Home gyms are great. They allow you to get a great workout at whatever time you want. Better yet, you never have to wait to use a piece of equipment. That being said, there are some crucial pieces of equipment that every home gym should have.
Squat Rack/Power Rack: The rack is the centerpiece of any good home gym. Without it, a home gym just doesn’t look complete. The rack allows you to complete big lifts like squats, bench press, overhead press, barbell shrugs and rack pulls. These are all crucial movements for gaining strength and are made possible through a rack.
Barbell: This one should be obvious. The main tool used to build strength for decades. Without it, a home gym would be pointless. The barbell is the crucial piece that should not be bought used. Most other pieces of equipment can be bought used and be perfectly fine for a home gym. This is not one of them. A barbell is the thing that holds everything else together. Cheap barbells can break or not even weigh the correct amount. My barbell is a BodySolid 7 foot Olympic Bar found on Amazon. It costs $129 but is usually marked down to around $100. I love it and it wasn’t incredibly expensive, yet it weighs the correct amount and can hold serious weight.
Dumbbells: Dumbbells are great for isolation movements like curls, shrugs, triceps extensions, etc. They allow you to bring your training full circle and focus on specific muscle groups. Dumbbells can usually be found used for decent prices on Craigslist or used sporting goods stores.
Kettlebells: Kettlebells are one of the best investments you can make for a home gym. They allow you to complete a full body workout easily and offer so much versatility. You can do basically any barbell movement with them as well as many unique movements. They are a great workout and are really challenging as gravity is pulling the bell down due to the bulk of the weight being at the bottom. The great thing is kettlebells can also be used for cardio. I have an earlier post that talks about kettlebell workouts if you’re interested in learning more.
Weight Plates: Another obvious one. Plates can usually be found used on Craigslist, weight training stores, or even at used sports stores. They can be bought used and be perfectly fine to use. Most if the time you can find them for $0.55-$0.65 a pound, which is a great deal. I got 330 pounds of plates for around $160.
Battle Ropes: Battle ropes are a brutal cardio workout and I mean brutal in the good sense (if you like cardio, if not brutal is actually brutal). They are basically a rope that you would see tying a ship down at a dock. Ropes come in various diameters and lengths. The bigger the number, the harder they are. These are great for HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, which is also talked about in a previous post. If you’re looking for a quick and challenging cardio workout, look no further. I have one with a 1.5 inch diameter which is from Onnit.com and one with a 2 inch diameter, which was given to me. Onnit has the best selection I’ve seen of battle ropes and mine have held up very well over time. The 1.5 inch diameter are best for beginners and run about $90. Highly recommend them.
There you have it. A complete home gym with strength equipment and cardio equipment.