Go Big and Stay Home: How to Build Your Ultimate Home Gym
Maybe you’ve been stuck with the same gym for years, or maybe you believe that your workouts are constantly interrupted and that your results are delayed because the same dude keeps hogging the squat rack day in and day out.
Whatever may be causing your dissatisfaction, you are only a few essential pieces of equipment away from your own personal gym!
Amp up the atmosphere
There’s no equipment cool enough that can replace the impact of creating the right pump-worthy atmosphere. You know it all too well, a measly playlist can wreck a PR attempt more than fear from a herniated disc, and a poorly-lit space with no air circulation is a true buzz-kill.
So, before you start spending enormous amounts of cash on gear, which truly is crucial for your workouts, you should envision the space that you will use for your home gym. If it’s outside, prepare to make changes, if it’s a garage, get ready to get to work. Pick the right posters, find the right ventilation system, and get those speakers if you like your music out in the open.
Get your workout essentials
No matter your level of fitness or your goal, there are certain pieces of equipment that both rookies and professional athletes can benefit from in their home gym. This is your personal training turf, so you ought to pick the things that will last, and that fit your training regime, but also provide a decent amount of flexibility – because we all need a change of pace every once in a while.
High-quality dumbbells, a kettlebell or two, and your multifunctional pull-up bar will make for a great start. They offer lots of wiggle room in terms of changing your workout routine, but they sure as hell always pose a great challenge for your abilities to advance. Also, don’t forget a few resistance bands, a foam roller, and perhaps a jump rope and other HIIT-perfect cardio gimmicks.
The fact that you won’t be spending your time surrounded by gym bros and gym gals strutting around your neighborhood fitness center is no excuse to slack off when it comes to your safety, comfort, and of course, hygiene. Have a stack of clean towels for your training, and always have a handy water bottle to stay hydrated properly, especially if you take your exercise outside on a hot summer day.
As for your training dress code, although there is no one around to dazzle and impress with your incredible gains and feats of strength, make sure you pick one of your favorite men’s gym hoodies for a comfortable warmup during cold months, and a change of T-shirts to ward off the lovely smell of gym glory. If you’re aiming for heavy lifts, it’s also wise to have a set of sturdy belts, straps, and other protective gear, in addition to a trusty spotter when the time comes to test your beastly strength.
Free weights over machines
Now that you have those essentials covered, you can start making decisions as to where the majority of your funds will go – and the overwhelming majority of gym experts put their faith in free weights. Although machines may seem like a handy pick, they limit your options, and they will most likely be a much pricier choice in the long run.
A single barbell paired with a selection of weight plates means that you have the flexibility and the freedom to design your workout and swap your exercises without having to change the setting of your gym. A barbell also lets you focus on compounds such as the squat and the deadlift, which offer the best results for strength and stamina, and translate well into your daily life.
Power rack rules
The single most important piece of equipment that will be the piece de resistance of your home gym should be a high-quality power rack for a multitude of exercises. Everything from your military press, all the way to the squat and barbell rows and rack-pulls can be performed in this single space.
A power rack helps you stay safe, and you should always pick the one with adjustable safety arms so that you can easily switch between exercises. Considering its functionality, it truly doesn’t take that much space, and it makes for a lifetime investment in your home gym.