You Don’t Need a Fancy Home Gym to Hit Your Goals

Strength & Conditioning
Elyse Cosentino

Elyse Cosentino

Elyse is a member of the Customer Success team at TrainHeroic. Before TrainHeroic, Elyse worked in the outdoor industry, slinging coffees in a surf shop, answering compatibility questions in a bike shop, and coaching freeride skiing. She’s still an outdoor adventure junkie, and enjoys coaching and working out in her local gym to stay mobile and injury free (at least mostly!).

How to Build a Pop Up Home Gym

Even just ten years ago, I wouldn’t have considered myself a gym-goer. I had never worked out in a gym, outside of the occasional spin class. I was an athlete, both team-sport and adventure, but I identified as a steward of the outdoors, and working out in the gym just felt like cheating.

Fast forward past my college years, I moved to Boulder, and discovered training through my local climbing gym. I loved the approachable training tools found in the climbing facilities’ modest gym, like rings, TRX, bosu discs, and kettlebells. I quit climbing, but my training continued and I began teaching group fitness at a local gym, and subbing for bootcamps in the park.

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What Equipment You’ll Need

Today I’m driven by the desire to stay healthy and mobile for the things I love most: mountain biking and skiing. I do enlist myself in the occasional bike race, but I don’t consider myself a competitive athlete. I’m still a cave woman at heart, and any type of machine or modern day gym technology scares me (TrainHeroic aside, of course).

My home gym is a “pop-up shop,” so to speak. I’m an outdoors(wo)man, remember?

A spectacle to my neighbors, I drag my gear out to my back patio nearly every day at noon, but I consider setup part of my warm-up.

My home gym includes:

A kettlebell (moderately heavy) Favorite exercise: Russian KB Swing
Plyo Box Favorite exercise: Squat roll box jump combo
Dumbbells Favorite exercise: Windmill
Yoga Mat Favorite exercise: Dive Bomber push-ups
Battle Ropes Favorite exercise: Double-wave
Pull Up Bar (Okay, let’s be honest. It’s actually a meat hanger, for curing elk.) Favorite exercise: Eccentric pull-ups
Bench Favorite exercise: Lateral bench hops
Slam ball Favorite exercise: Ball slam burpee


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Where to Go Next

All of the equipment above hits all the checkboxes for simple, mobile, inexpensive, effective, and most important, FUN.

In retrospect, my only regrets have been not to invest just a little bit more time and resources into sourcing a better bench and more hefty battle ropes. In an ideal world, I’d love a trap bar and some plates, but we just don’t have the right space and I just can’t justify the cost (right now, at least!).

Wrapping Things Up

I’m lucky enough to have been able to visit the gym throughout the past year. I enjoy group training, and seeing the same faces I’ve been working out with for nearly the past decade. I do intend to continue to show up and be part of my local training community, but I know that I have the resources to stay healthy and mobile at home too, and that’s brought me so much joy and comfort in this past year.

If you’re like me and don’t have a conventional space (and you have a preference for fresh air) I recommend choosing 3 of your favorite exercises, determine what equipment you need for the 3, and invest in just those 3 (to start). Keep it simple, tangible, and FUN.



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