GTP TV Ep 11: Must Haves for Your Home Gym

Before we get started, if you want a link to learn more about each piece of gear I mention in this episode, just scroll to the bottom and I will give you the Amazon link.  Now… enjoy!

Hey gang, it’s Maria here from Goalie Training Pro TV. Welcome to episode 11!

Episode 11 is brought to you by, so if you are a goalie coach or looking for a goalie coach. It’s a way to make it really easy for you to meet potential goalies to work with and goalies to find you. They can see what ice availability you have, what appointments you have available, they can book it, they can pay for it, everything.  You know, just makes it easy. So, if that is something you are looking for.


If you want to see the equipment with your own eyes,
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This episode, actually I am pretty pumped about this episode, because we’re going to talk about, if I was going to only workout at home or if I wanted the option to workout at home, let’s say. What three pieces of equipment would be, in my opinion, your must haves.

I get emails from some of you that say, “Oh, should I buy a slide board, should I buy a … I don’t know, like barbells, should I buy gliders, should I buy a medicine ball, or should I buy a tornado ball?” And it is just like so much, it’s like, “Do you have dumbbells, or resistance bands?” “No.” Okay, let’s start there.

So I am going to do my top three this week, then next week I’ll come back and once you got these, here are your other, maybe, five. Something like that, so because I think too, people discount how simple it is to train and home. It’s not like Jonathan Quick has some special equipment that is what makes him a great goalie. It’s that you have to do the right training and then you have to pay attention to your craft and learn how to stop more pucks on the ice.

So without further ado, here are the top three.

Number one is, and it is sort of an either/or, I kind of copped out on this I guess a little bit, but it is dumbbells or resistance bands. Because not everybody has space for dumbbells or has the resources for dumbbells. The next question is always, “Well, what weight dumbbells should I get?”

If you’re a 14 year old who’s never lifted weights or a person who just isn’t very strong, then you need to get light dumbbells. If you are like a tank and you are strong, then you need bigger dumbbells, but dumbbells are kind of tricky, because also, sometimes we do a rotator cuff exercise, where really even fives is a little bit heavy for that. But you might get up to doing a dumbbell front squat where you’re holding 60 lb dumbbells in each hand. We do a lot of single leg squats in the gym and our athletes, they’ll hold a 75, 80 lb dumbbell in each hand, doing single leg squats.

So we have everything from one pound, which yes, there are exercises we do that are only one pound, all the way up to 85. And even sometimes they max that out, so then we have to put on the weight vests, on top, and then they hold the dumbbells. Because sometimes it gets to be a point like, “I could do more weight, I just can’t hold these dumbbells anymore.” So, that’s an option.

The dumbbells that we use in here are rubber coated hex dumbbells. They don’t have to be rubber coated or hex dumbbells, I like hex dumbbells better than round dumbbells. So if I do a thing like a pushup, stabilize, and then a row. I kind of like the hex dumbbell because I know it’s not going to roll over or things like that.

So I do like hex dumbbells, it doesn’t have to be rubber coated. I bet you could find some used ones on Craigslist or Kijiji. If I was just starting out and new to strength training and really wasn’t sure what weight, I would suggest 5s, 10s, 15s, maybe you could even skip up to 25s and start with that. Even in split squats, or things like that I’ll hold 35 lb dumbbells. So you need to have quite a few, but you can get started with just those four: 5, 10, 15, and 25.

So say you don’t have space for dumbbells, but you really want to have the weights. We use PowerBlocks, which are pretty cool. So people will be like, “Oh, those things look like toasters.” Okay, that’s fun. These are like 85 lb toasters, then, I am good with it.

So, basically, there are two different handles. So there is a 10 lb handle, and there is a 5 lb handle. Again, you have every weight from 5 lb to 85 lb just in a small space. So if you are a little tight on space, this is fantastic. And they are pretty mechanical, so there aren’t little fidgety things that will break on them.

Like I said, we’ve used these in the gym. I’ve had these ones for over 10 years and they are fantastic. You can’t drop them like a dumbbell, because then they’ll start to jam up, because you’ll be bending the plates, but they are dynamite.

So we have a 10 lb in handle there now, and so I just follow the scale, the segments are a little bit funky until you get to 45, but let’s say I am using 20 lb. So 20 lb, I’ll put a pin underneath the 20 lb slot, and slide it in, make sure it snaps in, and then that is my 20 lb dumbbell.

Okay, let’s say I want to do an exercise with 25 lb. Well, then I switch out the 10 lb handle for the 5 lb handle (it’s actually 24 lbs) and there is my 24 lb dumbbell. If I want a 40 pounder, just slide it into the 40 lb slot, and there is my 40 lb. So you get the idea, really versatile and it saves you a ton of space. So it is really easy just to have in your apartment or the corner of the basement or whatever, it’s not like a dumbbell rack.

So that would be my number one, because really with the dumbbell I can really do all kinds of stuff. I can do like a dumbbell front squat, I can do any of my pressing actions, dumbbell press, I can do that from the floor if you want. If it is beach season and you want to do some bicep curls, you can do that, too. I can even use them to do some deadlifts, almost like we would do a kettlebell deadlift. We use it for goblet squat, I can use it for a single dumbbell snatch, I can use it for dumbbell cleans, so they are pretty versatile. So that is why number one is dumbbells or resistance bands.

So people discount resistance bands, I think because they used to have bands in the … I don’t know, ’80s or something, and they were just silly. But they are really good kits. I actually just got a new kit, it just came in the mail the other day. I use a kit like this when I travel and it has everything in it. We’ll go through what’s in it. So it has ankle straps, so Velcro go around my ankles, which is great for doing things like four way hip. We have that one in the ShutOut Academy a ton, four way hip.

It’s got door anchors. So basically, what you do is you open the door, you put it through the door, and then close the door on it. You make sure, too, that it’s on the outside of the door, like someone couldn’t come and open the door and then let your anchor go. Then you can put the bungees through there and do whatever you need to do. So you can also set it at whatever height you need it to be.

Then it also comes with a couple of handles, just your normal “D” handle. Then a whole bunch of bands, and it all comes just in a little bag. So then a whole bunch of bands, and they are marked with a weight. And the thing about a band is it gives you more resistance the more you stretch it. So I am guessing sort of the average of the stretch is whatever it says on the label. But the beauty of it, too, is that if I’m really strong, then I can snap two to the anchor and get almost double the resistance out of it.

So these are pretty nice, I actually like these one because they are coated, the current set I have that I travel with, it just the band. They are starting to get old, which is why I start looking for a new set. So I am nervous that those just snap, it’s not like they fray. It is like one day you are doing the exercise and SNAP! And that really hurts.

These are nice because it is all encased in there, so if it does snap, it stays in here and it won’t come back to bite me. Also, if I wrap it around, because you’ve seen me do stuff in my backyard, if I wrap it around our little wrought iron post there, it’s not rubbing right on the bungee, it is on that nylon sheath.

So the number of things you can do with a set of resistance bands is a lot. So I can do squats with it. I can do squats and again, I can add more bands to make it harder. I can do any of my chest press variations that I want to do. I can do any of my rowing patterns.

So there are a lot of things you can do with the bands that you couldn’t do with dumbbells, we can use it for our hip lock pattern. We can use it for when we take a nice lateral hop and then quick step back under resistance so we have to stabilize our torso. I can set it down really low. And again, you don’t need the power rack to attach it to, you can do all that stuff just by using the door anchor. But I can set it down low, get the ankle strap, pop that on, and then do my four way hip.

So those kind of go together. It is like dumbbell/resistance band. Even if I had dumbbells, I probably still get a resistance band kit, because of all the stuff you can do with it.

Now the difference in the resistance is that a dumbbell is basically the same mass through the whole range of motion. I mean, there are sticking points and it varies based on where your muscle is and the length of the lever arm, but it weighs … If I have a 15 lb dumbbell, it weighs 15 lb here, and it weighs 15 lb there. The torque is going to be different just because of the length of the lever arm.

With the resistance band, this might be 5 lb of resistance, but at the top it might be 25 lb, so. I wouldn’t say that’s good or bad, it is just a little bit different. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes the bottom is our sticking point, it is hard to get started. With the band, we can get started, and then toward the top where we are a little bit stronger anyway. Again, because of the length of the lever arms, then we can do a little bit more force.

That’s number one A and B.

Number two is either like a Reebok step or a plyo box. Again, this doesn’t have to be anything fancy, I am just getting my Reebok step to show you. I think simple is better, but the reason I like it is you can use it for a lot of stuff, so we do a lot of single leg squat type things. You can even use it as a bench for doing some chest presses or single arm press.

You can use it for doing some of your plyometrics. So we do a lot of box hop and stick, we are able to do quick feet over and stick. So I think it is just a great tool to have, to give you that little bit of height. This is a Reebok step, you can change the height pretty quickly to make it higher or lower. So we use that a ton. We also have other ones that have the stacking risers, that again, you can adjust it to whatever height, even if you have a little trouble with your pushups, we can put our hands on the step. It makes it a little bit easier for us. Just make sure that it is nice and stable.

If I was going to get something for home, I would get something like the Reebok step in this video. In the gym we also use big plyo boxes. We use the ones that are the soft, I mean not soft, very firm, but it is foam. I would really strongly recommend you not get the boxes that are all wood. Nor the boxes that have a metal frame, with a wood top, and are kind of trapezoid shaped. Those ones, if you miss your jump you are going to come down and scrape the skin off your shin. I’ve had a kid come in whose hockey team trained at another facility, and he missed the jump and it gouged. He had to get stitches, but it was the ugliest stitches, because it just chews it right up. That is not like a single case thing, it happens all the time. I would never have them in my gym.

So these ones like I show in the video, we have like a six inch, a 12 inch, an 18 inch, then they can all stack together.

If I was just setting up a home gym, and it was my first box, I would get something like the Reebok step, because I think it is a little more versatile and you can kind of use it as a bench, too.

And then the last thing I would probably get on my first round is a medicine ball. And don’t get the heaviest one you can find, that is the most common mistake I see. People go out and buy like, “I bought a 15 lb medicine ball.” For what you use a medicine ball for, do you know how heavy that is? Most of our medicine ball drills are quick, explosive drills.

So if I were going to start with one, again, it depends a bit on your size and everything, but I’m going to say if I was a teenage boy who had like done some stuff, was average strong, I would start with a six pound medicine ball. Then you could build and get a 10, maybe would be your next step up. We have everything from a four to a 20 in the gym, and honestly, we hardly ever use the 20. Even with our elite athletes, even with our college players, we hardly ever use the 20, because they are just not generating the speed.

Now, if you don’t have anywhere you can throw a medicine ball, it is still a good tool, but it might bump it down my list a little, but it is still a worthwhile tool to have. Because there are a lot of things we can do without throwing it.

So one of the ones we use a lot for dynamic core stabilization is like an inline kneeling chop, where your knee and your heel are straight in line. And then chop up and chop down with your arms holding the medicine ball. Even if you tried that with the right alignment without the medicine ball, you’d find it is really, really hard to stabilize.

Outside, in the summers, we do a great one for acceleration, squat pass and chase. We do, for shoulder stability, and to challenge your pushing, we do a pushup with one hand on the medicine ball to stabilize. Sometimes we’ll do a single leg glute bridge with our foot on the medicine ball, again to add a little more of a stability element.

So there is a ton of things we do with it other than just throwing it against the wall. And even if, say your program has single leg med ball throw to the wall. Well, if you can’t throw it, because your basement is drywall or whatever, you can still do it just without letting the ball go. Is it the same? No, it is not exactly the same, but it is still helpful? Yeah, it’s till helpful. Still better than going to the gym and sitting on the groin machine or doing the crunch machine at the gym or anything like that.

To recap, if we’re going to give you three pieces of equipment, so you can start working at home, doing your goalie workouts, number one is dumbbell/resistance bands, it’d be great if you could have both. If you can only have one, resistance bands all the way. Number two, would be something like a Reebok step, and again, I bet you can find these things on Craigslist or Kijiji.

A Reebok step or the steps that have the stacking risers, so that you can do single leg squat off the box, rear foot elevated split squats, use them for pushups, use it as a bench for doing chest press, with your bands or with your dumbbells. Use it for plyometrics, box hop up, box hop down, all sorts of stuff.

Then the last one would be medicine ball. Using it for some stability exercises, but then using it to generate quick forces to do some core stabilization drills. Again, if you don’t have a wall where you can throw it, it might bump down your list. It is still a good tool, it might bump down your list because you can even do that inline kneeling chop with a dumbbell, say you had a dumbbell at home. You could do it with a dumbbell. That single leg rotary pass I showed you. Well, you could probably do that with a dumbbell, too. So those are my top three, and I reserve my right to change my mind. Maybe at 2:30 today I’m going to have a different top three. That is my top three yesterday and today, because I do actually prepare for these.

Next week I am going to come back and I am going to hit you up with sort of the five next things. I got them written down, I won’t show you ==> Here’s the link to see what they are CLICK HERE

You know what? Slide board isn’t even on that one.

So start with the most basic pieces, and then remind yourself, “It is not the equipment that is going to make me a great goalie.” It is doing the right kinds of exercises with the right technique and then applying that to what I am trying to do on the ice.

Sound good?

All right gang, hope you have a great day! Hope your bike doesn’t get stolen. I had it locked, but apparently it needed a better lock, and I will catch you next time.

See ya.


Resistance Band Kit –

PowerBlock Dumbbells – –you can get heavier sets than this, but this is a good start

Plyo Box –

Medicine Ball –