To keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions, anything will do. Strength or aerobic, it doesn’t matter, as long as you get moving. Here’s some easy, effective and fun ways to jump-start your 2015 exercise plan.
Workout on the road
PKB Portable KettleBell: A handled bag made of ballistic nylon has an inner bladder that can be filled with water, sand or other substances for use as a kettle bell.
Likes: Great for traveling. When empty, it wads up into your luggage. At your hotel, fill it up. The bag shown holds 20 pounds of water or 30 pounds of sand. Other models hold 15/10 and 45/30 pounds of sand/water. The workout is about the same as a regular kettle bell — more comfortable on cleans and a bit less stable on swings. It does not risk damaging wood and tile floors, as regular iron kettle bells do.
Dislikes: No workout manual or information sheet is included.
Price: $49.95 to $74.95; kettlebellsandbags.com
Workout in the hall
“Doorframe Pull-up Bar Workouts”: This instruction manual, by personal trainer Ryan George, describes 80 exercises you can do in your doorway with a pull-up bar.
Likes: Logical, cheap, timesaving and effective, with a simple setup. A removable doorjamb pull-up bar gives you access to endless variations of the pull-up, one of the world’s best exercises: underhand, sideways, overhand, wide-grip, close-grip, side-to-side, L-shaped, isometric. On top of that, you can blast your abs with hanging leg curls and raises, oblique twists, half-circles, hanging bicycles and high-twists. Then, detach from the bar and hit some floor-based exercises — pushups, squats, lunges, bridges, dips, handstand push-ups. If you need help getting started, there’s chair-assisted, band-assisted and jumping pull-ups. George claims that he always sees better results from clients who have minimal equipment, and you can’t get more minimal than this. This simple book, with so-so quality photos and a lot of padding for the first 95 pages, nonetheless provides a good menu of exercises and workouts.
Dislikes: There’s is no kipping pull-up, popularized by CrossFit. The first half of the book doesn’t have one photo.
Price: $16.95; Ulysses Press
Workout at the gym
RockTape G-Loves: These training gloves are designed for gym strength activities.
Likes: Prevents hands from getting torn up doing pull-ups, muscle-ups and barbell exercises, such as jerks and lifts. G-Loves feature a seamless palm and silicon ribbing on the heel, which allows a “false-grip” that can help with muscle-ups. It also has hook-grip thumb protection, vented finger sidewalls and a sweat wipe. They also work with chalk and are so tactile that you can operate your phone while wearing them. In fact, I just typed this paragraph in them.
Price: $45; shop.rocktape.com/g-loves
Workout on the trails
Giant Stance 1: A mid-priced dual suspension aluminum mountain bike
Likes: Nothing starts a new year off better than riding a new bike, and this one gives you super handling, looks and value. A simpler, lower-end version of the $4,000 Giant Trance that I raved about in this column last year, the Stance combines 4.7 inches (120 millimeters) of front and rear shock absorption with fast, great-handling 27.5-inch wheels, 20-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain and hydraulic disk brakes.
Price: $1,875; giant-bicycles.com
Wallack is coauthor of “Fire Your Gym” with CrossFit L.A. owner Andy Petranek. email@example.com