Forget all those ads for home gyms like Bowflex and other machine oriented gyms. If you want to build muscle and pack on mass then you are going to have to do it for free weights. Creating a home gym is actually fairly simple.
Advantages of home gyms
- Freedom to workout whenever – this is probably the main reason to get a home gym. You can workout whenever you want!
- Save time and money – no more wasting time driving to and from the gym. Save money on gas and gym fees.
- Privacy – Some people are timid and do not want people looking at them while they are doing exercises.
- Play your own music – Tired of that gym music. Now you can blast your own music as much as you like.
- No more excuses – there should be no more excuses not being able to go workout, your gym is in the next room.
- Lack of equipment – Obviously there will not be as much strength training and cardio equipment like a commercial gym.
- No social interaction – some people enjoy going to the gym and working out with friends and socializing with other members.
- Initial cost of all the home gym equipment.
Equipment needed for a home gym
- Power Rack (Squat Rack) – A power rack is the most useful piece of equipment for your home gym. It allows you to safely do exercises like squats, and bench presses without the need of a spotter. Different power racks have different options to them. Some provide dips bars to the side, pull-up handles, and different pin locations. You can find these at all major fitness equipment stores and they usually start at $500 to $700.
- Olympic Weight Set – Of course you are going to need a set of weights. Make sure you get an Olympic weight bar that weighs 45 pounds. These can hold weights over 700 lbs. Most of these sets come with a bar with 300 pounds of weights for $300 to $700. You can then buy additional weights you need to lift more.
- Adjustable Bench – This bench needs to be adjustable for incline, decline, and flat bench presses. It does not need to come with a place to put a bar as you will be using the power rack to hold the weight. These usually sell for around $500 to $600.
- Chalk / Gloves / Weightlifting Straps – When doing lifts like deadlift you might want to invest in some chalk. This helps your grip better than tremendously. You might also want gloves, so you do not tear up your hands. Weightlifting straps are not necessary but are helpful when you are doing deadlift or rows and your grip keeps failing you.
Gym location and preparation
Before you buy the equipment, it goes without saying, that make sure you have enough space for your home gym. Look for:
- A flat area which you have space for the power rack, are in front to do exercises like deadlift.
- A high enough ceiling so you can raise a bar above your head to exercises like overhead press.
When doing lifts like deadlift, cleans, and other exercises where you drop the weight, it creates a good amount of noise an vibration on the floor. Many equipment stores sell good flooring for the use for your weight sets. You can also create your own flooring using rubber mats like you see in commercial gyms.
Where to purchase equipment?
- Online fitness stores -there are several stores including amazon.com that sell fitness equipment. Just search for weightlifting equipment in your browser and you will see several stores that sell the equipment.
- Auction Sites – Sites like Ebay and Cragslist are a good place that you might be able to find used or lower priced equipment.
What exercises can I do with the power rack and my home gym?
You can the best core exercises needed to build muscle.
Exercises like Deadlift, Squats, Rows, Bench Press, Pullups, Dips, Shoulder Press, Incline/Delcine Press, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Curls, Skull Crushers, and the list goes on…