Equipment is simply a tool for training and like any tool, each has a use it is best suited for. Of course, it’s important to know how to properly use of a tool, but we’ll cover that in our exercise videos and many other lessons.
Advantages of Equipment
- Equipment is an easy way of adding progression to an exercise so that your body has a new stimulus to adapt to.
- Equipment can be a force multiplier in speeding up results and maximizing the effectiveness of your training.
- You can swap out any exercise with a variety of equipment and still fulfill the purpose of the exercise. Some equipment has its advantages for certain exercises, but the body doesn’t care about the difference for the most part.
- Learning to use a new tool can keep you engaged in your workouts.
- Equipment can give a new spark to the same exercises that you are growing bored with.
- Certain equipment may be more suitable for beginners and learning new skills.
Training with Limited or No Equipment
The majority of our training programs require equipment for the best results. To reiterate, it’s because equipment can provide a greater stimulus, speed up results, and make it easier to learn new skills. Although having more equipment gives you a bigger toolbox, a more fun playground, and a larger variety of exercises, the purpose behind the training remains the same.
If you have one dumbbell, you can train. If you have no equipment, you can train. What equipment you need depends on your goal. If your goal was to get shredded or strong simply by doing bodyweight exercises, unless you are a gymnast or doing advanced calisthenics (e.g. handstands, pull-ups, planches), you’re going to run into more challenges and limitations. We still utilize bodyweight exercises in every workout.
We suggest you try out a lot of different equipment because you may enjoy certain tools more than others or some tools may feel more comfortable to you for certain exercises. Yes, some exercises can only be done with certain equipment, but there is always other options for training the same thing. Try calisthenics too, you may love it and never need a piece of equipment besides your own body.
All of our workouts and programs can be categorized by the equipment they use. We want our training to be available to you regardless of what you equipment you have access to. You can use these our equipment levels to scale up your equipment options as you develop your fitness.
A lot of exercises can be done with a variety of equipment, after all, weight is weight. A 20-pound dumbbell vs. a 20-pound kettlebell is still 20 pounds. Like we covered in the lesson on training Movements Over Muscles, as long as you perform the movement, the equipment is just a way of adding resistance or increasing the challenge of any exercise.
If you’re doing a squat, you could easily swap out a dumbbell for a kettlebell or barbell and achieve the same or very similar effects. Sometimes just the shape of equipment has its benefits too (e.g. the barbell is sturdy and provides the leverage for heavy weights; a sandbag shifts its shape as the sand or water moves around making you have to adapt to it; a kettlebell rests on the body better and doesn’t spin as wildly as a dumbbell).
- The Barbell allows us to train in Olympic lifts and powerlifting and gives us the leverage to manage large amounts of weight for an exercise. Although barbells are a favorite of ours, that doesn’t mean they are the best for everyone.
- Dumbbells are classic. You can do pretty much anything with them and a full set no longer has to take up a lot of space.
- Kettlebells are great because you can do a lot with a single kettlebell, which makes for a very economic, compact, and travel-friendly gym.
- TRX is great for travel and exercising outdoors and is scaleable for all levels of difficulty.
- Foam rollers can improve your flexibility, prep your body for a workout, and can assist in your recovery.
Learn more about the variety of equipment available, what we use, how to use it, or how to upgrade your your home gym in our Equipment Guide.