My Favorite Piece of Fitness Equipment

By September 21, 2011General

Since Stephanie outed me the other day on her blog, I thought I’d share my favorite piece of workout equipment here too. Not because I plan for this to become a fitness blog, but because there is a greater lesson.

And I’m all about analogies.

So, my favorite fitness equipment is…a chin up bar. Random, I know.

I love to do chin ups. Now, please understand, that is *barely* a plural statement. On a good day, I can do few in a row. When I started, I just kind of hung there. It was pathetic.

The Chin Up Bar Is My Hero

I’m 36 years old. Let’s face it, time isn’t on my side. Staying fit is getting harder and harder.

It’s been especially challenging since I started this blog last January. It’s kept me much busier than I’d ever imagined and working out has taken a backseat.

But my trusty little chin up bar has been my fitness catalyst.

  1. Immediate results – After just one chin up (or even an unsuccessful attempt), I stand straighter and feel stronger.
  2. It cannot be ignored. It’s in the doorway of my kitchen.
  3. It’s easy. Ok. So doing a chin up isn’t easy, but it’s fast and I feel results immediately.
  4. I can’t do it halfway. You go up or you don’t go up.

How This Applies To You

If you’re on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle (or any goal, really), it is incredibly important that you find a SIMPLE catalyst to keep you feeling like you’re moving forward. Here are some ideas:

  • 5 minute workout (mentioned in ebook)
  • Food journal
  • Hand weights in your kitchen or bathroom
  • Doing squats while you brush your teeth
  • Taking your dog on a daily walk
  • Calf raises while you cook or do dishes

The Habit Is The Goal

Having a great workout every single day of the week for all of eternity is unrealistic. But instead of feeling discouraged because you didn’t have time for Jillian to yell at you for 30 minutes, use a catalyst to encourage you that you did something.

Something is always better than nothing. Let me say that again, especially for all of us who deal with perfectionism: something is better than nothing. One more time, all together now: SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING.

So, don’t compare todays’ exercise to yesterdays’, last weeks’ or what you did when you were 17. Just find a catalyst that will help you do something today. Even if it’s hanging from a chin up bar in your kitchen…

Catalyst Ideas

What is one catalyst you use or hope to use to inspire you to keep exercise a permanent habit?

Leave a Comment



  • Hannah says:

    When I go to a store or the bank or where ever…I park in the farthest space I can find. There’s never anybody in that spot so it saves me the time of looking for a closer spot AND I either walk briskly (ah…I have to admit that the first few times I left my kiddos at home to go to the store it was more of a leisurely stroll!) or run to and from the door. Be careful running from the door of the bank though…I got chased down by a security guard the first time I ran from the door of my bank. I guess they thought I was running to my mini-van-filled-with-kids-get-away-car. That was a fun day!

  • Tammy says:

    OH. MY. The Irony. We bought one last year when I was finishing 30 day shred and thought I’d do p90x next. My back issues this year mean I’m still in therapy so using this again seemed far-fetched. We just put ours in a box to donate! I just might pull it back out and put it in my closet doorway so I can attempt them again. At least it might help align my back 🙂

  • Emily says:

    My catalyst is my dog, Roxy. She loves running and it helps her calm down. I can tell a difference if/when we skip a day. We both need the exercise therapy that running provides!

    • Kat says:

      I’ve often thought at dog would be a GREAT catalyst. It would also be great to have “someone” with me on dark winter runs…

  • Ok I’m convicted. I just told my group today that exercise is a part of my morning that hasn’t come together yet.

    What I hope will be my catalyst (again) is my kettle ball, combination of a kettle bell and medicine ball. Even ten minutes with it I know is good for me.

    • Kat says:

      I’m so intrigued by kettleballs. Where did you learn the different exercises?

      • When I use to go to my personal trainer friend (she had a mommy class at a park. It was great, kids would play and mommies would workout) she taught me some exercises but when I bought my own kettle ball it came with an instructional DVD.  I have a 10 pound Altus I bought online.

  • katitav says:

    My catalyst… I am aiming for it to be either a walk around the block with the kiddos or 15 minutes of crazy dancing with the kiddos. I want to teach them while I teach myself that exercise is important! When it was just me and my daughter we were at a mommy baby work out group called Stroller Strides, monday-friday but alas my good habit of working out has taken a back seat as of late but I’m going to get back to that point of doing something everyday.

  • Kat, I’m so far behind everyone! But I do have a chi machine, and when I lie on the floor and put my heels on the machine it shakes me straight again and aches go away. I sometimes pray, Lord align me with you, and I mean in my body too. Weird, huh? But walking, dancing, biking, these are what I can do.

    Hey Kat, I linked Inspired to Action in a post today, is that okay? Should I have asked first?

    • Kat says:

      Oh, you certainly don’t have to ask. It’s an honor! Thank you Beth!

      You’re not behind at all. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    Oh my a catalyst…. I wish I had a great one. I am really hoping I can “steal” someones great idea. As I am working thru the MYM challenge I just keep reminding myself 10 or 15 min of walking is a good start and more than I was doing before. I am really considering purchasing a renounced (fancy name for mini trampoline) the research I have done says 15 min on there is equivalent to 30 min of regular exercise. If it resides in my living room or bedroom maybe that would be a good catalyst…..

  • Ha! My email never shows the photos in posts…so when I clicked on over…I was kinda hoping it’d be a picture of your bed.
    Don’t “they” say that??? That SLEEP is key to weight loss (and fitness 🙂

    Mine would have to be… my feet.
    If I could choose…I’d always choose an early morning fast walk with a friend 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    “Having a great workout every single day of the week for all of eternity is unrealistic.”
    Oh, how I need this mindset! I somehow think if I can’t do a HIIT workout for 45 minutes then I can’t do anything. My doctor started encouraging my kids at last year’s check-up to go outside 1 hour per day, year round. The state of Vermont even makes up little winter challenge booklets with rewards from local ski areas for the “hour a day outside” mantra. I’ve decided since starting school a couple of weeks ago that this is my catalyst, too. When I go outdoors I’m active gardening, or hiking, or just playing with the kids. It may not be a ‘Jillian” workout, but it’s so much more than I’ll do inside.
    Thanks for a post full of grace!

  • Does chasing two kids count? Just kidding I spend a lot of time gardening. It is a WORK-OUT but low impact so i “dig it.” get it? DIg it?? Oh i crack me up.

  • Mindy says:

    My “Just do a mile” speech I give myself. If I only run a mile, at least it something and it usually encourages me to do more exercise later in the day. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes and I can catch up on the news!

  • Beth says:

    I have been turning on some music and just start walking up and down my basement steps. It is perfect in the morning when I am not ready to think yet. I have also put the prayer calenders on my refrigerator which is near the top of the stairs so if I need a break I can just stop and pray.

  • Nadene says:

    Wow – your chin up bar was the last gym apparatus I expected to see! I love my gym ball and can do 10 mins of quick ab exercises and squats against the wall if I don’t get time for a full workout. To my shame I admit that I make time for exercises. It is on my daily schedule, but I let it go. often. [sigh] Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I was really impressed when I read that on Stephanie’s blog! A LIFE goal of mine is to do a chin-up (we have a bar in our doorway, too!)….I was within inches when I got pregnant with my 4th and quickly started gaining the extra weight that makes pullups tough….but now I’m back at it!

    Great inspiration!!!

    • Kat says:

      You can totally do it Anne. It was a life goal of mine too. I started out just pulling up as much as I could each time I walked through. It took quite awhile. Asians aren’t known for their massive muscles. 🙂

  • Great post! I have never been able to do a chin up in my life. I am 6 foot tall and have girlie muscles. LOL! Kind of not fair really. Ha! Ha!
    I recently discovered the Wii Active Plus More Workouts “game” and I love it. The gamer side of me thinks it’s playing a game while my body gets an excellent workout. I’ve been doing it for over 6 weeks now so that says something.
    Oh and I’m on day 2 of cutting out all added sugars. Wish me luck. Ha! Ha!

    • Kat says:

      The Wii is a great workout! Even just the games….I’m sore after playing Wii boxing with my little boy.

      Cutting out sugars? You=rockstar. I’ve thought about it… 😉

  • melanie says:

    I raise my hands and sway back and forth when I worship – does that count?! =) I had to take it easy after a miscarriage, but I’m feeling back to myself and ready to get out there again. I also need to dust off the trampoline and wheel that baby back out here. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Something is better than nothing. Something is better than nothing. Something is better than nothing…

    • Kat says:

      Yes! Something is better than nothing. A step forwar, no matter how small is still a step forward. And, yes, swaying counts. 😉