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HOME WORKOUT TOOLS

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION….

My workout experience includes several decades of gym training – college weight rooms, YMCAs, bodybuilding gyms, Nautilus clubs and my garage gym with barbells, a bench and squat rack. My goals were to develop a balanced body and to improve my strength and sports abilities. Initially, I wanted to develop my upper body to balance my legs, since my legs seemed to grow easily and without much training, apart from running up and down basketball courts.

Later, in my more senior years, I began to do my workouts primarily at home. The reasons for this change were these:

  • I wanted to start and finish my workout before breakfast
  • Saving time was a priority
  • I didn’t want to wait for access to machines
  • I wanted to save money
  • Socializing in gyms was fun, but often replaced workout time

I still work out every morning at home, though I maintain a YMCA membership. My goals now are to maintain strength and endurance. I do a 30-minute workout, including resistance and cardio. I alternate back, chest, triceps, biceps and cardio with calves, neck, abdominals and cardio. I also include rotator cuff rehab movements every day, but no other resistance for the same body part on consecutive days.

There is no favoritism of home workouts over gym workouts on my part. My feeling is that the only workout that doesn’t work is the one that is not done.

I can remember when there was conflict between free weight advocates and Nautilus proponents. Each side claimed that their process was the better one, even the only one that “worked”. This was ludicrous, but I also recall being told that muscles will turn to fat in later years, that resistance training would hamper athletic skills and that muscles would grow naturally without any training. Half – truths were abundant. “Experts” were always willing to impart their “wisdom”.

So, I now favor home workouts, since they fit my lifestyle. I would recommend that gym users consider having home workout products as a backup and that home workout people consider having a gym membership for variety.

This post will show the home workout tools that I use and the means to acquire them.

TREADMILL AND INVERSION TABLE

My treadmill is my primary indoor cardio tool. I finish my workouts by doing a treadmill program while listening to music. I use a Nordic Track and raise the speed and/or elevation after every minute.

Here is general information on the Nordic Track model, shown below. This is from Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.


I used my inversion table initially to treat sciatic pain. The results were excellent. Suspending myself by inversion helped my back health in several ways. I still invert occasionally, though the sciatic pain is gone. Inversion not only helps to prevent back pain – it improves posture, strengthens ligaments and bones and improves blood circulation, especially to the brain.

Click this link for details on the Teeter inversion table that I use. It is shown below, also from Amazon.

DUMBBELLS AND RESISTANCE BANDS

My home workout space does not include my garage. Apart from my treadmill and inversion table, the items I use can be put away after the workout.

I currently use dumbbells for curls, triceps extensions and one arm rows. Find below a couple of options for dumbbells, also from Amazon:

Adjustable dumbbells are described here and shown below.

Light dumbbells are often used by those who are starting out. Click here and see below.

I use resistance bands for rowing or chest exercise from a door attachment. They are very reasonably priced and are quite versatile, since many exercise movements may be used by door attachments or by stepping on the midpoint of the bands (or cords).

A comprehensive set of bands is seen here and pictured below. Note the reasonable price.

Another item that I use is a crunch device, to protect my back and neck as I lie on my floor to do abdominal exercises. I do crunches and V-ups on the floor, in addition to seated twists (for my external oblique muscles). Here is information on the crunch device and it is shown below, also available from Amazon:

BULLWORKER

Bullworker Fitness is a company that specializes in workout tools that can be used for isotonic and/or isometric movements. This is unique in the fitness industry. I use the Steel Bow and Bow Classic. We work against resistance by pressing together or pulling apart the handles on the devices. Internal springs create this resistance, which may be changed by replacing the springs with other ones, in a manner similar to adding or subtracting barbell or dumbbell weights.

The Bullworker products are small but powerful. They can be easily transported. I have used them when I traveled and wanted to be sure that I had a workout possibility.

My practice is to first do isotonic repetitions and then to finish with a lengthy isometric hold.

Springs, workout handbooks and carrying cases are provided with each shipment. Also, there is a Facebook Bullworker group for questions and answers and general encouragement. There is no charge to be a member of the group.

The Bullworker  Bow Classic is shown below and here is the link to the company website.

DICK’S SPORTING GOODS

I have been a customer of Dick’s Sporting Goods for several decades and have great admiration for the company. The largest sporting goods merchant in the U.S., this company is also strong on community support. They provide funding to sports teams, leagues and athletes across the country.

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ inventory, service and pricing are the best I have found. I have used them for tennis goods, golf clubs and accessories, fitness equipment and sportswear. I am now an affiliate and may be compensated when purchases are made from my links.

Here is a general link to the company website. Look for Easter gift suggestions and check the departments that you find of special interest. Discounts are abundant.

CONCLUDING

Hopefully, this post will provide pertinent information for those who want to begin training at home or for those who use gyms but like the idea of having fitness options at home as well.

The companies and products shown are those with whom I have had significant experience, in most cases decades.

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well!

Richard

2 Comments

  1. Hi Richard, 

    I’ve also been in the market for doing workouts at home, but I was wondering if you don’t mind sharing what your typical workout program looks like before I commit to buying equipment.

    Do you do the same routine all the time, or have you figured out a program that is varied enough that you do something different for a while before you repeat some exercises?

    You see, I’ve been going to the gym at my work, but since the pandemic when the gym was closed, I was looking for a program that I could follow that still does the full body cross-training with a mix of exercises that includes things like burpees, man-makers, TRX rows/pulls, air squats, jump ropes, etc.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the exercises I did for boot camp at work did involve equipment as well as body-weight exercises and cardio.  But if I tried that at home, I might end up buying a lot of equipment that could end up collecting dust and taking up space.

    So I wanted to pick your brain about what has been working for you.

    Thanks,

    Johnny 

    • Johnny, thanks for your input. At 80 years of age, I don’t train as heavily as I once did. I use my treadmill, resistance bands, dumbbells, Bullworker Steel Bow and Bow Classic. I also do abdominal crunches, V-ups and external oblique twists. I tend to make changes every 3 months or so to prevent burnout. I do high reps, even 100 and usually 30 to 50. If I were to start out and control expenses, I would get a resistance band set. This can be done for less than $25 and just about any bodybuilding movement can be done with good results. I would also consider a Bullworker Steel Bow or Bow Classic, both of which provide a large variety of bodybuilding options. Bullworkers are much more than $25, but are of high quality and they last forever. Instead of a treadmill, I would walk outside or run/jog. Then, with your knowledge of bodyweight movements (push ups, lunges, free squats, burpees, crunches etc.), you would be able to develop several complete programs that could be interchanged as you see fit. I have personally found that machines in gyms can be overrated as to their efficacy.

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