We’re back again this week on the Nitramine Blog with the continuation of our Home Gym Series. Last week, we detailed how to get in incredible shape with the bare bones type of equipment. That post was geared towards those who wanted to get in great shape, but not necessarily get HUGE.
That was then, this is now.
Today’s post is just that..how to get big and bulky while still working out at home. This will give you all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to ripped and ready for the next IFBB competition without having to step foot in any commercial gym. Any money spent is ON YOU, not on commercial gym overhead charges and air-head personal trainers.
So, without further ado, let’s get rolling!
Before we get to the specific equipment that you’re going to outfit your home gym with, let’s refresh on some Do’s and Do NOT’s have when starting to build your home gym:
- Have a dedicated space where you will build your palace of iron
- Have a budget in place that you are willing to invest in your home gym
- Have a purpose for wanting to work out or building a home gym
- Don’t waste money on useless machines, stick to free weights
- Don’t go cheap on racks, bars or safety measures. You’re going to be moving some BIG time weight so don’t cut corners here. You’ll end up hurting yourself, seriously.
- Don’t include a lot of tv’s, computers, iphones, ipads anywhere around. Your gym is about working out, not about watching the news or checking social media
Now we get to the fun stuff. The items you’ve been wanting to finally buy and have your own set of. No need to wipe down any bars, benches, racks or seats before you get to work cleaning off someone else’s DNA residue.
First and foremost, you’re going to need some serious flooring to handle the serious weight you’ll be moving. The point of extra or “special” flooring is to protect your underlying floor and reduce or eliminate any noise caused from the barbell hitting the floor during exercises like the deadlift.
You’ll want to go with 2-3 layers of plywood with some optional heavy (non-compressible) carpetting on top that doesn’t slip around. You’ll also want rubber mats to protect the underlying floor when putting the bar down after barbell rows or deads.
This is the centerpiece and crowning jewel of your dojo. Nearly every single exercise you will want to do can be accomplished with a power rack. As a bonus perk, they add a rather significant element of safety to your workouts.
The pins will save your rear end if you miss a rep, and the J-hooks allow you to execute any free weight exercise safely. A vast majority of these racks also have attachments to increase their versatility and functionality that will allow you to include exercises like pull ups and dips.
You want to look for three (3) things when investing in a power rack:
- Weight Rating: Needs to be able to handle 1000lbs, you bought this to become huge, who knows how much you’ll end up squatting?!
- Height: You should be able to overhead press easily within the confines of your rack, otherwise, you’ll have to clean the weights and bar to shoulder height before every set.
- Pins: These are to save you rear end should you ever miss a rep and need bailing out. Chances are you’re working out alone and won’t have a spotter to help out if you can complete a repetition.
This one seems obvious, but we should go into what to look for in a quality barbell. As with power racks, don’t cut corners here on quality. A great bar is durable, will feel good on the palms, and won’t fail under even the heaviest of loads. Again here’s some things to look for:
- Weight Rating: Needs to be able to handle up to 1000lbs without bending, 45lb bar weight, 2” sleeves, 7-feet long, and center-knurling.
- Collars: Most barbells come with spring collars, which are all well and good, but you may also want to consider Muscle Clamps
- Sleeves: Fixed bars tax your grip more than revolving bars do, plus they make doing Olympic Lifts nearly impossible. To lift more weight, stick with revolving sleeves.
Some exercises require you to lay on your back while executing them, such as the bench press or skull crushers. For this, you’ll obviously need a bench. However, you don’t need to buy a bench with vertical clamps or supports for the barbell. Simply slide the bench inside the Power Rack and use the pins it has there for unracking and re-racking the bar between sets.
You want the bench to be able to support around 600lbs, again we’re interested in moving serious weight and getting big. You could easily be benching 300+ pounds and couple that with the fact that you most likely weigh over 200lbs, you’ll need that 600lb rating.
Here is where you can save some money. You absolutely do NOT need to buy the shinest, prettiest, newest looking plates at the store. Sure they may be aesthetically pleasing, but let’s face it…weight is weight. You care about how much these things weight, not how pretty they look sitting on a bar.
You can get plates almost anywhere (fitness stores, internet, classifieds, garage sales, etc). Brand new plates are going to run about $1 per pound.ates, you can find them almost anywhere. New ‘in-store’ costs are typically $1 per pound. However, with a little grunt work, you can find used plates for under 50 cents per pound!
Well, there you have it. The bare essentials you need to get a top quality gym experience all within the confines of your home. Obviously there are some ancillary things you’ll want, like shoes, chalk, grips, etc, but these are the major items to grab when looking to fill out your home gym.
We didn’t mention dumbbells in this article, as we already mentioned them in Part I. If you need a refresher head on over there to see what to look for.
This may seem rather daunting to assemble all of these pieces and parts, but remember you’re investing in your overall health, wellness, and future. It may take some time to assemble all of the parts and pieces, but in the long run, it will well be worth it!
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