Do you do strength training at a gym or at home? When the weather cools we don’t always want to leave the house to go to the gym. Today let’s talk about creating a budget friendly home gym.

Stephanieruns Fitness

October 14, 2018 Newsletter

Strength Training at Home

There’s been a dramatic shift in the weather here this past week. We’ve gone from hot to cold and back again. It looks the hot, humid weather was a tease and we are now officially into fall weather. This means that for some people it’ll be dark when they get up for work in the morning and dark when they get home from work. The darkness paired with the colder weather makes you just want to cuddle up on the couch with a warm blanket. I understand it’s hard to leave the house when it’s dark and cold. Today I want to talk about building an affordable and effective home gym, so you can workout without leaving the house. 

I love working out at the gym. It's a great environment, the people are awesome and you usually won't find better equipment. However I think it's important to have the flexibility to be able to work out at home. Maybe you are short on time, or can only get your workout in during an odd hour. Whatever the reason it makes sense to have some workout equipment at home. Now I'm not suggesting you go out and spend thousands of dollars. Today I'm going to talk about equipment you can pick up on a budget that will let you get a good workout in at home.

Let's talk budget friendly workout options.

1) Resistance bands. For about $10 - $20 you should be able to pick up a set of resistance bands. Resistance bands will allow you to do hundreds of exercises and there's different levels of resistance will let you change the intensity. Try lateral/front arm raises, lateral shuffle with the band on your lower or upper legs or laying leg lifts. The possibilities are endless. They are also very useful for your running warm up and for stretching.

2) Gliding discs. For around $10 you can get a set of gliding discs. The discs can be used for lunges, mountain climbers, knee tuck, bridge, burpees, ect. They can be used on carpet or hardwood floor. These discs can help you get a good workout in at home!

3) Free weights. Most people know how to use free weights to strength train. Generally I don't recommend you get a full set of free weights for your home gym. Pick the weights you use most often for your upper/lower body and get those. Kettlebells are another fantastic option. You can expect to pay around $1- $2/lbs for free weights.

4) Stability ball. You can expect to pay about $20-$30 for a stability ball depending on quality. What I like about having a stability ball is you can use it in similar ways that you would use a weight bench. You can use it to do chest press, shoulder press, flys, ect. Investing in a weight bench can be expensive where as a stability ball can stand in as a bench and allow you to do so many more exercises.

5) Medicine Ball. You can usually find medicine balls for around $10-$20 for lighter weights. Medicine balls are particularly good if you are just starting out with strength training but even people who have been strength training for years love them. You can use them for almost every strength training exercise.

6) A skipping rope. You can find a skipping rope for about $10 if you don't have one already laying around at home. A skipping rope will allow you to add in some cardio and get your heart rate pumping.

7) Stairs. Most houses or apartment buildings have stairs. Even if you just have one step you can use it for step ups for cardio. Great for a warm up or to add in cardio if you're doing interval training.

Those would be my top 7 budget friendly home gym equipment suggestions. They are also easy to store so you don't have to have a dedicated home gym space. If you had a higher budget or were doing more workouts at home I would recommend looking into a TRX, Bosu ball and rowing machine. These are all at a higher price point but will give you even more options for strength training and working out at home.

What items would you add to my budget friendly home gym list? Send me a tweet @srunsfitness I'd love to hear from you.

Weekly Challenge: Park Workout

This week I want to stay on the budget friendly strength training theme and challenge you to go to a local park or playground and workout. A park can give you a great workout and if you have your children with you they can play. 

You can get your warm up in on the way to the park. Start with a walk, add in some dynamic stretches and pick it up to a brisk walk or run.

Once you get to the park you have lots of options, be creative! You can use a bench for step ups, jumps, dips, single leg lunges and push ups. You can use bars for chin ups. Focus on getting a full body workout in. If you have a resistance band you can bring it with you and loop it around a bar on the playground for even more options.

Don't forget to cool down. Run or briskly walk home and spend some quality time stretching and foam rolling.

Life is busy and we all have lots of demands for our time. Taking the kids to the park and getting a workout in is another way you can get a guilt free workout in.

As always I want to hear how you did with this. Send me a tweet or e-mail. Have fun with this one!

Ask Stephanieruns Fitness

This week Marcos Perez @FCPerez23 asks "Should you mix weightlifting and running on the same day?"

This is a very common question I get and the short answer is that it depends. You need to look at the duration and intensity of your running workout to judge if it's a good idea to add in weightlifting as well. If you're doing a long run it most likely wouldn't make sense for you to also do a weightlifting workout. However if you're doing an easy run or a short speed session it might make sense to add in a weightlifting workout.

It's important to note that your running workouts and weightlifting use different muscular systems meaning you can do a tough run and then a weightlifting workout the following day.

The key with doing both a run and weightlifting workout on the same day is you can't be so exhausted from your run that you're weightlifting with poor form. That will not serve your goals. If you have a shorter intensity or duration run it's possible that you might have the energy and capacity to also weightlift. It does come down to knowing your body and judging your capacity.

I'd recommend doing your run first and then deciding if you are able to also weightlift. Thanks for the question Marcos!

I'm offering a fall/winter coaching program where I'll work with you virtually from November 4th, 2018 to February 2, 2019 to help you with your running and strength training. I'll help keep your training on track and help you reach new goals. The cost is $450. Send me at e-mail at for more details and any questions.

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Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.