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Your No-Excuses Home Gym

What's Your Excuse?

Go ahead - fess up - I know you've got one. We ALL do from time to time (yes - me included) because there are always a million and one reasons to not make fitness our priority. What's your biggest excuse for not exercising, or not exercising regularly, or not sticking with a fitness program?

Here are some of the most common ones...

  • I don't have enough time.
  • I don't have enough money.
  • I don't know where to start or what to do.
  • I don't like those intimidating gyms.
  • I don't have enough space to work out at home.
  • I don't have the right equipment.
  • I have nothing to wear. (Seriously. I've actually heard this one. Yes you do - Something in which you can move and sweat. Busted.)

Any of these ring any bells? Does one or more of these sound like that little voice inside your head and get put to good use once in a while? Yeah, I know. And they can feel really HUGE and totally overwhelming sometimes can't they?

That's EXACTLY why I created 5 Dollar Fitness Club. So... let's bust those annoying little suckers now, shall we?

Not enough time?

We're all time crunched but it really is possible to get a great workout in under 30 minutes that brings you results. In fact my aim here is to develop and teach you challenging and effective workouts and exercise techniques that can be done in 20 minutes or less. You get to choose your commitment to yourself to work out between two to five days each week, depending on what fits your schedule and lifestyle best. Excuse? Busted.

Not enough money?

It's not called 5 Dollar Fitness Club for nothing! It's 5 dollars people. Canadian! That's about the same cost PER MONTH to lose fat and calories as you're likely currently spending PER DAY to add fat and calories via your favourite Starbuck's Vanilla Latte concoction. Excuse? Busted.

Don't know what to do?

Honestly, most people don't. That's why I believe that everyone committed to their own fitness deserves to have access to the knowledge and support of a good personal trainer. You have to do the work, but my job here is to educate and inspire you so you DO know what to do. I'll be teaching you exercises and techniques to get the best and fastest results FOR YOU, based on YOUR level and body type. Excuse? Busted.

Don't like gyms?

I've spent a lot of time in big commercial gyms at different times of my life, both as a member and as an instructor, so they're very much in my personal comfort zone. However, you might not have convenient access to a good fitness facility, let alone one you feel comfortable in. Gyms can be scary and I totally get that. Besides, I LOVE working out at home. Having a home gym automatically eliminates a whole slew of other "I can't exercise today" excuses. This is one of the reasons I design workouts to be flexible for both you gym and non-gym types. Excuse? Busted.

Not enough space?

You don't need a special room and you don't need a lot of space to exercise at home. For my own home gym in the "cozy" apartment I share with my hubby I have my stationary bike in the spare bedroom, occasionally use the hallway for certain exercises and the main spot I use for my workouts is the roughly 5 x 8 foot space between our bed and bedroom closet. Basically, if you have a spot in which you can lie down on your back with your legs out straight and arms extended over your head you have enough space to exercise. Excuse? Busted. Which brings me to...

Don't have the right equipment? You don't need much.

Even if you are the gym-going type, I still recommend to all my clients to have a least a few pieces of equipment handy at home. It just makes the process of sticking to your exercise habits and routine that much easier and far less excuse-prone.

The good news is that having a home gym does not have to require a lot of space or expense (further proof those two are busted) and with a few good pieces of basic equipment you can get a really great workout without ever leaving your front door. Here are my recommendations for the equipment I use and love...

Must-Haves:

Exercise Mat / Yoga Mat

I personally use a thicker 1/2 inch exercise mat rather than the more traditional thin yoga mat for general exercise purposes, but that is really a matter of personal preference. Your choice of a mat will depend on the main purpose for which it will be used. I like the thicker mat because I use it mostly for lying floor exercises (such as abs or side-lying exercises etc.) but it can be a little difficult to balance on for standing exercises or yoga because it has a bit too much give. If my main use of a mat was for yoga I would choose a thinner one designed for this purpose.

Exercise Ball / Stability Ball

A variety of well-made and sturdy exercise balls are widely available at really great prices. The most common sizes of these are 55 cm, 65 cm, and 75 cm balls. Choose a ball suitable for your height - recommendations for this vary but generally most manufacturers suggest the 55 cm ball for people up to 5'5" tall, 65 cm up to 6' tall and 75 cm for individuals over 6'. Keep in mind this is a very loose guideline and will vary based on your body type - I for example am 5'2" and best fit a 75 cm ball. Go figure. When sitting up straight on a fully inflated exercise ball your legs should be roughly at 90 degree angles with your feet flat on the floor. Oh - and they do get easier to balance on over time. I promise.

Bonus Tip! In my opinion these things are the Best Office Chairs EVER!

Dumbbells

For most women I recommend beginning with a small set of at least 3lb and 5lb dumbbells. 2lbs are excellent to have if you are really new to exercise. Having a set with 8lb dumbbells will give you some room to grow as you improve and gain in strength.

Also Nice-To-Haves:

Exercise Bands / Resistance Bands

Take your time with this one - I recently purchased a set to replace some that were getting a little old and I couldn't be happier. Try to find sturdy bands that are marked with their equivalent resistances (for instance 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40lb markings so you don't have to guess). Sets that come with handles, ankle straps and perhaps a door anchor will give you lots of exercise options. There are many great sets of exercise bands out there on the market, but if you are buying a set with handles please look for one with metal connectors and clasps. I once had a band with plastic clasps snap during a training session and trust me, this is NOT something you want to have happen to you.

Medicine Ball

I absolutely love having a medicine ball! I find it gives me so many options and so much versatility for changing things up, keeping my workouts fresh and exciting and challenging my muscles in different ways. I have found great ones on Amazon that are well made and well priced. The one I use is a 12lb version but they are also available in other weights. Don't worry, I'll be teaching you some great exercises with this bad boy!

Stationary Bike

OK, so this one is more of an investment but a stationary bike or exercise bike is my personal go-to choice for warm ups, cardio and interval training. I highly recommend the cardiovascular, stamina, calorie-burning and fat loss benefits of including cycling in your exercise routine. There are many options, designs and prices for exercise bikes so if you're interested in getting one take the time to consider your budget and how much space you have available. Whatever you do make sure you can put it somewhere in your home that you will actually use it! I've had mine for years and it is definitely nothing fancy - very basic, reasonably priced and takes up very little space so it's always ready and waiting for me.

The Moral of the Story...

When searching for the best equipment for your own home gym, especially if you're just getting started, KEEP IT SIMPLE. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get the latest machine and you don't need a whole room dedicated to your fitness activities. Plus, all of these items are usually readily available at places you probably already shop at on a regular basis - Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, Canadian Tire... to name just a few.

Of course, I also recommend you check under that pile of clothes in the corner in the event there might be a long-forgotten cardio machine hiding under there. You know... just in case.

So, What's Your Excuse?

And what is one thing you could do or one small change you could make THIS WEEK to eliminate your biggest exercise excuse?

As our Thought of the Week says, "Once your excuses are gone, you will simply have to settle for being awesome!"

With joy,
Nicole

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