Setting up my beginner home workout circuit

I have failed miserably at committing to my gym contracts. I have been at every single gym. Virgin. Planet fitness, Viva and some independent gyms too. None of them could keep me to coming back for more. So I started mulling over the idea of setting up a beginner home workout circuit on a shoe string budget.

I am not against gyms, I mean the pros to gym are long but a huge con is the expensive. A 2 year contract is approximately 10 000 rands and most of us wont even stick it out long enough to see results. A second con is the clad iron contracts. 

They have you by the balls once you sign on the dotted line. You will get the text every month of your debit order going off, reminding you what a failure you are for not going and if you are anything like me you promised yourself, next Monday more times than I care to remember until April or may when I give up the pretense of caring and just ignore the fact that I am paying EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. 

Another huge bummer is the time suck driving to the gym and back is. That is a big turnoff for most woman.

We just don't have the time. 

I have given up on gyms. It is just not for me. 

I cant give up on working out though. So for me working out at home is where its at. 

The time it takes me to drive to the gym and back is actually how much time my whole workout is, nowadays. 

I have managed to create my perfect beginner home workout circuit with very basic equipment and its portable and takes up very little space. 


And my favourite part is anyone can afford it.


I recently learned that you DO not need all the fancy equipment to get a full body workout at home that burns fat and build muscles using very few items and a lot of my own body weight. 

I use the 30 day fit app for my body workouts and a few low cost items to complete my at home "gym"

You can really burn calories by setting up a circuit and do them one after another without stopping inbetween. 

My circuit takes me about 30 minutes and I have lost 2kgs in one week. Why is 2kgs a big deal? I suffer with PCOS so its difficult for me to lose weight and I go into plateaus often. 

With 20 kilograms to go I am determined to reach my goal weight of 65 this year. 


So whats in my home "gym"?

A general fitness exercise mat.

It’s something that can be rolled up and stowed away easy enough, does not take much room and can be used for a wide range of exercises.

It can be used for cardio exercises, stretching, crunches, pushups, lunges, and other exercises that require you to be on your belly, back, hands and knees.

If you want an exercise mat that’s versatile, easy to carry around and provides some padding, then a 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch yoga mat is a good option. If you’re very sensitive to hard surfaces and need more padding a 1/2-inch thick, 71-inch long exercise yoga mat that can be easily rolled up. The extra thickness does, however, make it more difficult to do balancing exercises.

Approximate cost: R250

Hand Weights/ Dumbbells

Dumbbells may become your new best friend because they’re inexpensive, portable, easy to use and compact. They are easy to store as well.

The trick is to find the right size and weight. If you are a beginner like me, working out at home for the very first time 2kg weights is a good idea, you can replace them as you get stronger.

Approximate cost: R140 for a set of 2kg dumbells

Skipping Rope

I am using Kennedy's skipping rope that she got for christmas and add 5 jumps more every day. Apparently, skipping rope is a great calorie-burner, even better than running. Added bonus is how portable and small it is.

The skipping rope also tones while being a cardiovascular workout at the same time.

Approximate Cost: R80



Stability Ball

I only recently invested in this after one of the ladies I coach in my support group suggested it. She said she works all day at her desk sitting on hers, so I thought I would try that. I don't like working all day on mine but I have added it to my body weight circuit training. 

These big bouncy balls are great for a number of reasons other than fun. They are great at improving strength and balance. They are amazing for working out after an injury as they reduce strain on the spine and muscles

I was advised that getting the size right is important and a good rule of thumb for finding the right fit: Sit on the ball and make sure the hips and knees are at right angles with the floor.

There are working moves that take the stability ball way beyond the basic crunch which I plan to tackle as I go along. 

Approximate Cost: R160

Ideas on some moves for your stability

Resistance bands

I got these from my medical aid as a signup gift a few years ago and only recently started trying them out.

Resistance bands are made of strong, thin rubber with handles at the end and come in a variety of resistances depending on your fitness level. With resistance bands you can do just about any type of strength training exercise — chest presses, rows, shoulder presses, tricep extensions, bicep curls and even squats — without the need for heavy weights.

If you’ve never tried resistance bands, or you’re new to them, you may be surprised at how much benefit you can get from what is essentially a reinforced rubber band. Unfortunately as is often the case, the simplest tools are often the very best.


Approximate cost R190

Try this resistant band workout

You can alternate with some of these beginner body weight workouts. Things like running on the spot, high knees, planking, jumping jacks etc.

If you have any tricks on setting up a beginner home workout circuit, I would love to learn from you too. 

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