One of the main concerns when first starting a workout regime is the cost. Gym memberships can be expensive, and not everyone has the time or perhaps the self-esteem to work out in a public place. That’s okay. Working out from home can be just as effective, and you don’t need to spend thousands, or even hundreds of dollars, to get there.
First of all, let me say that you are going to have to make time for your fitness plan, or you’ll never stick with it long enough to see much success. I’m not saying you have to join a gym – just make sure you are serious enough about it that you’re willing to devote the necessary time on a regular basis to get the job done from home.
With that said, let’s discuss one of the cheapest and lowest types of equipment you can acquire to help you work out at home. Very few of us have an extra room that we’d be willing to turn into a home gym, much less the cash flow to afford one, so let’s forget about bulky (and expensive) workout stations. Those small, fold-away fad fitness machines don’t generally work either, so stop watching infomercials, too. If you want to purchase a single piece of equipment that will help to build muscle all over your body and burn the most fat at the same time, you simply need to purchase one item…
Barbell for Deadlifts
The one piece of equipment I recommend above all else is a barbell. Prices on these can vary anywhere from $60 to $300 and up, but don’t worry – you can get a 100lb set of good quality in the lower price range. If you need more lift, you can add to it by purchasing a few more weights here and there, but this item stacks away neatly, takes up very little space and offers the most effective full-body workout. I’m talking about one of my own favorite routines, and Mike Chang’s as well, the deadlift.
What makes deadlifts so incredibly effective is that they work out so many muscle groups, and because of that, they burn fat at an intense rate. In fact, if you’re one of those people who just wants to develop six pack abs, deadlifts are a key element to achieving them. Doing sit-ups and crunches might do wonders for developing your stomach muscles, but it will not eliminate your body fat. It doesn’t matter how well defined your abs are, if you have a substantial layer of fat covering them, no one will ever see it.
Deadlifts are the best exercise for your back, and at the same time, work your quads, legs, shoulders, arms, chest and the all-important abdomen. Deadlifts aren’t easy, but they are extremely effective in burning body fat and building muscle when done properly.
To do a deadlift, you should squat down as low as possible in front of the bar, keeping the bar close to your shins with your feet shoulder width apart. Your hands should grip the bar just outside the width of your feet, also about shoulder width. With your head up and chest out, stand straight up, allowing your grip to lift the bar naturally. Do not lift the bar outward or upwards at all. Simply let it remain at hip-height where your arms naturally hang. Then slowly lower your back, allowing the bar to go just below the knees before bending your legs and lowering it to the floor. Make sure that you do not round your back, keeping it straight at all times to prevent stress on the back. Rinse and repeat…
As you add more weight, it’s a good idea to turn one hand in the opposite direction when gripping the bar, leaving the forearm facing outward. This allows for a stronger grip and less chance of slippage. We certainly don’t want 100+ pounds of pressure falling on your precious toes… Grip gloves might also be a worthy purchase if you experience a problem with sweaty palms.
If you’ve checked out any of the videos on Mike Chang’s “Six Pack Shortcuts” YouTube channel, which currently offers more than 250 selections, you’ve surely noticed that he offers an abundance of ‘No-Equipment Needed” workouts. If you don’t have the money or space for workout equipment, I strongly suggest checking out some of those workout videos. You can do everything from abs and legs to cardio and intense fat-burning workouts with absolutely no equipment at all, or at most a common household item, such as a bath towel or table chair.