I really enjoy endurance sports because they don’t require much equipment*
*Apart from the initial bike purchase. Followed by the second bike purchase which is always an upgrade and then all of the cycling jerseys, a helmet, sunglasses, shoes, a bike computer, an indoor trainer and a Zwift membership.”
Like I said, you can just lace up the shoes and go running!
We all know #OutsideIsFree, making running and biking very easy options for exercise during the spring, summer, and fall. The advent of indoor smart trainers for the bike has made it much easier to ride year-round as well, but most of us who participate in endurance sports are missing one key area that can improve our performance and help reduce our chance of injury, and that’s strength training.
Reasons we miss out on strength training are probably some combination of:
- We don’t have the equipment or a gym membership.
- We don’t know what to do.
- We don’t really want to lift weights.
I think I ranked those in order of why we don’t lift weights, with number 3 being a by-product of numbers 1 and 2. So I’d like to help you change that with an at-home solution for a gym. It will cost ~$200 if you have an Amazon Prime membership (if you don’t have one, I bet you have a friend that does).
Item number 1: A Kettlebell. Ideally, with a significant amount of weight to it. A “significant amount of weight” can vary from person to person, so here’s a little method that might help you determine what size you need.
Take your weight and multiply it by either 0.2, 0.3 or 0.4.
0.2 if you have little to no weight lifting experience
0.3 if you have 1-2 years of weight lifting experience
0.4 if you have 2+ years of weight lifting experience
These are just estimates, if you have less experience weight lifting and weigh a little more, then keep that in consideration when you get your size of weight.
With that being said, I’ll use the 40lb kettlebell with a final price of $52.00. So, I’ve got $148.00 remaining. This is a substantial chunk of my budget, but at the end of the day, I need something heavy. Here are a few links:
Item number 2: A Weight Bench. Sometimes you need something to sit on, put a foot on, do a push up on, etc. and I’ve often recommended a couch in the past, but I don’t think many of us want to use our couch as a piece of equipment while we exercise. We get sweaty, and it just seems counter intuitive. Here’s a folding option from Amazon that costs $50.00 and brings my remaining budget down to $98.00.
Item number 3: A Wall Ball (Medicine Ball). We need strength and we need power; a safe and effective way to develop power is by taking a (mostly) indestructible item and slamming it in against hard surfaces in different directions…enter: the wall ball! Again, how much weight you use can be different from person-to-person, I’m going with the 15-pound ball that’s $40, leaving $58 left in the budget. Now, I’ve got the heavy stuff out of the way.
Amazon Basics 12lb. Wall Ball – $23.35 – This is on sale at the time I’m writing this, normal price is $28.
Item number 3: Resistance Bands. When trying to add some upper body pushing and pulling into your routine and you want to vary the resistance, utilizing resistance bands is a key component. I wasn’t always the biggest fan of using them, but they are effective, and you can really grade your resistance. Here’s a set for $23.00. I’ve got $35.00 left in the tank.
I’ll suggest a few different things you could go spend that final $35 dollars on. If you went lighter on some of the weighted items earlier, you may even be able to afford all of what’s below here, but I wouldn’t sacrifice an appropriately weighted kettlebell or Med Ball just for more stuff!
With that being said…
Potential item number 5: Suspension Training Kit. A great option for pushing, pulling and a variety of different other exercise modifications. It’s simple, effective, and doesn’t take up hardly any space. It finishes off the end of the budget.
Potential item number 5: Foam Roller. So, you get a little sore after you run or maybe you need some added mobility in your thoracic spine and hip flexors: a foam roller might help.
Potential item number 5: Yoga Mat. If you’re going to potentially workout in your garage or on a hardwood floor, you may want something to lie on.
Potential item number 5: Another Kettlebell. Running it back here a bit, but you can add another kettlebell to your gym that’s a different weight and can be used for different exercises. Personally, I keep a 30-pound and 50-pound kettlebell at my house.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about workouts or other equipment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.