Toolbox to Success: How to create your own home gym for under $100

Category: Motivation / Training Tips / Workouts

If someone told you that you need a bunch of fancy gym equipment to get in shape…

they told you wrong.

A lot of the time when I’m training clients in corporate ‘big box’ gyms, I only use fancy equipment simply because it is there and quite honestly, I know that my clients are paying a membership to be using it!

Don’t get me wrong, fancy equipment is nice! It gets the job done and can be very accessible to use. However, if a client wanted to work out at home instead, I could deliver to them just as good of a workout as they would have had if we were in a fully equipped gym.

Now this is great news for those that may not always be able to get to a gym or have access to one.

But here is a fun fact: Some folks don’t work well with at-home work outs. They need the environment of a gym to motivate them, or the socializing that comes along with it.

This is great too! The trick is to learn what works for you and to do just that.

Success looks different for everybody.

If you know that you are a type of person where getting to the gym can be your limiting factor (such as travel, accessibility, motivation issues due to weather, etc.), then having a space at your home set up for working out may be your ticket to success.

Home workouts…Where do I start?

Below I have listed a great list of tools that I think anyone can accomplish a great home workout with. If you are an Ocean Insider and you follow my programs on the Ocean Insider Club subscription, then you will recognize all these tools as I use them in all your Home Workout Programs.

The Toolbox

  1. Therabands

These come in different colours which represent the different resistances. They are very versatile, and I love using these in-home workout programs. They can be tied to things, made into loops, and tied around your wrists if you have any grip issues. (Hack: Physiotherapists typically give these out in strips so that you don’t have to commit to buying the whole box. Otherwise, they have selection packs with about 3 or 4 different resistances on Amazon for $13 CAN.

  • Medicine ball

These range in price depending on the weight and brand. I think most people are good to start out with a 2lb ball and go from there. I love these for core work and arm strength exercises. A 2lb medicine ball on Amazon will run you about $10-15 CAN.

  • Dowel

I got my dowels cut at a home hardware store! It doesn’t really matter the circumference size, however, make sure to cut the length longer than the width of your arms.  Also make sure that you get the dowel sanded when they cut it at the store to avoid any splinters. My dowels were $2.80 CAN each at Home Hardware.

  • Dumbbells

These are great to have especially for upper body strength at home. It gives a different challenge to the muscles than only using the bands would. I suggest getting a package with different weights, since you will probably want to increase your weight a bit as you progress, so you don’t plateau. Amazon has a package of dumbbells with 1 set each of 3’s 5’s 8’s for $45 CAN. Keep in mind that a set is 2 dumbbells.

  • Hook grips (for higher level injuries)

I recommend hook grips for those that have compromised grip strength. These don’t need to be fancy, especially for home workouts.   Amazon has these for $16 CAN a pair.

  • Chest Strap

This is recommended for not only quadriplegics but for some paraplegics too, especially if you are new to exercise or core work. A lot of times you can progress from using a chest strap to not after some hard practice at the exercise. There are fancy ones you can get which tend to be better for wheelchair sports, but there are basic neoprene ones that work well for the gym and home workouts- Search eBay under ‘lumbar back support brace’ and they will be there for around $11 CAN.

So, there you have it folks! These are the essentials that I highly recommend having to create the most effective home workout.

If you work out at a big box gym or community center, they will most likely have the items that are more gym-specific like the medicine balls and dumbbells.

Keep in mind that you may not need everything from this list- start with something that’s easy like a Theraband and see how that changes your workouts. You can always start to gradually add to your toolbox later to create the most dynamic home workouts. For exercise ideas or workout programs that feature the equipment above, please click here.

Your coach,

Megan Williamson

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