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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:48 pm
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I have been looking into joining different gyms around where I live. Mainly training core muscles and weight training.


Now, they are quite expensive.. around $1000 a year.


So, I was thinking.. wouldnt it be a good idea to buy or build your own equipment, say, valued at $1000. Then you would split up that number over 10-20 years, making it really cheap.


This would mean buying quality.. not fancy large machines.


What do you think?




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Wow! A thousand a year? I live in Arlington, VA (DC), which is one of the more expensive areas of the country and I can find multiple gyms for half that.


I would agree. You could set up a nice gym at home for that kind of money. Weight machines are worthless anyway, so no need for those. A good enclosed rack (since you may not have a spotter at home) with some olypmic style weights and dumbells would get you 80% of the way there. You could probably find those cheap in a month or two of watching craigslist. Add a pull up bar and the only thing you need to worry about is cardio.


The only machine that you might want is some type of cardio machine (stairs, treadmill, etc.) if that's what you like and you live in a place that has a winter (no where this year). The good ones are really expensive $5-10k and even those will break down after a while. Or, you could just do one of the thousands of variations of P90X in your house. Good cardio and no machine needed.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:39 pm 
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I teach at the YMCA and get membership for free.


That said, I love Crossfit. There is something about the heavy weights and the competition that entices me to push harder than in any workout I could do on my own.


A home gym or the free YMCA just wouldn't be the same.


Also, right now I am managing a senior apartment complex. My tenants frequently drive home the idea that the greatest investment I can make is in my health.


Rationalization? Yes. A positive rationalization? I think so.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Ego brings up a good point. I keep my membership for the atmosphere of the gym. It energizes me and makes me want to work out more, but that's just me.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am
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I spend $396/yr. (33/mo.) on my gym in NYC. There is no reason to spend 1k annually!


i love my gym--it has a good working sauna, great machines, and is never crowded even if it's tiny. They also play pretty good music.


I consider it a necessary expense--if I wasn't spending time in the gym, I'd spend that time probably spending money on something less healthy. It's also a great excuse to get out of the house, which is a major consideration for an EREr. A home gym will also take up space, which might drive your housing and heating costs in some ways.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:36 pm
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I've invested in lifting at home. As far as time/money is concerned, it's probably a good idea. Arguments against Crossfit aside (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BDDyxXyf6UU), a gym means you have to give money and extra time to exercise. When you work out at home you can split it up during the day (30 minutes in the morning, 30 at night) if you're at home, you can do chores while you rest or prepare meals. Your sixty minute workout is sixty minutes from the time you start to the time you finish. I like to commute by bike and walking but to do so to the gym and back (and pay 300-2000/year) is not for me. Sometimes memberships, a trainer, and things like bootcamps or Crossfit give you consistency because of the cost but that's their best feature I'd say. If you need other people to get fired up or push it then you'll eventually stop exercising when those people, that gym, or the Crossfit fad fades away.


http://www.davedraper.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=PmWiki.HomeGymSetup




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:11 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:19 am
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I got into Crossfit during grad school, and the school had a great gym. When I graduated, I had to start paying $300/year. I started getting more into Starting Strength, so when I bought a home with some basement space, I bought a squat rack/bench/plates combo off Craigslist for $190, and some metal sawhorses for self-spotting from Home Depot. Eventually, I added some Pendlay bumper plates. It's not perfect, but it is really convenient -- wake up, go downstairs, lift. I could even help cook breakfast between sets.


Unfortunately, I fell off the wagon after our second child arrived. When I was lifting, I tried to stay motivated by participating on the Crossfit and Starting Strength discussion boards. I also tried to get some local friends to join me, but they all joined the YMCA.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am
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@Chad,


"and you live in a place that has a winter (no where this year)."


If I remember correctly, northman is from Norway. I think they might have a bit of winter there ;)




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:48 pm
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McTrex: impressive memory!


Well, the cost is so high, because I live over here. I could probably find a "basement" gym with bodybuilders to get a lower price. I did that before.. but not into that so much.


Im moving soon, to a place with a mountain a couple of hundred yards from our house, with prepaired lighted tracks where I can run or climb in the summer, and prepaired cross country skiing tracks in the winter. So, I`ll do my cardio there..


My only problem is hang ups.. its been years since I have been able to do them.. a hang up bar very cheap and excelent workout!




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:14 pm 
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It appears my North American bias was showing. Yes, I would imagine Norway is feeling the winter even if the northern U.S. isn't this year.


It appears a few free weights and a hang up bar (I'm assuming it's the same thing as a pull up bar) would be fairly cheap for you compared to $1000 gym membership. The outside cardio sounds awesome.


@beav80

I'm not sure how that link is an argument against Crossfit. A few people with bad clean and press form is hardly odd or damning.


"If you need other people to get fired up or push it then you'll eventually stop exercising when those people, that gym, or the Crossfit fad fades away."


I completely disagree. There are always new people, gyms, or programs to replace those that fade away...no reason to stop working out.




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:19 am
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From the financial perspective, $1000/year decreases your savings rate and requires $25000 savings to maintain. High quality equipment is not that expensive used, so it's a no-brainer if you have the space. Even bags full of sand will get you far on your fitness, and they don't take much storage space, nor do they cost much.




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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:39 am 
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I have a home gym, but I prefer getting out of the house and going to a real gym. I focus a lot more and get a better workout.


I'm hoping to sell some of my equipment and join the gym at work at some point this year.


Of course, nothing beats a sport to keep fit when the weather is nice.




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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:21 pm 
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As far as I remember from way back (when crossfit was just a bunch of people doing crazy workouts and not a mainstream phenomena), the crossfit journal had an article on how to build your own crossfit gym. I think olympic quality racks and benches would cost around $2000 in total. Most of the cost would be in the bar/bells (choose your level of pain, obviously there's no need to get the weights calibrated to competition standards.)




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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:12 pm 
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@jacob, "As far as I remember from way back (when crossfit was just a bunch of people doing crazy workouts and not a mainstream phenomena), the crossfit journal had an article on how to build your own crossfit gym."


Issue 1, still up on the web for free, as are all the workouts:

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue1_Sep02.pdf




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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:36 pm
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@Chad- That link was a promotional video for a gym! A lot of Crossfit affiliates are completely out to lunch. They want middle aged men and teenagers to "come bleed with them".


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dRLVvIVvyrY


http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/cult-crossfit?cm_mmc=DailyDoseNL-_-730864-_-11142011-_-dek#axzz1lWBVBNAw


http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_investigative/the_truth_about_crossfit


Crossfit can be good but often isn't. If your box has well-informed, reasonable coaches who actually program to their clients instead of just throwing out random workouts you're in a good gym and should stay there if the money and motivation keeps you going and improving. The novice effect of rapid improvement in a new physical pursuit (or not training consistently over a lifetime, or not trying half of the Crossfit exercises before arriving) leads to a lot of trainees feeling like they have made more impressive gains than they truly have, and the variation just keeps you thinking you're improving while you are simply maintaining average or below average outcomes on any one of the single training outcomes of Crossfit (gymnastics, olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodyweight exercises, running, skipping, wall ball?, kipping chin ups?) while a reasonable, consistent approach to one area would have you eclipsing your former results at a Crossfit gym.


Training with friends is awesome- Crossfit friends (like facebook friends) are not your friends, rather it's a pretty lucrative business model for a successful "box" owner and for Crossfit itself(I've heard estimates of $25-30,000 to set up your average Crossfit gym, and then charge $1-$300/person/month to train depending on your area, and $1000 for a certification to open a gym- you can't fail the certification).


Having paid that much for something for an extended period of time, anyone would be defensive, but if you examine the expense coldly like any other expense it is an inefficient use of resources, both time and money. It's the same as any inflated expense that the majority of people "can't" live without. Imagine your reaction if someone said they needed to spend $3000/year to have someone help them cook and eat well. Sure it's an investment, but one that would be better spent on good food or learning to cook for yourself.


If you want to train with others, try calling up a friend and meeting up for a run or sparring, or soccer, or working out outside. Those things are great, and give all the same motivation as a Crossfit gym without the cost.


@northman- I think that a pull up bar and any one of a barbell/dumbbells/kettlebells, even bands, would be a great start and then you can slowly add quality items to your collection as you feel like it and take advantage of your location. All the best.




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:34 pm 
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@beav80

It seems you identify a special dislike of Crossfit. I wasn't necessarily advocating Crossfit, but suggesting it isn't a bad theory to follow. It can be done wrong, as can anything (jogging 4-5 days on concrete, for example). However, it can be done correctly too, with great results. Yes, it can be expensive, but expensive should not be the only consideration for us.




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:35 pm 
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One of the things I enjoy most about being "early retired" is that I do not HAVE to do anything. I can chose to do what I want to do.


The trouble with that...like most human beings, I sometimes avoid doing the things I am not good at. I work to my strengths and avoid improving my weaknesses. It's human nature.


@beav80 pointed out some of the things I encounter while doing crossfit: gymnastics, olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodyweight exercises, running, skipping, wall ball, kipping chin ups


Personally, I suck at most of them except running and some bodyweight exercises. My form is terrible, but the instructor is always right there with a hundred specific corrections. I am challenging my weaknesses... and my body aches in places I didn't think could ache.


I think I feel the need to explain it because it goes against many of the rules I followed to arrive at ER. Don't lock in to automatic monthly payments for anything. Don't allow yourself to become dependent on something other than yourself/wife.


If you can build a home gym and vary your workouts enough to test your weakness as well as improving your strenghts... that's great! I'm not there yet.




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:36 pm
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@ ego: I agree wholeheartedly here. I'm early in the ERE idea so for me I'm trying to think that "I'm too poor for that" in a lot of areas, but if I were "retired" and had the income coming in in a sustainable way I might splash the funds out to attend a good Olympic Lifting gym or pay for higher level training from a good coach, but for now I'm happy to lift at home and save/pay down debt.


One caveat though: a good gym and owner should be willing to cut you loose for a few moths to do your own thing and try to be independent, so a few months of something like running and bodyweight exercises (with some goals, plans, fall-back plans, and accountability) could reap a lot of benefits if that's where your heart lies right now. I think that a basic criticism of gyms like Crossfit and a loet of trainers is the lack of an educational/graduated approach that help trainees become independent/educated, self-directed exercisers with some ideas of basic programming towards their goals.




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 pm
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Throughout my 20s, I worked out with weights & cardio every night after work at a fancy very well-equipped, well-maintained athletic facility. A great social environment and back in the '80s it was $800 per year.


Throughout my 30s, I worked out with weights & cardio early every morning at my employer's on-site gym. Small but acceptable w/ showers; and it got me into work before the commuters.


Now, for the past several years, I've been working out at home every day and it works well for me. I have 200 lbs of weights; bought an excellent "Spinner" bike for $700 off eBay; and installed a chin-up bar in the garage. I do a good cross training of weights/chin-ups & push-ups/Spinner bike & running/stretching - 60 to 90 minutes every day. I lose motivation if I have to schlep to the gym. Another benefit - I listen to the music I want at the volume I want.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:55 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:37 pm
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My basic home gym:


A 1m by 1m mat

T-handle (The local plumber made it for 200 NOK)

4 10 kg and 4 2,5 kg standard plates (From Europris and Biltema)

Sandbag with filler bags from Ultimate Sandbag

DIY kettlebells (http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Kettlebells-for-under-10/)

IntuFlow DVD from Rmax for joint mobility

Flowfit DVD from Rmax for compensation training.

Running shoes for tabata protocol sprints.

55 cm fitness ball

Chin bar


When somebody exhausts the possibilities with this setup let me know. :)




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