T Nation

Home Gym Help (Things to Get?)


What do you guys think is the best things to invest in for a home gym. I’m training specifically for powerlifting.


You can do a lot With a barbell a bench a power rack and about 500-1000 lbs of plates depending how strong you already are. I would say this is the basics though.


Yep, what Vince said will definitely be your go to setup. I use horse stall mats for lifting on as they are relatively cheap from your local co-op (to protect your foundation from the force of the weights dropping - assuming you will be working out in your basement).


Power rack, Texas power bar, plates is the minimum. Do not skimp on a bar. If you can’t afford a Texas power bar, get a quality underpriced power bar.


What I have at home:
rack, bar, plates, mats (gym mats are the exact same thing as horse stall mats, buy whatever is cheaper or more convenient), Olympic dumbbell handles, safety squat bar, bands, slingshot, repboards, and a digital camera. I also have a chin up bar in the doorway between my kitchen/living room because the basement ceiling is too low. There isn’t really much else I would want, if I had infinite space and money then maybe GHR, leg press or hack squat, lat pulldown, etc., but I would probably barely use them.


A few shots of what I have at home

Off camera is a prowler, some farmer’s handles, another keg, a sandbag, and then a whole bunch of wearables (dip belt, belt squat belt, power belt, pulling harness, neck harness, front squat harness, etc).

I’ve definitely gone extreme, but aside from the basics (good barbell, plates, rack) here are some other things to heavily consider for a home gym.

-Reverse hyper
-Safety squat bar
-Landmine attachment

And then, if you want to specialize any more, there is tons to play with.


To start, I would get a power rack, barbell, plates (enough for your current strength, but also future growth), and an adjustable bench. Then overtime add in some new equipment, like dumbbells, trap bar, bands, and etc. Word of the wise buy quality not quantity.


Oh, boy. Where to start? If you’re like me then space is an issue. I have one room in my basement. I purchased a half rack, barbell and weights of course, and built a platform. Platform is easy–4 sheets of cheap Plywood and 1 nicer sheet plus horse stall mats. If I had $4000 I’d replace my cheap rack with this:


In not a power lifter and never will be. This system is a rack, smith machine, and cables all in one. This is my preference. I think everyone can agree that it’s nice to have cables or dumbbells for assistance work and this would be my choice.

@T3hPwnisher nice setup.

I’m working with a smaller space:

My house was built in 1910 so I’m pretty excited I have a basement tall enough for a weight room. No standing overhead presses for me. Don’t judge the wood paneling!


I got the same paneling lol


First thing, mats, bar and plates then you can at least DL and have a good start to everything else. Next is a rack or squat stand. Do you have all that already? I wouldn’t worry about the final result until those are in place and used for a few months/years.


The basic
Flooring- mats ,plywood or sub floor
Power rack, adjustable bench, the best bar you can ,weights
Bands , great for lots of use, face pulls tri push down, limitless
Spud inc pulley is an awesome addition
Specialty bars, SSB, any neutral grip pressing bar, curl bar ,tricep bar
GHR bench or 45 degree back raise ,reverse hyper
The list can go on


What company makes that GHR


Yukon fitness. Got it off amazon with free shipping. I honestly only use it for sit ups, but I don’t know if that is indicative of it being an inferior product or if I just don’t find GHRs all that useful. I keep meaning to put them back in my program.


I just started my garage gym.

Stayed home for Christmas and took the entire day by myself, whew built it up.

Homedepot for the puzzle mats $49 for 6 pack 18"x 18"

Marcy Pro Folding power rack $819 *sales price * now $849 with bench included *incline decline and flat *

Answered an add on Craigslist about someone selling their gym. Met with the guy and hit it off. Scary similar mindset, principles
In and outside of the gym.

Wasn’t able to sell his gym and is now selling everything separately. Weights 50¢ a lb. :blush: meeting tomorrow for rope, plates, bars, tractor tire ect. *lucky find!


Although I wanted this the price difference is vast :arrow_down:


The first thing that came to my mind was bumper plates. Obviously you’ll need bars and racks and such but I would not buy steel plates if I were to invest in a home gym for myself.
By the way, some of you guys have more equipment than my commercial gym. Color me jealous.


Bumper plates are nice but way more expensive by the pound. I have a set of 25’s for now but will add 45’s when I can afford them. The 25’s set the height I need for deadlifts and cleans and provide the cushion/bounce on my platform. I don’t think you need a full set of bumpers; just one pair of 25’s or above.

I’m also planning to buy an American barbell. My YMCA has their power elite bar and I love it. I contacted American and they said all their bars have the same bearings/bushings for rotation when doing clean type movements. I doubt I buy the power elite bar ($345) but they recommended their training bar for people who need an all purpose bar and do cleans. It’s only $250.


I keep debating if I want to turn a basement room into a workout room because the garage is so cold a few months of the year or too hot a few weeks in the summer. I’m taller so even pullups would be anoying with a low ceiling and OHP is out of the question. I suppose a compromise would be doing basement + pullup bar in garage and extra barbell for clean/OHP but that is a little much since I still keep my gym membership since its close to my work.


You can always layer!


My basement is partially finished. No ceiling. I placed the rack so that my head fits between the floor trusses when I do pull ups. I can do seated overhead presses too.

I still go to the Y because they have drop-in childcare with a two hour limit. I take advantage of my kid-free time and program my workouts according to where I’ll be each day.


In order of importance

Good high quality rack
Good high quality power bar
Enough weights for your strength level
Good high quality bench press whether a seperate piece or just a bench that can be put in the rack

That’s the necessities bare minimum. After that I’d look into GHR, Cable Pulleys, DB and Specialty Bars of into all that.