Hello Fitness Enthusiasts!
I get a lot of questions about exercise equipment. Does my gym have all the equipment I need? What type of equipment should I own? What is the best brand of exercise equipment? While the answers to these questions can vary from person to person, the short answer is always YOU! Your own body is your most important piece of equipment. This is true on many levels. First and foremost, you have to care for your body, just like you would maintain any other piece of equipment. That means eating the right things, getting enough sleep, practicing sound exercise techniques, and seeking out professional help when something isn’t right. Isn’t it sad that today, many people take better care of their automobiles than their own body. This is reflected in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare all over the United States.
Second, body weight exercises, also known as calisthenics, should be an important part of every exercise routine. By now you have probably realized how big I am on squatting. It all begins with the body weight squat. Why would I put weight on you if you can’t squat your own weight safely? That would just be irresponsible. First we can strengthen your positions and technique using bands or assistance, and then work up to many repetitions, and finally, we can consider adding weight. The same goes for push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.
Now for the other questions. What equipment you need can vary greatly from person to person. Are you training for a specific type of event or competition? If so, you need access to the equipment used in that event, such as a barbell and weight plates for a weightlifting competition. Do you enjoy training with kettlebells instead of dumbbells? If you, you should seek out a gym that has a good selection of kettlebells.
There are a few things that I suggest everyone should actually own. These are a light resistance band - for performing band pull-aparts, an exercise in which you hold the resistance band at shoulder level with arms fully extended and grip the band at its widest point. Then pull the band apart, attempting to squeeze your shoulder blades back and together. This is an important exercise for good posture, as these muscles are often weak due sitting and other factors. Next, everyone should own a foam roller - it is good to use the foam roller at least 10-15 minutes a day to put pressure on tight muscles, kind of like a massage. This will help with recovery and flexibility.
As far as brands of equipment go, I’d stay away from anything with flashy packaging or gimmicks. Go for the tried and true equipment, and use it as it was intended to be used. As long as it is effective, that’s all we care about. I hope I was able to be of some help today, and thank you for your time. Check out my other posts at http://www.FOWfitness.com/blog.
Andrew J. Dougan
Founder, Force of Will Fitness