Let’s face it, we all have the same New Year’s resolutions. You don’t meet too many people who say they want to gain weight, eat crappier, go to the gym less, spend more money, and dedicate less time to charity in 2017. (There might be a Trump joke in there somewhere, but we’ll leave that aside for now.) The other difficult truth to admit, is that we all probably had the exact same resolutions heading into 2016, and look how that turned out.
So maybe it’s time to give some of those contrarian resolutions a closer look, at least one in particular. What if, instead of going to the gym less, you didn’t go at all? No, we aren’t advocating some slothful existence that will leave you looking like Chris Christie (last oblique Trump dig, I promise). But you don’t have to train at a gym to train effectively. Besides, who wants to go to a gym right after New Year’s anyways? It’s more packed than ever with a combination of noobs who have no idea WTF they are doing and veterans who divide their time between scoffing at the noobs, showing off for them, and discussing all things “gains.”
The un"lit"ness of of the gym these days makes getting fit at home even more attractive. Working out in your house doesn’t require a Suzanne Somers-endorsed monolith of fitness equipment. You can build a home gym that will serve all your training needs using only gear that will easily store under a bed or in a closet when your workout is done. The best part is all of the items below cost about the same as what you’d spend over a few months of gym membership. That means you could end up ticking off three of the most common resolutions (exercise more, lose weight, save money) in one fell swoop.
This is going to be your workhorse. There aren’t many exercises that can’t be made better with a kettlebell, from dynamic movements like the swing to strength movements like shoulder presses and goblet squats. You can do a ton with just one kettlebell, but with two the options are endless. And having the intimidating-looking primate staring at you from Onnit’s solid iron kettlebells ensures you won’t skip your workout.
ROGUE SR-1 JUMP ROPE
Try jumping rope for three minutes straight and you’ll see why it’s the preferred cardio routine for people that don’t have a lot of time. Besides, who wants to go running when it’s cold AF outside anyway? Rogue’s SR-1 uses ball bearings so that the cable gets around quickly and smoothly, which becomes all the more important once you graduate to double unders, where the rope passes under your feet two times between jumps.
TRX FIT SYSTEM
There’s a reason you see these things hanging at gyms everywhere, they work. But you do not have to go to a gym to use one. TRX’s suspension training system attaches to the back of any door and uses your own bodyweight to create resistance. The many different exercises are challenging but also scalable so you can adjust the difficulty as you get stronger. And most of the movements involve multiple muscle groups, which is the stuff true fitness is made of, which is a not-so-subtle hint that it’s time to stop staring at yourself in the mirror doing pointless biceps curls.
GAIAM ATHLETIC DURAMAT
Unless you want to scuff your floors to crap (bye-bye, security deposit) or slip around on a rug, you are going to need a mat. Even if you don’t do yoga (but seriously, you should be doing yoga), this mat is longer and wider than traditional ones making it ideal for a wider variety of exercises. And the black-and-grey colorway allows you to get your plank or downward dog on without feeling too new age-y.
NIKE METCON DSX FLYKNIT
You can run in your training shoes, but training in your running shoes is not a good idea. Running kicks are designed for a very specific purpose (you guessed it, running). Training sneakers, meanwhile, have a more stable platform for lifting weights and side-to-side movements yet still provide the proper cushioning required for most short- and middle-distance runs. The new Metcon DSX Flyknits were designed with athletes like CrossFit Games champ Mat Fraser in mind and use Nike’s Flyknit technology to lock down your foot so it doesn’t move around when you’re lifting heavy loads.
ROGUE MEDICINE BALL
From $65, roguefitness.com
Throw it in the air, slam it on the ground, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with this heavy-duty medicine ball aside from using it as a doorstop. The old-school medicine ball that used to be the exclusive provenance of boxers and Lloyd Bridges on Seinfeld has been rediscovered by modern fitness buffs. Rogue’s ball provides enough cushioning so that it can be caught at high velocity, and the all-black colorway is particularly badass.