Build Your Own Home Gym
A home gym is a great way to stay in shape and save money. Their popularity is growing as people work more and more from home. It doesn’t require much equipment, and you can get by with simple versions of most equipment. The items listed will get you started and workout from home. As you build up your home gym, and once you can do it, it’s worth investing in some bigger items. If your goal is to build something you can functionally use, here are the basics.
Set up a simple garage or basement gym
You don’t need to spend too much money. Now, the more you spend, the more get, but it is by no means required.
Conveniently, many of the items I had in my own basement gym at first came from Amazon Prime or were things I found at a second hand equipment store. If neither of those options work, check out Walmart first before buying anything else online (which can sometimes be tricky).
Remember that certain types of equipment may not be available locally. For example: weightlifting shoes aren’t typically found in department stores. They’re made specifically for lifting weights—so keep an eye open for sales when shopping online!
Buy a pull-up bar
You’re going to have to buy a pull-up bar. Pull ups are one of THE core bodyweight movements, and do wonders for a strong back. There are many options out there, so be sure to do your research before you buy. Choose one that is high quality and can hold your weight as well as other people who may use it.
If you are going for a door frame mounted bar, be sure it fits and that it can be adjusted for different heights. If possible, get a bar with multiple grips so you can work different muscle groups in your shoulders, arms and back when possible
A powertower might be a better option if this is your first piece of equipment. You get a pullup bar plus a second station for dips, leg raises, and whatever else you can imagine to do in that station.
Get some dumbbells and a kettlebell
You can easily use dumbbells at home because they don’t require any special equipment. The only thing you need are the dumbbells themselves, which you can get from any store that sells fitness equipment.
The best part about dumbbells is that they’re more versatile than barbells and kettlebells because they allow you to use them in tons of different ways. Plus, they allow for unilateral training, which is an enormous advantage.
Get a good set and build them out. If you prefer, there are adjustable dumbbells which can cheaper to get a large range of weights than an entire traditional dumbbell set.
Invest in a squat rack.
When it comes to your home gym, a squat rack is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can add. This simple piece of equipment makes it possible for you to do squats and other exercises without worrying about falling or having equipment fall on top of your head when the weight gets too heavy. You also won’t need to pick up weight from the floor and try to get it on your back when doing squats.
Alongside a flat bench and pullup bar, a squat rack is one of the most important pieces of a home gym equipment. Assemble it together in a corner of your garage or basement where it won’t get in the way. There are tons of variations to choose from, including stand alone, wall mounted half racks, and full power racks. Budget is big here as they get pricey quick, but whatever you end up with will be useless if it doesn’t fit in your space.
Once everything has been assembled, place a mat underneath where you will stand during workouts so that there’s no risk of slipping during an intense workout session! Mats also can save your floor from being scratched or cracked if you drop the weight.
Barbell and Plates
Next on the list: Barbells and weight plates. You can’t do much without these staples. A barbell is very utilitarian and can be used for tons of stuff, from squats to deadlifts to curls and bench press. You can do overhead presses, landmines, and glute bridges. They are a necessary piece of equipment for any gym, whether that is a commercial or home gym.
You can get a cheap barbell on Amazon but I would recommend spending a bit more. Cheaper bars are going to bend and don’t have as high of a weight limit as more expensive bars do.
They come in multiple sizes and lengths, so do a bit of research about them and buy what you are looking for. Most people will do alright with a 7′ Olympic bar, but they can also come in standard size (1″ diameter instead of 2″ weight sleeves). The knurling and overall diameter of where you grip vary based on bar type and manufacturer so you have plenty of options.
If the bar doesn’t come with them, grab some collars as well to keep the weight plates in place. These are also relatively cheap at around $10-$15 per pair. Collars keep things secure so that if you tilt your loaded barbell o (which happens more often than you’d think), the weight won’t slide down the sleeve while you’re mid movement.
Pre-arranged weight sets usually come with about 300lbs of plates, but you can also buy them individually. Weight plates from in differing weights and sizes, from 1-2.2.5lbs all up to 45lbs on the imperial scale, but they also have a kilogram variety. Again, there are multiple types of plates to choose from so do your research here.
Simple cardio equipment.
Basic cardio equipment is easy to find and doesn’t require a lot of space. It can be used in many ways to create an effective workout, and it’s a great investment for your home gym.
A treadmill will get you moving, but can be pricey and take up space. You find some some that fold away if you need to save room.
An elliptical machine gives you the same benefits as running without putting stress on your joints. Likewise, these machines also take up a lot of space.
Stationary bikes are similar to ellipticals and treadmills in that they take up a lot of space, but they are definitely worth it if you have joint issues.
If you want something smaller, check out plyo boxes. These simple, relatively inexpensive pieces of equipment are smaller than traditional cardio equipment and can be used in many different types of exercises from box jumps to steps ups. They are a fantastic piece of home gym equipment.
Don’t forget that you can run the roadways or find a park to get in some distance or some sprints if you cannot have a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike for whatever reason.
Get a medicine ball.
Medicine balls are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have in your home gym. They’re great for core exercises, strength training, throwing exercises, and partner exercises.
Medicine balls are also an excellent tool for explosive exercises like floor slams, wall balls, and tosses. They come in all sorts of weights sizes, and textures.
Anyone can have their own gym at home with a little creativity
Anyone can have their own gym at home with a little creativity. The key is to use the space you have, and there are so many options! Focus on what you want to get out of your home gym, and go for it. There are entire channels on YouTube about people who made home gyms out of rocks and buckets with some bamboo shoots, after all.
If all else fails, try asking around. See if other people live in your building or complex would be interested in joining forces on purchasing equipment together. Might be a shared set of equipment in a shared space, but it’s better than nothing. It’s still probably cheaper than a gym membership in the long run, too.
It’s not hard to setup a home gym. You are really only restrained by budget, space, and your imagination. If it is something you have wanted to do and haven’t, go for it.
The bare minimum home gym equipment in my opinion is listed here, but you can adjust based on your goals. Once you have an initial setup complete, build it out to wherever your goals take you. When I first built mine out, I started with this equipment. Afterwards, I expanded to what I have today once the space, money, and strategy fell into place. The sky is the limit!
Let Us help You Out
At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member.
Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.
The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.
Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.
Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.