In September I promised to add more strength training to my exercise routine, which has led to me investing in a few bits of equipment, such as a a wobble board to do planks on for core strength and a stupid pull up bar which goes over a door. For the record I can currently almost do one pull up. It’s not as easy as it looks on James Bond.

Then I got an email from Gorilla Sports asking me if I wanted to try out their Fit Pack. I had a look and it appeared to contain all sorts of handy things for my strength training promise, and also claimed to tell me how to use them, so I said yes.

The pack contains a gym ball, handy for core work, a yoga mat, handy for when I haven’t hoovered, an exercise step, handy for calf stretches for running as well as things like tricep dips, and a pair of 2kg weights which are handy for making my arms ache and reminding me how feeble I am.

The yoga mat isn’t the most amazing quality, it’s made of that foamy stuff that marks easily, I have a better rubbery one somewhere, but I can’t find it. It does the job though and at least has elastic wraps to stop it unravelling and is a decent length. I’ve had “yoga mats” in the past that are barely longer than my torso. The other bits in the package are all good quality, with the step being stable and adjustable in height and it comes with a pump as well, so you don’t find yourself staring at an uninflated gym ball or trying to blow it up with human windpower.

The exercise booklet that comes with it contains a Fat Burning Circuit and an Abs, Bum and Thighs Circuit. None of the exercises included are very unusual; squats, tricep dips, bicep curls and the like; but they’re a good starting point if you’ve never used any of the equipment before and it’s not hard to find other, more advanced, exercises using the same equipment elsewhere.The booklet also tells you wys of increasing the difficulty of the exercises as you improve, which is a nice touch.

One of my main concerns with home exercise equipment is with it’s tendency to end up in the loft due to lack of storage space. I can see the gym ball being a bit of an issue, as I’m already kicking it around my living room as I’ve no where to put it, and inflating and deflating it every time I use it would be a right pain. The rest of the equipment, however, packs up fairly compactly and I can fit it in a trunk I have in my front room, it would probably also go under a TV or behind the sofa just as easily.

The items in the pack are kind of the basics of home exercise equipment. You’ll find lots of exercise routines that use them, and the fact that they come as a pack makes them quite a good gift for someone like, er, me perhaps, who’s just starting out and attempting to get fit and doesn’t have a whole load of kit already. You can even buy a gift certificate so the recipient can arrange delivery to their home address rather than you trying to wrap a fully inflated gym ball.

It’s certainly cheaper and a whole load less faff than going to a gym.