Budget Friendly Fitness Accessories That Pack a Punch
When you want to get in shape quick, sometimes it is sensible to make a big financial investment in your fitness. Other times, it makes more sense to work with what you have and make a few smaller and smarter additions to your arsenal of tools. Getting in shape doesn't need to mean burning a hole in your pocket. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for a complete budget fitness strategy which is guaranteed to be a smart investment you won't regret.
Losing weight, building muscle and conditioning are typically seen as tasks which require large equipment such as treadmills, weight racks, barbells, dumbbells and all manner of pricey stuff. To some extent, this is true - at least, when you become more serious about refining your results - but for the average person, a calisthenics based approach works perfectly well. Calisthenic exercise is a type of workout which utilizes the body and your environment itself as much as possible to perform movements and achieve the resistance required to build muscle.
The idea here is to remove barriers to regular activity, because having a regular consistent schedule is key to progress and results. Such barriers can include:
- limited physical space to exercise in or other environmental factors
- needing to learn unwieldy new equipment (or have it built and maintained)
- equipment noise
- and of course... cost.
Certainly, these can all be addressed with time and should not be seen as reasons not to get equipment you need, but what we're aiming for is to get started now, not in some indetermined future.
When building our budget fitness tool list, we will divide this up into a few key areas: Strength (across as many muscle groups as possible), cardio, and mobility/conditioning. In other words, keeping yourself limber and less sore.
Portable Lat & Lift Pulley System
At just $99 CAD, this little genius piece of kit is an ideal solution for those limited by space or who don't want to spend a whole lot but still want to be able to perform pulley based exercises such as pull downs or cable crunches. The Ironax pulley system still requires weight plates and a strong structural anchor point, but since most of us have those and you can also get plates relatively cheap, that's not such an issue.
In a real pinch you can always tie something else heavy to it!
TRX & Suspension Trainers
In our experience, TRX is a very underrated and perhaps under-recognized tool in the world of strength building. There's a reason you often see these distinctive yellow and black cables hanging off gym rack crossbars. They're not for decoration! They allow you to perform so many different upper body exercises that this could almost cover the strength category by itself.
The best part is that they don't actually require the rack to hang from and work using a simple doorway with the included anchor, or any other sufficiently stable and strong suspension point.
TRX is not the only suspension training strap system, but it is the most recognized. Other options we carry include PRCTZ and Torque, however there's a very large variation in price here to be aware of. In our opinion, at less than $200, the TRX Sweat System represents a good middle ground and allows you to perform many exercises which would otherwise be done on home gyms costing thousands of dollars. It includes an app, workout chart as well as required accessories.
Centr Strength Training Kit
The cornerstones of calisthenics strength workouts are staple exercises such as pushups, pullups and dips. The tools inside the Centr Strength Training Kit will give you a low bar (pun intended) to entry and added versatility in your movements.
For example, push-up bars are not a gimmick but rather, they allow you to target different muscle groups, improve form, decrease strain, and access extra positions.
The included training straps overlap with our previous recommendation certainly, though they're a more basic solution and the real advantage of this kit is in the sheer amount you get for the price, which also includes a sandbag and 3 months of access to videos from Chris Hemsworth's personal trainers.
Cardio in a small space with no real equipment = jumping or running on the spot. Jump rope is the perfect super affordable way to get your blood pumping and track progress.
Additionally, the movement of jumping is a great way to increase transportation of lymphatic fluid within the body and keep your immune and vascular systems running optimally.
We recommend: Picsil Sphinx Rope
Adjustable Ankle Weights
On a budget, you can do cardio anywhere really, and the best solution is to get out and walk, jog, run, ski, skate or a whole other smorgasbord of sports activities. If you want to increase your physical conditioning, one simple way to do that is by adding extra challenge to your movements with weights. There are a number of different ways to add extra weight (second helpings aside) including weighted vests, backpacks or - a favorite of Super Saiyans - ankle weights!
These little babies can be adjusted in 0.5 lb increments, which if done strategically over time, will mean you barely even notice the extra challenge. But you'll notice the results!
High Roller Adjustable Muscle Roller System
Foam rollers are some of the most popular ways of performing post-workout recovery or physiotherapy. Stimulating blood flow and releasing over-tight muscles, they're like a swiss army knife for feeling good. Naturally, some are better than others.
The High Roller is an award winning foam roller system developed in Finland as a solution to provide support, adjustable height and angles when performing muscle massage. As such, we recommend it as a more versatile & effective solution as compared to basic foam rollers, and at $149.99 CAD, still much cheaper than high end massage guns or other devices.
See it in use here:
We hope that we've given you some food for thought when it comes to assembling a complete fitness solution for yourself. At a total cost of $500 CAD or less, you have everything you need to make real, meaningful progress to lose weight, increase muscle size & definition, and stay healthy & limber. That's a serious value for the money!
There are other things you can compliment these with on the cheap like a good set of stretch bands, gym balls, or dumbbells. For more ideas, see all products under $200.
Here's to your success!