How to Make Working Out at Home Fun (And Cheap)

How you can make working out at home fun has to start with a quick story.

A close friend bought a pretty expensive weight machine set for the family. I mean $$REALLY$$ expensive.

When I came over the first time after it was set up, it dominated the family room. It had all the cables, weights, seats and handles you’d see in a hotel gym. It was beautiful.

But looks can be deceiving.

As the days went by my friend commented how the equipment was a huge failure. What Mark didn’t realize is that the equipment doesn’t always define the variety his family sought. Click on the box below to gain free access to a list of over 100 exercises (FULL OF VARIETY!) we created just for you.

“We thought that buying an expensive set up would guarantee our involvement, but the variety of workouts we expected just wasn’t there. It stopped being fun.”

Quick question: how many pieces of workout equipment are you currently using to hang your clothes from? That should be the last bullet point on every treadmill listed on Amazon:

  • Burns calories
  • Beats going to the gym
  • 400 horsepower motor
  • Doubles as a clothes rack!

How to Make Working Out at Home Fun treadmill

Today I’m going to show you the amazing amount of variety that the right equipment provides and how you can make working out at home fun again, without breaking the bank.

Step 1: Just A Few Pieces of Equipment Make Working Out at Home Fun

We recommend starting with Kettlebells.

Over ten years ago I bought my first kettlebell. Guess what? I still use it. And I’ve purchased 3 more in the meantime.

The key reason kettlebells are so popular is their versatility. Plus they’re portable, indestructible, effective and they make you look like a sexy badass. Kettlebells work much like dumbbells, but their unique shape provides some interesting variation.

Here’s a link to 52 kettlebell exercises to demonstrate their versatility.

Most kettlebells are priced at a little less than $2 per pound, so a 20 lb. kettlebell should run you around $40 or less. For the overall value, kettlebells are a key piece of equipment to consider if you want to make working out at home fun again.

How to Make Working Out At Home Fun With Kettlebells

The next piece of equipment with great versatility are the suspension trainers. We’re talking gymnastics rings (as seen on the Olympics or CrossFit Games) or TRX straps.

Before you poo-poo the notion, gymnastics rings can suit your needs whether a beginner or expert. Amongst the most fit athletes around, gymnasts use rings. That should be good enough for the rest of us, wouldn’t you agree?

Before you attempt your first muscle up or iron cross, here’s a list of beginner exercises that GMB Fitness put together:

For home use, you can hook your rings around a beam in your garage, below your patio deck, or fasten them behind a door much like a TRX would be used. And speaking of TRX, while it has some comfort features to it, the $150+ price tag is not always doable for folks which makes the gymnastics rings the better buy for less than $40.

The final piece of equipment we’ll discuss is the pull-up bar. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a matter of personal opinion, I don’t recommend the door frame version as much as I do the wall or ceiling mounted version and here’s why.

how to make working out at home fun pull up bar and rings

While the door frame bar is less money, it’s not as safe as a properly mounted ceiling or wall pull-up bar (The Stud Bar is shown here). Plus, by mounting a good pull up bar in your house or garage, the variety of exercises expands when used in conjunction with your gymnastics rings.

Here are a few pull-up bar exercises to make working out at home fun again:

  • Traditional pull-up
  • Wide-grip pull-up
  • Narrow grip pull-up
  • Chin up
  • L-sit
  • L-sit pullup
  • Toes to bar
  • Bar muscle ups
  • Knee raises

Additional pieces of equipment can be found on the cheap by keeping a vigilant eye on Craigslist. Remember that friend of mine who bought the expensive gym set? Well, I never told him how I got a $400 weight bench for $0. It was $50 on Craigslist, but when I came to pick it up, the owner was so quick to get rid of it, he said, “Ah, just take it.”  

I did.

Step 2: Your (Imperfect) Workout Program to Make Working Out at Home Fun

Too much emphasis in the past has been placed on the perfectly combined set of exercises so that your legs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs and more are perfectly arranged. I challenge that notion.

While too much work on one muscle group can fatigue the muscle, many exercise workouts can be put together and tweaked if muscle fatigue becomes an ongoing issue.

making workout fun at home doesn't have to be perfect

Here’s a sample three workouts/week program you could start with:

Day 1: Short in duration (5-10 minutes)

  • Three sets of chin-ups, alternating kettlebell swings and ring rows
  • The rep scheme is 21-15-9
  • 21 reps the first set, 15 the second set and 9 the third set

Day 2: Medium in duration (10-20 minutes)

  • 4 sets of knee raises, kettlebell snatches and ring push-ups
  • 15 knee raises each set
  • 10 kb snatches per arm each set
  • 5 ring pushups each set

Day 3: Long in duration (20-45 minutes)

  • 100 pullups
  • 75 kettlebell deadlifts
  • 50 ring dips

By the time you are through with this week, your muscles will certainly agree that your newfound variety has certainly challenged you. And when you try to shampoo your hair while wondering how long your arms will feel like Jell-O, just thank me in advance.  

Step 3: Use Your Imagination To Make Working Out at Home Fun

More and more people can discover how creative and imaginative they are given the right conditions. Workouts are the same way. You just need a little nudge. 

Try combining two sports in one – like rowing and bowling in this video:

Good workout programs provide variety for all the right reasons. Too much exercise in one part of the body leaves it fatigued, tired and may actually decrease muscle mass; not to mention the disproportionate shape of your body long-term if you focus too much on the upper body and not enough on the lower body.

In addition to the kettlebell exercises listed above, take it to a different level. Whether in a park, your backyard or the local track, find other uses for your equipment (or workout partner).

  • Hang your rings from a tree or fence and research alternative movements your house may not allow you room to do.
  • Do a field circuit running with your kettlebell(s) a certain distance
    • Run 100 meters with a kettlebell in each hand, drop them, do 10 pushups and run back
    • Drop the kettlebells again and do 15 situps
    • Run 100 meters with a kettlebell in each hand again, drop them, then do 10 kettlebell swings with the heavier weight
    • Repeat this circuit for different sets, reps or time limits
    • For more fun, drop the kettlebells on the 2nd set, pick up your partner and buddy carry them for 100 meters!

The variety is truly limitless. Just use your imagination and enjoy the playtime your body deserves.

Conclusion

As you can see by the steps outlined today, how to make workouts at home fun is not so hard after all. Just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Purchase a few key pieces of equipment that are proven to provide variety and benefit:
    1. Kettlebell(s) – $40 and up
    2. Gymnast rings – $40 and up
    3. Pull-up bar (Ceiling mounted) – $89 and up
  2. Create your own working out at home fun program:
    1. Strive for 3 workouts a week (or more)
    2. Alternate between short, medium and long duration
    3. Play with different rep schemes, time-based workouts or see how many reps can be accomplished in a certain time
  3. Use your imagination. Working out is adult play. Provided you don’t compromise your form, create something a bit out of the norm.

If you want to level up your workouts, combine bodyweight exercises with the equipment we mentioned in this article. Then click on the box below to unlock the Holy Grail of Working Out At Home Fun!