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Lori Lavender Luz

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Don't build or expand your Home Gym without reading this

When we first started building our in-home gym, I thought it only made sense that we would purchase equipment that was in the gym where we were members. We could trust that their equipment was well-made, durable, and we were already familiar with it. I mean, if it was good enough for hundreds of members, it was good enough for us. Right?

Not so much. The way equipment is used in the gym differs greatly from the way it is used at home. Any gym needs one piece of equipment to accommodate each person who wants to work any given body part. And the gym requires a set of dumbbells in every weight so that multiple members can use the weights simultaneously. If there are not enough pieces of equipment, members get irritated by having to wait their turn.

However, if I had what my gym has, I'd need a room the size of the gym to hold all of the equipment.

But the gym in my house is an 8' x 10' room in the basement. I don't have an entire wall to dedicate to a complete series of hand weights. There would hardly be room for anything else. I want to fit as many options possible in the tiniest space that's available.

Then Donovan, my good friend and personal trainer, recommended PowerBlocks -- stacking hand weights (dumbbells) with a pin system that allows me to change weights quickly and easily. With my Classic Series Set ($279/pair plus $59 S/H) I can lift from 2.5-45 pounds with each hand and the entire weight stack takes up a tiny 12" x 12" corner of my gym.

I can work every body part with my PowerBlocks: chest presses, shoulder presses, bicep curls, skull crushers (triceps), squats (quadriceps), lunges (hamstrings), calf raises. I own a weight bench, most cost around $100 or more. But I often sit or lay on a $10 yoga ball, allowing me to vary my workout, digging in to work every fiber of every muscle.

At first, the pins on the PowerBlocks seemed a little long and awkward. Adjusting the weight took a little getting used to. And by "a little" I mean the skill was mastered within a week or two. It takes around 8-10 seconds per PowerBlock to make an adjustment to the weights. It is also important to pay attention that the pin is right-side-up or the weights can slip.

I have used my PowerBlocks an average of 3 times a week for nearly 5 years. Aside from a few chips in the black paint, they are as good as new.

My dad once asked me if my home gym is everything I wanted. If I had everything I wanted, I would have a squat deck where my dining room table is and a treadmill next to my elliptical trainer. While PowerBlocks don't give me everything I WANT, they do provide me everything I NEED for a good weight-lifing workout.

(I've got to break free from my computer now so I can keep myself from clicking the "Buy Now" button on their new KettleBlocks. Someone stop me!)

***
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2 chiming in:

Lavender Luz said...

I have lusted after your PowerBlocks for awhile now. Thanks for explaining their features and benefits even more.

Can I borrow some money?

Sheri said...

I love your home gym...including your PowerBlocks.

Maybe I have PowerBlock envy! I'd love to have a set myself.

I'd also take a set of KettleBlocks. I heard those are fantastic for all kinds of exercises.

Thanks for the great review!

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