Although my gym is fully equipped with every fancy piece of equipment anyone could need, a personal trainer friend of mine asked me an interesting question that has implications for the minimalists among us. Namely, he asked, “What gym equipment would you buy if you were in house arrest?”
“Do I get a garage in this hypothetical,” I asked. “Nope. Just your apartment.”
It was an interesting conversation because it gets us to the essentials of training. When you think about it, you really don’t need much equipment to build a good body.
Here’s what I’d get, in order of importance:
Weighted vest or X-Vest
You could do push-ups, weighted sit-ups, bodyweight squats one-legged squats, Bulgarian split squats using your chair or couch:
You could walk up and down your stairwell (assuming that wouldn’t set off your ankle bracelet). You could just wear the weighted vest around your house to burn more calories throughout the day.
A Dip-Chin-Ab station/Weider 200 Power Tower
Put on your weighted vest. Do chin-ups, pull-ups, wide-grip pull-ups, dips and leg raises. You could train for strength by really loaded up the vest and doing fewer reps (and more sets) of dips and chins.
For cardio, you could do a series of dips, to chins, to ab raises. Your heart rate would be out of control high and you would burn a ton of calories.
You can also get one of these doorway pull-up bars, which are amazing to use when you travel. Mount this bad boy on your hotel doorway and you have no excuse to depart from the swole life.
A engineering major can explain how it works. Basically it has a big wheel in the front. The harder you pedal the more resistance you get.
AirDynes are awesome because they don’t hurt your joints. Before moving, I sold mine to an old Chinese woman with arthritis. Her doctor told her to get one.
Protip: You can often get a steal on AirDynes from Craigslist. The New Year’s resolution crowd gives up on their fitness goals in around mid-February.
These things will save your wrists if you do a lot of push-ups. It won’t make your pecs huge because you won’t be able to overload your muscles (unless, of course, you get a weight vest).
Epsom Salt for Muscle Gains
Since you’re on house arrest, you can’t be getting fancy massages. Thus you need some epsom salt. A five-pound bag is good for two massages. (Some people even put as much as 5 pounds of epsom salt in a bath.)
Everyone needs one of these, especially desk jockeys.
Did I leave anything out? If you were on house arrest, what would you outfit your home gym with?