T Nation

Home Fitness Equipment


Howdy all, I'm a bit new to this sort of thing, posting and what-not. I'll cut right to the chase, I used to work out hard-core, I stopped at around 17 when I was in my prime, I'm 22 now and regretably a smoker. I've kicked the habit, but getting back into shape's a bitch. I don't want to join a gym, and my old equipment is no good anymore (basically fell apart with misuse). I was hoping someone could give me tips as to what kind of home fitness equipment is a good buy (i.e. bowflex, crossbow, etc.) or if I'm just an idiot for considering total gym machines. If nothing else can anyone give me a good website for rating home fitness equipment? Thanks a lot guys.


Free weights, some free weights, barbell, adjustable bench, squat rack, some more free weights, and some more free weights.

Skip the universal type equipment unless you don't want to be serious.


Hi, DemitriosX. Welcome to the board!

You may have a better idea of what you want in the way of equipment once you decide upon a program. Part of making a change in your life is doing the research and preparing. Take your time and enjoy that particular part of the process.

So my suggestions are, do a search on T-Forums (to the left of your screen) for "gym," "home gym," "chest" (or whatever body part you're interested in), etc. You can change the drop down window to T-Mag which will search all of the archived articles.

Ease into it. You don't need to kill yourself or punish yourself for past sins.

Good luck to you!!!


First Off....KUDOS for kicking the habit! You deserve a swift kick in the ass for even starting to smoke!

Secondly...steer clear of commercialized home equipment such as Bowflex and Crossbow. I think it was TC who said, "A great body doesn't come in monthly payments of $29.95." If you are looking for a "true" home gym then I would suggest going to Dave Tate's website. He has an extensive list for home equipment. And all you will need is a powerrack, adjustable bench, dip machine, pull up bar, db's and power bar with around 300lbs of weights. It ain't cheap, but if you are serious about it...then you have to fork over the cash. Why don't you want to join a gym by the way? Just curious!. Good luck bro...Tony G


Here was my wish list for my gym about a year ago. I have everything but the rower now. the most important are a jump rope, 7' barbell and 315lbs of plates a flat bench and dumbells.

Power Cage w/
Flat Bench
Pull Up Station
Dip Station
Seated Row Station

7' Olympic Bar
5' Olympic EZ Curl Bar
5' Olympic Bar (Deadlifts)
6-45 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-35 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-25 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-10 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-5 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates

5-110 lb Power Blocks Dumbells
Flat / Incline / Decline Bench

Swiss Ball
Jump Rope
10lb Medicine Ball
53/33/18lb KettleBells
AB Slings
Dip Belt
120 lb Heavy Bag
20" Plyo Box

Concept II Rowing Machine
Recumbent Bike w/ HR Monitor

This is the home gym I have slowly Built it cost about $ 3,500.00 and takes up a 20 x 20 room.


Here is my setup and it covers all I need.

powercage with dip and chin facility
Olympic set
adjustable bench
some dbs
jump rope
swiss ball
sledgehammer and tire
medicine ball

With this I can do all I will ever want.


Tampa Terry had some great advice as usual - find out what you think you're going to need. An olympic lifter, a powerlifter, a bodybuilder, and someone just trying to look good nekkid (and in clothes!) would all need different equipment. (They may all be able to use the same equipment, but I doubt you want an entire fitness center in your garage.)

So after that's all figured out (and, by the way, if you have questions about different kinds of training, feel free to ask), you'll need to find the equipment you want. For general-purpose lifting, New York Barbells comes pretty well recommended on price, quality, and customer service.

A major portion of your equipment could easily be purchased used, and for a small fraction of the cost that it would new. So keep second-hand stores and local classifieds in mind.

With all of that in mind, also perform some searches on the forums for the stuff you're interested in. We've had some home gym threads before that you might benefit from.


All great advice so far...

The only thing I could possibly add is that, whether used or new, make sure you try to get "commercial quality" stuff. You can easily tell the difference: the good stuff is heavier, sturdier, and usually employs welded joints versus bolted. Yeah, it is usually more expensive, but if you buy right it's a lifetime investment.


First thing I would buy, no matter what, would be a set of Powerblocks. Those things are so versatile you can always get a good (if not absolutely perfect) workout in with them.

"...or if I'm just an idiot for considering total gym machines."


Also, don't really know what you're thinking here, but 17 was not your prime. At 17 you're a teenager, nothing more. Hell, I'm 41 and I'm stronger than I've ever been, along with being just about as cut. Far as I'm concerned, a guy's "prime" is between the ages of about 25-45, and maybe a little longer.

Not trying to flame you here, just trying to get you to see the big picture. You've quit smoking, and that's probably the single biggest investment in your health that you could have made. Now it's time to start thinking about some other lifestyle changes. First the weights, getting yourself on a decent and consistent program. Then start tuning your diet up bit by bit. Before you know it, you'll be healthy, happy and looking great.

Best of luck to you.


hyphnz has everything you need (see above). power rack and barbell being the minimum.