A guide on how to make your very own home gym on a student budget
From resistance bands to using tins of beans as weights, we’ve got you covered
Whether you’re a regular gym-goer or dread the thought of stepping through the door, lockdown seems to have every Tom, Dick, Harry and their mum doing home workouts. Whether you have been bombarded with Instagram live workouts or peer pressured into several challenges incorporating different forms of exercise to raise money, you are sure to be wondering how THAT many people can just casually run 5k.
We know venturing out for a run isn’t for everyone, so here we present to you the best tips and tricks to creating your very own home gym without having to take out another student loan. When we say home gym, we’re not suggesting installing a treadmill and squat rack into your box room at home, instead we have a few ideas for re-creating a gym-style workout on a budget whilst living in quarantine.
Step one: Find the space
Unlike an actual gym, it’s very unlikely you will have a designated room in the house with equipment, and if you do we’re all very jealous. No matter where you’re living during the lockdown, you’ll be surprised where you can squeeze in a quick workout. If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space this is perfect for escaping the restrictions of indoor exercise and means you can do HIIT and cardio style training like sprinting with your dog across the garden or seeing how many burpees you can do in 30 seconds.
If not, find a little corner in your bedroom or lounge and keep your equipment here so you have a friendly reminder to workout every time you’re six hours deep into Netflix. Top tip, if you put your gym clothes, the equipment you intend to use and even write down the workout the night before it can make the whole prospect a little easier.
Step two: Household ‘gym’ equipment
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are likely to be familiar with the craze that is the resistance band. These bands increase resistance as they’re stretched and take your workout from 0 – 100 real quick. There are a number of great brands out there and many have ranging ‘weights’ meaning the tension varies, so they are suitable from beginner to uber professional. The best part is they are affordable on a student budget and you can buy from brands directly like B_ND or Amazon! So if you’re wanting to improve your strength training and make those squats a little more difficult, we highly recommend investing in a good resistance band. They average around £15 so think of it as buying two drinks on a Saturday night in Brighton and it doesn’t seem so bad!
Step three: You have to get creative
In terms of weights, there are tons of alternatives from around the house you can use. This is where the cupboard essentials come in handy. If you’re still unable to get tins of beans from the shop and haven’t had penne for weeks, you can use washing powder or detergent bottles instead. Even though weighted exercise isn’t essential for getting involved in home workouts, it helps to create a gym-style environment and provides an option if you’re craving that post-workout burn.
Household furniture has never been so versatile, for this to work you really have to think outside of the box. Use the stairs, the kitchen table, the sofa and you can even get your pets involved. There is no right or wrong way so let your creative juices flow.
Step four: Recreate gym classes
Who doesn’t want to have a motivational (sometimes mildly aggressive) personal trainer in your living room? Whether you despise the thought of joining a group of sweaty individuals on the edge of passing out or you live for boot camp at 7.30 am, YouTube is full of thousands of gym-style classes to fill that void. From boxercise to beginners yoga, you are bound to find something you’ll love. Just a heads up, some of these exercises are far more forgiving than others, so if you work best under pressure make sure to find one with a passive-aggressive instructor for the full gym experience.