What to buy.

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Posts

I was inspired to explain my standpoint on fitness equipment some. You could get the impression from some of my rantings and projects that I’m out to un-do the fitness industry in general. You can waste a great deal of money but there are some things that are well worth the price.

First and foremost is knowledge. Books, DVDs, the advice of people who have a desire to help others. Yes, you’ll pay them, those people have to eat too and there is absolutely no excuse for pirating them. At the least you should start with two books:

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Never Let Go by Dan John

With those, your education and level of knowledge should be enough to get you started.You can take the principles outlined in these two books and mold a program that fits your needs exactly. Plus they have the added benefit of including references and reading lists to continue your personal education on the subject.

Equipment is a different matter.

Kettlebells have recently become pretty popular. Most of them are made of the same iron and steel that barbell weights are made from yet they sell for two to three dollars a pound compared to the typical one dollar a pound most individual plates sell for. I have only recently discovered one website selling Kettlebells for $1.05 a pound. This is a reasonable price for what amounts to a hunk of iron with a handle on it. We should all make this guy rich. I may pony up for some of these instead of trying to fabricate an adjustable Kettelbell.

Medicine balls are still to damn expensive. A basketball full of sand works just as well and cost a fraction of the price. You can Google home made medicine ball and get four different methods to make one.

One area not to scrimp is a power rack. I’ve talked about making them from scratch and if you have the skill it’s a viable option. If you build it, build it well. This thing may have to save your life if you don’t have a spotter. If you buy a rack, buy a good one. The same goes for your bench. I have mentioned before that I only use the bench for a few exercises, however, it’s stability in those exercises is important.

Beyond that, I’m not stealing any intellectual property from TRX by making my own suspension trainer. The idea has been around a long time. I don’t have $250 to drop on  shiny new TRX and considering how cheap many of the materials are, the included DVD just doesn’t make up for the price. You can find examples of most the exercises you can do with a suspension trainer on youtube, if you’ve read Mark and Dan’s books, coming up with a routine shouldn’t be a big deal. Chances re than anything you fnd on late night TV that’s worth the money has also been around a lot longer than you think. If you can make your own, more power to you.

Spend you money on the things that matter most. A good rack, bench and bar. Used is fine if it’s in good condition. Do you really need a hundred dollar set of calibrated surgical tubes? Try shaking a small dumbbell before you shell out for something as universally ridiculous as a shake weight. If it costs three easy payments of 39.99 it’s probably crap. Trying new things is important, paying through the nose for them is foolish.

Quality, multipurpose equipment. Knowledge. These are worth more than you’ll pay for them


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