My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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my home gym

It’s kind of ridiculous that the day we decided to quit the gym in order to save money, I decided to start a fitness routine that relies heavily on gym equipment.  There were a few reasons why we decided to close our membership, besides saving money.

  • slowed my use when I started Body Rock workouts in July
  • stopped going for weeks when my foot injury flared up
  • Chris was working a lot of long hours and didn’t have time
  • only having one car, which is occupied for 10-12hrs each day

So right now, I’m making things work at home.  We don’t have much space and don’t have much equipment, but I’m not letting that stop me.

The equipment you see below was purchased over the past 3+ years.  Nothing cost more than $30 [minus the bike trainer], and we’re slowly starting to make a decent at-home gym.

Weights – Chris bought these a few years back.  Nothing special about them.  Right now we have 10’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s.  I would love to add a set of 8’s, 12’s, 27.5’s and 30’s to the lineup at some point soon.  I am really careful with them on our wood floor, which also makes it a bit frustrating.  I can’t just drop the weights on the floor if a set becomes too hard to complete.  Because of this, I feel that I’m not always lifting quite as heavy as I could.  I have my eye on an interlocking rubber floor [$20 at Target] but am holding off for now.

Bike Trainer – This was also a Chris purchase that we both use all of the time, when it’s not possible to ride outdoors.  We have this CycleOps trainer.  Works great for us but is definitely on the noisy side.

We are thinking of training for a metric century ride this spring but aren’t 100% sure.  The rides inColorado are quite intense!

Yoga Mat – I just bought this, after not having a yoga mat for the past year.  My old Jade mat wore out, and I finally replaced it after getting really annoyed with a cheap Reebok workout mat.  I scored this Prana Eco mat 40% off for $28.  It doesn’t get the best reviews, but I thought it was the best bang for the buck.  I’m not doing any intense studio yoga, so for home purposes it should be fine.  It’s not the stickiest mat but it will do.

Foam Roller – A life saver.  Ithurts so good.

Ab Roller – The latest addition to our home gym, that cost a whopping $8.  This is the most intense ab workout ever and it works your lower back and upper body as well.

Seat –  Our dining chairs fold, so they’re not stable enough to use for working out.  This little bench/seat was $20, and recently purchased for Chris to play his Mandolin on.  I end up using it in almost all of my workouts. 

Hard Surface – I use the concrete desk surface [salvaged from our first concrete counters that had a defect with the sealer] with the stool for bench dips, which works the triceps.

Stability Ball – Such a versatile piece of equipment to have in your home gym.  This does much more than just working your abs.  Make sure to get the right size ball for your height.

Pull Up Bar – This was purchased 2 years ago from Target.  No fastening to the wall is needed!  I think you can put it on the floor and use it for different types of pushups as well.

There are multiple grips, which work all different muscles.  I place the stool under the pull-up bar and push up minimally with my feet for “assisted” pull ups.

I can only do about 2 without the assist!

Dog Trainers – I walk the dogs almost everyday for an hour!


If you’re also doing Jamie Eason’s 12 week program at home and looking for modifications, click on each exercise link, then click “ view full details,”  which will usually have 1-3 modifications.  Typically, one is with free weights.  But if not, I just head to google and type in something like, “leg extensions free weights.” 

How To Do Leg Extensions With Free Weights [video]

I can’t always find an at-home match, but about 90% of the time I do.  Sometimes you just have to get a little creative! 

Hope you enjoyed the peek into our home gym!  It can be frustrating at times, but gets the job done!


Reader Comments (67)

Wow, you are in great shape! My arms hurt just looking at your bench dips. And you're doing it all so frugally! Kudos. ;)

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly @ Foodie Fiasco

I love how much I can accomplish at home with some hand weights, an ab ball and a chair. There are so many options when you have good workout routines and can think outside the machine. ;)

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ Sassy Molassy

I truly admire your dedication, I'm just not there yet so I'm still paying someone to scream at me. Nike has an app (iPhone) that has a host of good workouts that I sometimes use when I get to busy to make WODs. I highly recommend them!

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Thanks for the tip!!

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Where did you buy that ab roller?

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Love the home gym; it's all I do. If you could call my setup a gym. But being able to work out at home is so freeing, on every level!

My home gym consists of similar things - people can't believe I stay in shape with so few items. Proof you don't need big bulky equipment to stay fit. :) Also, you should look into the abmat from Rogue Fitness - turned my flat stomach into washboard abs. Which you may not be looking for, but.. it was worth every penny.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

Wow. That triceps workout. Just...Wow. Spring for the extra mat for your weights and to possibly save your knees and spine. Before I got it I used to toss a blanket underneath my yoga mat when doing things that required me to be on the floor. 20 bucks for something that will last and have a use for years to come.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMia

Nice triceps! Oh, sorry, I was distracted by your bulging muscles. I meant to say nice home gym!

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanetha

That's awesme that your having a home gym (one of my future dreams) just think of all the time you're saving from commuting!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNadiya@ Milk and Honey

I've been doing her workouts from home as well. I actually think I get a better workout at home than I do at the gym because I'm more focused on doing the moves without the fear of people watching me. I really can test myself without other people around.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Tricep dips are awesome, I actually do them in the living room with the couch and coffee table sometimes, yeah Im real ghetto, haha!

You don't need expensive equipment to get a good workout in ; )

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Love your at home gym! I would love to be able to cancel my gym membership and save some money each month!

our gyms are pretty much identical except i totally count the massive dog park by our house as part of our gym. i'd love to get a pull-up bar, but i have a feeling that would be a garage piece since nate and i feel a little big to use them on our doorways!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

You should look into Plate Mates - they are magnetic disks that snap onto the ends of your weight - they are 1.25# each (or 2.5# per dumbbell w/ one on each end) or 2.5# each (or 5# per dumbbell w/ one on each each). That would effectively give you all the weights you are looking for and they are small/compact. Not too expensive either. Check them out here....

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

You have a great setup!!

I tagged you in a fun game..11 Random Things About Me..check out the blog for details...thanks!! :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

Ditto to what Janetha said!! Look at those arms!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay @ Lindsay's List

That looks like a great setup! I think that my strength and conditioning got a lot better after I quit the gym, actually! We have kettle bells, that inter-locking floor your mentioned, a dip station, a home-fashoined pull ups bar (we fastened it into our backyard tree since we don't want to drill into our rental house), my husband built wooden plyometrics boxes that double as benches and we have (best of all) a tractor tire and his and hers slewdgehammers. We live in a super hilly hood and have a huge 200-stair staircase about 10 mins walk from our house that is always cleaned and saltewd in the winter, too (!!) so I feel like I can still get tons of fresh air and have fun with strength the gym any day!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterK

Hey Ash - I agree! We went all out and purchased a treadmill kettle bells, a chin up bar and some other goodies over the past year...and cancelled my membership...As someone who has trained for many years and tried it all...for me the best results come from weights no more than 2-3 days per week with hitting it hard, heavy and fast. Cardio 5 days per week with 3 days of 45 min brisk walks and 2 days of intense interval training for 20-30 mins. I throw 1 day of yoga in there in between my weight training.
My results speak for themselves...I've lost 40 pounds and look and feel incredible. I now weigh 130 @ 5'8". I eat a balanced nutrient dense vegetarian/fisg diet, no dairy with the exception of goats cheese, no wheat, and love my indulgence of wine every night (3-4 oz.) I love your blog and YOU GO GIRL!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

Oops - meant fish!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

Oh push-ups. I remember being able to do so many when I climbed a lot; now, three at most. Using a stool to help is a great idea!!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I love being able to work out at home! We don't have any cardio equipment (yet), but with free weights, pull up bar, and a little creativity, there is a LOT you can do without a whole gym!

Also: I LOVE my foam roller. A lot. Although, when I bought it a little over a year ago, it had all these orthopedic type-endorsements/advice on it, talking about how it was great for "fitness after forty"! (I was 24 at the time, and I wondered if all the sales clerks thought I was nuts...) So I'm glad to see them catching on!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrace @ What Grace Cooked

We have an at home gym in our unfinished basement which I love (and love the savings of no gym membership). We got those rubber interlocking mats from Sam's Club (spent about $200 on them but our area is very large) and they were the best investment in the whole gym. Highly recommend getting them!

I'm doing the LiveFit program at home as well, and I'm not finding it too difficult to make modifications. Luckily, my family has a home gym so I can do all of the arm moves. I've been googling for quite a few of the leg moves though!
Love that you included the pups! I'm looking to add one to my home gym also. ;-)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaty @ A Shot of Life

We have a home gym, too! Even though it's in the garage and freeeezing - it is so convenient and I love it the most. Doggie trainers are good, too.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Very impressive- love all of your gear! Have you ever used a "Grid" foam roller? I love (hate) mine!!
I am lucky enough to have a Spinning bike in my home gym- it was an awesome Christmas gift from my hubby a few years ago. I also got some steps and risors for free when the local community college was getting rid of them.
As a wedding gift, my trainer gave me a TRX. Sadly, I've only used it a few times. I always forget that it's there!
I gotta say though- one of the best accessories for my home gym are my Bob Harper Inside Out Method DVDs!!

You've got a nice set-up over there. I'm jealous. :) Love that there's a huge crate in your gym. :) he he.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin @ STUFT Mama

Thank you for posting your home gym set up. I have bookmarked a few items for later use. My boyfriend has a whole set of weights and a bench but we need to clean up the spare room to use them. I am certain I could find a way to save and/or use the $40/month I currently spend on the gym by working out at home.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Lauren!!!!!!!!! I keep trying to post on your awesome blog and it never works :( am I buried in your spam somewhere? :(

my home gym consists of Netflix instant stream, 2 lb free weights, jump rope and medicine is in order? I'm starting with installing an indoor pool ;) !!!

Dang! You have an awesome home gym, Ash! My home gym consists of Wii Fit, 5 lb dumbbells, 30 Day Shred, and a hula hoop. Laaaame. Haha! :-P

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErika - The Teenage Taste

How to do leg extensions with free weights....genius!!!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ The Healthy Diva

I used one of those ab rollers for the first time last week. I thought I was going to DIE! So hard!! But so awesome!

Good to know that a chick who is obviously in incredible shape, works out from her own home. I have that Iron Gym pull-up bar too and it's totally awesome. I don't actually use it for pull-ups (hello, no upper body strength) but it's great for push ups on the floor. Really works your arms and shoulders. Thanks for this post Ashley! And have fun up here in Oregon. Make sure to bring your galoshes

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeenyLittleSuperChef

For some reason, I feel like if I had a home gym I wouldn't use it that much. I've always wanted one but I'm the kind of person that needs to see other people working out for motivation!! Yours looks awesome, nonetheless :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis @ Hummusapien

Oh I love mandolines! You should totally post a video of him playing something! Or you, if you play! & I love that last picture of you and puppy :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

He just started learning this year!! Not sure there will be a video anytime soon, but he's making awesome progress. :) I do not play, hehe.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I totally understand what you mean!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I'll have to try it for push-ups!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaha, totally!!!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I know, right?? It actually works pretty well too!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oooh, yeah the Wii Fit is good!!!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Forgot the boots! haha But I think we'll mainly be indoors. ;)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You're welcome Jennifer! Good luck!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaa, yeah, I should have mentioned my workout room is about 9x7 in size. :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Nope, but I've seen them! If I ever am looking to get a new one I'll check it out. :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Your gym looks pretty sweet!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Not having an adjustable bench has made some of the things a bit hard, but still doable! Glad to hear you're making it work as well!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Glad to hear they were a good investment! I definitely think I'll get them soon.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Sounds like you have a great routine going! Glad you found what works for you and congrats on the weight loss! :) Heck yes to wine...and chocolate!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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