Building Muscle in a 

home gym

Convenience

By building a home gym you’ll be able to workout any time you want and even multiple times per day without any of the hassles associated with traditional gyms.

COST

The long term costs of a home gym are far less than a traditional gym. Plus you can spread that cost over months or even years as you gradually add equipment.

Flexibility

With your own home gym you’re not limited to one kind of workout because you don’t have to wait on machines. You also don’t have to worry about the dress code.

Scale

Once you get your routine down you can chose to keep your home gym small or gradually build it up as you need more exercises or workout variations.

Creating a Home Gym For Any Fitness Level

We’ve listed the items below from the basic to the advanced in order to help you sort through the massive amount of fitness equipment on the market. You won’t see any gimmicks here; only tried and true equipment that will genuinely help you reach your fitness goals.

Pull Up Bar

If you decided to only do bodyweight exercises you'd be making a great choice but you would still need a way to pull yourself up. That's why a pull up bar of some kind is essential and the first piece of equipment I recommend. The benefit of a wall or ceiling mounted pull up bar is stability. There are door mounted bars that just hang but I don't trust them. Go for the stability and quality of a mounted bar.

TRX Suspension Trainer

Absolutely the most versatile piece of equipment in existence, suspension trainers enable you to perform dozens of exercises (some that you couldn't perform any other way) and use your bodyweight as resistance. Used in conjunction with a weighted vest, you might be able to accomplish all of your fitness goals. 

Weighted Vest

One of the things people don't consider is that when they lose weight they automatically reduce the weight they're lifting - think about pull-ups, pushups, and squats. A weighted vest can counteract that effect. Plus weighted vests are excellent to wear during cardio workouts to drastically increase your calorie burn. 

Kettlebell(s)

Kettlebells are the most versitle weights around. Lift them, press them, carry them or swing them. There's not much you can't do with kettlebells. This adjustable kettlebell (10-40 pounds) will give you the variety of weight you need for a variety of exercises. It would be best to buy two so you can do excercises like loaded carries.

Resistance Bands

Another "piece" of equipment with a variety of uses, resistance bands allow you to warm up, stretch, and provide assistance with exercises like pull-ups and dips. They are excellent for use in recovering after an injury or to workout sore muscles as well. 

Fitbit Alta HR

Not exactly "equipment" but the Fitbit Alta is a surprisingly accurate heart rate and activity tracker. In addition you can track your overall progress in a variety of ways including logging your workouts and the quality of your sleep - all important aspects of achieving your best health.

20lbs Wall Ball

Almost every major sport includes a ball. Why not bodybuilding? Though not obvious at first, a heavy wall ball is as versatile as it is simple. Whether using it for shoulder conditioning or a platform for box squats, entire weight training or cardio workouts can be programmed around a wall ball.

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

Dumbbells are fantastic for upper body training but they take up space and cost a lot more than most want to spend in a home gym. Enter the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells. One of the most innovative pieces of workout equipment developed in decades, the dumbbells replace an entire rack and for a fraction of the price.

Weight Bench

It goes without saying that an adjustable weight bench is an absolute necessity for performing a bench press and a host of other exercises as well. An entry level multi-position bench will be good for most people and will take your workouts to the next level.

Barbell

If any piece of equipment is considered the standard it’s the 7ft Olympic bar. Combined with the appropriate weight it’s the ultimate bodybuilder’s apparatus and indispensable for doing any of the major lifts – squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, etc.

25lbs Bumper Plates

Bumper plates give you the freedom to drop the bar without breaking anything and they make workouts quieter in general. You can accomplish some amazing workouts with nothing more than a pair of 25lbs bumpers – they may be all you need to achieve your goals.

Power Rack

When you’re ready to step up your workouts to heavier weights, a power rack is needed as much for safety as it is for positioning the bar. I highly recommend getting a power rack that includes upper and lower pulleys so that you can take advantage of the additional exercise options.

Olympic weight plates

Once you have a power rack and an Olympic bar, you need to fill them up weights. A weight set is the least expensive way to add weight to the bar. A 255lbs set will give you 300lbs of weight (bar included) and for 90% of trainees will be all the weight you’ll ever need. Choosing weights with built in handles will make changing them much more efficient and safe.

Weight Belt

If you’re planning on building your lower body you’ll want to incorporate squats and deadlifts. As your strength increases and the weight increases you’ll also want to stabilize your core in order to protect your back. Especially with squats, you’ll be able to brace your abs while increasing your core strength so that you can lift more weight quicker. A weight belt is an indispensable piece of equipment for heavy lifting.  

Trap Bar

With the surprising ability to change the angle of two of the most important lifts – deadlift and squat – a trap bar can relieve tremendous pressure from your lower back and all but eliminate spinal compression while still allowing you get an incredible leg workout. If squats and deadlifts are tearing up your back, a trap bar may be the solution you need.

Gym floor

Rubberized puzzle-piece style mats are more than just aesthetic additions to a home gym. By providing a non-slip surface they provide a degree of safety and stability that’s impossible to replicate with any other surface. They also keep equipment in place which will become more important as your home grows.

Concept 2 Rower

The king of cardio equipment, the Concept 2 Rower used in conjunction with bodyweight workouts could be the only piece of equipment you need. Blast through the calories with a low impact total body movement that can be used as a warmup, a workout finisher, or an entire workout in itself.

Assault AirBike Classic

Used by Crossfitters and cardio buffs alike, the Assault Bike Classic is designed to take typical stationary bike cardio to the next level. Getting your arms involved with your legs brings your whole body into the routine and obviously ups the calories burned.

A Turbulent home Gym

Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne has long been one of our favorite training programs, especially for the home gym. With a minimum of equipment and a little planning, Turubulence Training may be the only program you need to get into the best shape you’ve ever been.

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