There are tons of positives about working out in your home. No membership dues, convenient location, showers and towel service - the list goes on and on.
When it comes to your exercise selection, you can be pretty limited if you don't have any equipment at home.
Here's the wish list of home gym essentials so you aren't limited to the same dozen bodyweight exercises indefinitely.
FANTASTIC WEIGHTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
First of all, at the time of this writing I am NOT an affiliate for any company that sells equipment. All these recommendations are based on experience from outfitting my garage gym, my previous training facility, and consulting on home gym set ups for clients.
The two best places to check online for used equipment are Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You'll find the best selection on Craigslist, but the best used quality on Facebook Marketplace.
The best place for new equipment is Amazon. When you find something you like, it's worth checking the official website just to see if there are other options for the equipment and confirm you're getting the best price.
IF I HAD TO PICK JUST ONE THING
If you can only add one thing to your home set up, it should be a suspension trainer (TRX).
This is the most versatile thing you can get for your home. It allows you do progress every foundational movement pattern without having to buy more weight.
Use it in door jambs, bolt in to your ceiling or wall, clip it onto a beam, and move it whenever you need to.
This is my number one pick. But if you want more, here's the other stuff that will maximize your workout while minimizing storage space.
BANDS AND BALLS
Bands are an incredibly useful piece of equipment. There are 2 kinds that are good for home workouts: minibands (the type you'd use for monster walks) and resistance bands (the type that typically come with handles). Bands are also easy to add resistance to, just move in a direction that adds tension to the band.
A swiss ball is a great addition to your home gym arsenal as well. In addition to the core work they're often associated with, they can be used to challenge your stability on a large number of compound movements. These can also be used as a challenging replacement for a weight bench as long as you're not attempting to lift a near-maximal weight.
This is the most expensive element to add to a home gym. I highly recommend that you DON'T buy a full dumbbell rack. It takes up a ton of space and when you pay by the pound it adds up really really fast.
Instead, I suggest and adjustable dumbbell set. You could find some cheap plate loaded dumbbells and they'll get the job done. However, if you truly want to minimize the amount of storage space you need, I suggest you spring for the adjustable block dumbbells.
IF YOU HAVE MORE (OR DEDICATED) GYM SPACE
If you're converting a room in your house or one side of your garage into a gym you have more options. Generally, in these scenarios I encourage folks to buy a decently thorough gym set up so they won't need a membership for any reason.
The obvious additions to your home gym would be a power rack, barbell, and a set of bumper plates. This way you can train all you major compound lifts from the comfort of your home as well.
In these cases I recommend Rogue Fitness. They make high quality equipment and have unique storage options for your garage gym. I'm talking about racks and plate/barbell storage that collapses against your wall so you can still park a car in there when you aren't lifting.
There are a bunch of other retailers for equipment, but I've had the best experience with rough. Their return and replacement policies are great, they ship on time, and their prices are reasonable.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR SPACE
It can be difficult to decide what to do with the space you have. Sometimes it's a oddly shaped space. Other times you want more gear than your budget will allow and don't know what to cut.
Email me. Contact me through the comments section. Reach out to me on social media. I'm happy to help you maximize your space and budget.
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