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Working out at Home: Everything you need to know!
Tips for working out at home & how to set up a home gym

With gyms closing around the world to help stop the spread of the pandemic, more people than ever before are going to be venturing into the world of at-home workouts. This is our comprehensive guide to help you be successful keeping up your fitness routine! 

Our physical gym space is closed, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. There’s no substitute for coaching & community, but we’ll be doing our best to keep those going too! 

REMEMBER: Something is better than nothing. Don’t get too hung up on what workout you’re doing, getting the perfect setup, etc. Just start. You can fine-tune as you go!

THREE TIPS FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME

  1. Schedule your workouts. Keep it part of your routine. Chances are, you already had specific times and days you worked out at the gym. Don’t fall into the trap of “oh, I’ll do it whenever I have time.” Put it on your calendar just like you would a work meeting or appointment. For me personally, before RECF opened, when I got home from work I would immediately go get changed and head out to the garage to work out. If I sat on the couch right away when getting home, the likelihood of my workout happening went down dramatically. It takes more discipline, but it’s worth it! 
  2. Stay connected. It helps A LOT to have a coach, online community, or both to help you stay accountable. Coaches can help you tailor workouts to your ability and space, and answer your questions. An online community keeps things fun, and gives an extra incentive to keep working hard even when nobody’s watching. If you’re a member at RECF, we’ve got our private FB group and SugarWOD to help you stay connected with your crew. Our coaches will be checking in with you. 

    You will be infinitely more successful following a set program. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which one — just find one you like and DO IT! Don’t try to come up with workouts on the fly. It’s another barrier that will eventually get in the way.

    If you’re not a RECF member, we encourage you to find an online fitness community that fits you. Maybe it’s us! We’d love to help you get fit at home. If not, check out Street Parking and CrossFit Linchpin, who both offer great home workout options with limited equipment and are 100% online communities.

    3. Set up your physical space for success. Set up a dedicated workout space in your home. Maybe it’s your basement, your garage, or the spare bedroom. If you’re tight on space, maybe it’ll be your living room. If possible, have all your workout gear out and ready to use at a moment’s notice. It seems silly, but even that extra step of getting everything out of the closet can be a barrier when you’re new to the habit. The other advantage of a dedicated home workout space is the distractions are more limited. Working out in your living room can be challenging, when the couch and Netflix are still there. Separate the space from the distractions if possible! 

SETTING UP A HOME GYM

If you’ve been considering setting up a home gym, or just purchasing a few pieces of workout gear for yourself, this is a great time to do it. It’s a great investment in yourself, and this type of gear lasts an incredibly long time. 

(Note: we’re not affiliated with any equipment brand. Our recommendations are based on quality, price, and ease of ordering)

If you’re only getting ONE thing:

  • A relatively light pair of dumbbells or a kettlebell. These slightly lighter weights give you more flexibility and options than going heavy. 
    • For most men, we’d recommend a pair of 25-35lb DBs, or a 35lb-45lb KB. We think it’s worth it to get the rubber heads, for comfort and safety. 
    • For most women, we’d recommend a pair of 15-25lb DBs, or a 25lb-35lb KB. 

Rep fitness 20lb DB set: $86
Rep fitness 26lb KB: $54

TIP ON THE KETTLEBELL: Make sure you don’t get one that has an extremely wide handle. Some of the really cheap ones from places like Target or Wal Mart have super wide handles that you wouldn’t even be able to use for basic KB swings. Anything from Rep Fitness, Rogue, Get Rxd, etc. is good. 

If you have space & budget for a little more, this basic and inexpensive setup gives A LOT of options and bang for your buck. 

  • A pair of dumbbells (see above)
  • A kettlebell
  • A sturdy pull up bar (we’re talking wall mounted, not one of the cheap door frame ones)
  • Gymnastics rings (can be hung from the pull up bar)
  • A jump rope

Rep fitness 20lb DB set: $86
Rep fitness 26lb KB: $54
Titan pull up bar $73
Gymnastics rings $31
Jump Rope $7.97

This entire setup example can be put together for about $250, all of it ordered through Amazon. Easy peasy, and you’d be equipped to handle any “Limited Equipment” workout we could possibly throw at you. 

The “Nice to have” but not essential:

  • The next thing I would buy is a 5ft length of PVC, to keep up practicing Olympic lifts, and use for stretching/warm up. 
  • A rowing machine. If you’re going to buy one, get the Concept2. Worth every penny. 
  • Squat rack with barbell & plates. We like GetRxd for these. 
  • Ab mat. There’s a million variations on Amazon, they’re pretty much all the same. 
  • Plyo box (16/20/24” version works well for most people). Rep fitness on Amazon. 
  • Rubber flooring. Horse stall mats from Tractor Supply Co work well. This is really only necessary if your base floor is really rough (like in an old garage) or if you have enough space that you’ll be doing barbell lifts & need to drop weights.

Normally we’d recommend hitting up Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc. to find these items used. However, since we’re in the era of social distancing, this might not be the way to go. Your call! 

REMEMBER: You don’t HAVE to have any equipment to get fit. People have been getting results with at-home bodyweight workouts since the days of Richard Simmons! However, having even one piece of gear definitely helps add more variety. Our Ripple Effect members will have the option to borrow equipment from our gym during the temporary closure (more info on that soon!). 

If you’re looking for a way to get fit at home, reach out! We’ll get you on board with our virtual coaching!

If you need advice or have questions, please reach out and we’re happy to help! Email us at rippleeffectcf@gmail.com, message us on Instagram or FB, or give Coach Chris a call (651-491-6865). 

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