Recommendation for simple home gym

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davebo
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Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by davebo »

This isn't for me. This is for my sister-in-law that just came to the realization that she needs to make her health a priority. She knows we're pretty into working out and asked for recommendations on how to get started. She told me recently that she really hasn't done any sort of exercise in probably over 20 years (she is about 40) and she has a horrible diet. She has started to clean up her diet, but I told her to just start walking outdoors after meals for maybe 10 minutes.

I originally told her to go to a personal trainer for a couple months, but she said she wants to workout at home. I have a basic setup, treadmill/power rack/barbells/dumbells. I would normally recommend that to anyone, but she seems like she needs a lot of handholding and would not know what to do unless it was dead simple. Debating on whether to recommend something like a Bowflex for strength training or maybe just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus so she can follow along.

Any thoughts on either option?
quantAndHold
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by quantAndHold »

How motivated is she? I would worry that anything she buys is going to become a doorstop within a few weeks. Especially since she’s a beginner with no guidance.

In normal times I would encourage her to get a short term gym membership and a few sessions with a personal trainer, with the thought that once she knows what she wants to do, she can buy what she needs and workout at home.

I’ve gotten through covid with an adjustable dumbbell set and a jump rope, but good god that’s getting boring. I can’t imagine someone who isn’t super motivated sticking with that for long.

I would think an Apple Fitness Plus subscription, and then she can explore what’s there and get what she needs as she needs it.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
CFM300
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by CFM300 »

She could begin by just meeting the minimum recommendation of 150 mins of moderately intense cardio exercise per week, plus two sessions of strength training per week.

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/ba ... /index.htm

For someone who hasn't exercised in 20 years, she doesn't need to buy a thing. Just walk 30 minutes per day, five days per week and do bodyweight squats and push-ups twice per week. Modify the exercises as necessary depending on strength and mobility -- e.g., sit-and-stands and wall push-ups. Set reasonable goals, track progress, increase volume and difficulty slowly and when appropriate.
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camillus
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by camillus »

A kettlebell? A bicycle?

At this point it seems like exposing herself to a lot of different things is important - perhaps via YouTube. Then she can decide what she likes.

You can get very far with body weight movements & no equipment.
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H-Town
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by H-Town »

davebo wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 pm This isn't for me. This is for my sister-in-law that just came to the realization that she needs to make her health a priority. She knows we're pretty into working out and asked for recommendations on how to get started. She told me recently that she really hasn't done any sort of exercise in probably over 20 years (she is about 40) and she has a horrible diet. She has started to clean up her diet, but I told her to just start walking outdoors after meals for maybe 10 minutes.

I originally told her to go to a personal trainer for a couple months, but she said she wants to workout at home. I have a basic setup, treadmill/power rack/barbells/dumbells. I would normally recommend that to anyone, but she seems like she needs a lot of handholding and would not know what to do unless it was dead simple. Debating on whether to recommend something like a Bowflex for strength training or maybe just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus so she can follow along.

Any thoughts on either option?
It's going to be tough for your sister-in-law as it's been over 20 years not exercising. I'd recommend her a well-written workout program or follow classes to get into a routine. It doesn't matter that it's cardio, HIIT, or resistance training. But she needs some structure that she can follow and not falling off within a few weeks.

Try this out: https://www.mindpumpmedia.com/maps-starter-bundle. Those guys have good written fitness program. MAPS Anabolic is one of the best programs out there with full body workout routine - 2 days a week.

You can follow with a pair of dumbbell, bands, a bench, yoga mat. Those can be purchased within $150 - $200 total. I wouldn't invest in a treadmill, or a stationary bike. Instead she should incorporate 15 minute outside walk after every meal. Treadmill is expensive and will likely collect dust after a first few weeks of use.
AlohaJoe
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by AlohaJoe »

She doesn't need to buy anything. There are tons of beginner level high intensity interval training videos free on YouTube that just use bodyweight. She should start with those instead of spending a penny

Realistically, if someone can't stick with YouTube bodyweight exercises for a few weeks, then they probably wouldn't with anything else either and at least they didn't waste any money on stuff that just gathers dust.
mancich
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by mancich »

AlohaJoe wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:17 am She doesn't need to buy anything. There are tons of beginner level high intensity interval training videos free on YouTube that just use bodyweight. She should start with those instead of spending a penny

Realistically, if someone can't stick with YouTube bodyweight exercises for a few weeks, then they probably wouldn't with anything else either and at least they didn't waste any money on stuff that just gathers dust.
+1. Bodyweight to start, and have her take frequent walks. Then, once she demonstrates her commitment to exercise, she can start slowly adding some basics, like some dumbells, a simple bench, some resistance bands, etc
The Stone Wall
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by The Stone Wall »

I agree with walking and bodyweight exercises. She may also want to look into 'slow jogging'. She should get some type of fitness watch like a Fitbit. Tracking exercise, sleep patterns, and heart rate will all be motivational for her. Motivation will be key developing this into a routine.
teCh0010
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by teCh0010 »

Resistance bands and a treadmill.

First things first is just activity. Have her start walking around the neighborhood 3 times a week for 30 - 40 min.
livesoft
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by livesoft »

AlohaJoe wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:17 am She doesn't need to buy anything. There are tons of beginner level high intensity interval training videos free on YouTube that just use bodyweight. She should start with those instead of spending a penny

Realistically, if someone can't stick with YouTube bodyweight exercises for a few weeks, then they probably wouldn't with anything else either and at least they didn't waste any money on stuff that just gathers dust.
This is spot-on advice.

In my experience when people go ask someone who has an advanced setup that calls it a basic setup, then I suspect they are looking for easy and quick results without having to do any work. Even a personal trainer is probably too much for such people because if they need someone to motivate them, then they might as well join the army.

Some people just need to start very slow, such as walk to the corner and back once a day, then work up from there.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by cheese_breath »

As people have already suggested, walks. And resistance bands for a simple start, hopefully working herself up to dumbbells and weights later.
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gronkman
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by gronkman »

davebo wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 pm This isn't for me. This is for my sister-in-law that just came to the realization that she needs to make her health a priority. She knows we're pretty into working out and asked for recommendations on how to get started. She told me recently that she really hasn't done any sort of exercise in probably over 20 years (she is about 40) and she has a horrible diet. She has started to clean up her diet, but I told her to just start walking outdoors after meals for maybe 10 minutes.

I originally told her to go to a personal trainer for a couple months, but she said she wants to workout at home. I have a basic setup, treadmill/power rack/barbells/dumbells. I would normally recommend that to anyone, but she seems like she needs a lot of handholding and would not know what to do unless it was dead simple. Debating on whether to recommend something like a Bowflex for strength training or maybe just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus so she can follow along.

Any thoughts on either option?
It can be very difficult to get started with fitness without some sort of guiding factor. Not that it can’t be done, but some people need an extra push or help getting started. I originally needed a personal trainer to help me, but now I do everything myself with my own routine and drive.

I find Apple Fitness+ to be excellent and motivating. There are different classes for HIIT, yoga, strength, etc. depending on what she wants to do. Keep in mind it requires both an Apple Watch and an Apple device of some kind (Apple TV/iPad/iPhone) as well.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Don't let her spend a dime on any equipment until she proves her commitment by doing a program of walking and other equipment-free exercises for a least two months.
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Sandtrap »

davebo wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 pm This isn't for me. This is for my sister-in-law that just came to the realization that she needs to make her health a priority. She knows we're pretty into working out and asked for recommendations on how to get started. She told me recently that she really hasn't done any sort of exercise in probably over 20 years (she is about 40) and she has a horrible diet. She has started to clean up her diet, but I told her to just start walking outdoors after meals for maybe 10 minutes.

I originally told her to go to a personal trainer for a couple months, but she said she wants to workout at home. I have a basic setup, treadmill/power rack/barbells/dumbells. I would normally recommend that to anyone, but she seems like she needs a lot of handholding and would not know what to do unless it was dead simple. Debating on whether to recommend something like a Bowflex for strength training or maybe just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus so she can follow along.

Any thoughts on either option?
Budget?
Space? (dedicated room is the best)

Basic female (non injury) "fitness", does not have to be "Rocky or super gym guy level.

Eliptical and/or Treadmill.
(low impact treadmills are great but cost $$$$. I have mid/high level Sole equipment)
Bowflex
(there are better and more costly, but a basic unit gets the job done simply and enough to maintain "fitness", (not rocky level).
Total Gym
(seen on TV adv. with Chuck Norris back in the day). Supports the spine on squats. Body weight exercises maintain fitness (not rocky level).
Set of light weights
(dumb/stupid bells in various colors, avail Amazon.com in sets. No need for heavy)
Yoga mat
(stretching, etc)
Fitness balls
(goes with the yoga mat, get the right size to fit the person)

Go slow.
Don't do anything that can't be maintained.
Short sessions is fine. (consistent over intensity)
Avoid being too "gung ho".
Make it fun
Boom box or great ear pods and great music, a must.

*walk several days a week. Costs nothing and has the best overall benefit and can be far more intesting than a "hampster wheel".
(take pictures, listen to music, get a "walk buddy".)

* Diet/nutrition. All of the above is useless on lousy processed food and heavy carbs and "food in a box". Quality of food and intake is what your body has to work with.

*healthy and fit "lifestyle". Health and fitness is a lifestyle. All of the above is compromised if one is a "couch potato" or the recliner gets more wear and tear than walking shoes. IE: sedate hobbies vs active hobbies, sunlight vs lamp light, etc. (like that).

*seek balance in all things.

Make it fun.
j :D
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barnaclebob
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by barnaclebob »

My wife has been using the fitness blender youtube channel for years. They have bodyweight routines for all skill levels and when shes ready she can add a set of adjustable dumbbells. If that sticks add a bench. But if you arent using machines which isolate muscles then form is paramount and it takes a massive amount of discipline to stay in form.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by cheese_breath »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:22 am Don't let her spend a dime on any equipment until she proves her commitment by doing a program of walking and other equipment-free exercises for a least two months.
+1 except for some inexpensive resistance bands which I've already recommended to get started.
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Sandtrap »

cheese_breath wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:06 am
UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:22 am Don't let her spend a dime on any equipment until she proves her commitment by doing a program of walking and other equipment-free exercises for a least two months.
+1 except for some inexpensive resistance bands which I've already recommended to get started.
+1
Great point!

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minesweep
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by minesweep »

I agree with other posters who suggested walking. Brisk walking would be even better. And if there are any hills in the area walking up one of them would also increase her cardio. Of course that might depend on the condition of her knees and hips. The most important thing about exercising is being disciplined (doing it on a regular basis). If she doesn’t do that than buying a piece of expensive home equipment would be a waste of money. Perhaps something like a stationary bike might be a cheaper indoor option. For building her strength add some dumbbells.
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alfaspider
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by alfaspider »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:45 am

Basic female (non injury) "fitness", does not have to be "Rocky or super gym guy level.

Obviously, nobody must be "super gym guy", but I think women are often sold short by society and the fitness industry and told they can't (or shouldn't) do higher intensity training or strength training, when the benefits are just as important for women as men. In fact, given that women are more prone to osteoporosis, they could actually gain more from heavy resistance training than most men, as heavy strength training is associated with increased bone density.

At the end of the day, you have to ask what you are accomplishing with exercise. I think for most people, what they really want is to increase their healthspan. This is different from an elite athlete who wants to be fastest/strongest in some activity, or people who just want to increase their lifespan (living longer regardless of their condition). By "healthspan", I mean being able to do active things for as long as possible.

I'd argue that some strenuous exercise is needed to maximize one's healthspan (more than just walking around the block, yard work, or other "moderate" exercise). I will use the example of my two grandfathers: one did regular moderate exercise in his retirement years (swimming and walking), the other did vigorous exercise (mountain climbing, strength training, and more intense cardio sessions). They both had similarly long lifespans, but the moderate exerciser started to become very frail by his early 80s and was in a wheelchair by his mid 80s. The vigorous exerciser was still going on 10 mile hikes in his mid 80s. Obviously, genetic differences and luck can play into that, but I think the much higher baseline strength was a big part of the difference between the two.

In this case, simply buying a power rack and telling her to go at it is probably not going to be effective. Most "off the couch" types are not going to have the baseline strength necessary to take advantage of a barbell setup. I agree with others that starting with bodyweight strength exercises is best. There are TONS of free exercise videos on youtube that can give ideas, motivations, and show proper form. The main thing is you want to balance push and pull exercises (i.e. pushup and pullup), and not ignore legs (squat!).

As for cardio, it doesn't require learned skill in the same way that strength training does. Just move in a way that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy. Walking is something almost everyone can do, and the pace can be adjusted for ability (moving up into running as fitness increases).

What you do doesn't matter as much as sticking with it. The "new year's resolution" types who get motivated to exercise and then stop after a few weeks due to injury or boredom are not helping themselves much over just staying on the couch. Ideally, she will find some form of exercise that she enjoys intrinsically and will be motivated to keep doing.
Last edited by alfaspider on Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Sandtrap »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:11 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:45 am

Basic female (non injury) "fitness", does not have to be "Rocky or super gym guy level.

Obviously, nobody must be "super gym guy", but I think women are often sold short by society and the fitness industry and told they can't (or shouldn't) do higher intensity training or strength training, when the benefits are just as important for women as men. In fact, given that women are more prone to osteoporosis, they could actually gain more from heavy resistance training than most men, as heavy strength training is associate with increased bone density.

At the end of the day, you have to ask what you are accomplishing with exercise. I think for most people, what they really want is to increase their healthspan. This is different from an elite athlete who wants to be fastest/strongest in some activity, or people who just want to increase their lifespan (living longer regardless of their condition). By "healthspan", I mean being able to do active things for as long as possible.

I'd argue that some strenuous exercise is needed to maximize one's healthspan (more than just walking around the block, yard work, or other "moderate" exercise). I will use the example of my two grandfathers: one did regular moderate exercise in his retirement years (swimming and walking), the other did vigorous exercise (mountain climbing, strength training, and more intense cardio sessions). They both had similarly long lifespans, but the moderate exerciser started to become very frail by his early 80s and was in a wheelchair by his mid 80s. The vigorous exerciser was still going on 10 mile hikes in his mid 80s. Obviously, genetic differences and luck can play into that, but I think the much higher baseline strength was a big part of the difference between the two.

In this case, simply buying a power rack and telling her to go at it is probably not going to be effective. Most "off the couch" types are not going to have the baseline strength necessary to take advantage of a barbell setup. I agree with others that starting with bodyweight strength exercises is best. There are TONS of free exercise videos on youtube that can give ideas, motivations, and show proper form. The main thing is you want to balance push and pull exercises (i.e. pushup and pullup), and not ignore legs (squat!).

As for cardio, it doesn't require learned skill in the same way that strength training does. Just move in a way that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy. Walking is something almost everyone can do, and the pace can be adjusted for ability (moving up into running as fitness increases).

What you do doesn't matter as much as sticking with it. The "new year's resolution" types who get motivated to exercise and then stop after a few weeks due to injury or boredom are not helping themselves much over just staying on the couch. Ideally, she will find some form of exercise that she enjoys intrinsically and will be motivated to keep doing.
+1
Couldn’t have said it better!
Great points!

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cheese_breath
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by cheese_breath »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:11 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:45 am

Basic female (non injury) "fitness", does not have to be "Rocky or super gym guy level.

Obviously, nobody must be "super gym guy", but I think women are often sold short by society and the fitness industry and told they can't (or shouldn't) do higher intensity training or strength training, when the benefits are just as important for women as men. In fact, given that women are more prone to osteoporosis, they could actually gain more from heavy resistance training than most men, as heavy strength training is associate with increased bone density.

At the end of the day, you have to ask what you are accomplishing with exercise. I think for most people, what they really want is to increase their healthspan. This is different from an elite athlete who wants to be fastest/strongest in some activity, or people who just want to increase their lifespan (living longer regardless of their condition). By "healthspan", I mean being able to do active things for as long as possible.

I'd argue that some strenuous exercise is needed to maximize one's healthspan (more than just walking around the block, yard work, or other "moderate" exercise). I will use the example of my two grandfathers: one did regular moderate exercise in his retirement years (swimming and walking), the other did vigorous exercise (mountain climbing, strength training, and more intense cardio sessions). They both had similarly long lifespans, but the moderate exerciser started to become very frail by his early 80s and was in a wheelchair by his mid 80s. The vigorous exerciser was still going on 10 mile hikes in his mid 80s. Obviously, genetic differences and luck can play into that, but I think the much higher baseline strength was a big part of the difference between the two.

In this case, simply buying a power rack and telling her to go at it is probably not going to be effective. Most "off the couch" types are not going to have the baseline strength necessary to take advantage of a barbell setup. I agree with others that starting with bodyweight strength exercises is best. There are TONS of free exercise videos on youtube that can give ideas, motivations, and show proper form. The main thing is you want to balance push and pull exercises (i.e. pushup and pullup), and not ignore legs (squat!).

As for cardio, it doesn't require learned skill in the same way that strength training does. Just move in a way that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy. Walking is something almost everyone can do, and the pace can be adjusted for ability (moving up into running as fitness increases).

What you do doesn't matter as much as sticking with it. The "new year's resolution" types who get motivated to exercise and then stop after a few weeks due to injury or boredom are not helping themselves much over just staying on the couch. Ideally, she will find some form of exercise that she enjoys intrinsically and will be motivated to keep doing.
+1 Right now SIL needs basic transportation, not an Indy 500 car.
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H-Town
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by H-Town »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:11 am What you do doesn't matter as much as sticking with it. The "new year's resolution" types who get motivated to exercise and then stop after a few weeks due to injury or boredom are not helping themselves much over just staying on the couch. Ideally, she will find some form of exercise that she enjoys intrinsically and will be motivated to keep doing.
+1

This can't be stressed enough. I've seen many people going too hard at the "New Year's resolution" idea, so that they get themselves injured, hurt, and demotivated. Most of beginners don't know how to structure their workouts at the beginning so that their body can withstand the stress, recover, and adapt. They need a well written program and/or a trainer to observe their workouts and progress.

Also, human is a creature of habit. I see similar regulars at the gym and I see familiar faces when I go for a walk at a local park. When fitness and healthy lifestyle is your way of life, you don't need any motivation to eat right and to exercise. You just do it.
Onlineid3089
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Onlineid3089 »

She doesn't need any equipment. If she hasn't exercised for 20 years she may not even be able to do a couple sets of push ups, body weight squats, and sit ups anyway.

I'd get her a garmin/fitbit/apple/whatever else there is fitness tracker and have her start by tracking and increasing her steps for a few weeks and slowly add in other exercises from there.
rich126
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by rich126 »

Some people do better with a device in front of a tv to help the time go by. I like recumbent bikes but if you are starting out I'm not sure spending the money is worth it if the person isn't likely to stick with it.

I have to admit the past year I've done almost nothing which isn't good. The last time I got this bad was prior to moving due to a gym closing and then starting a job that turned out to be bad. Eventually I got back into a gym and started with 10 minutes on a bike and slowly built it up to 25 minutes and then slowly added the difficulty. Then added in weights and did well for about 6 years until early 2019 when I messed up my back.

The key thing is to take it easy at first since getting injury destroys any motivation you have quickly. And find something that is tolerable. Some people really like working out but most of us just tolerate it. I'm hoping to relocate this summer and get back into the exercising before it is too late.
jco
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by jco »

davebo wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:45 pm This isn't for me. This is for my sister-in-law that just came to the realization that she needs to make her health a priority. She knows we're pretty into working out and asked for recommendations on how to get started. She told me recently that she really hasn't done any sort of exercise in probably over 20 years (she is about 40) and she has a horrible diet. She has started to clean up her diet, but I told her to just start walking outdoors after meals for maybe 10 minutes.

I originally told her to go to a personal trainer for a couple months, but she said she wants to workout at home. I have a basic setup, treadmill/power rack/barbells/dumbells. I would normally recommend that to anyone, but she seems like she needs a lot of handholding and would not know what to do unless it was dead simple. Debating on whether to recommend something like a Bowflex for strength training or maybe just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus so she can follow along.

Any thoughts on either option?
I actually second the personal trainer idea, if she can afford it. Some personal trainers will even come to your home. I don't disagree with the people who are encouraging things like walking and body weight exercises. Those are great. But I suspect your sister needs to learn how to work out and how to use her body properly. Also, the personal trainer can help her stay accountable. It's expensive yes, but she either pays now (with money and time) or she pays later (with a shorted life span, poor quality of life, etc.)

As an aside, my partner, who is a very active person, benefited greatly from a personal trainer. My partner had been working out consistently since their teen years, yet a personal trainer actually showing them how to do exercises has helped them get to a whole new level.
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by friar1610 »

AlohaJoe wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:17 am She doesn't need to buy anything. There are tons of beginner level high intensity interval training videos free on YouTube that just use bodyweight. She should start with those instead of spending a penny

Realistically, if someone can't stick with YouTube bodyweight exercises for a few weeks, then they probably wouldn't with anything else either and at least they didn't waste any money on stuff that just gathers dust.
A slightly different take on the above...

teambody project.com is, in my opinion, an excellent regimen of varied workouts with a wide range of focuses, difficulty levels and workout durations. I have used their videos extensively during the pandemic to augment my meager home equipment and replace the gym. You can try their workouts for free before subscribing for a fee. ($15/month on a three month sign-up). There are also a limited number of workouts on YouTube for free. No need to buy any equipment to get started. And then you’ll only need a mat and maybe a set of 5 lb. weights.
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Point
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Point »

Consider trying an online workout for 30 days. http://lesmills.com/ Is a great program with lots of different options. Also has a good following on Facebook group.
quantAndHold
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by quantAndHold »

Onlineid3089 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:52 am She doesn't need any equipment. If she hasn't exercised for 20 years she may not even be able to do a couple sets of push ups, body weight squats, and sit ups anyway.

I'd get her a garmin/fitbit/apple/whatever else there is fitness tracker and have her start by tracking and increasing her steps for a few weeks and slowly add in other exercises from there.
I disagree. She needs exercise equipment precisely *because* she hasn’t exercised for 20 years. She isn’t going to be able to do more than a push-up or two, much less a couple of sets. Most body weight exercises are going to be too hard.

I agree in principle to the stretchy band idea, but what she needs more than that is guidance. A class, a trainer, someone to help her figure out what to do.

Mostly though, she needs to find something physical that she enjoys doing enough to do it several times a week.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Kagord
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Kagord »

Before even starting or buying anything, I recommend the link below. It's frequently Not Safe For Work (NSFW) but has tags for those posts. IMHO, this is an extremely good resource for motivation with one's losing/gaining weight and getting in shape and healthy journey. This is real, "not infomercial" before/after pictures, and most posts describe how they got there. There's a plethora of posts of people who have let there body go and how they got out of that situation.

https://www.reddit.com/r/progresspics/
Mr.BB
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Mr.BB »

I think it is great that you sister in -law wants to get healthy. You have the right idea of getting a personal trainer. There are lots of trainers that will come to your house. I think there is a lot value that a good trainer brings to a fitness program; she just need to spend some time interviewing them to find the right fit. She can also do the same with a nutritionist to help her create a good base to work from.
Last edited by Mr.BB on Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
SteadyOne
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by SteadyOne »

Start with 10,000 steps a day. This is perfect for an absolute beginner and brings at least some structure. You just need a pedometer or Fitbit and a pair of shoes. If a person is unable to stick even to this, then forget it.

For anything more she absolutely needs to visit a certified physical therapist for evaluation. Gym trainers will overload her with bunch of strange exercises and she will get an injury. Gym trainers are not well trained to deal with middle age to elder folks who never exercised
“Every de­duc­tion is al­lowed as a mat­ter of leg­isla­tive grace.” US Federal Court
Casper
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Casper »

Everyone's different, but I wouldn't recommend she just "find something on YouTube." I tried that and it just led me down a YouTube rabbit hole with no consistency and a constant search for another video (which means I'm sitting on my couch searching YouTube, when I should be exercising). Searching for good exercise videos is a great way to delay actually exercising, especially if you're new to it.

In some thread on here a couple years ago someone recommended the book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. It's a bodyweight exercise routine that can be customized based on your ability and performed at home. I was in a similar position to your SIL a couple years ago, so I got the book and started at the most basic level. I also got the app, which shows you how to do all the exercises and let's you customize the workouts once you get more comfortable. It's been fantastic. And you certainly don't need to see a gym professional or physical therapist before getting started, which only adds another barrier. She can just get the book and start slowly.

Along with some other changes (lots of walking, improved diet, better sleep habits), it has helped me become the healthiest I've ever been, at age 41.
Casper
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Casper »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:08 am
Onlineid3089 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:52 am She doesn't need any equipment. If she hasn't exercised for 20 years she may not even be able to do a couple sets of push ups, body weight squats, and sit ups anyway.

I'd get her a garmin/fitbit/apple/whatever else there is fitness tracker and have her start by tracking and increasing her steps for a few weeks and slowly add in other exercises from there.
I disagree. She needs exercise equipment precisely *because* she hasn’t exercised for 20 years. She isn’t going to be able to do more than a push-up or two, much less a couple of sets. Most body weight exercises are going to be too hard.
Bodyweight exercises can be tailored to make them as hard or as easy as you need. She wouldn't start with a regular push up. She'd probably start with her hands at a higher position, such as on a kitchen counter or dresser, or even almost flat against a wall. Other bodyweight exercises are the same way.
CFM300
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by CFM300 »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:08 am She needs exercise equipment precisely *because* she hasn’t exercised for 20 years. She isn’t going to be able to do more than a push-up or two, much less a couple of sets. Most body weight exercises are going to be too hard.
As Casper noted above, bodyweight exercises can be scaled. Allow me to flesh that out with a bit more detail in case someone finds it helpful.

One can begin by doing push-ups against a wall, then a high table, a lower table, on the floor on knees, on the floor in a plank, with feet elevated, all the way to handstand push-ups against the wall, first with kipping, then without.

Squats can begin with simply sitting down and standing up in a dining room chair using hands, then rocking to get up without hands, without rocking, then squatting to the chair but not sitting down, squatting to parallel, to below parallel, then through a progression for one-legged squats.
Rudy Tooty
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Rudy Tooty »

It's most important to find an exercise that she finds enjoyable so she continues doing it. Does she enjoy nature? Then buy a nice pair of walking shoes, find a nice trail around a lake or something - and walk it 4 times a week for an hour at a time while listening to music or whatever. Gyms have started opening up again. There are all sorts of aerobic classes going on - to meet individual interests. Find one and go there. Internet offers a lot of different exercise programs to teach beginners what do do, if she doesn't have the money to join a gym. Sometimes working out with a friend motivates people to stay in the exercise habit. Is there someone she knows who wants to begin exercising too? Partner up. Maybe if both joined a gym together they could get a discount. The trick with exercise is to stay motivated so one continues. Sometimes when someone starts to lose weight, get stronger and look better - that provides motivation. Most people feel much better after an exercise routine. That alone often motivates. It's really important to find an exercise one enjoys. Otherwise, motivation begins to fade.
Boglegirl81
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by Boglegirl81 »

She should join Weight Watchers rather than purchase exercise equipment.
MoonOrb
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by MoonOrb »

I'd recommend 2 smallish kettlebells. I think giving her a kettlebell as a specific piece of equipment will make this seem more focused for her, narrow down the types of exercises she can do, and give her some momentum and sense of accomplishment as she moves from one kettlebell to another. I think there's a lot of value in that when a person is new to exercising and can be overwhelmed by the possibilities (this will of course be true to some extent even if you limit options to just kettlebell workouts, but I would argue even doing this bit of narrowing in scope may be an effective tactic here).

I would want to pair this with an app/pre-identified online series of videos.

If the kettlebells collect dust, take them for yourself or they can be sold or donated, this is a small expenditure of money especially when compared to gym memberships and personal trainers.

If I felt someone was really willing to stick with this no matter what, I'd probably just give them bodyweight exercises and maybe some resistance bands, but I am betting that kettlebells lead to more engagement with this than a list of bodyweight/band exercises. It's hard to put my finger on why, exactly, but maybe at least consider this.
alfaspider
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by alfaspider »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:08 am
Onlineid3089 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:52 am She doesn't need any equipment. If she hasn't exercised for 20 years she may not even be able to do a couple sets of push ups, body weight squats, and sit ups anyway.

I'd get her a garmin/fitbit/apple/whatever else there is fitness tracker and have her start by tracking and increasing her steps for a few weeks and slowly add in other exercises from there.
I disagree. She needs exercise equipment precisely *because* she hasn’t exercised for 20 years. She isn’t going to be able to do more than a push-up or two, much less a couple of sets. Most body weight exercises are going to be too hard.

I agree in principle to the stretchy band idea, but what she needs more than that is guidance. A class, a trainer, someone to help her figure out what to do.

Mostly though, she needs to find something physical that she enjoys doing enough to do it several times a week.
Just about any body weight exercise you can think of can be scaled to make it easier or harder as needed. Yes, she probably can't do a strict form pushup. But she can probably do at least a few pushups from her knees. If that's too hard, they can be made easier by elevating her hands or doing them from a standing position leaning on a table. She may not be able to do a full depth squat, but she can probably stand up from a chair without using her hands.

Most fitness newbies need guidance, but that doesn't have to be from a high-priced trainer. There's a wealth of good information online. Of course part of the problem is parsing the good and the bad. One great site I found helpful was scoobysworkshop.com. It's run by an older (50+ natural body builder) who focuses on home workouts that can be done on a budget without a lot of equipment.

The biggest thing for newbies is just understanding the concept of progressive overload. Once you get that, everything makes a lot more sense.
alfaspider
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by alfaspider »

Boglegirl81 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:04 pm She should join Weight Watchers rather than purchase exercise equipment.
That may help lose weight, but I didn't see weight loss in the list of goals. You can be trim but extremely out of shape. You can also be in pretty good shape with a few extra pounds.
finite_difference
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by finite_difference »

Peloton?

I’d also recommend Tai Chi and traditional Kung Fu.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
alfaspider
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by alfaspider »

SteadyOne wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:37 am

For anything more she absolutely needs to visit a certified physical therapist for evaluation. Gym trainers will overload her with bunch of strange exercises and she will get an injury. Gym trainers are not well trained to deal with middle age to elder folks who never exercised
My experience watching gym trainers is actually the opposite. Younger/fitter folks either can't afford a personal trainer or are being trained through a structured sports program.

The client base tends to be the prototypical middle age to older folks who are just now realizing they need to get in shape. Fearing liability from causing injury, the trainers never ratchet up the difficulty appropriately and the trainees never see much in the way of results. I've only trained with a personal trainer a few times, but every time they've gone too light with too many reps and I left feeling like I got a mediocre workout.

I do agree on the "strange" workouts. I think the trainers are afraid of boring their clients and also perceive their clients to be afraid of traditional barbell/dumbbell exercises (many have the unfounded fear of "bulking up"). So they do strange things involving bosu balls or big heavy ropes or odd stretches. Basically anything to avoid the tried and tested methods of building strength.
30west
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Re: Recommendation for simple home gym

Post by 30west »

Find a fitness tracking app for her smartphone. Some alow for private grouos and accountability will help keyp her motivated to walk/bike consistently.
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