Tired of constant fee increases at the local gym or having the find the “right” time to go when it’s not too crowded or stuffed with soccer moms trudging away on useless ellipticals? Maybe the nearest gym is 20 miles away and it’s simply not worth it to drive all the way there and back.
Either way, you’ve seriously considered building your own home gym. We’ve covered the numerous benefits of a home gym before, but today we’re going to show you how to go about starting your own home gym. And, we’ll give you some ideas for how to do this without breaking the bank!
First Things First!
The home fitness industry is a billion dollar industry, filled with tons and tons of useless total gym machines, treadmills, ellipticals, gazelles, booty-blasters, and AbDestroyer 9000s. This blog post is not for those people interested in gimmicky equipment or those that have a bottomless bank account.
This blog post is for the guy (or gal) who’s serious about their fitness and want to get in a serious workout WITHOUT needing to take out a second mortgage on their house. It’s also for the fitness buff who’s sick of commercial gyms filled with bro-skis doing constant drop sets of curls in the squat rack or don’t allow loud music.
What you’ll get are the bare essentials that are needed to ensure one grueling, kick-ass workout paid for with your own blood, sweat, and tears!
Your Own Fortress of Solitude
Before you can start filling out your gym, you have to decide where you’re going to put it. Will it be in the garage, an empty bedroom, the living room, the backyard? Wherever you decide to establish your personal house of pain, choose a spot that allows you to escape the hectic chaos of home life, (i.e. basement, garage, spare bedroom).
This allows you to avoid the many distractions that are likely to happen during the course of the day (kids, phone calls, tv, etc) and fully focus on your workout.
As a side note, make the space motivating. Basically, fill it with stuff (posters, sayings, loud music) that sets the mood and makes you want to get in there the crush some iron. If your gym doesn’t inspire you to workout, no commercial gym ever will!
Now, you’ve got your space all picked out and you’re ready to start filling it with all the instruments of torture. You need to decide, or compromise with your significant other, on how much you are willing to spend to create the perfect workout atmosphere.
Maybe you need to lay down some flooring in the garage, put up insulation, or paint some walls. If your room isn’t already set, then you need to factor this into your expenses. Depending on how much you’re looking to invest in your space will dictate which fitness equipment you purchase first and foremost.
Workout space, check! Budget, check! Wife’s permission….DOUBLE-CHECK!
Before you buy a single piece of equipment, you need to address the “why” or purpose of establishing your home gym, more specifically your individual fitness goals. This will dictate what direction you head in, in purchasing equipment.
If you’re interested in just getting into great shape through a mix of resistance-training and cardio, you can get by with much less than someone looking to compete in the next IFBB competition. For the purposes of today’s post, we’ll focus on the former and address the latter in next week’s post.
Ok, we’ve got a space and budget set for the home gym. The room is ready to go and now you’re ready to buy your first piece of equipment, but what should you start with? A big multi-station cable machine or other type of total body gym equipment? NO!
First and foremost, you always, I repeat ALWAYS, opt for free weights over machines.
Now, this can be either dumbbells or barbells, depending on your skill level and muscle-building goals. Since we already established that today’s group is focused on just getting in great shape and not trying to get a bodybuilder physique, we’ll choose the dumbbell option!
With dumbbells, you have a wide variety of options at several price points. Dumbbells are more versatile than barbells, albeit you can’t load them up as heavily as barbells.
The most economical option are plate-loaded dumbbells. You buy either a Standard or Olympic handle and then purchase plates in 2.5, 5, or 10 lb increments.
The next option is selectable dumbbells, such as PowerBlocks or Bowflex SelectTechs.. These are fairly expensive and likely not as durable as the iron or steel plates mentioned above. They are the perfect option if you are strapped for space and need heavy dumbbells.
The final option, if you have the funds and space, is to buy a commercial-gym style dumbbell rack that has a pair of dumbbells in 5-lb increments from 5-lb up to 100 lbs. These take up a lot of space and can cost several thousand dollars.
These are easily one of the best investments you can make for your home gym. You also have a few options here as well. You can opt for the door-mounted style of pull up bar, which can hold up to 300-lbs in most cases or get one that bolts into the joists in your ceiling.
This will provide you all you need to get an amazing back workout and allow you to perform numerous variations of pull ups, chin ups, and levers. The pull up is considered the squat of the upper body exercises. You wouldn’t skip leg day, so don’t miss out on doing pullups!
While this is an absolute essential, as you can do floor dumbbell presses and flies, an adjustable bench will allow you to expand the number of exercises that you can do. Aside from flat and incline presses and flies, you can perform chest supported rows, step ups, bulgarian split squats, or use it as an object to jump over when performing bouts of cardio.
Suspension Training System
These are for the pure bodyweight enthusiast that doesn’t need any stinking weights, or those looking to add an element of instability to their training. Suspension trainers don’t offer much resistance beyond your own body weight, but it can increase the difficulty of all of these exercise by changing the leverage. This will increase the difficulty of the exercises by placing your body in a disadvantageous position making a seemingly simple exercise like the pushup much more difficult.
When you attach these to a pull up bar, you can perform literally any movement that you would at the gym from dips to presses to rows to single-leg squats and many more. these straps suspended from my pull-up bar, I can perform virtually any movement I would do with the more expensive systems: dips, presses, rows, extensions, single-leg squats, and so on.
Well, that’s it for this week’s post! We’ll continue more next week with options for those guys that are looking to get huge and move some big time weight. The options presented today give you everything you need to make great gains and get in the best shape of your life, all within the confines and comfort of your own house!
Crank It Up with the Nitramine Pre Workout!
You’ve got the home gym set up and the music cranked, there’s only one thing left to do. Take your scoop of Nitramine!
Myokem’s Nitramine is the perfect option to turn to when getting ready for your workout. It provides smooth, long-lasting energy and tunnel-vision focus. Take it 30-45 minutes before your workout and be ready for a workout that will make you forget why you ever went to a commercial gym in the first place!
See Part Two Next
Next up: Building your Home Gym: Part Two!