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So you are a member of your local health club or globo gym. I’m going to cut to the chase really quick here: you need to use your valuable time and money elsewhere. Here’s how to do it.

First and foremost, quit your crappy membership. Health clubs suck!

Next, start using the money from your monthly membership and start developing, building, and acquiring your own fitness equipment. Let’s assume that you spend $30 a month (at a minimum for most people) on your membership. That means that you have $360 a year that you can put towards equipment that will get you in better shape and turn you into a total bad ass. Assuming that you are starting out with absolutely nothing, here’s what your $360 can get you:

  1. Black Mountain pull up bar and resistance bands ($60 Amazon, $300 left). Few pieces of equipment are as useful or effective as a pull up bar, and depending on the exercise, it can help you strengthen and develop your shoulders, arms, back, and abs. Resistance bands are some of the most versatile equipment out there, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.
  2. Tractor tire (free, $300 left). You can get a (used) tractor tire by calling a tire store and simply asking if they have one. They will be happy to give it to you because it means they don’t have to pay for the cost of disposal. Tractor tires are awesome for flipping, pulling, pushing, and hitting with a sledgehammer.
  3. Sledgehammer, 16 lbs ($35 Amazon, $265 left). Do a simple google search and you can find a wide variety of sledgehammer exercises. This will obliterate your entire upper body and core, with the added bonus of making you feel a bit like Thor.
  4. Slosh Tube ($20 Home Depot, $245 left). This one takes minimal construction, which you can find more about here. It’s basically a barbell, except the weight is constantly shifting. Fun stuff.
  5. SKLZ Speed Ladder ($20 Amazon, $225 left). A speed ladder is great for developing quickness and agility, both laterally and forward/backward. It also is a fantastic cardio workout.
  6. SKLZ Training Parachute ($25 Amazon, $200 left). The training parachute will provide excellent resistance training for improved strength, quickness, acceleration, speed, and stamina.
  7. Sandbag ($5 Home Depot, $195 left). Sandbags are great because they are unstable, unbalanced, and shaped quite oddly. This is another versatile piece of equipment. You can use it for some weighted cardio, throw it as far as you can, or squat with it. It can go as far as the extent of your imagination.
  8. Sklz Power Strapz ($40 Amazon, $155 left). Similar to TRX and Redcord but at a significantly lower price (try over $100 lower). It’s a portable suspension trainer that allows you to train your entire body, anywhere, anytime.
  9. Jump Rope ($10, $145 left). Jump ropes are great for cardio, blasting fat, and developing coordination. There’s a reason that boxers and fighters jump rope. You should too.
  10. Medicine Ball, 10 lbs ($30 Amazon, $115 left). While medicine balls are usually used to develop core strength and get that six pack, they can also be used to strengthen your chest and arms. Plus, there’s nothing like a good game of Hoover Ball (absolutely can’t wait to try this out).
  11. Kettlebell, 25 lbs ($25, $90 left). Kettlebells are another functional piece of equipment that combine cardio, strength, and flexibility training. Search google for endless kettlebell workouts that will kick your butt.
  12. Mir Power Sled ($90 Amazon, $0 left). Push it or pull it. Put your friends on it and take them for a ride. Kick ass. Wash, rinse, repeat.

There you go. For the price of one year at the gym, you can get all this. Clearly, there is other equipment that you could buy, but this is an awesome start. Use this equipment, and you might just get cast in Avengers 2.

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Image courtesy of The U.S. Army

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