The 5 Most Essential Gear for Working Out at Home

"I don't have time to go to the gym, and it's too expensive to buy all the stuff I need at home." Sound familiar? It's probably the most common excuse people make for not regularly working out at home. We get it - your home isn't a state-of-the-art gym, but the truth is, you don't need all the bells and whistles for an impactful workout.

Rowing machines, treadmills, and other expensive cardio equipment - they're great, but they're not the be-all and end-all of fitness. You can sweat it out, challenge your body, and forge mental toughness right at home with just five pieces of gear.

Minimal Gear Consists of 5 Items for Maximum Effect

  1. Dumbbells
  2. Kettlebells
  3. A Pull-Up Bar
  4. Resistance Bands
  5. A Step-Up Box (or Sturdy Cooler)

These are the unsung heroes of our Minimal Gear Daily program. It's a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense plan designed for everyone, from greenhorns to hardened MTNTOUGHers.

These workouts are strategically crafted to test your mettle, enhance muscular endurance, flexibility, cardio fitness, and to forge the mental resilience you need in the backcountry.

Time - it's the one resource more precious than gold. We know workouts ask for a chunk of your time.

But let's dispel one myth right here, right now: equipment cost shouldn't be the roadblock on your path to health.

Health is wealth after all. The strength training exercises facilitated by these no-frills pieces of equipment will make a world of difference in your well-being.

We've compiled this gear list with precision, offering the bare minimum without sacrificing the quality of your workouts. It's a careful balance between investment and return, providing you the tools to make your home workouts as effective as possible.

This gear won't break your bank, it's easy to find, and it won't require you to sacrifice an entire room in your house. Plus, you'll find them at any sporting goods store worth its salt.

Bear in mind, Rome wasn't built in a day. Your home gym can grow with you, step by step. Start light with your weights, and as you grow stronger, beef up your gear. With that said, let's deep dive into our five gear essentials that will turn your home workouts into a power-packed training regimen.

The 5 Must-Have Gear to Workout from Home

Each item is a key player that work in combination to completely redefine your home workouts. Individually, they serve a unique purpose to push you further, sculpting not just your physique, but mental fortitude as well.

1. Dumbbells

First up - the venerable dumbbells. We recommend getting two of dumbbells for your home-gym. Either a set of two 10-pound or two 25-pound dumbbells, depending on your strength level, should have you covered.

Your wallet won't wince either - a decent pair of dumbbells should range from roughly $30 to $70.

Dumbbells are the silent workhorses of numerous exercises - they bring the heat to your walking lunges, step-ups, squats, shoulder presses, rows, and curls.

If you're a beginner, employ two 10-pounders for your lunges and step-ups. For squats, a single 25-pounder held front and center makes for an intense goblet squat - too easy? Double down with two 25s.

The beauty of dumbbells lies in their versatility and their proven record as a strength-building tool. Rows will fortify your back strength, curls are your ticket to more powerful arms, and integrating them into your lunges, squats, and step-ups will toughen up your legs.

Every lift, every repetition isn't just shaping your body - it's also tempering your mental resilience, ingraining in you the MTNTOUGH ethos of pushing past the pain and smashing your personal records.

2. Kettlebells

Next on our list of essential gear - the Kettlebell. It might look quaint, but underestimate it at your own risk.

We suggest getting yourself one kettlebell to start, but two are undoubtedly better. A 15-pound and a 30-pound kettlebell make a formidable duo. You don't have to break the bank for these either - a basic 15-pound kettlebell should cost around $15, while a 30-pound variant would be around $30.

The versatility of kettlebells lies in their weight distribution and design, allowing for a wide range of exercises. Take squats and deadlifts - we advocate using a heavier 30-pound kettlebell for these. Swings and chops, on the other hand, are best performed with the lighter 15-pound kettlebell.

Each kettlebell swing delivers an explosive power boost to your posterior chain, while chops enhance the explosive power in your core and arms. Think of them as the crucial link in your chain of strength and agility. Kettlebell squats work wonders for your quads, and deadlifts with a kettlebell are a stellar method to ramp up the strength of your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Remember, every rep with a kettlebell isn't just physical; it's also a mental exercise, engraving the MTNTOUGH philosophy of resilience and relentless improvement into your mindset. Each swing, each lift is a step closer to becoming the embodiment of functional fitness and mental toughness.

3. Pull-Up Bar

The third gear essential is a Pull-up Bar - a time-honored classic, yet indispensable part of any home gym.

Pull-up bars come in various styles, and the right one for you hinges on what works best in your space. You could opt for a basic door frame bar for around $25, or you could splurge up to $200 for a power station. We'd recommend the simpler route, and if you have a suitable mounting spot in your garage that won't cost much, that's even better. The key criteria here: it should safely support your weight, and you should commit to its use.

A pull-up bar, simple as it may be, is one of the most potent ways to beef up your back and shoulder strength. You can't underestimate the efficacy of this straightforward tool. Pull-ups are the go-to exercise here, with chin-ups providing a handy alternative.

Yes, pull-ups can seem daunting for some, and that's where our fourth gear essential, the resistance band, steps in. It aids you in building your pull-up prowess, one rep at a time.

Remember, every pull-up you do isn't just a step towards physical strength - it's a climb towards mental fortitude. Each pull, each struggle against gravity, is a reflection of your journey with MTNTOUGH - a journey of relentless improvement, resilience, and becoming tougher than the elements.

4. Resistance Bands

The fourth piece of essential gear on our list are Resistance Bands - deceptively simple, yet offering diverse, effective workouts.

For around $20, you can get yourself a set of resistance bands. We advise getting a set of three, each with a different resistance level to diversify and scale your workouts. Loop the band around the bar, feed it through itself, and voila! You've set up a great assistive device for your pull-ups. Put your knee or foot in the loop for that extra leverage. It's worth noting that a heavier resistance band will provide more assistance, while a lighter band will offer less.

Resistance bands are not just a means to an end - they're a potent tool in their own right. They can be instrumental in a broad range of exercises, helping to tone your muscles, boost your flexibility, and even aid in rehabilitating injuries.

Plus, they're the embodiment of our motto at MTNTOUGH - that toughness and resilience often come from simple, uncomplicated sources. The resistance band is a reflection of that philosophy, reminding us that the basics, when used with determination and grit, can yield impressive results.

5. Step-Up Box (or a Sturdy Cooler)

Enter the fifth gear essential: the step-up box. Or in our case, a sturdy roto-molded cooler. Don't let the simplicity of this gear fool you. While a solid step-up box can cost around $80, a durable cooler, something you probably already have in your garage, can get the job done just as effectively. What truly matters is stability - no slipping, no wobbling.

At MTNTOUGH, we put this piece of gear to serious work in our Minimal Gear Daily program. From a variety of step-ups to stretching exercises, it's a multi-purpose tool that hits all the right notes. Step-ups, in particular, are a real game changer. Quick-paced to drive your heart rate and centered on working your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, they build the explosive power you need in the wild. Not to mention, they're the perfect way to train for the demanding nature of backcountry hiking.

But don't dismiss the stretching potential of this platform. Limbering up is a key component to your warm-ups and cool-downs, boosting mobility and preparing your body for the strain of the workout or the wilderness.

So, don't underestimate the trusty step-up box (or cooler). It's simple, sure, but it's also practical, resourceful, and ridiculously effective. Just the way we like things at MTNTOUGH.


Importance of Home Gym Workouts

If there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that excuses are just speed bumps on the road to success. Not enough time. Not the right equipment.

Again - It's more achievable and cost-effective than ever to set up your own personal fortress of fitness at home.

In a world reshaped by the echoes of a pandemic, home workouts have soared in popularity. But it's not just about health safety or the convenience of cutting out that commute to the local gym.

There's something empowering about training in your own space, under your own rules with minimal home gym equipment. There's a rawness, a rugged practicality, akin to the solitude and self-reliance you might feel on a backcountry hunting trip or during a harsh day on duty.

For those of us whose hearts beat strongest in the wild, whose endurance is tested in unpredictable terrains and high-stakes situations, home workouts provide an essential platform for consistent and effective training. It's not about carving out abs or growing bulging biceps; it's about building a functional fitness and mental toughness that not only serves you in daily life but prepares you for the ultimate tests that lie ahead.

Think of it this way: Each squat, each pull-up, each step-up is a step closer to your peak condition.

Every bead of sweat shed in the solitude of your garage or living room is an investment in your ability to withstand whatever your passion—or duty—demands of you.

The narrative has changed. We're no longer confined to the four walls of commercial gyms. Now, we're reclaiming our time, our space, and our training. Now, we're building strength and resilience, not just for the hunt, but for life.

It's not just working out; it's working towards a version of you that thrives, even in the harshest environments. And that is the real power of a home workout space.

Understanding Functional Fitness and Mental Toughness

Functional fitness. Mental toughness. These terms may sound like buzzwords, but they are far more than that. They are the pillars upon which we build our capacity to confront, adapt, and thrive in an unpredictable world. Let's unpack these concepts.

Functional fitness is about training your body for real-life movements. It isn't about looking good in front of the mirror or sculpting an Instagram-worthy physique.

Instead, it's about training your body to perform efficiently and effectively, be it hauling a heavy pack on a hunting expedition or carrying an injured comrade in a combat situation. It involves strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination – all elements that contribute to a well-rounded, robust, and resilient individual.

Mental toughness, on the other hand, is the mental grit and resilience required to endure through adversity. It's the steel in your mindset that doesn't just push you to finish that last mile, but keeps you grounded when the world throws a curveball. It's the mental endurance that drives a backcountry hunter through unforgiving terrains, a soldier through challenging operations, or an outdoor enthusiast through an extreme adventure.

Both of these elements, intertwined, form the bedrock of an indomitable spirit. They're absolutely essential for those whose lives and passions push them beyond the average human's day-to-day experience.

Here at MTNTOUGH, we understand the unique physical and mental demands that our community faces. We've strategically integrated functional fitness and mental toughness into the very core of our Minimal Gear Daily program. Our ethos isn't about easy workouts or quick fixes; it's about sustainable growth, resilience, and transformation. We don't just train you for the peaks; we prepare you for the valleys, the uphill battles, the long treks in the wild and the confrontations with your own limits. By embracing the ethos of functional fitness and mental toughness, we empower you to conquer both physical terrains and personal challenges – that's the MTNTOUGH way - that's the MTNTOUGH Mindset.

Incorporating the Gear Into MTNTOUGH+ Workouts

As you've journeyed with us through this guide, you've been introduced to the essential pieces of workout gear and how each contributes to an efficient and effective home workout. Now, it's time to take these essential pieces and put them into action with MTNTOUGH.

Each gear item we've mentioned – the versatile dumbbells, the explosive kettlebells, the pull-up bar for unbeatable upper-body strength, the adaptable resistance bands, and the functional step-up box or sturdy cooler – they all have their own role within the MTNTOUGH+ workouts. Each piece contributes to a specific aspect of functional fitness and mental toughness.

With dumbbells, you can enhance your overall strength and muscle endurance, while kettlebells add a dynamic element to your workouts, honing your core strength and boosting your explosive power. The pull-up bar and resistance bands work in tandem to help you build and refine your upper body strength, whereas the step-up box is a ticket to improved mobility and stamina.

The right workout gear, as simple as it may be, can turn a corner of your home into a high-performance training space. It breaks down barriers, liberating you from the constraints of time and accessibility that are typically associated with gym workouts.

At MTNTOUGH, we are here to guide you, providing you with workouts that integrate these essential gears into a comprehensive training regime. These workouts, designed by veterans and backed by sports science, aim to deliver an all-encompassing approach to fitness that combines physical strength, cardio endurance, flexibility, and above all, mental toughness.

By bringing these pieces of gear together with MTNTOUGH+ workouts, you're not just setting up a home gym; you're setting up a foundation for resilience, a platform for growth, and a launchpad to achieve new heights of fitness.

It's time to gear up, set your sight on the mountain, and get MTNTOUGH. Grab your workout equipment and join us for a 14-day free trial to get started.

Let's conquer those peaks together, one workout at a time. Your journey to becoming the best version of yourself starts here and now, with MTNTOUGH. Let's do this.