Before we start, quick show of hands. How many of you have exercise equipment/machines at home?
Now, how many of you actually used these equipment TO EXERCISE in the past week?
If you suddenly feel attacked, don’t be. The last time anyone at Cilisos worked out was before total lockdown, so we (and the 3 generations of spiders living on our dumbbells) know how it is. We won’t judge. Rather, we’re here to help you put those bought-in-a-moment-of-fitness-passion equipment to good use, because apparently if you keep something and not use it long enough, it’ll get possessed by a spirit.
No one should ever be haunted by a pair of possessed 2 kg dumbbells, so after consulting with other
lazy unmotivated people and performing cutting edge research, we’ve curated and compiled inspiring ways to fully utilize your home gym equipment, other than actually exercising.
Starting with perhaps the most obvious one…
1. Using them as a clothing rack
“The mark of a great Malaysian is not how many kilos he can bench, but rather how many kilos of clothing dumped on his bench.” – Cilifucius, ancient Malaysian philosopher and home fitness enthusiast .
This is probably the most common use of exercise equipment we’ve seen. Because it’s so extensive, our team of researchers have identified several variations of this natural phenomenon.
a. The procrastination pile
Commonly seen on equipment with flat surfaces, like weight benches. Common offenders include fresh-yet-unfolded laundry, or clothes you’ve already worn a few times so you can’t hang it up with other fresh clothes. Instead of continuously shifting the pile from your bed to your chair every time you feel like sitting or lying down, it’s more stable to put the pile on somewhere clean and unlikely to be used, like your weight bench.
b. The damp drape
Commonly used for large pieces of damp fabric (like towels), this technique is usually applied to exercise items with not-quite-horizontal parts jutting out of them, like an elliptical machine, or with a surface not big enough for the procrastination pile, like the front part of a treadmill or a stationary bike. By spreading the surface area of the towel and minimizing contact points with a surface, it’ll dry properly before your next shower.
c. The premeditated hanging
This technique works best on equipment with slim horizontal parts that a clothing hanger can fit around, like pull up stations or those little handles on treadmills. However, any equipment with a hole you can slip a hanger’s handle through will do as well, like the little hoops on your punching bag. Commonly used to dry damp clothes on rainy days, although some have used it to segregate worn clothes they want to wear again.
d. The McGyver
Even more premeditated than the previous technique, this method involves using skipping ropes or resistance bands to create a makeshift clothesline. Of all the four methods, this one sends the strongest signal to onlookers that you have zero intention of working out again, so be wary. Speaking of makeshift stuff…
2. Use them as makeshift furniture
“Frugal be the man who refrains from buying tools he does not need. Resourceful be the man who finds a use for such tools regardless.” – Cilifucius, ancient Malaysian philosopher and owner of all the Jane Fonda tapes.
Besides clothing racks, you can also use some of your workout equipment as other furniture. Doorstops and paperweights are a given, but let’s not limit ourselves. A weight bench‘s portability and height makes it an excellent candidate for a low table for when you’re working on a couch. Have guests coming over? Drape a tablecloth on it and bam! You’ve got yourself a chic coffee table fit to entertain royalty.
If you have a pull up apparatus installed near your bed, simply attach a mosquito net to it and drape it around your bed for a Victorian bedroom feel. But that’s not all! You can also augment your ailing furniture with workout equipment. If you have a wobbly table or a sofa with a missing leg, slide a few iron plates under the offending area for a fun piece of furniture that will get your guests talking.
And they will talk, because when it comes to improvising with exercise equipment, you can also…
3. Use them as a conversation starter
“Just as a person who owns a guitar may not necessarily be able to do the F chord, a person with a pull up rack may not necessarily be able to do a pull up. But people might assume they can.” – Cilifucius, ancient Malaysian philosopher and fervent CJWowShop shopper.
One of the less memorable lines from The Devil Wears Prada was when one of Andy’s friends explains why women have so many handbags: fashion isn’t about utility, as an accessory is ‘merely a piece of iconography used to express individual identity‘. The same goes for items in the living room. Want to show you’re cultured? Hang up some paintings. Want to show you’re an aspiring musician? Display your guitar with the broken high E string.
Want to show you’re flexible? Spread your yoga mat in the center of the living room. Want to show that you’re a strong, tough guy? Find the heaviest pair of dumbbells and subtly place them in a visible corner. Want to showcase your stamina? Integrate a treadmill or stationary bike into your decor.
These have to be done with caution, though. It helps if you actually look like you work out, for one thing. For another thing, you don’t want to be too obnoxious with your display. You might get asked to demonstrate, but an easy way to sidestep this is to say that you’re still sore from yesterday’s workout and are supposed to be resting. Also, prepare to get your ego crushed if your guest easily lifts those dumbbells you’ve been pretending to use.
Moving on to more private uses…
4. Use them to spice up your bedroom
[DISCLAIMER: Cilisos is not responsible for any personal injuries or death that might occur if you take this part seriously. Always consult a physician before starting any strenuous activity. Be smart!]
“There be all sorts of ways for ye to get thicc and rock-hard through exercise equipment. The important thing is creativity and courage.” – Cilifucius, ancient Malaysian philosopher and self-proclaimed DILF (Dad in Loose Fit jeans).
We won’t go into details here, but those weight plates? Attach them to something and enjoy the pull. That skipping rope? Whip something with it. That elastic workout band? Stretch it tight and let go. That yoga mat? Roll it up and put it under something. That barbell? Shove that thing in both ends. That workout bench? Move all over it. That pull up bar? Wrap your hands around it and move up and down.
If done correctly, using exercise equipment can be an orgasmic experience, as attested to by Ahnold himself.
You’re welcome, citizen.
5. Use them as kitchen implements
“There is no better seasoning for food than guilt.” – Cilifucius, ancient Malaysian philosopher and ashwaganda supplement salesman.
Like many things, this one requires a little imagination.
Take out the weight plates from your dumbbell for example, and you’ve got a multipurpose stick to cook with. The threaded end makes for a great meat tenderizer, and the knurled middle part can serve as a rolling pin which leaves delicate patterns on the surface of your pastries. If you attach a weight plate on one end and leave it free to rotate, you’ve got yourself an elegant spice grinder. Or you can just use the stick to bash a pack of Maggi so that it fits in a mug.
If you’ve been using it for stuff regarding the previous point though, make sure to clean it thoroughly first, or at least cover the thing with cling wrap. Well, this is getting a little out of hand, but by now you’re probably thinking…
Ahh, I shouldn’t have bought all this stuff in the first place
While doing research for this article, we noticed that there’s a lot of articles on how to use normal household items to exercise, but none of them tells us how to use exercise equipment to do normal household stuff. And the reason for that is simple: most of the time, you don’t need fancy equipment to exercise.
Unless you’re aiming to be Mr Olympia one day, bench press equipment isn’t necessary – you can just do different variations of push ups to reasonably develop your pecs with nothing but the floor. You can even ask your heavy friend to sit on your back for extra resistance. If you want to do cardio in these Covid times, a treadmill or stationary bike might seem necessary, but there are a lot of other ways to get your heart rate up if you’re creative enough.
Obviously, there are exceptions – people have different reasons why they need exercise equipment, after all, and some of them are pretty legit. Buying equipment first to motivate you to work out later, however, isn’t one of them, if our own personal experiences had anything to say about it. So before you click ‘check out’ on you online shopping cart, make sure you’ve already established and followed a regular exercise routine first – it’ll save your money, space, and the possibility of haunted exercise equipment later on.