Something to Lift

Next up on the list of essential home gym equipment: something heavy to lift.

I’ve already covered a few of my home gym basics, in no particular order:

  • A good blender (because controlling what you ingest is critical)
  • Some open floor space (because you could spend a lifetime developing your physical fitness with nothing more than this)
  • Your brain (because health & fitness are skillsets, made up of other skillsets, that all live in your brain)
  • Your body (because that’s the tool you’re doing all this work with and for)
  • Something to hang from (because that’s the first piece of external equipment you really need to consider)

Now let’s talk about lifting heavy stuff.

If you’re developing a home fitness routine, you need to understand that there are a few different categories of exercise to consider.  To put it into 3 big buckets, you have:

  1. Mobility
  2. Resistance
  3. Cardio

That’s the just the way I think about it, and other people might define these differently, but this over-simplification will work for our purposes today.

  • “Mobility” is movement ability–flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and the like–having joints and tissues that work well and developing motor patterns to make them move the way you want them to.
  • “Resistance” is using gravity and loads to challenge your muscles (and bones and connective tissues) to be stronger, and to challenge your mitochondria to be better at producing energy for these strong and powerful activities.
  • “Cardio” is doing cyclical movements that move blood and oxygen, challenge respiration and circulation, and improve the function of the heart and lungs while also causing muscle and bone to adapt to doing more work.

Now, you can do all three of these things just with your bodyweight alone.  Stretching and Yoga (mobility) along with tough gymnastics stuff like handstand push-ups (resistance) and going for long jogs outside (cardio) would cover all your bases.

Bringing some external loads (= weighted implements) into the picture could conceivably be useful for any of the 3, but will have the most applications in your resistance training.  Simply put, lifting heavy stuff makes you stronger.

Here are some ideas for heavy stuff you can lift in a home gym setting:


Rocks. Of course you know I’m going to start there.  Rocks of various sizes, shapes, and weights will give you a variety of challenges.  Great for hugging and doing squats.


Tires.  Why buy stuff?  Tires of various sizes can be flipped, carried, hit with sledge hammers, or roped around your waist and dragged down the road.


Kettlebells.  Incredibly versatile and you only need one to start.  Not just for swings.  Great for presses, rows, goblet squats, dynamic lifts (snatch, clean & jerk), and tying around your waist for weighted pull-ups.


Medicine Balls. Hug them, squat them, press them, throw them.  A bit awkward, but cushy, so more friendly than a rock.


Dumbbells.  Get a few pairs of these and all the possibilities open up to you.  Split squats and step-ups and presses and rows.  Curls, anyone?  Tricep extensions?


Plate-Loaded Barbell.  Because there is NO better way to challenge the human body with very heavy loads symmetrically and safely.  If you come up with something better, please let me know so I can invest and become a millionaire.


Atlas Stones. Do you love watching those Strongman shows on TV & Netflix?  Now you can be one too!


All The Other Stuff. Sandbags, ruck bags, slosh tubes, clubbells, sledge hammers, ankle weights, weight vests.  There’s tons of stuff you can buy or make yourself that would be great additions to your home gym collection.

Published by nicnakis

Nicholas |nik-uh-luhs| n. a male given name: from Greek words meaning "victory of the people" John |jon| n. a male given name: from Hebrew Yohanan, derivative of Yehohanan "God has been gracious" Nakis |nah-kis| n. a Greek family name derived from the patronymic ending -akis (from Crete) Amha |am-hah| n. an Ethiopian given name meaning "gift", from Geez Selassie |suh-la-see| n. Ethiopian name meaning "trinity", from Geez

2 thoughts on “Something to Lift

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: