Exercise Gear for the Road: The Little Things

Surveying a Gym and taking an inventory of all the equipment you use will make you realize how expensive and daunting it is to create, or recreate, good fitness.  However, both our RV lifestyle, and your average gym share the same problem: space.  Gyms can only fit so much equipment and like us, you likely have had to wait for a piece of equipment to open up or go at strange hours just to get a non-stop workout in.  Our problem was similar except that our gym had to be able to disappear, and only two people would ever need to use the equipment.

Time for a riddle…

What does every gym have, that requires no membership to use, and is the most expensive piece of equipment to acquire?

A floor.  Terrible riddle, but true right?!  A good space to hit the ground and get back up, to stretch on, to protect your gear, and especially to protect  your beautiful self.  RV park surfaces vary from sand, to sparse grassy patches, to 3/4 minus, to concrete, and none of which are very kind to flesh.  A good mat or two can make a huge difference.  Now before you go looking for the thickest, most rugged thing you can find, take into consideration the punishment a mat goes through.  Also, it needs to get small for storage.

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We are currently punishing a no frills, dirt cheap, stores small, “yoga” mat. It does the trick, and when they are too haggard, a replacement is right down the road at Wal-Mart or any sporting equipment store.  At around $12 a pop, we won’t be sad when it has too many holes and scrapes to be functional.  It also has no trouble accommodating us during our ROMWOD routines.  I will say, that we frequent Wal-Mart, too much.  We need to make a better case of investing in small business.  If you know of a more deserving source for cheap mats that can take a beating, but not break the bank when they break, please share!

Stretching! I (Ian) consistently fail to get my stretch on.  Another essential item that also takes up very little space is resistance bands.  We currently have two types:  two thin exercise bands, one blue, one yellow, and two RubberBanditz, one purple, one black. These, I feel, are under-appreciated.  The thin type can deepen your stretch, specifically for stretching the shoulders and arms.  The larger bands can turn a playground into a gym, where pull ups, dips, and chest-to-bar are attainable for even the novice like myself. They store in as small as a shoebox and are not likely to break during normal use.

My least favorite piece of equipment is not because it is faulty, or unnecessary, it is because it abuses me so.  The jump rope for single and double-unders.  I have yet to manage a string of double unders and I’m whipped on my arms and legs every time I get it wrong.  These little bastards are lightweight, come with storage bags, and help you get nice and ugly mixing up the cardio.  However, I don’t know of any RV’s that could support indoor use of them,  so we have to find a smooth surface in order to use them.

We have some floor space, and equipment stashed away in a small space. We could get good and sweaty with these pieces alone, but who doesn’t want GAINZ?!  We need weight!  We attempted to solve this problem with our previously blogged about Body Boss System; if you read the blog you’ll know it just didn’t work for us but is a terrific idea for RV lifestyle exercise.  To find out how we’re getting our swole, check back for the next blog! In the meantime here is another hint as to what we’re using…

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