A few things I want to note about the gym and some other stuff:
-Most gyms (at least around here), require you to pay for the first and last month upfront, along with some miscellaneous processing/membership/whatever fees. This can actually make the initial investment over $100, but after that, it levels off to just the monthly fees (assuming there aren't any other fees you have to pay).
-Most people don't want to get in body builder shape, and honestly, you could probably get away with just bodyweight exercises, cardio, and solid nutrition (AND GOOD SLEEP) to get to where you want to be. However, if you are frugal (like me), or are financially disadvantaged, you only really need:
-Dumbbells (how many you need depends on your starting level and what muscle groups you intend to work out, I recommend a set of 5, 10, 15, and 20 for most people. If your shoulders are REALLY weak/underdeveloped, you might need to start even lower. If you're a woman, you may not even need to go above 15 unless you want to use that stuff for legs, but even then, you'll outgrow 20 lbs).
-Decent pair of running shoes.
-Somewhere to hang (that can safely support your weight) so you can do pullups.
Dumbbells are pretty cheap, especially if you buy them used. Don't buy the plastic ones, they are more expensive. A decent pair of running shoes vary in costs, but you shouldn't be paying more than $60 TBH (also, find out what kind of feet/what kind of runner you are and buy shoes with those in mind).
That's pretty much it, I do however, recommend:
-Underarmor (amazing, best clothing invention ever made).
-Speed rope (I love jump roping, regular jump ropes aren't suitable for exercising...at least not for me).
-A timer of some sort. You don't need to get fancy.
-Yoga mat if you want to do yoga, can be useful for other stuff too though.
-Lifting gloves: you don't really need the ones with wrist straps (to ensure that your wrists don't give out before your muscles to get the most out of your workout), but you want at least a basic pair of gloves because once you start lifting heavier weights (and even on a pullup bar without enough reps), it'll really start to eat up your hands (I got some pretty bad blisters on mine). I really recommend these, not too expensive either.
Last edited by F. Silverberg : 07-16-2010 at 08:50 PM.