Strength training is the fountain of youth. You will build muscle, which will help you get rid of fat, which will make you more mobile, which will make you have better quality of life. Everything gets better when you get stronger.

It can be weights, bands, bodyweight, milk jugs, or whatever you have that provides resistance but you need to get strong and stay strong. So today I want to give you a few different strength training options that can fit any budget, fitness level, etc…

First, I like to start off with a story. When I worked on Redstone Arsenal, we had an older lady that was just beginning to get into strength training. She had some medical issues and was wanting to start slow, so she brought in some soup cans as her weights.

Mrs. Soup left her “weights” in the aerobics room so she could use them whenever she came in. She was very faithful in her workouts and really seemed to enjoy getting stronger.

Then it happened.

She came up to the front desk and asked if we had seen her “weights”. None of us had, so we put out an APB on these things. But they were nowhere to be found. It was very puzzling, as well as troubling. It appeared we had a soup bandit on our hands.

To make a long story short, it turned out a co-worker of mine forgot his lunch one day. He thought the soup gods had smiled upon him, found some soup just asking to be eaten, and the rest is a sad history.

Lesson learned- don’t have edible weights if possible.

Back to getting stronger!

Lifting weights are what most people think about when they think about getting stronger. There are tons of options even within the weights category. Barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells are the most popular options.

Many people are too intimidated to even start lifting weights, but once they do they love it! Get someone to help you learn the proper form and you will be impressed with how soon you will notice a difference in strength and muscle tone.

Bands are inexpensive, portable, and provides tons of exercise options. Great for travel and at home workouts. They come in different strengths, so you they can accommodate all fitness levels and are less intimidating than weights.

Bodyweight workouts are obviously the most affordable option, but are also an underrated option for getting stronger. By changing angles and body positions, you can make every exercise harder or easier.

Machines are good at building strength in a fixed pattern. The two downfalls for a home gym are the high cost and large footprint they require. Also, many machines do not accommodate people of different sizes.

Every day objects can be used for another inexpensive option. Milk jugs, old tractor tires, soup cans, sledgehammers, rocks, bricks, and hundreds of other seemingly innocent objects can help you get stronger. These tend to make your workouts more interesting and entertaining.

Even within strength training there are tons of ways to vary your workouts. High number of reps with lighter weights for muscular endurance. Low number of reps with heavy weights for getting really strong. Lighter weights with fast reps to get more explosive. Slow reps during the lowering portion of the exercise to build muscle.

With so much variety and variability available it can easily become a consistent part of your routine. Pick out which mode interests you the most (weights, bands, etc…), pick the rep and weight scheme that suits your goals, and get to work! The only thing that is going to bulk up, is your level of awesomeness.