As awesome as it can be training in a commercial gym kitted out with the latest equipment and gadgets, you also can’t deny that there are a fair few downsides associated with training in commercial gyms as well. It’s all well and good if you live a couple of minutes away from the gym and can fit your workouts in when you like. If not however, and you have to work out at peak times I.E 5 – 7pm when everybody has just finished work, you’ll know that a crowded gym can be pretty nightmarish if truth be told. You have to constantly queue for even the most basic of machines, you barely have enough space to complete various exercises, and you’re constantly being hurried up by people waiting to use what you’re currently using. Then of course there’s the commuting and travel, the expensive membership fees, the time it takes travelling, fuel prices, and much more besides. If perhaps, you’re less thrilled with training in a commercial gym than you were once upon a time, you may wish to consider creating a home gym instead. Home gyms needn’t be expensive, and providing you have a little open space such as a spare room or empty garage, you can create an incredibly effective workout space. The more space you have, obviously the more creative you can become, but even so, even the relatively smaller spaces can still be kitted out perfectly when you know what you’re looking for. Here we’ll be listing a few pieces of essential home gym equipment that will help you create the ultimate home gym, regardless of space, or budget.
Of course, no home gym setup would be complete without a set of dumbbells, though which dumbbells you opt for will be based upon how much space you have, or how much space you’re looking to use up. For people with limited space, a set of adjustable dumbbells will be ideal as these are basically just one set of dumbbells, which can be adjusted in weight by clicking a lever. This means that you can turn them into heavy weights, or light weights, by simply clicking the lever and selecting the weight you require. If you have a bit more space, you may want to go with pro-style dumbbells instead. You can then choose several sets of dumbbells, ranging in weight from light to heavy, which will allow you to perform a number of different exercises of different weights. To help keep your workout area tidier, plus to give it a more practical and professional appearance and feel, you may wish to invest in a dumbbell rack to store all your dumbbells.
An adjustable bench
Another crucial piece of home gym equipment and one which you must not scrimp on, is an adjustable bench. There are many cheap benches out there, but it is highly recommended you go for a sturdy, more professional bench to help ensure you’re well protected, and that you get more from each exercise. Look for a bench which ideally covers: Decline, flat, incline, and upright. As that will allow you basically cover all bases. With a few sets of dumbbells and an adjustable bench, you already have all of the tools required to work every major muscle group in your body, so anything from here on out is all gravy.
A barbell and Olympic weight set
Another must-have for any home gym is a barbell and Olympic weight set, as again, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities and allows you the ability to perform many different exercises, all with various different weights. For example, by going with an Olympic weight set, you will have a number of different weight plates of different weights, so you could begin with a standing military barbell presses, which, unless you’re a beast, would be much lighter in weight than if you were deadlifting. Just take a look online at some of the different exercises you can perform with a barbell, and with that, your dumbbells, and your bench, you’re now well on your way, but it doesn’t stop there.
A squat rack or power cage
As you’ll probably be training alone at home for most of the time, another vital investment that you should think about making sooner rather than later, is to invest in a power cage or squat rack. These are safety devices that have adjustable safety arms which are there to basically act like a spotter, so that if you do drop the bar, rather than having it crash down onto you, it will instead be caught via the safety arms, so you remain unhurt. The safety arms can be adjusted to different heights, so you can use these racks or cages to perform squats, bench presses, shoulder presses, deadlifts, rack-pulls, bent-over rows, and much more besides. Some of them even come equipped with chin up bars, which you can use for, yep, doing chin ups.
A jumping rope
So far we’ve focussed on machines and equipment catered primarily for bodybuilders, so now we’ll look at a very basic, yet highly effective piece of equipment known as the jumping rope. Jump ropes, or skipping ropes, are ideal because they allow you to get one heck of a cardio workout in, whilst also working on your coordination and your flexibility in the process. They’re cheap, easy to use, they take up virtually no space at all, and they work a treat.
Basic cardio machine
If you have the space left, it is also recommended that you go with some form of basic cardio machine in order to help you burn the fat and work on your cardiovascular conditioning in the process. Typically the three most common pieces of equipment will be: a treadmill, an exercise bike, and a cross trainer, which vary in price greatly. A good quality treadmill brand new will not be cheap, but you may find yourself a fantastic deal on pre-owned websites, or a certain popular online auction themed website. Cardio machines are great for burning fat and boosting fitness levels, and they also work great for helping you to warm up before you begin working out.