Budget Minded Fitness

home gym

Photo: TineyHo CC-By-2.0

Everybody that knows me will tell you about one of my shining traits–I’m a bargain hunter. Some have even called me cheap. I prefer frugal.

I tend to do most of the grocery shopping. In part because Becca hates doing it. Also because the receipt at the cash register is smaller when I go. I’m always looking for the best buy.

I’m not talking about just buying the cheapest garbage that the store has to offer. No, I still love good quality. Therefore, I look for the best products available at the lowest prices. That usually puts me in the middle of the road as far as quality is concerned. I’m good with that.

Training is no different. When confronted with our workout options, I studied the situation. The choices were carefully massaged.

  • Becca hates training in a public gym. That right there almost made the decision for us.
  • Gym memberships typically require long contracts. I hate this, because I was bitten hard by it one time, which I’ll save for another story.
  • With contracts come initiation fees. There’s no reason for this, but they figure that you’ll pay.
  • Most gym memberships are not cheap. There are some out there, but they’re few and far between.

The decision was simple for us

That didn’t leave a whole lot of options for us. We had to find a way that allowed Becca to workout in a private setting, while still providing what I required. There were a few items that made our decision for us.

  • Space. We had a spare bedroom that wasn’t being used. (Now we use the family room).
  • Equipment. A coworker sold me a used stationary bike, heavy-duty multi-purpose weight bench, and about 400 lbs. of Olympic weights, a barbell, and dumbbells. I picked up all of this for $350. Plus, we already had a treadmill.

It was really a no-brainer for us. It was less expensive in the long haul to go the home gym route.

If you have the space, and want to follow the same path, check for sales on new equipment. Better yet, look for used stuff online. Craigslist is your friend here. I’ve seen some screamin’ deals there.

Let’s say that you just don’t have the room, or the money to invest in the necessary equipment. No problem. I picked up a nice leather jump rope and adjustable resistance tubes with handles for under $30 at “Wally World”. With just those two items, I could give you a workout that would make you laugh at the peeps in the gym.

Another cool idea is to do a little gaming for fitness. Of course, the Xbox 360 now has the wireless Kinect, and there are three exercise “games” that you can get with that. You can’t forget about the Nintendo though, as they were the first. Julie over at The Wii Mommies has had seen some serious results from exercising with her Wii.

Wrap it up already!

Hey, maybe you got a great deal at your local gym, or you found one of those places for $10 a month (just don’t set off the “lunk alarm”). For us, we found that the home gym was the way to go. How about you, are you a budget minded fitness geek like me, or do you throw caution to the wind, and workout at the local hot spot fitness center?

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to “Budget Minded Fitness”

  1. Wow – a rack? I’m sooooo jealous! I love the option of working out at home (but I’m not set up like you are), but with KB, few dumbells, jumprope, med ball, swiss ball, steps, chairs, railings & iPod deck – I can get a killer workout. My BF just got a spin bike (solid bargain deal), used bowflex dumbbells (they are awesome), and big boy benches, plates, & bars – so we are set!

    Uh – where’s your medicine ball? Geesh…

  2. Todd says:

    To be fair, that’s not our gym. We have a good multi-purpose bench, barbells, dumbbells, weight tree, bike, treadmill, etc. Sorry, still no medicine ball. :)

  3. Anne says:

    I’m all about the bodyweight exercises. I have access to a “workout” room at my apartments. The universal set is creaky, and I don’t trust it, but the treadmill in there is the bee’s knees.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Boyer, Todd Boyer. Todd Boyer said: Cool new blog post: Budget Minded Fitness http://bit.ly/grcO7z [...]

  5. Tim says:

    For me, I just can’t workout at home; too many distractions. The wife and kid are all over me as soon as I open the door, and it’s go, go, go until bed time. I have time in the mornings blocked out, and there is a Gold’s right down the street that we belong to. I manage to get in before the morning crowd, so it’s all good. I know it’s not the cheapest way to go, but it’s what we have to do I guess.

  6. Scotty Angel says:

    I’ve trained for years in the local gyms. Being an amateur bodybuilder, I feel that I need access to as much equipment as possible. Working out at home, or using just bodyweight, just isn’t gonna work for me. I like the idea of finding cheaper ways to train though.

  7. Todd says:

    @Anne, good job. It’s all about doing what you can, with what you have. Keep it up!

    @Tim, I can appreciate that. I get up an hour before the family, and do my workout at that time. Training in the evening doesn’t work for me either.

    @Scotty Angel, First, welcome to PhitZone. I can see where you’re coming from. As a bodybuilder, you need to do lots of isolation work. I think that with a well thought out home gym though, you could do anything that you do at the gym while at home. You have to do what works best for you though. So, good on you. :)

  8. Greg says:

    For the longest time, I eschewed going to a gym for just this reason. It isn’t cheap, and particularly when I was doing sprint triathlons, I didn’t feel the need for the expense. I started making use of one near my workplace for easy access to the pool. Now I use the whole facility, just because I can get my workout in over lunch rather than in the evening. But truth be told, I could easily switch back, as even at the gym I do a lot of bodyweight work.

  9. Todd says:

    Word for the day, “eschewed”. :) I think that even with bodyweight routines, just being in the gym, is a certain amount of motivation. I think it’s along the lines of “looking professional, acting professional”.

    Wow, sprint triathlon? That’s intense.

  10. [...] deep in my college studies (partying), and working (in a restaurant for my dinner). I mentioned this story last week, and it seemed appropriate to tell you of this [...]

  11. Holy crap you mentioned me! YAY! I was super into reading this because I totally agree with everything you said and then I saw ME!!! The Wii Mommies rule! I feel famous now :D

  12. Todd says:

    Glad I could make your day, Julie. You’re just a web-celeb, and gonna have to get use to it. :)

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge