Building a home gym

I never set out to create a home gym. But when my gym closed in March 2020, I pretty easily adapted to taking my borrowed 35 pound dumbbell and jump rope to the playground. Fun. Love an outdoor workout. And then NYC closed all of the playgrounds. I found spots in the park but it definitely wan't as enjoyable as that springy playground surface. Luckily, my building opened our roof and the handyman (bless him) has not locked the door (my roof is not a fun NYC rooftop meant for mingling, it's just a roof). Pivot, pivot, pivot. I didn't really have a choice. Not working out is simply not an option. And then I decided to not return to the gym when it re-opened. You probably know that story. And then it was fall and the temperatures got colder and colder. It's almost a year since everything shut down at the start of Covid, and I now consider myself a devoted home exerciser. Crazy what can change in a year! 

If you're thinking about working out at home, I encourage you to let go of the idea that you need a ton of space. We got rid of a bookshelf to free up space where our weights now live and I move my ottoman a few feet every morning - that's pretty much it. We also just acquired an erg for rowing so that lives in the office and gets pulled down for use. Otherwise, all equipment lives in a little corner of the office that takes up roughly 2 feet by 4 feet and we pull it into the living room to use. And I move Rex's food to set up for handstand push-ups along the only wall where kicking up won't ruin wall art. If I can work out daily (with variety, even hitting PR's!) in a 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, I bet you can work out at home too. 

Luckily for me, during the pandemic when free weights and kettlebells were selling out at an alarming rate, Pat watched Rogue like a hawk and we amassed quite a collection. I also found some things on the sidewalk (love a Brooklyn stoop donation), my mom gave me a set of dumbbells, my in-laws sent us rings from a gym that closed in their city, and we bought our erg from a friend. Our current dream is to have a garage whenever we move next and to build out a full home gym - but I'm amazed at how well this set up works for now. You by no means need all of these things but I use them all regularly and think it's well worth the investment.

  • Pair of 15 pound dumbbells
  • Pair of 20 pound dumbbells
  • Pair of 22.5 pound dumbbells
  • Pair of 35 pound dumbbells
  • Pair of 50 pound dumbbells
  • 35 pound kettlebell
  • 40 pound kettlebell
  • 53 pound kettlebell
  • 88 pound kettlebell
  • 20 pound ball (very expensive to just do wall balls, would prioritize more DBs and KBs before this)
  • 4 floor tiles
  • 1 floor mat
  • 2 ab mats
  • 1 ab wheel (found on street!)
  • 1 foam roller (found on street!) 
  • Rogue jammer pull-up bar - cannot recommend enough. Installation is quite a process as the bar weighs 33 pounds but it's incredible. 
  • Concept 2 erg
  • RPM speed rope for double unders on the roof when it's not 16 degrees outside 
  • 14 and 20 pound 511 tactical vests 
  • this chalk which isn't very messy and smells incredible 
  • I also love having an Alexa as a speaker and to time rest intervals plus I use my iPad to track my time during EMOMs, for time efforts, and rest between tough bodybuilding supersets.