Let’s just get this out there right away: No one keeps their New Year’s resolutions. Unless you’ve got a bottle of Adderall and an iron will, you’re likely to try for a month, not see the results you were expecting, and then give up and go right back to your resolution-less life. And no one will blame you. Except you. Which is only human.
Free yourself from the blame game this year by getting out ahead of the ubiquitous and nearly requisite resolution to exercise more, lose weight, and generally just get healthier. How, you ask, can you get out ahead of your future failure? The power of positive thinking?
Hell no! The power of positive shopping!
If you want to really get into shape, don’t waste money on a gym membership or a personal trainer or yoga in the park. Spend your money instead on your own workout gear for the new year, then plop all that equipment down in one room, and get yourself ready to either workout everyday or feel the burning scorn of that unused medicine ball sitting there, judging you. Oh, and all that money you wasted on that fantastic gear? That’s going to eat away at you until you sell all the stuff for half the price you paid for it or you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, bite the bullet, and ride that resolution bandwagon to a banging body.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Digital Body Fat Weight Scale by Balance – $25
To lose weight and gain muscle, you need to be aware of your body fat percentage, your BMI, and your muscle content. These simply, easy to use scale does all of that. To top it all off, it has options for multiple users and even knows who is who when they step on the scale. Genius.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells – $250
Why get an entire set of static dumbbells when you can get a single pair that do the work of 10. Sure, these cost a pretty penny, but really, how many times are you going to buy a pair of dumbbells in your life? Hopefully just the once. And with these, you can feel confident that you’re in the right hands. Afterall, Bowflex has been offering up fitness equipment for well over two decades. Keep these expert tips from pro trainer Mike Barwis in mind.
Black Mountain Resistance Band Set – $30
Working in resistance training on the road or at home is as easy as throwing a band or two in your bag. This particular set comes with a door anchor and five different resistance options so you can swap torque as you gain strength.
Manduka PROlite Mat – $58
A high-quality mat is the root of any good home workout plan. This rectangular pad is the places for stretches, planks, downward dogs, and many of the other routines that will put you on the path to fitness. If you have chronic knee or back issues, look for one with at least 4 mm of thickness for extra support. If your home gym has a slick floor (like hardwood), steer clear of high-density foam mats as they’ll slide around during movement, potentially causing an injury. While you’re at, snag one of the best pairs of yoga pants for men.
TomTom Adventurer – $350
Tracking your progress can be a great motivator and, with the variety of watches out there, you can certainly find the one that meets your needs. We’re fans of the TomTom Adventurer, which integrates all of the usual metrics, but includes a number of nifty additional features for hiking and the outdoors. Right from your wrist you can track entire routes and in-depth, real-time vitals to ensure you’re always making progress towards your fitness goals.
E-Stim Muscle Recovery
Powerdot – $250
Powerdot is one of the best fitness samples we’ve ever received at The Manual. This device provides electrical stimulation directly to your sore or overworked muscles to help reduce soreness and speed recovery. Paired with an app, Powerdot allows you to massage your lower back, pump up your pecs, resistance train your calves, and so much more. Use it as a substitute workout when you can’t get to the gym or as your own personal masseur. Either way, Powerdot is sure to help you start out your 2018 on the right foot.
Reehut 2-in-1 Foam Roller – $23
We really hope the guy who invented the foam roller patented that puppy since there are about a thousand different brands and varieties out there. We recommend this combination soft roller and hard roller package. Use the soft one to gently roll out leg or arm soreness and use the rugged hard roller for deep myofascial release. Roll out your whole body every night before bed and you’ll wake up feeling limber and light.
Amazon Basics 10 lb Medicine Ball – $30
Medicine balls are great for working your shoulders, arms, and even legs. This is one of our go-to wind-down exercises in the gym. Medicine balls also increase the difficulty of sit-ups and side-twists.
URBNFit Exercise Ball – $14-$25
Balance and core work are essential, but sometimes overlooked. A high quality ball like this one from URBNFit takes a traditional rep (say, of a push up or crunch) and adds a second dimension to the exercise. You get additional benefit in the same amount of time.
Yes4All Vinyl-Coated Kettlebell 40 lbs – $53
With just a few different sizes, weight training is an easy way to burn some calories at home. We like colorful options that have some type of covering so your floors don’t end up taking a beating.
Wireless, Sweat-proof Headphones
Kicker EB300 – $80
You don’t realize how much a good pair of wireless earphones matters until you start using a good pair of wireless earphones. The sound that these EB 300s put out is fantastic and they charge relatively quickly between uses. They’re rated for sweat- and water-resistance, too, so they’ll put up with all of the movement during your new routine.
Pull Up Bar
Iron Gym Pull-Up Bar – $20
There is perhaps no great signifier of fitness than the ability to do 10 pull-ups in a row. Make that your first goal after buying this. Do it every day until you hit that number. Then add five to it and try again. By the time you’re able to do 20, chances are you’re going to be a few pounds lighter and a few magnitudes stronger.
TRX Training Kit – $180
This suspension training kit helps you use only your own body weight as resistance to help you build muscle. From suspended push-ups, lat-pulls, rows, planks, and abdominal stretches and exercises, this single kit can do more for your fitness resolution than almost any other item on this list. It’s also travel-friendly. Just remember: anchor safely.
SodaStream Fizzi – $80
Imagine what you could do with all of that extra cash (and landfill space) saved by not buying canned sparkling water! A SodaStream isn’t the most obvious fitness-minded idea at first, but it does offer a new way to enjoy some effervescence and get more water into your daily diet.
And if you’re wondering how to increase your gains, bulk faster, or exercising while injured, check out our guides to low-impact exercises, workout recovery, fitness apps, protein and protein powder, and supplements and vitamins.
Reporting by Chase McPeak and Geoff Nudelman.