T Nation

Home Gym Equipments and Good Place to Buy?

Hi Gang,

I've been considering setting up a home gym. I'm thinking that maybe a power block that can have the weight range of 2.5-50 lbs and a flat/incline bench and a barbell, a few weight plates, and a power cage and an elliptical machine (for cardio when I'm watching TV or reading newspaper or whatever) would be a good start. (the elliptical machine is the last thing I'm buying tho, and only if I still have some cash left)

Do you know any place online or near DC area that is reputable and has good price? (And do you think I'm missing something from the list I made above)? Thanks.

Stella, my friend: save your money on the elliptical. Get a jump rope instead. To get a good elliptical machine, you’re going to have spend some serious $$. A good, leather rope with ball bearings in the handles will cost you $12-19.

I've been doing alot of reading on Dave Tate's site. He's got some home gym packages - you can always check them out for ideas. He also sells equipment. So does ironmind.com. The idea you have of what you need sounds good.

Ok Stella, I’m probably going to get flamed for suggesting this, but here goes. I was at Costco a couple days ago (not sure if you have those out there), but they had a Nautilus home gym that included a squat rack (not cage) with adjustable pins, lat pulldown, adjustable bench (I think it was three-way) with leg attachments, plate holders, and an oly bar with 250 lbs of weights. The price was $310. I know there are some hardcore folks here that wouldn’t dream of getting something sold by Nautilus, but if you’re not looking to spend a ton of money and just want to get a home gym started, this may not be a bad way to go.

There is always “Play it again sports” there is one in Annapolis.

Damn, Tyler, that sounds like a real good deal to me! Normally, the name Nautilus translates to “pay twice as much”.

I’m with Patricia. At Dave Tate’s site, he sells a great power rack with adjustable bench. It’s a good deal.

I’m telling you the best place to buy is from the newspaper. It may take weeks, but I just bought an adjustable bench with bar and 100 pounds of plates for $99. I completely flipped. Now I have no excuse for a weak incline BP. I really want a squat cage though, just no where to put it.

Check out newyorkbarbells.com. They are well spoken of. I believe a number of people here have been pleased with their equipment. I myself am planning on buying a bench and power rack from them in March. They have free shipping on most of their racks and benches which makes them very affordable. Play It Again Sports carries Keys which makes two pretty good power racks. If they don’t have one in stock they can order you one. Now to add a question, sorry if this is hijacking your thread. Is it completely necessary to bolt a power rack to the floor? Some of the ones I have seen seem weighty enough to stand on their own.

I don’t think bolting them down is a necessity… unless you really throw the weights around. Mine is free-standing, but it also has a lat attachment on it and I usually have some weight on there, so that helps. The bottom support legs are long enough so it provides some stability too. However, bolting down any cage is probably a good idea if you don’t ever need to move the thing and you want to put the time into it. - Tyler

You guys are incredible. I didn’t know Dave Tate had a website on what to get for a home gym. His equipments are very expensive (but I’m quite sure very high quality, cuz how could he rec crappy equipment???).

It looks like I'd need to eat ramen noodle for the next five years to get the gym I want. (Just kidding. I'd be so sick of ramen noodle). With the A-list and one Reverse Hyper machine to the shopping basket, it comes to $2125.00 including shipping. Of course, it sure beats the price of the elliptical since the only elliptical machines I use are made by Precor and they're over 3K! X_X

Patricia -- since you're the jump rope guru -- I have a jump rope, but I really hate it cuz it's very poorly made and doesn't seem to work very well. What brand/store do you recommend that I go to get a good jump rope? Thanks!

Bolting down a power rack is helpful if you plan on training westside and using bands. Either that or have large quantities of plaster around to repair the wall it goes through.

Damn Stella, I’m starting to get jealous. Care to move to my town? There isn’t a gym within 10 miles that has a power rack. Good thing i go to school 25 miles from here. Although a Reverse Hyper would be nice.

As for the Jump Ropes, mine’s a Weider. It makes jump roping almost as stress-relieving as hitting the heavy bag. Smacking something made by Weider against the floor repeatedly is just so relaxing. Seriously though, don’t buy a nylon jump rope. I think it’s waaay to light and they tend to hold the kinks and creases for a long time.

I did the majority of my stuff at Play it Again Sports…I’m in IL but I know there is one in the D.C. area.

Stella: I’ll post this quickly (on my way to boxing), Ko and I have Everlast. You can go to ringside.com or titleboxing.com.

Rob: I’d move to your town provided that it has a nice big mall and has a big international airport (hopefully a hub of United) and you promise to spot me. :slight_smile: Seriously…I don’t think I’ll be moving anywhere soon other than to Southern Maryland near DC. Smacking the floor w/ Weider. I’m gonna get killed for asking this question, but what has he done to earn such contempt? I really don’t know that many bodybuilding people or the history other than the good ol’ Arnold.

Patricia -- checked out the site. They also had some high tech jump rope that counts calories! Wow, too cool, but I won't be buying that one cuz it's made of rubber or so I think. Out of curiosity -- should I get the weighted or non-weighted jump rope? And I'm 5'7" tall, so 8' long or 9' long? X_X I feel like a such a jump rope newbie.


Get a non-weighted, it should be all you need. for length, I would get the 9 1/2 as you are almost my height.

Gotta agree with GreasyGreek – classifieds! Got all my gear (with the exception of the dip belt and mats) second hand, and got it cheap. To the equipment you’ve listed, I’d add a dip station and low pulley. Play It Again is another option, but most of the stuff in their stores in my area are overstocks at a small discount – not a lot of second hand stuff. Maybe that’s just around here and might be different in your area.

Stella, in the Washington Post classifieds there are usually a few exercise equipment or weights ads. Some may be worth a call. If you really want an elliptical machine, this may be your best bet, as many people around DC have (or had, prior to the dot com meltdown) lots of disposable income for nice toys, but no will power to use them. You can frequently find all sorts of high-end toys for sale. Ironmind and newyorkbarbells also have good equipment, and reasonably priced for the quality. There used to be a Play it Again in Herndon, and one in Tysons, but I think the Falls Church and Clifton ones are the only ones left on the Virginia side of the river. You should also check out Marty Gallagher’s chat at washingtonpost dot com (Tuesdays at noon). Lots of good advice, but unfortunately a fairly high percentage of newbies and mullets. Good luck.

Just went to Sports Authority today, they are having a huge fitness sale. 300lbs w/ olympic bar @ $99 also they had a power rack and adjustable flat bench to incline w/ preacher curl and leg ext. leg curl atatchment for $99 also. They also had a hanging heavybag, speed bag for $99 also I think the brand was TKO.

Damn! Thems some good deals. If I wasn’t already equipped, I’d spring for those.

Stella, I got a fairly good bench from Sports Authority a year or so ago for about 130$ and then got 300lbs of weight including the Olympic bar from Galyans for about 99$. I would think the weight would be easy to find as everyone seems to be right in that price range. If I were to offer some advice (As I always seem to do :slight_smile: I would say get the set of 300lbs of weight. Get a decent Bench Set up for 150$ or so and add a curl bar and some dumbells with olympic size bar ends so you can use the same weight as what you use on your barbell. This will get you going and should cost under or around 300$. Then you can add the power rack and more weight as you go. Galyans has a good selection of weights and bars and Sports Authority has a pretty good selection of Benches. There is also Fitness Resource in Sterling but they are for the aforementioned dot comers with lots of expendable cash…