It wasn’t until I found CrossFit that I came to attribute the best equipment as the most basic equipment. No longer were shiny pieces of gym equipment that cost thousands of dollars desirable. This notion was only magnified in the past few years as much love for strongman has captivated me in the same way that CrossFit had.
Both CrossFit and the strongman communities know all about making due with what you’ve got. If all you’ve got is $200, here are a few pieces of equipment that are worth a look:
1. Sandbag. Maybe I’m biased to strongman training, but a good sandbag is as versatile and as much of a punisher as any other piece of equipment. I don’t mean little bags with handles on them, either. Big, heavy, awkward bags are the name of the game. I like Strong Fit’s sandbags. For $200, you could walk away with three or four of them. Plus, they’re indestructible.
2. Axle. Though it, too, seems like a “strongman only” implement, the axle will allow you to do most every barbell strength movement and add a challenge that will improve your strength and your grip. For less than $200, you can have a shiny new one shipped to your door or you could make a fleet of them yourself.
3. Bands. As arguably the better accommodating resistance (when compared to chains), I’d recommend getting a few pairs of light bands to add variance to everything you already own. Pressing, deadlifting and squatting against bands is only the beginning. Accessory exercises like kettlebell swings can be varied with bands, as well. In addition, a host of special exercises from face pulls and oblique twists to band pull-aparts and triceps work can be facilitated with bands.
4. Sled. This year has been the year of the sled for me. Walking long (~1 mile) with moderate weight or walking short (~200 feet) with heavy weight has been life-changing in terms of posterior chain development, recovery and building capacity. Not to mention, the sled is an affordable tool to add in a host of other exercises like rotational movements, presses and pulls.
Get fit without tapping into your life savings. It’s how Rocky did it.