15 Value Buys for Your Home Gym

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woman with medicine ball

Home gyms have now become a more common phenomenon.  All you need is a small convenient spot in your home. Typically located in the garage or a spare room, home gyms are characteristically small and contain practical equipment that is easy to store and transport. Of course, that would require some basic equipment and this will depend entirely on your preference or workout goals.

Are you training for a marathon? Do you want those surfboard abs? or are you just trying to find some inner peace with some light yoga or pilates in the mix? A home gym is typically what you make of it and that means the freedom and flexibility to conjure your own workouts and buy the specific equipment for it.

Why You Should Invest in a Home Gym

No Distractions!

One of the many other benefits of a home gym would be privacy. This is particularly attractive if you’re an introvert and just need some alone time to recharge time after work.

In your own home, you can void all distractions and you’re able to focus on the task at hand, with the best part being that you don’t have to wait in line for that grunting gym rat to be done with the weights nor do you need to make small talk with the random people you see every now and then at the gym.

No Pesky Personal Trainers

I’m sure every one of us have been to a gym where you were not allowed to deadlift or do any heavy lifting or specific requirements because you needed the staff or a personal trainer to be present for a certain exercise.

Well, guess what? That’s the least of your problems in your very own home gym!

You have the freedom to lift however you want and to play whatever music you want! In fact, most commercial gyms do not have enough equipment for the ever-growing number of members that come in, and the lack of trainers to compensate for those numbers leave them with ineffective guidance for the exercises.

Gyms Don’t Really Care

This is because gyms don’t actually care about your health or your progress.

All they care about is selling gym memberships–and they succeed in doing so by hiring salesmen disguised as trainers who proceed to talk unsuspecting victims into signing expensive 12-month contracts along with overpriced personal training and meal prep packages.

It’s a numbers game for them. They know that most people who join the gym quit within the next few months, and those who do become serious about lifting are often looked down upon by gym management.

To avoid all that conflict, setting up a home gym and a google searching some basic training programmes can give you ensured progress.

No More Excuses

The convenience of having a gym in your home means all those excuses you have previously been feeding yourself or family now become invalid, “The gym is closed, it’s too late, have to work tomorrow, takes too much time to travel, etc.”

better than your excuses

So, if you have work early tomorrow, no worries! Just wake up 45-60 minutes earlier or workout when you get home or any other time you fancy the options are limitless.

 

No Money? No Problem!

Alright let’s talk money and how much would it cost to have a gym membership versus your own home equipment.

In the long term, it’s truly cost-effective. For example, an Atlas Power Rack would cost $249.99, Adidas Flat Bench $79.99, Body Solid Oly Power Barbell, 6ft $90.76 and XMark Fitness XMat Ultra Thick Gym Flooring $97.82 with a subtotalling to $ 518.56.

Comparatively, the annual membership fee for a decent gym costs $650 for the first year (for new members), and $600 annually for membership renewal. This also makes the home gym a lifestyle with the choice equipment always there should you decide to take another stab at it.

What Are the Criteria for Your Home Gym?

Budget

As mentioned before, the home gyms main selling point is in its affordability. There’s no reason why one cannot have a proper home gym without breaking the bank.

There are plenty of places to buy used fitness equipment, such as classified ads and auction sites like eBay, where you’ll often be able to pick up equipment for less than half what you would pay for it new.

Keep in mind that your home gym will evolve over time. Start with the very basics and keep an eye out for the upgrades you need. When the time and price is right you can make those additions.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere you establish when creating your own gym space. Think about what motivates you and fill your space with the paraphernalia that will help you visualise what you are trying to achieve. Tailor your environment to your personality so that when you walk in you have already primed your subconscious mind to for hard work and success.

Space

Ensuring you have the adequate room for your home gym to evolve and meet your needs best. A small cramp room may be enough for those with cardio needs or maybe doing pilates however if you’re looking to lift heavy a bigger space is much needed.

Equipment and Levels

Beginner 

Most people begin their starting point with a mat and a bottle of water. You can do a wide range of body weight exercises and free weights typically using dumbbells or any weighted item around the house. With these, you’ll be able to get a full body workout and the best part being most of these items can be sourced out around the house. If your house is carpeted, you may not need a mat at all.

 

Dumbbells can help you learn new exercises and techniques without hurting yourself too much. Challenge yourself with the number of reps you can do, and the pliancy of incorporating it in many different types of workouts.

woman with dumb bell

Kettlebells can be opted instead of dumbbells as they are a more versatile piece of equipment. They can replicate most exercises performed with dumbbells and also bring an element of momentum and functional training to your workouts, providing 100s more variations without taking up much extra space in your gym.

Resistance bands allow a variety of arm and isolation exercises, and are particularly good in working the shoulders.

Jump rope has a ton of benefits as well, such as for cardio and fat burning. Jumping for half a minute is equivalent to running an 8-minute mile. It also helps to increase agility as it encourages physical quickness, balance and coordination. Jumping rope for as little as 20 minutes there is a spike in cognitive functioning. Being small, it’s portable and affordable it’s the perfect accessory in the gym.

Ab Wheel where you can put a mix in your core routine in which it’s recommended to do this on alternate days if you want to see results and prevent injury. Make sure that you maintain your back in its natural C-curve while doing this exercise.

woman using ab wheel

Intermediate level

Some space is required but the workouts are fairly simple and do not require much skill to do or set up.

Pull-up bars which double up as push up bars can provide a full body workout. You can work your back, chest, shoulders, and legs by doing hanging leg raises.

Rowing machines, are effective cardio workouts with their ability to burn calories, increase endurance, tone muscle and give a boost of energy. It is also a solid alternative for people with back and joint problems. All this with the benefits of an upper and lower body workout.

Similar experience was also found to be effective for the stationary bike but with the option of having HIIT workouts. I would suggest getting an air bike as it functions by creating resistance.

Exercise Balls or Stability Balls are great for tackling those back issues and tightening that core. If pain is your middle name or if you want to move beyond floor ab workouts than performing sit ups, push ups, bridges and crunches will take it to the next level. However don’t bite off more than you can chew and start slow and you will see a defined pack in no time.

woman with medicine ball

If you prefer, you can also choose to invest in medicine balls. These are small, denser, heavier than stability balls, and you can use them as free weights for squats, sit-ups, and the like.

Medicine balls will allow you to isolate and target more areas. You can use it when you’re doing sit-ups, squats and more compound movements.

Advanced  Set-up

More advanced home gyms require more space and money and set up. The equipment you’ll need depends on what you want to achieve, and it’s worth seeking personalised advice from a specialist beforehand.

 Squat racks are used as mechanical spotters. This allows you to do free-weight exercises. Performing bench presses, squats, glutes and back. Racks are an important element within the gym set up as they are the biggest and most expensive piece of equipment. Having a rack is akin to someone spotting you as assurance to being able to rack the bar easily.

If you want those workouts to count, then you might want to get a good bench that has incline and decline functionality. This completes the dynamic duo of bare-essentials weight training equipment; that is, the minimum equipment needed to pursue and achieve your physique and strength goals. Don’t cheap out on benches and get something durable and strong or it could seriously hold back progress or worse injure you.

Adding a Punch Bag would provide great stress relief for all that pent-up frustration.  Who wouldn’t want to throw a jab or two at the stresses in life and plus point a total workout for those arms. This of course if you have the space for a flinging sandbag in all directions.

man with punch bag

Elliptical Machines are found to be great at non-impact conditioning by allowing the body to emulate running conditions without the strenuous impacts it has on the joints. With moveable handles, you are also able to exercise both upper and lower body. Perceived lower exertion in which people often underestimate the lower output based on heart rate; however, most ellipticals burn the same number of calories but with less effort. The elliptical can be used as an effective cardiovascular machine for those who want to help improve cardiovascular health with minimal impact.  For optimal fat loss, high intensity interval training should be implemented when using an elliptical.

From all the reasons above, it’s not surprising why home gyms have become popular with its convenience, affordability and to personalise it and make it one’s own. All the equipment as listed above have been categorized according to space, set up required and skill set because prices go up and down and an individuals home gym is constantly evolving there is no wrong to build up one’s gym. Remember, the equipment that is really worth your money has to be versatile, easy to store and durable.

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