Home gyms are popular and growing in popularity, but starting one can be daunting if you’ve never set one up before. How do you know what equipment to get? What brands are good? What do you need to put your gym together and maintain it? This guide will help you understand what you need to get started with your first home gym, no matter your fitness goals or experience level.
1. The Barbell
A barbell is essential for any home gym, whether you're planning to be a powerlifter or someone who just wants to lift weights. A quality bar will last you forever, meaning you'll only have to spend money on it once.
All in all, investing in a good barbell will likely be cheaper than buying individual dumbbells and other equipment separately. As a beginner looking to start your home gym right, look for at least 500 lbs of weight capacity, and make sure it includes two spring collars that can provide an extra 5 lbs each (for a total of 10 lbs). Anything below that could be too light for serious weightlifting; conversely, anything above 900 lb isn't necessary unless you plan on competing in powerlifting as well.
Here is a highly rated barbell that you can use to build your home gym!
2. The Bench
In other words, if you want to train your chest effectively, a bench is essential. Bench press variations are great for beginners because they’re simple and allow you to safely lift heavy weight. If you're just starting out, make sure to ask a friend or family member to spot you to ensure that you are being safe and avoid any risk of injury. You can complete your full-body workout on a bench day with exercises like incline dumbbell presses and incline barbell presses or flat bench flyes and cable crossovers.
Here is one of the best rated benches on Amazon from FLYBIRD which is adjustable and foldable.
As a beginner, you probably don’t want to start off with too much weight. This can lead to poor form and injury. Instead, buy two sets of dumbbells, a light pair for strength work and a heavier pair for mass building. Many experts recommend buying adjustable dumbbells or single units that let you increase weight as you become stronger.
Amazon sells some of the best home gym equipment. They offer a great range of adjustable dumbbells, check out this pair.
Whether you’re working out at home or in a gym, kettlebells are worth considering. With an impressive amount of benefits and very little downside, these fitness tools should be in everyone’s arsenal when it comes to getting into shape and staying fit.
They allow for a full-body workout that builds muscle mass across your back, shoulders, chest, arms and core without involving any specialized equipment. Just put on a pair of gloves (you don’t want to grab those bare handles if you don’t have to) and get moving. Not only will you see results with your body composition but because they engage multiple muscle groups they can actually burn more calories than other exercise techniques—up to 300 per workout!
Check out these best sellers on Amazon which are high tech and come with weight settings that include 8, 12, 20, 25, 35 and 40 pounds.
5. Resistance Bands
While conventional wisdom states that men should be working on their bench presses and curls and women should focus on light weights and toning, it’s important to note that strength training exercises don’t follow a specific gender—everyone can benefit from lifting.
That said, you might have to start with lighter weights when you first begin your resistance band routine. If you’re new to weight lifting, work on mastering proper form before adding more resistance. If you still feel strong after a couple weeks of training with resistance bands, try switching to a heavier band (or two) at least once every couple weeks. In most cases, there is no risk in pushing yourself just a little more each time.
To start off, get some resistance bands. Here is a great set on Amazon with a few different resistance bands that are perfect for different exercises.
6. Jump Rope
One of the best pieces of equipment you can use to get a full-body workout is a jump rope. Using it requires that you engage your core, arms, and legs while also raising your heart rate. It’s an incredibly versatile piece of equipment; you can jump for height, count jumps (to measure progress over time), or even just turn around and jump for speed. To lose weight safely but quickly, buy a high-quality jump rope and start counting those jumps! Here is a great choice on Amazon.
7. Medicine Ball
A medicine ball is a weighted sphere that you can use to add variety to your workout. They are heavier than a traditional ball, making them more difficult to throw and catch. Medicine balls are used in many exercises to work on abdominal muscles, chest, and arms. You can also use it for squats, deadlifts, bench presses and rows. W
When purchasing a medicine ball make sure you look at what weight they have; usually they range from 1lb-15lbs or even more depending on what type of exercise you want to do with it. One of the best medicine balls can be purchased on Amazon here.
8. Pull Up Bar
You can get a good workout in your own home with just a pull-up bar, which is perfect for those who don’t have an extra room to dedicate to their workouts. It’s also one of the most affordable pieces of equipment you can buy, so it might make sense if you don’t want to spend too much at first. There are plenty of different bars out there, but make sure you get one that is long enough and strong enough for your weight; about 7 feet in length will support about 300 pounds. If you are stronger or heavier than that, look for something longer.
Check out this pull up bar from Amazon which is great for heavy duty and it can be attached to the doorway.
So, what do you need to get started with your first home gym, no matter your fitness goals? Beginners should start with a quality set of dumbbells and maybe a bench. If you're looking to add some cardio into the mix, invest in a good treadmill or elliptical machine. Finally, don't forget about the all-important squat rack! With these pieces of equipment, you'll be able to achieve amazing results in the comfort of your own home. What are you waiting for? Get started today!