So…Should You Have A Home Gym?

My gym will open back up on June 8, 2020, and I plan to be there. These are going to be interesting times and I am withholding judgment. I would love to write an article about my excitement, but I am really feeling a little tentative.  I am taking a wait-and-see approach.

On one hand, I want to get back into the gym and use all the state-of-the-art equipment. It will be great using all the machines I have not had the opportunity to use in months.  I am especially ready to go back to using the leg press.

I also have some apprehension, since I have no idea what the limitations will be. It is easy to read a list of requirements. It is another thing to live by them. What will social distancing mean? Are we going to wear masks? What if you have a temperature? Can people even touch anything?

All of these are real 2020 questions and they have yet to be answered. In the meantime, I am going to give it a go. It is a strange time, but I will move forward.

During the lockdown, I have not been inactive because a good friend sold me some quality gym equipment at an outstanding price. I have modified my workout to include more free weights and different exercises. I have gone from 50/50 machines and free weights to 90/10 free weights and machines.

For the first time in decades, I went “Old School!“ I am focused on squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. This “Old School” approach had me worried, at first, but after a few weeks, I was happy with the results. So happy, that I will continue this workout even after I go back to the gym. I am now an almost total “free-weights guy”!

This experience also had me thinking. With so much going on in the world, should I really just trust that there would always be a gym open? Maybe it is time to rethink the process and completely change my attitude. I will continue to build my home gym.

Make no mistake, it is an expensive process, and, as of now, it is hard to find equipment. However, it is not going to deter me. I will continue to look for deals and continue to grow my home gym. I think it would be foolish to do otherwise.

I will keep you posted on my results. In the meantime, take a quick look at my present home gym situation.

More workout tips provided after the video!


Everyone who knows me knows my workout role model is Popeye!! So, I dedicate these ISSA workout tips to him.  Let’s talk about forearms!

Below is a list of exercises recommended by the ISSA:

Dumbbell Exercises

Use dumbbells to work on all the small muscles of the forearm. With just a few exercises, you can hit all the muscles and the ways in which the forearm moves:

  • Wrist flexion – Sitting on a bench, rest your forearms on your legs, palms facing up. The back of your wrists should be right on the kneecaps. Holding on to a pair of dumbbells, lift the wrists and squeeze. Only your hands should be moving, but you’ll feel this throughout your forearm.
  • Wrist extension – Do the same basic exercise as above, but with the palms of your hands facing down. Lift at the wrist and squeeze.
  • Reverse biceps curl – Perform a standard biceps curl, but with the backs of your hands and wrists facing up. This works out forearm muscles important for elbow flexion.

Using Machines and Pull-up Bars

There are many ways to work the forearms, using a pull-up bar and some of the weight machines in the gym:

  • Pull-ups – An important exercise for upper-body and core strength. Do pull-ups with your palms facing in and then out to hit different muscles. If you can’t do these yet, start with hangs.
  • Pull-up bar hang – This is as simple as it sounds. Just hang from a pull-up bar with palms forward and arms shoulder-width apart for a great forearm challenge. Modify this for a challenge and to hit different muscles. Hang a towel over the bar and hang while gripping each end of the towel.
  • Reverse cable curls – With your back to the cable machine, grip a lower pulley. Curl your arm forward and bring your hand up toward your shoulder, like a biceps curl.
  • Towel cable row – You can also use the cable pulley with a different grip to target forearm muscle. Pull a towel through the handle and hold each end of it with one hand. Pull back to do a row.

There you go! Now, get your POPEYE on!!!

Joseph St. John