a waiting line for weights and benches.

5) Focus

Every other person in a gym seems to be a fitness expert. It helps to be able to exercise without someone coming to you to discuss the latest fad that he discovered in a $39.99 E-book.

6) Dress for comfort

I’ve found, that while lifting kettlebells, the most comfortable gear is the Jockey 1005 – ‘stripper briefs’, as a friend calls them. Now, how many gyms can you exercise in wearing something that minimal?

7) Economy

All my equipment combined cost less than a two-year membership at a decent gym.

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