You just can’t beat the perks of a home gym: you don’t have to find a place to park, there’s never a crowd, and it always plays music you like and not that commercial crap. But is it worth it?
An average gym membership costs around $50 a month. If you save that money for a while, you can build your own personal home gym in just a few months.
A home gym eliminates monthly dues for good. You buy it for life.
And unlike most people who don’t last 3 months in the gym, you’re more likely to capitalize on your investment—and reap the hard-body rewards.
Here are 9 essential pieces of equipment for your home gym.
1. Power Rack
No home gym is complete without a power rack. This is the one of the most important pieces of gym equipment you can have, especially you are into calisthenics/bodyweight training.
You can also get a squat rack so that you can do both pull ups and squats on the same equipment.
2. Olympic Bar
Unlike “standard” bars, which typically weigh less than 30 pounds, a 45-pound Olympic bar can handle heavy loads without permanent bending. Its heavier weight also makes it more stable when loading and removing plates. If you care about your floor, bumper plates (named for their rubber coating) are the weights you want.
There’s a reason for the ungainly design: A kettlebell‘s center of gravity shifts during an exercise, increasing the challenge.
4. Cardio Machine
You can choose from treadmills, ellipticals or spin bikes. My personal favorite is the Airdyne.
5. Resistance Bands
Not only are resistance bands great for mobility work, but you can also use them to make body-weight moves like pullups and pushups easier or harder.
6. Suspension Trainers
A comprehensive training tool in its own right, a suspension trainer is also the ultimate workout accessory. You can attach one to your power rack to instantly accommodate 100 body-weight exercises of all difficulties. Suspension trainers, like the gymnastic rings, are also ultraportable, making them ideal for working out while you’re travelling.
7. Adjustable Bench
Dumbbells are the most versatile weights you can own. Use one at a time to develop stability, or grab a pair to build strength and power. Short on room? Save money and space with adjustable versions like the PowerBlocks which can replace an entire rack of conventional dumbbells for about half the price.
9. Rubber Flooring
Rubber mats help protect both floors and weights from damage and also help muffle the sound of dropped weights. If you ever need to bail on a deadlift, you’ll be glad you did it on rubber and not wood or concrete. It’s also great to use bellow your gymnastic rings so you can jump down more safely.