BootCampSF understands if you can’t make it to a BootCampSF class every day. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip your workouts completely. Having strength training equipment in your home sets you up for success when it comes to long-term fitness. But none of us want to purchase workout equipment just for it to sit there and catch dust. How do you know what equipment is right for you?
Strength equipment comes in a wide range of styles and prices — from pricey professional equipment found in gyms and health clubs to portable and affordable home models. And if you’re new to the strength training game and/or on a budget, consider starting with a few basics like we use in class: weights, resistance bands or tubing.
These are great for keeping those legs toned and strong. Use them for strength exercises like leg raises and hip extensions. We suggest you select weights that have padded ankle cuffs with pockets made to hold half-pound to 1-pound bars for you to add as you advance. Ankle weight sets can be anywhere from 3 to 10 pounds, and just one cuff might be enough depending on what exercises you choose to do.
A great trick for saving cash when buying weights is to check out any sports resale stores in your area or see what’s on Craiglist and similar used goods selling sites. Depending on your current strength, begin with sets of weights as low as 2 pounds and 5 pounds. Or 5 pounds and 8 pounds. Then as needed — add heavier weights. You should have a good idea of what’s right for you after attending a few of our classes, but let your trainer know if you have questions! Also, weighted bands that strap onto your wrists are out there, as well as kits that allow you to screw weights onto a central bar.
Select a well-padded, nonslip mat for your floor exercises (like we use in our boot camp classes). A couple of towels can work okay, too.
Resistance bands are great for full-body workouts. They also come with a relatively low price point, are light-weight, easy to store, and can even travel well. You can think of these bands like weights in that you measure how challenging the resistance is by how many reps of an exercise you can manage. Remember: If it’s less than eight reps, the resistance is too high. If more than 12, it is too low. Be sure to try different positions like putting your hands or feet closer or farther apart on the band to vary the resistance.
Remember even the best equipment in the world won’t give you results unless used regularly. That is why it is also good to keep up your boot camp classes. The classes will keep you motivated, and our trainers can help with any questions you might have regarding proper techniques for your at-home equipment.