5 Must-Have Strength Training Tools for under $100
When it comes to strength training tools, there are a lot of options out there. But how do you sift through the options to find the best ones for your business that don’t break the bank? Here are our top 5 recommendations for must-have strength training tools.
Tool#1: High Quality, Resistance Bands
Dave “Bandman” Schmitz is a good friend of mine, and a mad scientist when it comes to resistance band training. He has been doing it longer than anyone else I know and each time that we talk I always get a new idea or golden nugget of information that I can take and immediately use. Bands are another one of those versatile tools that you can use with a wide variety of clients. They also allow you to transition to a variety
of exercise or movement modifications that make the exercise more challenging with an increased load or more dynamic movement. The Bandman’s training isn’t your standard group ex style pump training. This is serious stuff for serious trainees. You can pick up a starter package for your bands for under $100 and begin working with clients the second you get them.
I was a bit late to the party in getting on the sandbag bandwagon at first, but after looking into the DVRT system that Josh Henkin put together and playing around with some sandbag training I was quickly converted. The best part about the sandbags is their versatility. You can add and remove weight, perform dozens of exercises with the same weighted bag and have multiple clients using the same bag for variations of the same exercise. The sandbag might seem like a simple tool until you put it together with Henkin’s DVRT system. Then you realize it’s versatility! If you want to step up the challenge the water bags are a bit easier to fill and make the workouts even more challenging.
Tool #3: Jungle Gym XT System
For under a $100 you can pick up a Jungle Gym XT system or a good set of rings. The rings are a bit more versatile if you want to do several push up, dip and pull up variations on them. It is also great for core work like front levers and l-sits. The best part about the rings for push ups and pull ups is the ability to rotate them and move through space to take some pressure off your elbows. And for a guy with shoulder issues they are a bit more friendly on those as well than some of the other tools. The downside is the decreased stability is humbling for a newbie just learning these movements. A set of 12 pull ups on a straight bar or handles will quickly turn into a 5RM on the rings. The same goes for dips. They also aren’t great for core work or hip extension work like leg curls that you can perform in the other systems where you want your feet suspended. The Jungle Gym XT allows you to have two individual single handle set ups, unlike the TRX, which is great if you want to do single leg or arm work with them. The tough part is making sure they are adjusted to the same length for bi lateral work. This system also has sturdy foot harnesses and hard plastic/rubber handles that hold up well over time with lots of client use. These are great for a majority of the clients that you will probably be working with and allow you do just about everything you would do on the rings and a bit more with the foot harness. These two tools are a great addition to any gym due to their versatility.
Tool #4: Valside Gliders
Not the little burgers that come on tiny buns! (You can get those pretty cheap too.) I am talking about Valslides, or if you want to save a few more bucks simple furniture movers from the local hardware store. These cheap little tools add a variety of options to your single leg training, core training and push up movements. They are under utilized in most programs and often forgotten about.
From push up flies to reverse lunges and even alligator walks the sliders allow you to enhance some basic movements and add a little variety to your training programs while challenging your clients. One huge benefit to them is that they don’t take up a lot of space and they can be moved around easily. A set back for some trainers is that they don’t work great on rubber flooring, but I found a simple solution to that problem! You can either lie towels on the floor or head over to a hardware store to pick up a cheap indoor/outdoor rug/section of carpet to roll out for your group training. In fact, in my garage we have a few sets of sliders and we throw an old blanket down on the ground when we want to use them. Don’t overlook the benefits of bringing sliders into your training programs.
Tool #5: Sleds
This is one of the best training tools that I have seen in quite some time and it is cheap! Coming in at around $80 per sled you could outfit an entire group training facility with these for less than the price of the more expensive sleds out there. The one downside is that you can’t push this sled, but one HUGE upside is that you can use it on tons of different surfaces. Dragging and pulling a sled is one of my favorite conditioning and strength building activities. By eliminating the eccentric potion of the movement you are able to do a lot of volume and increase frequency of sled training beyond most other training, especially lower body training. These also won’t take up a ton of room like traditional sleds or Prowlers would in your facility. Not to mention they are easy to transport if needed to take outdoors for any team training or camps you are running. Spud Inc. hit the nail on the head when they developed this beauty!
What other strength training tools can you not live without?