T Nation

Advice on Building a Home Gym


I have a home gym, best investment in myself, outside of family and career. I go simple. Variations can come from different barbells or exercises.
Power rack, adjustable bench, good quality barbell, plate loaded DB ( cheaper than the power blocks). Olympic plates, good assortment of bands. This can mimic many cable movements. The Spud inc pulley system is excellent. Stall mats for flooring on plywood sheets.
An excellent gym can be had in a 8x8 space.
I have a cheaper rack, good bars, good bench , 2nd hand plates, good bands and the spud inc. good DB handles. I slowly added specialty bars and some different handles for the pulleys or bands. These are a luxury not a necessity. You can get plenty strong and stay healthy and safe with a rack,bar, plate and if wanted a bench.


I hope @The_Mighty_Stu is reading this thread



Definitely watching. I’ve been perusing options online based on what would allow me to train as well as keep up the PT movements I like to do for my shoulders and lower back.



I got the Y-2 Rogue Yoke:

And have had success with it. The Y-1 was too short to raise the yoke section up to do chinups on, and the Y-3 was too tall to get out of my garage very smoothly. I plan on competing in Strongman someday so I wanted the option of having a yoke when needed to train with. When I’m just using it as a rack, I store my plates on the four bottom poles, since I don’t have a weight tree yet.

Basically the only issue I have with it is that I bought some safety arms, and they don’t go very low. I don’t do things like rack pulls or Olympic lifts from blocks (in this case, arms) that often, but I can’t really with this. I don’t think the arms allow a barbell to go even to my knees, let alone below them.

Also got the B&R Bar 2.0:

since it seemed like a good “overall” bar. Read tons of reviews about many different bars and finally, after having no idea which one to get, got this one. I’m not very strong, so I’m not lifting any crazy weights with this, but I do a variety of lifts (power lifts, Olympic lifts, rows, etc.) and it feels pretty good. If you’re high level you may need a more specific one but I feel for the average lifter, and maybe even for CrossFit (which I’ve done before) this works ok. Others are probably more well versed in this issue though, so pay more heed to them.

Also bought a 15KG bar and a 10KG bar for my younger siblings and girlfriend to learn how to lift with. I store them using this:

I’ve heard it’s better for bars to be stored horizontally…something about keeping a balance in the bearings or something. Not sure how important it is but this really works well. Haven’t had any issues or worries about it’s sturdiness. Since I also want to get some specialty bars at some point, I still have a few spots left to store them on it.

For chinups and dips, I just found an iron rod that I hung up between doorways, kinda above a “hallway” in my garage. Put some athletic tape over it. It’s real cheap, and has held up quite well. I’m sure there’s lots of DIY stuff online for this. And if you get a yoke, you can use that for chinups - I can only do towel chinups or stuff like that on it. My grip is not storng enough for that thick of a bar.

I bought some cheap dips bars that I anchored into some studs in a wall. Think they cost less than $50…can’t remember. They’ve held up very well. Just tuck them in a corner. Also bought some cheap wooden gymnastic rings that I hang from my bar - can do a variety of movements on them. Also cheap and take up little space.

Got the

for my bench…honestly not really a fan of it. Doesn’t feel amazing. It’s not that bad though, I don’t really like benching so it’s ok.

Also went ahead and got the


just because at the time I luckily had the money for them. I think for Strongman & CrossFit, these are both very useful. Looking back now, I think I might’ve gotten the reverse hyper directly through Louie Simmons, and probably a GHD from EliteFTS, but these have both held up very well and I’m quite pleased with both of them. The GHD has wheels on one end so it’s not too hard to move. The reverse hyper probably needs 2-4 strong people to lift it, once assembled.

This stuff isn’t exactly cheap or bargain items, but just sharing my experience. I too wish to just get overall stronger and compete in Strongman, so we may have similar needs.

Oh, and I got the

from Spud, Inc. It’s not the best ever - not a quality sled or Prowler but it’s worked out ok for me. Can do a lot of movements. You will need to buy one or two strong carabiners if you decide to get it - to attach the various straps to the sled. I just got mine at a farm supply store.

Finally, I built this after a few months of using my equipment:


I’ve had these forever and they work great. I have the add-on that allows up to 120lbs. I have the KB handles too, but never use them. A little weird to load. The fat grip adapters look interesting.

I also have the adjustable bench. Work for inclines and DBs, but a little too much padding and too high for regular benching.