When it comes to fitness, it is every athlete’s dream to have their own person gym. Having your own gym means not having to travel to the gym, to share equipment with other people, or having to worry about sitting in someone else’s filth because they chose not to clean the equipment.
All in all there really are no disadvantages to having your own gym at home, so why don’t many people do it? The simple answer is equipment costs money. Many people who have their own home gyms and their own equipment have accumulated it over a long period of time.
This doesn’t mean that you are out of luck however, there are some tools that everyone should own, and here are a few pieces of equipment that you should start with.
The more money you invest here, the better off you will be in the long run. Try to get an olympic straight bar, which is typically 45 lbs.
If you are a beginner this may not be necessary just yet and you may be questioning why you should buy this bar instead of the cheaper, lighter 20lb straight bar. The simple answer to your question would be that you are eventually going to get to the point where you are going to need the heavier bar to hold more weight. Spending a few extra dollars now is worth it in the long run.
Next you are going to want to get some plates for your straight bar. Try to get a variety of plates, preferably ranging from 2.5lbs up to 45lbs. You will be using this bar for everything from squats, deadlifts, military presses to forearm reverse curls, so make sure you have different weights to work with.
This is probably going to be the most expensive item on your list but if you are serious about working out from home it is a necessity. One reason you need a good power rack or squat rack is in the name. Squats are one of the best combination exercises everyone should be doing to get bigger legs so get a power rack.
The advantage of the rack when it comes to squats is that it gives you the ability to do squats without a spotter because of the safety bar attachment, giving more range of motion than a smith machine.
Many of these racks have additional attachments as well which you can use for other workouts. Common attachments are pull-up or chin-up bars. Other exercises can be performed with the assistance of the squat rack like weighted bar lunges and military presses.
Get yourself a comfortable bench. Your best option here is to head down to your local sporting goods store and try them out to make sure they have enough padding and are the right size for you.
This is one item you shouldn’t buy online unless you are dead set on getting a specific make and model of bench. You will be using the bench more than probably any other piece of equipment you own so make sure it is comfy.
Keep in mind that the price of benches are going to vary greatly, and many of them are engineered to hold a maximum weight. This is important to remember for down the road when you are lifting more weight.
When you are buying your dumbbells, try to make sure that they are the same diameter as whatever straight bar you are using so that you can use the same free weights for both. It would be a huge waste of money to buy a set of dumbbells and then have to buy an entire new set of weights to go along with them.
Dumbbells are great for isolation exercises, exercises that help with stabilization and are good tools to use to get a general overall assessment of your strength. Doing an exercise with dumbbells as opposed to a straight bar is advantageous so that both arms or legs are getting equal work.
If you find that you are favoring one arm or another during your bench exercises for example, switch to dumbbells to isolate and strengthen the weaker arm. This is how you avoid looking asymmetric as well.