Okay, since I am not a gym rat—I do all my workouts at home at the moment—I’ve learned to be creative with my space, and only purchase items that are easily stored and multifunctional in use; in essence, you won’t find a treadmill or an elliptical in my house because both take up too big of a footprint and I already know I wouldn’t use either enough to justify their purchase.
That said, there are at least five items that are absolute must-haves for me and these are they:
1. Heart Rate Monitor
I started using one of these a couple years ago and it transformed my approach to working out. It wasn’t until I could actually see the calories and intensity level in front of me, that I could see why the plateau I knew I’d hit wasn’t budging. After that, the sky was the limit. I’ve used one ever since and literally never start a session without one.
2. My iPod
Music is fuel for me. I cannot power through a HIIT, Tabata, strength training, step aerobic routine, etc., without some tunes blasting at ignorant levels. Even on my most challenging day, music gives me the motivation I need to keep going, even when my brain is screaming “no mas. no mas.”.
3. My step
Long before I purchased an actual Step, with risers, I used a set of folding stairs as a means of stepping up my strength workouts and making my dance sessions more intense. The intermittent usage of elevation within my workouts was something I felt was needed to give me that total body workout I felt I needed to have on a daily basis.
4. My Bench
Swiss Balls are nice, and I still utilize mine quite often, but there’s nothing like a weight bench, in my opinion. Mine is adjustable and allows me to hit certain muscles from different angles, and it has the added benefit of allowing me a higher platform to step on and off of during leg workouts.
5. My phone
I know, this one sounds a little inappropriate, but there are so many great fitness apps available these days and I use several of them regularly—Nike Training Club, Tabata Timer, and My Fitness Pal, just to name a few—and love having such conveniences at my fingertips. Not to mention, when it comes to taking vacations, youtube is my best friend where fitness is concerned, there are so many great channels to steal workouts from; it’s a great way to stay focused even when you’re on the go!