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Build a portable home gym

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No, you don’t need weights — and bricks and mortar. Just a few pieces of adaptable gear that let you push, pull and get your workout in.

Canadian fitness guru Nichelle Laus answers readers fitness questions in Silver and Optimyz Magazines.

Q: With the gyms being closed right now, what equipment should I have at home so I can do online classes?

A:This is such a great question, and I absolutely love it because it shows that there are people out there who aren’t willing to settle for a life of complacency or laziness just because gyms are closed. It shows people still want to move deliberately and get their exercise in, which warms my heart.

Honestly, while gym closures have been hard on us, it’s also been an incredible opportunity for us to grow as coaches because it has challenged us to program on a whole different level. I’ve been using kettlebells religiously as part of my fitness classes, as well as boxing equipment, but not every home gym has those. So I’ve had to modify my own training as well as how I like to coach others in order to accomodate what they may (or may not) have at home.

With that being said, here is what I believe are the most important pieces of equipment to add to your home gym:

A TRX or other suspension trainer

This is the original home workout piece. I love these straps because you can take them anywhere, use them on any door, and they’re great for literally any level of trainee. With almost every TRX class offered online, you can find a beginner, intermediate, and advanced way of doing the exercises.

Resistance bands of varying degrees

I love bands because they’re easy on bones and joints, and given how I like to train (intensely!), I have to make sure I don’t put my body through a pounding every single day. This is why not loading them every day with weights keeps me healthy and progressing. The bands are fantastic for tempo training, full body workouts, and you can use them for your stretching and mobility. Check some of them out here.

Lebert EQualizer Total Body Strengthener

This definitely wins the “Most Unique” award. These are essentially oversized parallettes that allow you to do full body bodyweight resistance exercises such as dips, push- and pull-ups, L-sits, knee and leg raises, stretches and more. If you look at Youtube or their instructional guide, you can find over 100 body-weight strength exercises from beginner to advanced.

Skipping rope – literally anywhere (but amazon is probably your best bet)

The skipping rope is a classic. Regardless of how much space, time, or budget you have, it’s a great way to add some agility, coordination, and cardio into your workout. There are now full 20-45minute jump rope classes you can find online too, if you want some guidance.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to do this alone. I am here to help support, encourage, and motivate the heck out of you by offering customized, online training programs designed to your needs and goals. They can be found by reaching out to me at

You might also enjoy this article on the optimal daily movement routine.

Author: Nichelle Laus is a proud mom of 4 boys under the age of 8; she has trained and competed at an amateur level in both boxing and kickboxing for over 20 years. She is a certified personal trainer, kickboxing and kettlebell instructor, motivational speaker, and fitness and cover model. She is a Figure and Bikini competitor, and competition and transformation coach for Team Laus. She loves to teach and inspire others.

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