I’ve never been a fan of fancy equipment. If I’m going to exercise I want the three Es: effectiveness, efficiency, and excitement. In this way, I’m very minimalist when it comes to staying fit and healthy.

If it’s not effective, it’s a waste of time. I need to see results in strength, speed, agility, and so on.

If it’s not efficient, it’s not for me. There’s a lot of exercises that can get results but they take too long, are unsafe, require fancy equipment, or require a lot more effort for what you get in return. With this mindset, I’ve been able to keep all my workouts under 20 minutes and maintain results I’m happy with.

If it’s not exciting, I’m not going to stick with it. I already don’t like to exercise and I’m really busy as an entrepreneur, husband, and father. I need something that motivates me and calls my name.

With all that said, here’s the 10 tools I constantly put to use in my life.

The Fitness Tools

Notice there’s only three. That’s because I use tools that cover a variety of needs. With these three tools you can do every functional movement needed to reach just about any fitness goal you have (even for most weekend warrior athletes).

1. The Ultimate Sandbag

Ultimate Sandbag
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It’s called the Ultimate Sandbag for a reason. It literally does everything. It’s so versatile and unique that I designed the entire 8 week Transformational Strength Training program (inside of Total Body Reboot) around it. 

The program is based on six functional movements using interval style training with the Ultimate Sandbag only. And get this: no workout is longer than 20 minutes. The results you get with this in strength, agility, and body composition are second to none.

For Men ($117 on Amazon) →
For Women ($75 on Amazon) →

Update: I now prefer the Onnit Battle Bag.

2. Kettlebell

 

kettlebell
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When I’m not using the ultimate sandbag for resistance training, I’m using a kettlebell. It’s functional and you can perform many different exercises with it.

The ultimate sandbag isn’t missing anything, it’s just nice to mix things up once in a while and the kettlebell is an excellent alternative.

Onnit has the best kettlebells by far →

3. Sandbells (for travel)

sandbell
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I can’t take kettlebells with me when I travel and the Ultimate Sandbag is pretty bulky, even when empty. Enter the Sandbell. 

The Sandbell is a mix between the kettlebell and the Ultimate Sandbag. When empty, it’s perfect for travel.

I wouldn’t recommend it for really short trips (unless you’re going to the beach) because it’s still a hassle to find sand and fill it up, but if you know you have access to an easy sand source, take it!

Get a Sandbell! →

The Footwear

There’s two types of footwear I switch between. One is more geared toward high performance and the other is for everyday wear and walking.

I’m not a fan of running, but I’m huge into walking due to the immense mental and physical benefits. And because it’s what the human body was designed to do in large doses!

4. Vibram FiveFingers

vibram
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These are my active fitness and sports shoes. If you see me out doing sprints, outdoor fitness, or playing flag football — I’m in these.

There’s been some controversy around these shoes lately as Vibram just settled a lawsuit. I’m on record with the position that the lawsuit was completely frivolous and those who brought the suit against Vibram are naive people with weak ass feet.

With that said, ease into them because you can’t quickly jump from a normal shoe to these, especially if you’re a runner. Your feet will need time to regain the strength they lost due to wearing normal shoes. Transition slowly.

Vibram Five Fingers on Amazon →

5. Lems

lems
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These are my walking and every day shoes. They’re built to make sure the natural function of the foot is not inhibited, which is the most important aspect of a shoe.

It’s not uncommon for me to walk — intentionally — up to five miles a day. I try to stay barefoot as much as possible, but when I’m out and about I need an every day shoe that doesn’t screw up my feet. These are the ones. They have some pretty sexy styles too.

Get Lems →

The Recovery Tools

If your heart is beating and you’re not performing self-physical therapy daily, then you’re doing life wrong. This is so important that I created an entire module on it inside of Total Body Reboot (which up to this point is the only program I know of that teaches self-physical therapy as part of an overall health and fitness curriculum).

Self physical therapy is about joint mobilization and muscle recovery. It’s about undoing the bad stuff that modern life and poor positioning do to us on a daily basis. It alleviates pain, improves performance, and decreases the risk of injury.

6. The GRID

grid
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Foam rollers are old school and most are too soft (especially the more you use them). The GRID is a very firm roller that doesn’t lose its intensity. I roll my entire body with this thing daily.

The best part is that it’s hollow, so when I travel I can easily stuff t-shirts, my lacrosse ball (see below), and even my Aeropress (also below) inside it. That’s fitness minimalism at its finest.

Get the GRID w/ DVD ($46) →
Get the GRID only ($39) →

7. Lacrosse Balls

lacrosse
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I have a few lacrosse balls in different rooms of my house and ALWAYS take one with me when I travel. If you know how to use it, it’s like having a massage therapist on-call at all times. Except it’s like $3.95 instead of $80 an hour.

Beginner Lacrosse Balls (softer and lighter) →
Pro Lacrosse Balls (deep tissue) →

Health Tracking

If you’re not tracking your blood markers, then you’re missing out on the only way to objectively verify that you’re improving your health and staying away from common fitness danger zones (like increased inflammation).

The good news is that the technology is now available for you to easily do this.

8. WellnessFX

wellness
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WellnessFX Baseline Panel ($150) →

The Lifestyle Tools

REAL health and fitness is about down time, rest, and recovery. And coffee. 

Here’s two tools I adore: one I’ve been using for a long time and one I recently got that I’m loving the crap out of.

9. ENO Portable Hammock

hammock
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So, I just recently got one of these. My buddy Evan Brand had one when we were at PaleoFX.

This is a hammock that comes in a small bag a little bigger than your hand. It’s super portable and lightweight.

For instant relaxation, reading, or sleeping you find two trees that are relatively close together and you have an instant hammock. It’s perfection.

ENO Double Nest Hammock ($69 on Amazon) →

10. Aero Press Coffee Maker

aeropress2
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I’ve been using this bad boy for a while now. It’s two pieces of plastic with a little rubber. It’s made extremely well (read: indestructible).

It’s about the easiest and most delicious way to make coffee that I know of. You put a circular filter in the bottom, you put the grinds in, you pour your hot water in, you insert the plunger part into the top, you wait 30 seconds, and then you press down on the plunger and you have amazing coffee.

I don’t know what else to say. Again, it’s perfection. And it’s perfect for travel. Rinse both pieces with water when you’re done and you’re ready to go again. It has over 2000 five star reviews on Amazon.

Aeropress ($25 on Amazon) →

Conclusion

Well, that’s MY list. But, what about you? Picked up any cool/favorite stuff since starting your journey? Let me hear about it in the comments!

Comments

  • Cynthia says:

    Love the list! Just have a tiny off topic bone to pick – some of the model pics from your articles depict Women who are extremely skinny – as in the first one in this article her breast bones are showing. This is not a positive or attainable portrayal as to what a healthy body image is and does not reflect to me what Rebooted Body is about. 🙂

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Cynthia, thanks for the comment. I chose the first picture because she was the only person I could find who was doing the push up with correct form combined with quality photography. She is definitely thin, but I wouldn’t say she’s unhealthy, unnatural, or “extremely skinny.” The position she’s in naturally tightens her chest making those bones show. She can still be perfectly healthy. Accepting everyone is about accepting everyone, not JUST people who look average.

      I do make it a point to choose pictures that don’t focus on being thin, having visible abs, etc. Just to be sure that I’m doing that job relatively well, I went to the blog page ( https://rebootedbody.com/blog ) and it wasn’t until I got to page 6 that I actually found an article that even showed a woman’s torso in any meaningful way.

      So, sometimes I do show the “athlete,” but it’s certainly not the norm. The vast majority of the time I choose pictures of every day people and don’t place any focus on body image. I also purposefully do not post before and after pictures that 99.9% of other sites post of people in limited clothing of results that aren’t typical.

      • Cynthia says:

        Thx Kevin – for the most part the pics are fine & I understand you have to purchase etc… there have just been a couple that have stuck out as being on the extreme side of fitness/thinness (that to me does not represent a positive body image- but that is just my opinion!) I think you do an awesome job on everything!

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Also keep in mind that I’m at the whim for what is photographed as I don’t take my own pictures. And all images are purchased, not just found. So if I’m searching for “female fitness” or “male fitness” or “male exercise” — well, photographers tend to spend money photographing people who look athletic, not who look like every day people — you know what I’m saying? So I’m limited in the fact that I’m not directing these photography shoots. If I was a multi-million dollar company with an ad budget who was paying for custom photography, then I’d be much more susceptible to talk about promoting certain aspects of body image. Right now, I’m just doing my best to put out the most helpful information possible with whatever high quality pictures I have to work with inside a very limited budget.

  • Natalia says:

    Hi, Kevin, like the list and always read your posts. When visiting a chiropractitioner I specifically asked about using the rollers and he told me to be careful as its all good rolling upwards ( towards the heart) but not so good in the opposite direction. Would be interesting to hear your view on this.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Hi Natalia, thanks for your question. Did he give you a reason or just a rule?

      • Natalia says:

        He actually did, but as I am not a doctor, my brain usually registers the recommendation and omits the explanation. Next time I see him, I will ask again. Something with the lymph system flow potentially but i am not sure…..

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Let me know and then I can provide an answer.

  • Janaya says:

    Great list! Mine also includes minimalist shoes and tennis balls. More from my list: yoga mat, bandana, Moving Comfort brand sports bra (awesome!), “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook, energy but balls that I make, and the Reboot Body Blog for non bull, current information delivered in a respectable and approachable manner.

    I love the hammock and will add it to my list soon!

  • Magezi says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Fizzler, blog and podcast fan. I love the information you are putting out there and I have begun importing a lot of it into my lifestyle.

    The question I have for you is around the barefoot walking/running conversation. I like what you recommend but being a flat footed but I have to wonder if its one size fits all. My personal preference is to be barefoot as much as possible. Plus, I love the look of the Vibram FiveFingers. This condition though is a challenge for me in enjoying walks, runs and my yoga practice. I have recently started to research how I can get around my problem for my yoga practice and I am hoping you might have some insight from your vast experience in martial arts and overall performance training. Thank you so much for all that you do. Your work is a great inspiration to a fellow fizzler.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Thanks Magezi!

      You’re definitely going to want to stay tuned to my podcast (if you’re not subscribed, subscribe here >> https://rebootedbody.com/podcast/) because I’m doing an episode in the next few weeks with a podiatrist who is an expert on foot function, issues, barefoot shoes, etc. and there’s talk about flat feet in that episode and the different types, causes, solutions, etc.

      Cheers!

      • Magezi says:

        I’m actually listening to TRB062 on my iPhone as I type out this response. Fun episode. Love Kaila’s passion and Justin’s honesty. I’ve been subscribed since TRB010 so I will definitely look out for that upcoming episode.

        PS. Love the new podcast cover art. The old one was nice, but this one does stand out more amongst my other podcast subscriptions.

        Thanks Kevin.

      • Kevin Geary says:

        Awesome, glad to hear it!

  • Shawn says:

    Great article!

    For those who don’t like having things between their toes, or have other foot issues that make Vibram 5-fingers impossible, I’m in love with New Balance Minimus Trail:

    http://www.newbalance.com/pd/minimus-10v2-trail/MT10-V2.html#color=Black_with_Silver

    I’ve been wearing these bad boys for all my activities for a couple of years now. They have a big roomy toe box to allow those toes to spread out, a soft, flexible vibram sole similar to 5-fingers, and are super lightweight – next best thing to totally barefoot.

    On the directional foam roller thing – I was a massage therapist in my previous life and one of the first things you learn in school is that deep pressure goes towards the heart and only very light pressure goes away from the heart. The reasoning for this has to do with the veins which carry blood toward the heart. Veins use a valve system to move blood back from the extremities towards the heart. This prevents back flow and pooling of blood at the lowest points. If those valves weaken or break down you end up with varicose veins, and other veinous insufficiency issues.

    Deep pressure moving away from the heart can force blood pressure against or even back through those valves, hastening their breakdown. That being said, one should still always keep pressure light when rolling away from the heart on arms and legs.

    Hope that helps!

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