November 22, 2016


The most effective gym equipment

In one of last weeks videos I highlighted some of the best pieces of equipment you need for your workout.A lot of the time people feel they need lots of different pieces of gym equipment for an effective workout and sometimes when people look into joining certain gyms their deciding factor is the equipment on offer and not the coaching/service it provides.

In this short article I will show you the best gym equipment you need and will include movements and exercises that go well with them.I already showed you the best 5 exercises you need in your gym program so go read that article HERE .I am a big believer that you don't need the best of equipment or venue for the best of workouts.

I started my business from this 12ft x 12 ft shed below and trained over 100 clients over the 2 year stint before moving onto the next facility

Look around at this snap and you see basic things like a squat rack,some kettlebells,dumbbells a barbell and plates along with a couple of resistance bands.To be honest this is what you need.Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran I guarantee you a set up like this is what can provide you with a pretty decent workout.

Lets start off with basics and build from there

Basic bodyweight

Literally no equipment needed here and the amount of drills here is really endless.Lets look at a smart approach.From mobility work,some strength work and lots of conditioning work you really can do lots with your own bodyweight. So many movements can be brought in here.

Run                                            Jumping jacks                            Sit ups                               Chin up

Foam roll                                 Couch stretch                             Hollow holds                   Air squat

Joint movement                     Pigeon stretch                            Plank                                Split squat

Inch worms                              Push ups                                       Pull up                             Jump squat

This is only a handful of drills and lots of them can be brought into your warm up.

You need a few ideas on how to warm up correctly then go watch this video below. 


Resistance bands

I am huge fan of resistance bands.When I first started using these with clients back in the day I did get funny looks from onlookers but now everyone else seems to be using them now too from my current facility where I now work with clients.From warm/mobility and even in your strength portion of your workout you can do a hell of a lot with these bands.I buy all my bands at D8Fitness.You can find their online store HERE

Some drills include

Banded pull aparts                     Banded push ups                     Banded scapula pulls

X-band walks                               Banded KB swings                  Banded pall-of press

Banded pass thrus                      Band assisted dips                  Banded lat stretch

Or go watch this video where I include 4 great drills when using bands



Another huge fan of the Kettlebell.

Perhaps this is one of the best pieces of equipment to have If i had to choose one thing to have.The reason being as it is very portable and extremly versatile as can use your KB for many types of movements and workouts.A lot of the time I see people use KBs incorrectly from using the wrong weight or even just not knowing how to swing correctly.You want to learn how to swing the right way then go watch this video below.


Along with swings the list is endless on other types of exercises.

The list below includes

Goblet squat                                   Double KB bent over row                    KB turkish get up

Single arm row                              KB weighted split squat                      KB farmer carries

Chest supported row                    KB russian twist                                    KB snatch

Lots more examples can be seen in THIS VIDEO


Very similar to the Kettlebell but allows for a little more room for movements.The dumbbells I used with clients where hex and bought these in D8 fitness too and found them very useful.They can be seen here below with our 2 lads Pablo and Pedro :)

Having access to a  bench and dumbells can allow for plenty of upper body work for movements such as.

DB chest press                                                 DB single arm row                         DB tricep extension

DB chest supported row                                DB shoulder press                         DB lateral raise

DB kneeling single arm press                      DB bicep curl                                  DB thruster

Squat rack,barbells + plates

Perhaps the most importance piece of kit you need if your looking to improve your overall strength.In a previous article above I gave you the best 5 exercises to have in your program.2 of them would have been around this area.The squat and the deadlift are by far 2 of the king exercises you need in your gym program.I always suggest to squat twice a week and try to pull from the floor deadlifting at least once per week.Going about this the smart way is best.Only get near a barbell if you mobility allows you and you have built up the technique in others areas such as goblet squats or even KB deadlifts before progressing towards the bars.2 bars I use are hex bars or straight bars.Here is a quick 60 second video below on how to back squat correctly 


Exercises below include

Back squat                  Single arm Landmine press                               OH squat                    

Front squat                 Bench press                                                             Bent over row

Deadlift                        Chin/Pull up (If squat rack has a bar)             Inverted row


Its always good having other bits and bobs about that can be brought into your sessions.Below are other bits I have used with clients.

Jump rope                           Battle rope                                        AB matt

Plyo boxes                           Gym rings                                          Rowing machine

Prolwer                                 TRX suspension trainer               Med ball/slam ball

*All these pieces of equipment are generally all the added pieces that can be brought into your metcon/conditioning portions of your workout.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below. You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.