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Home Gym Minimum Size?

Hey,

I’ve been working out doing mainly weighted bodyweight exercices for the past 7 months. I’ve put on 6 kg of LBM and am satistfied of my physical/ performance changes. I am 5"11, now at 165 pounds for 10% body fat.

However, I want to introduce some change and mix free weights with machines along with keeping some bodyweight exercises.

I’am currently searching for a house to rent, in which I plan to have a home gym. I plan to keep this house for several years at least and so would like for the home gym to have all the space that is needed for equipment and for it to be comfortable to move around.

I understand as far as free weights and bodyweights exercises go a 20 * 20 feet room would be comfortable enough.

However, I am completely unfamiliar with machines. My question is, what machines would be most useful ? I have heard there is debate between freeweights vs machines but I ideally want the “best of both worlds”.

Hence, what machines should I plan for that can get the job done better than freeweights in certain cases? (Knowing my my main goal is mass and aesthetics rather than strength, although I understand both are related)

Would be great if you could make a list of machines with this in mind :

Why do these movements get their job done better than their freeweight counterpart considering my objectives? Any machines that isolate muscles in ways freeweights cannot, an important consideration for aesthetics?

According to these lists, I’ll plan for the right space.

Thank you for your time : ),

gcourtois

Some of these gyms are in spaces no bigger than 20x20:

That’s a great read^

Also, Jim Wendler wrote up an article on how to plan out your home gym. It’s on elite, but I don’t recall the name of it, but im sure it’ll come up on a search.

Saw that you posted in the other thread also asking for routine advice, and I would say get on a proven program. 5/3/1 is great because of the versatility, and would work great with you. You don’t have to get a million machines to do the program, and Jim’s a big fan of bodyweight exercises.

[quote]gcourtois wrote:
I understand as far as free weights and bodyweights exercises go a 20 * 20 feet room would be comfortable enough.
[/quote]

im at 19x18 (in a 1.5 car garage) and i have plenty of space for 3-4 people to workout at the same time doing 2 or more different exercises. and space to store all my bars, plates, DBs, KBs, bands, belts, tires, club and macebells, strongman implements, heavy bag, and even all my lawn & garden tools, power tools, some long term storage even.

my smallest with 90% of all the gear i have is 12x14. i still felt like i had plenty of room with only me working out in it.

Thanks for quick feedback.

Chris87, I’ll be looking at that program. I’am also looking at starting strength & other novice routines.

Jlone and asooneyeonig, good to know a 20 * 20 room should do.

As far as machines go and knowing I am planning long-term, which machines will I eventually gravitate towards knowing I am looking mainly for mass/aesthetic gains? Any machines that are perfectly complementary to freeweights in the way that the freeweight “version” of it is not as efficient or does not exist?

All in all, wanting to know of a list of the most commonly found machines in bodybuilding gyms around the world so to calculate the space I’ll need.

gcourtois

pec deck, machine dip,leg extension, hamstring curl,leg press( sorta a machine?). just some machine that i like to use. with 5/3/1 if your looking into it it wont take much else then a power rack/squat rack, a bench, some dumbbells, and a pullup/dip station. thats what i would star with regardless of what program your looking into. in time you can buy other pieces of equipment you think would be beneficial.

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
in time you can buy other pieces of equipment you think would be beneficial.[/quote]

Yep, that’s what I plan on doing. Hence my question so to estimate the space I’ll be needing, knowing I am going in for a long-term house rental and would prefer If I didn’t need to update housing every time I am lacking space for new equipment. :slight_smile:

You mention pec deck, machine dip,leg extension, hamstring curl,leg press
Charles Staley, a T-Nation contributor talks of these two :
9) Glute-Ham station
10) lat Pulldown/Low Row Station

Trying to get a list going of machines that will stimulate in ways it’ll be hard to replicate with free weights.

in the for what its worth category, I use the master bedroom in my house as the gym.

THe back wall is painted in chalkboard paint, and I have more than enough room for my desk to do my work at, shelves, 2 stands of weights, my rack, etc.

before that I managed in about half of a 2 car garage.

I got a band system to use attached to the rack or a door in place of a pulley system, and a bench that has the preacher attachment and leg curl attachment, as well as a bar that I can use for GHRs.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
That’s a great read^

Also, Jim Wendler wrote up an article on how to plan out your home gym. It’s on elite, but I don’t recall the name of it, but im sure it’ll come up on a search.[/quote]

Is this it:
http://www.jimwendler.com/2011/09/chalk-music-and-plates-building-your-home-gym/

With a power rack that has a multi-grip chin bar and removable dips, and some weights, along with an adjustable bench, what else do you NEED? Nothing. It’s all about what you want after that…

[quote]Samir wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
That’s a great read^

Also, Jim Wendler wrote up an article on how to plan out your home gym. It’s on elite, but I don’t recall the name of it, but im sure it’ll come up on a search.[/quote]

Is this it:
http://www.jimwendler.com/2011/09/chalk-music-and-plates-building-your-home-gym/

With a power rack that has a multi-grip chin bar and removable dips, and some weights, along with an adjustable bench, what else do you NEED? Nothing. It’s all about what you want after that… [/quote]

Yep that’s it.

[quote]Samir wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
That’s a great read^

Also, Jim Wendler wrote up an article on how to plan out your home gym. It’s on elite, but I don’t recall the name of it, but im sure it’ll come up on a search.[/quote]

Is this it:
http://www.jimwendler.com/2011/09/chalk-music-and-plates-building-your-home-gym/

With a power rack that has a multi-grip chin bar and removable dips, and some weights, along with an adjustable bench, what else do you NEED? Nothing. It’s all about what you want after that… [/quote]

I would only add some adjustable dumbbels especially considering you’re after size/aestethic. Anyway the article is quite awesome.

Personally i believe that when training at home it’s all about training smart. key lifts aside, there are a million exercises that you can do to target just about every body part bodybuilding style. Def No need for machines.

“Machines” and “minimum size” don’t really go hand in hand. The minimum size you can get work done in can be as small as two 4x6 stall mats, with a bar, DB stems, weights, maybe some compact squat stands. Machines are the least efficient use of space because you can’t collapse them or move them out of the way. If you have more space than the bare minimum and have room for some machines, that’s great. Get your weights set up and see how much space you actually have left.

[quote]gcourtois wrote:
I understand as far as free weights and bodyweights exercises go a 20 * 20 feet room would be comfortable enough.[/quote]
A 20x20 room, preferably with at least an 8 foot ceiling, will be plenty of room if you take some time to lay it out efficiently.

Priority-wise, I’d say to aim for: Olympic barbell, weight tree, squat stands or power rack, adjustable flat/incline bench, adjustable Olympic dumbbell handles, doorway pull-up bar, pulldown/low row combo, leg extension/leg curl combo, cable attachment handles (rope, single-D, close grip V, etc.).

Start at the front of that list and work your way down, adding pieces as finances allow. Where do you live? It’s usually more cost-effective to buy local when you can, rather than dealing with shipping fees for all the heavy crap.