T Nation

First Home Gym


Recently I have chose to move out of commercial gyms and set up my own home gym. I am fortunate in that I make some pretty decent money as a waiter and don't have a whole lot of financial issues to worry about so I've been stocking up some equipment.

So far I have:
6 barbells (1 safety squat bar, 1 fat bar, 1 olympic bar, 1 trap bar, and inherited an ez-curl bar and a short bar from my dad)
Adjustable fat-grip dumbbells....yea I have a hard on for fat grip bars
A Squat rack
An adjustable bench
Iron Woody band set
1 prowler
2 blast straps
a 2 and 3 board press
260 lbs in steel plates
210 lbs in bumper plates
Fat Gripz
grip straps
1 treadmill and 1 bike(didn't buy these, we already owned them and they just gave it to me because it never got used)

I was just wondering what some of you would invest in for your dream home gym?


Your off to a great start.
I will be building out my home gym next year.
I have or am going to purchase just about everything you have listed minus the cardio equipment and possibly the prowler.
Some things to consider adding.
1) Dragging Sled
2) Farmer's Walk Bars
3) Hex Dumbells
4) Lat Pulldown/Row machine

What kind of adjustable bench did you buy?


I was considering a cable row machine over a lat pulldown just because I have one of those old school swing sets in the back of my house and it makes a great pull up station basically 4 spots to be able to do nuetral grip pull ups and regular pull ups.

As for the bench I had a crappy rickety one, but it broke and I had a friend who use to train on his own and had a spare bench so i bought it off him. It looks something like this:

but I have no idea what brand it actually is or where he got it.


Sick setup bro. I'm really wanting to do the same thing once I move into a new house. I was thinking some type of setup kind of like what you have, but you definately gave me some extra ideas as well! Thanks!

As far as what I would buy for my own "dream" home gym... a smith machine would definately be included, as well as a glute ham raise machine. A cable station would be sweet too, but it seems like you kinda need a lot of space for that.


Nice. If that squat rack is just a squat rack, sell it and get a power rack (cage). Indispensable for home training.

I am jellyous of your safety squat and thick bars. Bastard!

I know this is a big one, but it's one of the things I wish I had the most (in fact, it's #1 on that list): Cable Crossover. Even the plate-loaded version costs about $800 plus shipping, but damnit I want one.


thanks for the ideas guys! getting some form of cable set up is a must once i can afford it.

What do you guys think about lighting and space heater/air conditioning? do you think its necessary or do you say just suffer through it?

and what about setting up a certain atmosphere to the place? right now it kinda feels like hell's gym and i kind of like it.

and jaypierce its a half rack, it came with 3 different sets of rack pins that extend far enough out that i can do pin presses, pulls, and isometrics on them.


To each his own, but I'd like a place to do pullups and dips. Not that you really need it, but it's damn cheap. And get more weights when you get stronger obviously.

How cold does it get? I've suffered through it, but have actually had some problems with slightly frostbitten hands. Now they're awkwardly cold. Not a good quality for a medical student. But if it's warm enough for you to grip the bar, it's warm enough.

It looks like a damn good gym you've got there, good job!


I have a home-gym setup back when I'm not at Uni consisting of-

-Great quality power-rack. This is by far the best investment you can make imo- 'center of the gym'

-200kgish (440lbs) assorted metal plates. Wish they were bumpers & 'taller' for lifting off the ground.

-Adjustable DBs up to about 20kg or 30kg with all little plates on 1 DB.

-I chin in the power-rack, make-shift dip using parallel bars across pins in power-rack.

-Shit semi-adjustable bench w/shit leg extension/curl. Couple of light bands. NON-olympic bar (10kg)

With what I have in theory I can do a lot of decent work, adjustments I want to make are:

Not even consider anything other then olympic bar/plates, preferably bumper plates. Little plates to have 2 DB's adjustable up to around 50kg. Probably most importantly a wider, non-shit flat or GOOD adjustable bench.

Dream would include- Proper lifting platform, proper dip station/rack that included, a calf raise, EZ-bar. Most stuff outside of that is unrealistic for the space I have, and beyond that I can't help but thinking a gym membership is the better option unless having a lot of space and money


Do you have a proper platform? I built the one in this picture for my garage gym...it was pretty easy...


You can see some more pics of the gym in my hub...

The next thing I want to add is a Lat Pull Down/Low Row. This one from New York Barbell works out well for my one car garage gym in the wall mount configuration...


I plan on positioning it in behind the power rack...



Right Fucking On. My gym is all concrete and iron and I love it. The most comfortable thing I have is my bench, and it sucks. I love it when people come to train with me and they make 'that face' when they look around for a place to plop their ass between sets.


Nice setup! That looks awesome. Quick question, I couldn't tell from the photos--are the stands that hold the plates screwed into the wall? Also, what is the deadlift platform made out of? (sorry if that seems a like a dumb question... I just want something like that when I can finally start my own home gym.


have you been sneaking into my garage to train? lol that sounds exactly like my gym. Its cold as hell during the winter and holds heat like crazy during the summer.


Yeah, the bumper plate holders are bolted to the wall. That was another item I got from New York Barbells...


I just Sawzall'd the feet off. They are still resting on the floor which supports most of the weight. They are just bolted to wall studs to keep the stands from falling forward...

The deadlift platform is 12ft x 8ft. The substrate is 1/2in plywood glued to 3/4in plywood. You can see in the diagram below that the 1/2in plywood(red) is inverted 180 degrees on top of the 3/4in plywood(blue)...


I ordered 2ea 4ft x 6ft rubber mats that are 3/4in thick, and cut them in half giving me 4ea 2ft x 6ft rubber mats. I then glued two of them in tandem on either side of the platform.


In between the rubber is 3/4in stain grade maple. I bought 2ea 4ft x 8ft pieces of it. I applied a coat of Thompson's water sealer and then cut one piece in half so that I could lay them in tandem giving me a 4ft x 12ft run.

Everything was glued together using liquid nails...no metal fasteners. I liked the idea of a finished, seamless look and reasoned that if the glue didn't hold up, I could always screw it together later. After 18 months of use, it's just fine.


wow JPCleary i must say i really like your set up, funny thing is I was looking at that exact rack from elitefts but grabbed the one i currently have at the last minute instead.

But no I don't have a proper platform, the closest thing I have to one is a 2 yard x 3 yard patch of rubber mats that I do olympic lifts on.


Now that's a home gym! Love the homemade lifting platform, the closest thing I have is just a 2inch or so layer of wood with raised stacked wood for the plates at either side for a BB.


Why? You haven't been hearing errant blasts of MudVayne and plates clanging, have you?

I have a dehumidifier in there because I also use it for storage. Keeps it a little more bearable, but not exactly comfortable.


nah i guess thats not you than, i've mostly been hearing bullet for my valentine...