Getting your workout in is important to you, but going out of your way to get to the gym can be a pain. Here are the essentials for creating a home gym that will allow you to get in great shape without leaving your house!
If you’re on our website, I don’t have to waste time and space convincing you that consistent exercise is important. You probably have already spent plenty of time lifting weights, doing cardio, and watching your body change as you’ve committed to the process.
But getting to the gym has become a burden that has gotten in the way of your progress.
Maybe you have to go out of your way to get there.
Maybe you’re paying way more than you want to for a membership.
Maybe you’re a new dad and leaving the house for an hour or more isn’t something you can commit to right now.
Whatever your circumstances are, it might be the perfect time for you to create a gym within the walls of your home.
But, how do you go about getting started without breaking the bank? There’s a lot of equipment you could buy, but what would be considered essential to your home gym?
I’ll answer these questions by starting small and scaling up. If you currently have nothing, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to get started. Therefore, we’ll start with the basics and then show you how to grow your collection from there.
If you are starting from scratch, you really don’t need much to get a good workout in at home. If you can combine some traditional bodyweight exercises with some challenging resistance moves, you can stay in great shape without walking out of the door.
If you start off with these three things, you’ll be in pretty good shape:
• A pull-up bar
• Resistance bands with handles
• Resistance bands without handles (as seen here)
Don’t sleep on bodyweight exercises. If they are done correctly and with slight variations, they can be a great way to build and maintain muscle. Push-ups, pull-ups, and air squats can all be done in this beginner home gym setup, with the bands providing a little extra resistance for these basic movements.
The pull-up bar will allow you to work in a variety of pull-ups in any door frame that the bar will fit into. The pull up is an amazing exercise to build plenty of back muscle, and by varying your grip and positioning of your hands, you can hit your back at plenty of angles.
The resistance bands with handles will allow you to work in some isolation exercises to hit your arms and shoulders. This way, you can show some love to your biceps with some curls or work in some overhead presses.
All in all, these three pieces of equipment will cost you around $50! Not a bad way to start working out in the comfort of your own home.
At a certain point, you will work your way out of the resistance bands and need a bigger challenge to keep your body in tune. You can still use what you have, but you’re going to want to bring in some extra equipment to level up your in-home fitness.
To get your home gym to the next level, you’re going to want to get yourself:
• Dumbbells–you don’t have to get a full rack of weights, but maybe three pairs that will challenge you. If you have a pair of light, medium, and heavy dumbbells you’ll have enough to get creative and work some newer exercises into your repertoire.
• A bench–This may not seem like a necessary expense, but it will allow you to utilize your dumbbells easily. Make sure to get a bench that can be adjusted for incline and decline movements. A flat bench is a good start, but the versatility of a bench that adjusts is optimal.
It may not seem like you’re adding much to your inventory at this point, but the addition of a bench and some dumbbells will give you the opportunity to try a lot of new workouts at home. Although push-ups and pull-ups are excellent exercises, the bench will allow you to add more chest and back exercises into your routine. Along with the bench, the dumbbells will allow you to challenge your muscles at a higher level once the resistance bands become too easy to work with.
This step up to the intermediate level will be more of an investment since the dumbbells and bench are built to last. The upgrade will probably cost you somewhere between $200 and $300, but it will be well worth the investment.
With the addition of dumbbells and a bench, your workout space has become one that closely resembles the weight room you once frequented. As you look to complete your collection of exercise equipment, there’s really only one thing missing: the squat rack. At this point, you’re ready to get serious about getting in a great workout without ever having to leave, and the squat rack is exactly what you need.
In general, this is what you would look to purchase to complete your expert-level set up:
• A squat rack.
• A barbell
• Weight plates
The squat rack isn’t just for squatting as you know. You can adjust where the bar sits to work in some bench press, shoulder press, or even drop the bar to the ground and work in some deadlifts. It will be a place where you can incorporate almost any compound movement and gain some serious muscle.
This will by far be the most money you spend as you complete your home gym, but consider what this investment will save you long term. No more monthly fees from a gym you don’t go to often enough. No more time spent driving to and from the gym on the days you felt like going. Long term, your home gym will be a much better way to spend your money.
Squat racks vary in price, but you’re probably looking at spending $500 or more to complete your home gym creation. Again, over the long haul, it will be $500 well spent.
No matter what level you find yourself at, you can always get a great workout at home. You may have to get creative or just focus on the basics, but you don’t have to go to a gym in order to stay in shape. Hopefully, you found these three home gym levels and you can get started on one of them today.
Let us know what you’re home gym is looking like as you build it. Good luck!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.