Home gym essentials

So I’m about to invest in some home gym equipment, with the intention of eventually giving up my gym membership. With the cost/hassle that comes with the gym, I’d like to hopefully circumvent this by having some home equipment. (No not Bowflex)…

For starters, I was looking at purchasing a Power Rack, which is a full squat rack complete with a chin-up bar. Next, is an adjustable bench, followed by an olympic bar set…(1 bar, and some plates)…

With what I’m mostly doing in the gym, I would be able to do about 80-90% of this with THIS equipment at home…ie. deadlifts, squats, push presses, shoulder press, bench press, chins, etc…

Now from those out there who already have some home gym equipment, would you mind listing what you started with (and what your training priorities are)?? Just to compare with my planned equipment and what is actually more usefull…

I’ve been working out at home for two years and I would never go back to a gym. I have a power rack, weight tree (home built with a 4X4, 4 2X4’s, and 3 pieces of 16"pipe), Oly bar, EZ curl oly bar, adjustable bench, power blocks (125 lbs each) and stand, swiss ball (from Paul Chek), plate loaded pulldown/row with a variety of attachments, Captain of Crush Grippers, Two five gallon gas cans (plastic) filled with sand for farmers walks, Rebook speed jump rope, home made dip bar, 4 home made boxes for box squating and alot of other uses, various sand bags, a water filled keg, a home made bench which fits over the power rack pins for reverse hyper, my old rock climbing chalk bag and chalk, rockclimbing tublar webbing, an ab wheel, 5 and 10 lb medicine balls, a heavy bag and speed bag, home made agility ladder (pvc and nylon rope), home made sled, I think that about covers it. I am not limited on any program I do and usually end up using the equipment for multiple purposes ie: GHR’s facing backward on the plate loaded pull down, knnes on seat, bench in front of seat. I train for functional strength with excursions into mass building and fat loss. I’m currently doing the Groth Surge WO (week 2). This equipment was mostly used and fairly reasonable (power blocks were new and expensive). I got a life cycle from a gym that was closing for $100! Good luck, if you have any questions ask.

Here’s my home gym. Hope you get some beneficial ideas. Please bear in mind that I’ve train primarily whole body fitness (i.e. strength, endurance, flexibility):
• Lat machine w/low row & multiple attachments: great for back, arms, abs, isolating hamstrings
• Heavy duty adjustable weight bench with preacher curl
• Power Tower that can do: chins, leg raises, ab crunches, dips, pushups/tris
• Adjustable ab bench
• Wavemaster freestanding punching bag
• Infiniti elliptical trainer - crazy effective for cardio!
• Home made stretching machine!
• Home made wing chun dummy that fits over my wavemaster


My home gym: oly barbell, oly dumbell handles, a few sets of heavy duty collars, 400lbs of plates, adj bench, squat rack, chin/dip station, med ball, jump rope, chin/dip belt, COC gripper, a stereo, towel and shaker bottle. Simple Basic and Brutal! I LOVE IT and will never join a gym again.

I starting training at home a year or so ago, and i absolutely love it. I still go to the gym, but only really once or twice a month, just to hang with my gym buddies and tear it up. I have a kindof power rack, its buy power tec - its an integral adjustable bench, sqyuats rack, safety/catch bars, oly bar/ez bar, punch bag - and definitely get your self some mini plates and olympic dumbell bars - they ar incredibly versatile. I also have one of those door mounted chinning bars, which i use for obviously chins, and clamp my feet behind it for 'ham raises. If you cant afford or fit in an adjustable stack, i bought some rubber cabbles from lifefitness i think(its in the states). They cost me about $90 for 3 different strengths of cables, they fit with a little strap between the door & frame, and surprisingly they work really well, expecially on single joint moves(curls, pull-overs, extensions, flyes, etc). The best piece of equipment without a doubt i own is a trap bar -it is so versatile, and the combo squat/deads that you can do with them are amazing. Best of luck - home training rules - loud music, whorkout wearing whatever you want, grunt , sweat, and also, you tend to work alot safer - as the ego has no-one to show off to, so your not tempted to lift extra big weights just to show you can! Have fun!!

Using no way as way. . .I like the Bruce Lee reference! Do you train in Jun Fan, kali, etc. I have a bunch of home made MA equipment and training ideas.

awesome!! So it’s still possible to grow strength at home! I love the jugs of sand idea for Farmer’s Walks…

My wife is gung-ho about it as well, which is very encouraging. It makes it easier to try and hunt down some great equipment…and thank god she hasn’t suggested the BowFlex or a universal type thing…argh. Most of the lat stuff I can find though don’t go as high as they do in the gym (weight wise) so I’m not too tempted to get them…as I can do the stack already…does anyone out there worry about pulldowns? Or do you stick to rows (with a barbell/dumbell)?? Anyways, we’re both looking forward to getting our stuff. The powerblocks idea is an interesting one…are people finding them easier over regular dumbells?? Less space taken up by batches of dumbells??

At least I won’t be subjugated to listening to NSync while lifting…

What kind of flooring are people using in their home gym?? Just the cement or something else?? I’d LOVE to use the flooring we have in our Tae-Kwon Do studio, but it might be too expensive…any ideas?
thanks, and keep posting!

Hi Kali,
Thanks for “getting it”! Yes, I have studied some JKDC in the past. I think it’s great. However, I really just try to research and work on my own thing now. It would therefore be an insult to call what I do JKD! I just call it practical self defense. My influences are wing chun, kickboxing, chin na, a little bit of kali (I just can’t buy into some of those nerve destructions!), BJJ, and of course, Jun Fan, but the latter is just self learned totally, so I don’t know what I don’t know!


Don’t hate the bowflex, it ain’t cheap but it is actually pretty good. One with a power rack, a bar, weights, I think you can do chin/dip on a bow, and a block for calves and you are set. Dumbbells would not hurt either.

I have a reverse hyper machine a set of medicine balls in 40,60 and 100 pounds, a stability ball (Swiss ball) and a Dragging Sled all purchased from Dave Tats site www.elitefitnesssystems.com I also own a set of Russian Kettlebells in 36, 53 and 72 pounds purchased from www.dragondoor.com/

No Way: I’ve been a student of Dan Inosanto since about 1981 (ya, I’m an old guy). I like the power blocks but you cannot drop them. They are not as good as dumbbells, but ultimately cheaper and they take up less space. I’m always looking for new things for my home gym, but with the setup I have I could complete any program. I lift on my concrete floor with no matting, squat barefoot. . .greater transfer of power? ans it wakes me up in the morning.