Basic Home Gym

I’m a former 5 day a week lifter who fell out of habit for 2 years after taking a new job. I’ve gained some serious weight as a result and am wanting to get back into lifting. To make a long story short, I live 20 miles outside of town and want to put a small gym in my garage. Funds are limited so I would like to start off buying some powerblocks and a kettlebell or 2.

I already have a 100lbs. heavy punching bag and elliptical i’m getting my wife for xmas. I had also thought of getting a rowing machine, with plans for a power rack and olympic weight set on down the road. Does this sound feasible, and what are some workouts (circuit in nature) that i could do utilizing kettlebells, powerblocks, a heavy bag, and the 2 cardio machines?

Tyson (wannabe FFB)

Hi Tyson,

That seems feasible - I don’t know your financial situation or living space situation so I assume that you already know it’ll work for you.

For a good circuit, try the Bloody Dumbbell Complex found here: [ Blood on the Barbell : Waterbury ]

Use the kettlebells for this complex first thing after a healthy breakfast. Then hit the bag and do cardio in a later session during the day. When you get your work capacity up you could start adding in some repetition kettlebell cleans and snatches and cycle them with your heavy bag work - like a Crossfit style workout.

Then finish off with some situps and pushups done to absolute failure. Every night during the week! Watch your alcohol consumption on the weekend, going overboard might cost you by adding unnecessary calories to your intake, and it will sap your stamina if you get wasted too often. You’ll start to love the feeling of these exercises after two weeks, I am sure. I used the Bloody Dumbbell Complex to lose lots of weight myself, and it’ll work for anyone.

I imagine that you will shedding a considerable amount of fat, somewhere in the ballpark of 30lbs in just a couple months and you’ll be building muscle at the same time. Just keep a strong work ethic and clean up the diet. Good luck!

My two cents, throw sand bags in the mix. A military style duffle bag costs @10-12$, sand sells for about $5 for 50 pounds. Cheapest weight set you’ll find.

If funds are limited, you shold look at cost effective things like adjustable dumbbells, bands, chains, home made proweler/sled, home made dip/chin station, used olympic weight sets are relatively easy to find and cheap, sandbags are great too. IMO KB’s are too expensive and you can do almost all exercises with dumbbells, same thing for power block, adjustable dumbbells are way cheaper and don’t look as gay.

I went to Play it Again Sports and bouhgt a power rack with a pull-up bar, ajustable hooks and catches, and some semi useless cable pully with an adjustable bench and 300 lbs in weights with a 7 ft bar and an ez-curl bar for just over $500. The rack was used but so what, it’s made out of medal and I get some of the best workouts in the comfort of my own basement. I can grunt and fart as loud as I want too. Shit, I might head down in a few minutes, I was going to take an off day, but off days are for pussies.
I have slowly added some dumbbells and wieghts as time went on, I got a nice set up down there.

How many kettlebells would I need. Just one or 2 diff sizes?

Take your time and build up your home gym according to your financial status. Opportunities come up all the time in the classifieds for iron.

As far as “what you need”…right now that’s anything you can get your hands on. Get some adjustable dumbells or better yet a bar and weight and go to town with it till you can get more stuff. If your dead set on kettle bells then just do a quick search online…there seem to be alot of folks doing everything with them.

I got sick of health clubs and started building my home gym 10 years ago (pics in my profile) and started with a bar and 300lbs out of my local paper. Since then I’ve just always put aside a few bucks for equipment, some new some used. Now my biggest issue is space. Good luck building up your garage.

Can’t you just get your wife a power rack for Christmas instead of an eliptical?