Lockdown fitness equipment: Full-body muscle growth

Lockdown fitness equipment: Full-body muscle growth

If there’s another lockdown and we’re forced to stay at home again during the upcoming winter, I would definitely think about what would be the lockdown fitness equipment starter pack. Since we’re limited in terms of space, there isn’t much I could get. We live in an apartment, so no balcony, yard, or something else as a space I could use for a workout. This means that I should squeeze as much efficient fitness equipment into as little space as possible. Then, what would be the lockdown fitness equipment I would get?

Cost/usability: Cross-trainers?

Here we are, discussing money in a fitness-related post. However, money and finances are often connected to fitness and this is yet another example. Some types of fitness equipment can cost thousands of Euros, while they are kinda limited in terms of what you can do with them. This means you would need to pay between €200 and €600 for only 1 piece of equipment, that wouldn’t hit the full body. To achieve a full-body impact, you would need to get multiple of these. As soon as you do, you would need to take into account the amount of space they will require in your home.

Cross-trainers and fixed weight equipment in most cases would train only a few of the muscle groups in the human body. Not that you couldn’t combine them with bodyweight workouts in order to achieve full-body impact. Still, that’s not a complete solution for the price you are paying. This wouldn’t be a financial independence and fitness blog if we don’t discuss all options and dive into the details.

Cost/usability: Barbells and free weights?

So, from a cost perspective, a barbell may be worth around €200-250. Weight plate prices vary depending on the weight and manufacturer. But we could safely assume that another €300-350 can be well spent on plates. At this point, you will have a barbell and plates for approximately €600. With it, you could train your full body and achieve muscle growth right away!

However, if you are willing to spend more on equipment and make this your permanent gym, I don’t think you could go wrong with the Eleiko Home Kit Athletic. Yes, the price is steep, but the product will be with high quality and you will use and abuse it for many, many years ahead.

However, muscle growth requires progressive overload

Since we’re talking about progressive overload, then there isn’t much the industry could offer. I, personally, would choose using free weights. A barbell with few plates and cushion pads so that I don’t piss off my neighbors in case I drop the weight would do the job. Why barbell? Can’t you achieve a similar effect with a cross-trainer or rowing machine? You could, but if you are used to squatting, bench pressing, and deadlifting, using a cross-trainer would feel rather odd and ineffective. 

My lockdown piece of gym equipment would be a barbell like this one and 2-4 discs/plates for it. I would totally pick a barbell over anything else because with it I can hit all muscle groups in my body. Its equipment that will give me enough versatility and flexibility, while I will have a good amount of weight for quality workouts.

If I could pick a brand, that would be the Eleiko Weightlifting Competition 20kg barbell + 2x 20kg and 2x 10kg plates. That would give me a total of 80kg of weight for a quality workout. Yes, for some movements like deadlift it might not be enough, but this would be a lockdown workout, right? Of course, I can take many more plates or even a squat rack and a bench, but that depends on the space I have at home.

What kind of workouts would you do only with a barbell?

In terms of exercises, I would use the barbell for squats, deadlifts, split squats, core exercises, chest press from the ground (as a bench press alternative, in case you don’t have one).  We could use the barbell for biceps curls, barbell rows, overhead press, push press, and many, many more. Using a barbell, you could hit literally every part of your body and achieve muscle growth. In case you don’t have a squat rack, I’m sure you can build one yourself or get a really compact one.

As a bench alternative, you can use a few yoga blocks (if they are hard enough), books, or anything else comfortable enough and place it between the floor and your back. Just remember: it shouldn’t be anything squishy or soft as you are risking imbalance in your lifts and possible injury. Benching from the ground is also a decent option. Despite that you wouldn’t have your full range of motion, it’s still a lift, which loaded and executed well, can help you achieve muscle growth.

What’s the only fitness equipment you would take in case of a new lockdown?

Are you more a fan of cross-trainers, rowing machines, and fixed weight equipment? If yes, then what’s the only fitness equipment you would take? There are plenty of options, but it all depends on our personal preference.

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