When you’re looking to get started with your home gym, you can feel overwhelmed by the number of pieces of equipment out there that promise big results. But what equipment do you really need? And how do you know whether to buy new or used equipment? Keep reading to find out.
Home Gyms vs Commercial Gyms
When deciding whether to open a home gym or join a commercial gym, there are many factors to consider, including cost, convenience and facilities. However, ultimately it comes down to one of your biggest motivators: motivation. If you prefer going to a gym where other people are around and you have access to weights, machines and trainers in case you get stuck on an exercise (or break something), then joining a commercial gym might be for you. But if you’re motivated by solitude (or simply don’t like other people), owning your own home gym could be better for keeping you on track with exercising regularly.
The Best Home Workout Equipment
With all the different pieces of home workout equipment on the market, it’s often difficult to know what you need to build a complete workout space. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Is my main goal to strength train or do cardio and/or circuit training workouts? What is my budget for home gym equipment and accessories? How much room do I have for my home gym and where will everything go when not in use? Once you’ve answered these questions, choose a combination of equipment that best meets your goals and space constraints.
Strength training equipment
You need a barbell, weights and bench if you’re doing any strength training. But what else do you need to get started? Additional equipment like jump ropes, balls, or even bands for resistance can help change up your routine.
Here are some of my favourite strength training equipment.
Weight training is an important part of any fitness routine, and that includes a home gym. Fortunately, dumbbells are relatively inexpensive and make it easy to build muscle and strength. If you’re new to weight training or want to get back into it, I recommend buying a pair of adjustable dumbbells; they’re one of the best home gym equipment investments you can make. You can even get a stand for them so you don’t have to pick them up after each set.
Here are Flybird adjustable dumbbells on Amazon which have been top rated by over two thousand people.
If you have space in your house or apartment, squat rack should be on your list of essentials for your home gym. A squat rack is great because you can use it for a variety of exercises, for example, back and front squats, split squats, chest press, and more.
Although a squat rack can take up a lot of space, it is probably one of those essentials that will help you target major muscle groups at home. However, here is a squat rack on Amazon that is not only quite adjustable but doesn't take too much space. Check it out here.
The great thing about barbell plates is that they’re universally compatible with a large number of weightlifting machines and free weights. They usually come in weights of 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35, 45 and 100 pounds, but they also vary by diameter. For example, some are 1 inch while others are 2 inches thick. Your personal preference comes into play when it comes time to decide which size barbell plate you prefer best and what purpose you plan on using them for—if at all!
Amazon sells iron barbell plates that are great quality and budget friendly. Check them out here.
There are several different types of benches that can help build strength, power and improve your cardio endurance: incline, decline and flat benches. Incline benches work out your shoulders as well as your pectorals (chest muscles). Decline benches also target chest muscles but increase resistance by pushing you against gravity. Flat benches focus primarily on building strength in triceps (back of upper arm) and deltoids (shoulder muscles).
If your goal is to build all-around strength, then consider purchasing an adjustable bench; otherwise, it's best to purchase a few different varieties so you can properly train specific muscle groups. Take a look at this Flybird adjustable bench that is not only comfortable but also foldable.
To create a functional home gym, purchase a treadmill or stationary bike. These types of cardio machines are good for raising your heart rate, improving endurance and burning calories. You can also use them to vary your routine and change things up so you don’t get bored with your workouts. An elliptical machine is another good choice that will provide you with an effective cardio workout, as well as give you a lower-impact alternative to running or biking on flat ground if you have knee problems or would like a less intense workout.
You can load up on fancy gym equipment if you want to, but for most at-home workouts, a set of dumbbells and a high-quality exercise mat will be all you need. Some other smaller pieces of equipment can come in handy as well: resistance bands and swiss balls are two good options.
One thing I'd like to mention is that, if you are using a barbell and weight plates, be sure to get safety collars to secure the weight plates on the barbell. This is important to avoid injury and any accidents.
In short, there are a lot of different types of home gym equipment that you can get. So long as you do your research and find the right home gym for your needs, it's hard to go wrong. Remember that buying new equipment is only one aspect of having a great home gym—make sure to plan ahead and make sure that the rest of your space is set up well too!