Seeking recommendations for bodyweight exercise kits


After some very nice initial (2-month) weightloss experiences, I’m now getting to the point where I’d like to add more exercise, specifically weight. I walk quite a lot, and I have a vibration plate at home - which I very much recommend, though I didn’t get it for weightloss, just to deal with lower back pain/stiffness. I’m still somewhat self-conscious about going back to the gym - the local one is full of “gym bunnies” who’ll look weird at you when you’re obese and sweating on the treadmill/crosstrainer, so I’d like to lose a bit more before I expose myself to that.

I’ve been pointed at bodyweight exercises, and there seem to be kits you wedge into the door to pull and lift your body weight. My questions:

  1. Anybody have experiences with those? Recommended?
  2. Any specific brands? (I’m looking for something that comes with a guide to the exercises, because I’m new to this)
  3. My aim is much more strengthening than “toning” - I simply won’t see a body fat % anywhere near “toning” yet.

All input gratefully received!


As a self confessed gym bunny, honestly, as harsh as it is, get over it. In your mind you think we’re looking at you, but we’re not. We look at ourselves (like 99.9% of the time) , we look at other lifters, we look out of windows, we look at the TVs. With 100% honesty, I can say I’ve never once looked at a fat person doing their cardio. Further to that, if I have looked at them, I’ve thought “Bloody hell good on you chap”.

People who are into fitness appreciate that everyone has to start somewhere and I can assure you, unless you’re dealing with 16 year old curl boys, they’ll look at themselves 100000 times more than they look at you.

Nonetheless, you asked a question and I will respond with this:



Agree completely with @GTIPuG. Stop giving a sh!t about what other people may think. Any decent person will see someone in the gym and think fair play. If they don’t think that, do you really care what they think?

I also certainly wouldn’t be risking any damage to my doors or architraves when there is a gym I could use with professional equipment.



This!!! I’m no gym bunny (yet), but honestly every time I see an obese person in the gym I just want to give them a mental shout of encouragement; it can’t be easy working out with all that extra weight (it’s basically a shit ton of semi-permanent dumbbells!)
Plus anyone who’s there and trying to take the step to better their lives is already doing much more than people who let inertia and laziness stop them :slight_smile:

Although, I definitely understand what you mean when you say it’s daunting: as a 5 foot kinda-overweight girl, I’ve always been terrified of stepping foot in what I called the “testosterone area”. Guys still look at me like I don’t really belong there, but I go ahead and bust out some squats and cleans and bench presses because I have every right to be there as they do :smiley:

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Sorry for our permanent bitch face/scowl during a training session :frowning: We don’t know we’re doing it :frowning:

– On behalf of angry looking but not actually angry gym bunnies


OK, some thoughts from another big man.

I know how you feel - I have the same insecurities you do, especially prior to and initially of starting at a new gym. Really, I’ve been to so many and not once have I sensed anyone judging me or such. I think Dr Phil over here has a point.

To gym bunnies/everyone else feeling suppportive: best you can do is absolutely nothing I believe. If I had recieved an encouraging remark being at the gym as a fat person it would have made me aware people noticed it and the effect wouldn’t be beneficial to me even if intention was good. This is true for many overweight people. Treat us equally by simply not paying extra attention to us for that reason.


Yeah… Pretty much this dead on. When I was large I’d get so infuriated and embarrassed when people would say “Keep going mate you’re doing great good on you”…

As Squizzle says, best to just not pay any attention at all.

But going back the other way - The best thing you can do for your own mind is convince yourself you should be there. Crack a joke at the fountain, nod to regulars, ask people what they’re doing if it looks interesting and they seem approachable.

Going from:

  • That awkward fat guy who does the cardio
  • That large friendly guy
  • That large friendly strong regular
  • That friendly, strong regular
  • Vash, that friendly, strong bloke at the gym

Is entirely possible, it’s all on your head, you can nail it if you put in a little effort :smiley:

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Yeah fair point! That’s why I said mental shoutout haha, I don’t actually do it because of the reasons you’ve mentioned.

But honestly half the time I’m too busy either trying to get my workout done, feeling self-conscious myself, or checking myself and/or my form out to notice anyone else. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think what I’m trying to say is:

  1. People don’t notice
  2. Even if they do, it’s likely to be positive than negatively judgmental unless they’re “16 year old curlers” :slight_smile:

@GTIPuG HAHAHA I know there are those, but there are also ones who look at me funny for being the only girl there amongst like 10 grunting guys… :cold_sweat:

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Think I saw that movie once :joy::rofl::joy::rofl:


Brutal, but funny :joy:

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Oh my God Hahahahaha what’s happening in here :joy::joy:


:popcorn::eyes: don’t mind me

You lot have such dirty minds :scream:

It was an exercise aerobics class … !!!


I’m a big fan of the TRX suspension trainer (you can buy an suspension training system on eBay that is a copy of the TRX dead cheap!)
I’d also recommend the Suspension Workout app made by Fitify (google play store) to help guide you through the use of the system and build you an exercise programme that’s easy to follow. I travel a lot and my TRX goes with me every time I’m away!
Hope that helps,it’s a superb workout


I have TRX and I believe when I signed up to use the app it gave me a year free access to their video content for exercises. I have seen a copy of it in decathlon for something like £25. Much more reasonable than the price of TRX.
Also I’d recommend cycling or a static bike.
I was always a runner but it takes its toll, and you can’t run hard days after day as much as you can on the bike, cos less stress on your joints. I’ve been doing a lot of structured bike sessions recently, and found my running has improved loads just cos my heart is stronger.

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The good thing about bodyweight training is that you don’t really need that much equipment. I took a similar approach to build up strength and confidence before starting going to the gym, so please don’t be too put off by people telling you to, “get over it.” Everyone’s fitness journey is different and you need to make it work for you.

The most versatile piece of bodyweight equipment are, hands down, gymnastics rings because they allow you to do the many different bodyweight exercises. Unfortunately they are more difficult for beginners, so I wouldn’t recommend these as a first piece of equipment but instead that you work towards being strong enough to transition to them. I also personally think they’re “better” than more expensive products such as TRX but to each their own.

I started with push ups, crunches and squats. When these became too easy, I bought a set of tall parallettes and began doing dips, inverted rows, Australian rows and l-sits. When this became too easy, I switched to doing the majority of these exercises with gymnastics rings. This gave me the confidence I needed to start working out at the gym.

With parallettes being relatively inexpensive, they might be a good option for you to start with since they allow you to do lots of different exercises. I own a set of these.

It’s also worth noting that most bodyweight exercises can be modified to be easier, which I found useful in the beginning e.g. you can use exercise bands to assist you when performing dips. There are a lot of videos on YouTube explaining some of these concepts but I also found Complete Calisthenics by Ashely Kalym to be a useful resource

Here are some good videos on YouTube that you might find useful:

Hope this helps and good luck!

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I bought these to go in my home gym:

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This popped up yesterday and I thought it might be useful for you

You can try apps like freeletics.

Hi Vash!
How’re you getting on?