How to build the exercise habit if you hate going to the gym

If the thought of signing up to and training at a gym daunts you, then it may be time to think about other simpler ways of building exercise into your routine.

It’s that time of the year when the gyms are still busier than usual.  You might find yourself dreading the thought of going to the gym when there are queues for equipment.  I know that thought has put me off joining or going to the the gym plenty of times.  It killed my consistency.

Consistency is the most important principle when it comes to transforming your fitness and physique.  

If actually getting to the gym is an obstacle to being consistent, then you may need to spend some time thinking about alternative exercise options.  

I’m constantly working on evolving my coaching skills.  One of the big changes I’ve seen over the last few months is being more flexible with the fitness programs that I write for my clients.

I came from the background that ‘you have to lift weights in the gym’ mindset.  But things have changed.  I have recently outsourced my own fitness programming to another coach.  The program has been a game changer in that it isn’t all about heavy lifting.  Yes, I am still lifting weights, but I am also using plenty of other tools to give me a varied workout.

And that has helped me to write more programs that are home friendly for clients.

How to build a home gym

“I don’t have the money or space to build a home gym”.

Don’t worry. I am not suggesting that you clear out and transform your garage or front room into a fully equipped gym (power to you if you do though).  Nor am I suggesting that you go out and spend thousands on training equipment.

You can get a nice starter home setup for about £100 (the same as 2 months membership in a health club) with equipment that will not use up your precious space in your home.

Here are some of my favourite pieces equipment that are low cost, low space and highly effective:

  • Kettlebells: a tool that can be used to build strength, power and cardio fitness.  I normally suggest a set of 8, 12, 16kg ‘bells for women and a set of 16, 20 and 24kg ‘bells for men.
  • Suspension Trainer: a great tool that allows you to train your back, core and to vary your leg exercises.
  • Exercise mat: this will help with comfort and anti-slip benefits if your home has lots of wooden flooring.
  • A pull-up bar: a great addition to your back and arm workout if you can do a pull-up.
  • Skipping rope: if you hate running, then this is a great piece of equipment to get your heart pumping.
  • Resistance bands: these are another great option to help train your back, chest, shoulder, core and arms.
  • The great outdoors: and don’t forget the great outdoors.  Running is a great way to build fitness and to manage stress.  All of the equipment above can be packed into the boot of your car and anchored to pull-up bars, poles or trees in the park.

Why not just stick with bodyweight training?  There is nothing wrong with just bodyweight training, and it will definitely benefit you over not doing anything at all.  But using equipment will provide you with some big benefits, including:

  • It’s difficult to train your back muscles without equipment.  Training your back is important as it provides balance to your shoulder joint which can help to prevent injuries/issues (especially if you do lots of push-ups).
  • Suspension training and kettlebells weights will help you to build/maintain more muscle and strength which will improve how you feel and look.
  • More variety.  Variety is the spice of life.  By being able to do different exercises your program will be more interesting, which will motivate you to be more consistent with your training.

If you have wanted to train but the thought of working out in a gym is putting you off, then the home gym is a great option to build the consistency you need and to see great results.

If you’d like to learn how to train safely and effectively either at home or in a gym click the link at the top of this page to book your 7-day personal training trial in Wimbledon.

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