So, you are ready to start building a home gym. You know you are ready to invest in your health and fitness and need a dedicated space to make it happen.
Then, you start shopping for fitness equipment and realize there are thousands of equipment variations! How are you supposed to know what your priorities should be?
This guide will discuss the best options for home gym equipment to help you create a space that helps you reach your goals.
Home Gym Efficiency
Commercial gyms have thousands of square feet for spacing out hundreds of pieces of equipment. They can dedicate 50 square feet of space for one piece of equipment that only trains one exercise!
The majority of us won’t have that much room in our home gym. This means you need equipment that serves multiple purposes and doesn’t take up too much room.
Designing a home gym always needs to have a focus on efficiency.
What Are The Best Exercises At Home?
The best exercises that you can do in your home gym are going to work multiple muscle groups at a time. Nobody got super-strong just doing Barbell Curls and Leg Extensions!
Cardio equipment provides a great workout, but we have a limited amount of space to use. You can go for a jog outside instead of using a Treadmill. You can go ride your bicycle instead of using the Recumbent Bike. However, you aren’t going to go out and cut a tree log to slap across your shoulders to replicate Barbell Squats.
The best exercises you’ll be doing in your home gym will be compound exercises that utilize the same type of equipment.
For example, with just a Barbell and Weight Plates, you can do all of these exercises, and more:
- Overhead Press
- Bent Over Rows
- Upright Rows
Add in a couple of extra pieces like a Squat Rack and Bench and you open up the possibilities even more!
The Strength Training Home Gym
As discussed, cardio workouts can be completed without equipment at all. This means your home gym will be built around strength training.
Good, that narrows down our search by a lot. But, there are still hundreds of pieces of equipment that could crowd your home gym.
We still need to find the right pieces of strength training equipment to maximize the home gym space. The more variety you can perform in your home gym, the better!
Machines are awesome, but they don’t offer much variety. Some machines only do one exercise with no variation besides the weight you use.
With free weights, you aren’t limited by pulleys and cables. You are open to train in every plane, making variety easy to come by.
The Best Home Gym Equipment
We have narrowed down our search for home gym equipment and now know we need equipment that helps us train with free weights. Adding in support for Calisthenics training is easy enough as well.
Let’s take a look at what specific pieces of equipment to put in our home gym and what they can add to your arsenal.
Power Racks are the penultimate piece of home gym equipment. It provides a base for all of your training. It can act as a Squat Rack, Bench Press Rack, Pull-Up Bar, Dip Bar, and even offer weight storage to save space.
Looking at a Power Rack like our SRC Commercial Power Rack, you’ll see a stable base that will be used for a large percentage of your training. Adding in a couple of other pieces of equipment and you already have a sufficient home gym!
Squat Stands are like a light-version of a Power Rack. They still offer the versatility of a Power Rack, but they have more limitations and aren’t as heavy-duty. They usually take up less space than a Power Rack, so those who have a limited amount of room would probably prefer a Squat Stand.
Our SRC Squat Stands offer everything you could want from a Squat Stand.
Power Racks and Squat Stands are the like body of a car. They look great but they are nothing without the engine.
The Barbell is that engine (along with the weight plates of course). Investing in a high-quality Barbell that will last for years to come is the best way to build your home gym from the ground-up!
Almost all strength-training programs are based on Barbell exercises, meaning getting one can make your home gym useful for virtually all strength-training programs. They are also effective for muscle hypertrophy training and muscular endurance. They can be loaded with ultra-heavy weights for a max-out attempt or light weights for high rep training.
Putting together a home gym without a decent Barbell limits yourself to lower-quality training, period.
We offer a variety of Barbells here at SRC that can fit your needs!
Weight Plates are necessary to load your Barbell for various exercises. Otherwise, you’d be stuck with 20kg for everything from Curls to Squats.
You can purchase Machined Weight plates to fit on Olympic Barbells. You can purchase small Change Plates as well to adjust the weight on the bar by a couple of pounds at a time.
You’d be hard-pressed to train with only 25s and 45s and use progressive overload correctly for optimal results. With Weight Plates, you get what you pay for. Cheaper plates will be less accurate and stand up to less damage. More expensive plates will be accurate and last longer. The choice is yours.
How much do you Bench?
How many times have you been asked that question? It is the most universally recognized strength-training exercise and you won’t be able to do it without a bench. One of those cool-looking adjustable benches from the local big-box store seems enticing, especially with those low price tags!
But, if you are serious about strength-training and want to lift more than a couple hundred lbs at some point in your life, you need a serious bench made for lifters! A Bench offers a lot more versatility to train your Chest and Triceps in your home gym.
Dumbbells are arguably just as good of a training tool as Barbells. The only difference is that training super-heavy with Dumbbells is next-to-impossible. Dumbbells offer unilateral training, the one thing that Barbells lack. They help create more balance in your body and also strengthen stabilizer muscles more since each limb will be acting independently on its own weight.
You can go the budget-friendly route and get Adjustable Dumbbells that fit Olympic Weight Plates if you are running out of space or money. Or, if you have the means, you can get higher-quality fixed Dumbbells, like the sets we offer at SRC.
All of the equipment needs to be put back at the end of a training session. Stacking up Weight Plates, Barbells, and Dumbbells can be hard without Storage Racks. You can find Storage Racks for all of your free-weight training equipment to organize your training space and allow you to walk without stubbing a toe on a loose Dumbbell. OUCH!
There are the cheap Resistance Bands that will snap and give you a welt on the most basic of exercises. Then, there are high-quality Resistance Bands designed for strength training!
These bands wrap around your Barbell and create a different resistance curve on the exercise. You may have seen Powerlifters putting Bands on their Barbells when doing Squats or Deadlifts. It’s not just Powerlifters that can benefit from this new training stimulus though.
Beyond the Barbell, you can use Resistance Bands for varying the resistance on Calisthenics movements like Pull-Ups and Dips. You can make the exercises easier, or harder, making them a great training tool that takes up little-to-no space in a home gym.
Dips are one of the best upper body exercises available to you. You can do them with just your bodyweight or add resistance with a Weighted Vest or Belt, or Resistance Bands. But, many home gym owners can’t swing the extra space for dedicated Dip Bars.
Out SRC Dip Bar Attachment fits on our SRC Force line of Power Racks and Squat Stands, making it an obvious choice to add more variety to your home gym. After all, how many sessions in a row can you perform Bench Press? Switch it out for Dips with a high-quality set of Dip Bars!
Unless you have no desire to keep the floor of your home gym free from scrapes, scratches, and full-out breaks, Gym Mats are essential. Keeping your floor and weight space from each other with Gym Mats is simple. I know you don’t think you’ll ever drop your weights to the ground, but you will!
Weight Plates, Barbells, and Dumbbells can break from a bad drop to the floor without protection. The Gym Mats here at SRC are 4’x6’ and create a safer training environment in the home gym.
A Landmine attachment seems like an unnecessary investment for most home gym owners. But, have you ever performed Landmine Rows, Deadlifts, or Presses? They are awesome exercises that create a different stimulus when compared to the traditional Barbell movements.
They take up very little space and usually attach to a Power Rack or Squat Stand. That is the case with our SRC Force Landmine attachment that works with our other Force line Racks and Stands.
Lifting with a Barbell and not using Collars is like driving with a seat belt. Sure, most of the time you’d be safe because you won’t have an accident. But, all it takes is one accident to create lifelong damage!
You can opt for the more affordable Spring Collars or use Locking Collars for more support.
Putting Your Home Gym Together
Chances are, you won’t need everything listed in this article. But, this list of equipment would be a complete home gym that isn’t missing anything important.
You can get away with the basics and still get great results but you might get bored. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Investing in those oddball pieces of equipment like Resistance Bands, Dips Bars, and a Landmine attachment may seem unnecessary but they change the way you train enough to boost your motivation. Getting motivated to hit the home gym can be a problem for some!
Ready To Build Your Own Home Gym?
Now you know the most important pieces to consider when building a home gym. Everybody has a different budget and amount of space they can dedicate to a gym area. No two home gyms will look the same.
But, the goal of a home gym for all of us stays the same: to get stronger! What are your favorite pieces of home gym equipment?