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Skip the Gym Membership With a Home Strength Training Program

Posted by MoneyKey on April 25, 2019

While many of us have dreams of getting or staying fit, with the high cost of gym memberships, these dreams may feel out of reach. The necessary investment of money and time to get the most out of your gym membership often isn’t in the budget for people living paycheck to paycheck. But this doesn’t need to stop you from achieving your fitness goals! We’ve put together a short guide to help you create a strength training program to incorporate into an efficient and effective home workout plan.

Equipment for your strength training program

If you want to start effectively strength training at home, it helps to have a few pieces of carefully selected equipment. While there will be an upfront cost, this should be far more manageable than what you’ll pay for a pricey gym membership. You may also want to consider using free fitness apps to help you put together a strength training program.

We’ll run you through this equipment and how it’ll impact your training.

a jump rope that's a part of a strength training program

Jump Rope

Skipping rope may not be the most obvious piece of equipment on this list, but a healthy amount of cardio is an important part of any balanced workout regime. Jumping rope can help you burn fat and calories, increase your stamina, and boost your strength and stability. Best of all, the only thing you’ll need to get started is a rope – this will only set you back a few dollars – and a little bit of space! Here are some simple exercises to help you along.


A theme of the equipment on this list is versatility, and kettlebells are no exception. In fact, they may end up being the most versatile piece equipment in your strength training program!

With kettlebells, you’ll be able to incorporate squats, curls, rows, and much more into your home workout plan. They’ll help you increase your strength, balance, and workout multiple muscle groups at once. If you can manage to fit a $30-$40 set into your budget, you’ll be able to add a whole new dimension to your home workout plan.

Adjustable Dumbbells

Whether you’re doing compound exercises or single lifts, dumbbells can be used for a number of different exercises for your strength training program. Use them for lunges or tricep kickbacks to increase your range of motion, or work on increasing your strength with more traditional dumbbell exercises. The price of a set of adjustable dumbbells will vary depending how much weight you’re looking for, but a pair will typically start around $70. If that sounds a little too steep, don’t worry! With a little effort and ingenuity, you can create a set of dumbbells at home with household items.

Exercises for your strength training program

Let’s run through some of the more traditional dumbbell exercises for you to incorporate into your home strength training program.

Dumbbell bench press

person performing a dumbbell bench press as part of their strength training program

Helping to target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, dumbbell bench press is one of the staple exercises of strength-based workout, and is a great place to start if you’re looking to begin strength training at home. It’s performed by lying on a flat bench while holding a pair of dumbbells of the weight of your choosing above your chest, palms facing forward. Make sure your butt, upper back, and head are touching the bench while your feet are flat on the floor. From there, while keeping your elbows close to your body, you’ll extend the weights above your chest and slowly bringing them back down to your starting position. Once you get comfortable doing multiple sets, consider increasing the weight. 

Don’t have a workout bench at home? Consider these alternatives.

Standing dumbbell curl

A simple strength training exercise that targets the biceps, to perform a standing dumbbell curl, complete the following steps. Select a pair of dumbbells with the weight of your choosing. From there, pick them up, allowing your hands to hang by your thighs, palms facing forward, and be sure to keep those upper arms locked in place and elbows tucked in, curl the dumbbells upward, keeping them as close to your shoulders as possible. Pause in between reps to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell squats

Dumbbell squats are a great exercise to incorporate into your strength training program to work out your hamstrings, quads, and glute muscles. To perform this exercise, simply begin with your feet shoulder-width apart with a pair of dumbbells in your hands at arm’s length. Keeping your core tensed and your back flat, bend your knees and lower your body, making your thighs parallel to the floor. Once you’ve completed one repetition, pause and return to the original position.

The benefits of strength training at home

The benefits of strength training aren’t restricted to bulking up for beach season. It can increase your bone density, help you manage your weight, reduce the symptoms of certain chronic conditions, and improve your balance.

While some people prefer to use a gym outside of the home to workout, this isn’t always the most practical option. There are plenty of barriers that prevent us from working out in a gym on a regular basis. Before you go purchasing that pricey gym membership, consider some of the benefits of putting together a home strength training program:

  • Highly Convenient – No matter how dedicated you may be to your workout regimen, there’ll be days where you just can’t make it to the gym. However, by learning how to properly strength train at home, you’ll never have an excuse to miss a workout again.
  • Cleanliness – You don’t have to be a hypochondriac to know that gyms come with germs. If you’re the type that easily gets sick, the gym may be the last place you want to work out.
  • Save Time – For many, finding the time to go to the gym is one of the biggest hurdles to keeping up with your strength training program. However, by strength training at home, you can plan your workout around the important things in your life.

gym machines used for a strength training program

  • Save Money A gym membership can cost anywhere from just over $100 to over $1,000 annually. By creating an effective home workout plan, you can save yourself quite a bit of money both monthly and annually.
  • Privacy – If you’re just beginning the process of working out, exercising in front of others may be a big step. Maybe you’re embarrassed to try out new exercises, or you’re just not completely comfortable in your own skin. Creating a home workout plan can help to the eliminate this problem and alleviate some of the pressure you may feel when you work out in front of others.
  • Distractions – As fun and motivating as it may be to work out with your friends, you may be wasting more time than actually working out if your friends become a distraction. Putting together a strength training program that can be done from the comfort of your own home can help to eliminate these distractions.

Don’t let an expensive gym membership stunt your strength training program

As much as we’d all love to stay fit, going to the gym can take a serious bite out of your time and finances. If you’re looking to strength train, you may feel like the gym is your only option. Getting a pricey gym membership when you’re trying to make ends meet may not be an expense you can afford. But going to the gym isn’t your only option of you’re looking to start strength training at home.

Creating a strength training program that you can do at home can help you save money, time, and keep focused on your workout. So before you go and commit to a gym membership, do some research and try to put together a home workout plan that works for you!

What are some of your favorite exercises for your strength training program?


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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