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Home Gym Set Up Question

For anyone with home gyms. I have a shed that is approx. 330 sq/ft and I want to make it into a home powerlifting gym. What suggestions would you have for equipment (besides the obvious rack, bench, etc) in this type of space? I don’t want it too crowded but still want it practical enough to get the job done. Would like suggestions based on your mistakes or what worked for you. Thanks.

You could get more complicated, but just a bar, bench, and a rack are pretty much the only thing that are absolutely necessary. A set of adjustable dumbbells is a good addition too.

There’s a couple of good
home gym threads in t-cell alpha(with good ideas) here’s one:

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/my_home_gym_4

What type of training are you going to be doing in your home gym?

BBing? Strongman? PL?

330 sqft is pretty decent sized. You could put a lot of stuff in there if you plan it right.

A good rack is a must. Most racks have a pullup bar already attached to them. Many have the ability to add a Lat Pulldown/Low Row attachment, so that may be a consideration. Or you could get a seperate Lat Pull/Low Row tower depending on you budget. You can do a ton of movents with that combo.

Get a good sturdy bench (adjustable), and a decent bar obviously. I picked up a weight tree for cheap money, and it keeps the weights off the floor.

The adjustable DB handles are pretty useless in my opinion. If you’re on a budget, then they’ll do the trick, but I got a pair and they are big and bulky when loaded up, and make a lot of exercises difficult to do. If you’ve got the money, get a real set of DB’s or at least a set of adjustables from www.ironmaster.com There are some other brands out there like powerblocks but you can’t drop them without the pins bending/breaking.

Some rubber flooring is a must if you are going to be dropping any weights and/or DLing at all. You can pick up some mats from an exercise equipment store, or pick them up at a farm store outlet.

A lot of my equipment is specialized for Powerlifting, so I could get into the details, but if you aren’t PLing, a lot of it would be overkill. (chains/bands/boxes, etc.)

[quote]Modi wrote:
A lot of my equipment is specialized for Powerlifting, so I could get into the details, but if you aren’t PLing, a lot of it would be overkill. (chains/bands/boxes, etc.)
[/quote]

I agree with except, with space potentially being an issue, bands can be a decent alternative for cables. Almost anything you do with cables, you can do with bands.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
Modi wrote:
A lot of my equipment is specialized for Powerlifting, so I could get into the details, but if you aren’t PLing, a lot of it would be overkill. (chains/bands/boxes, etc.)

I agree with except, with space potentially being an issue, bands can be a decent alternative for cables. Almost anything you do with cables, you can do with bands.[/quote]

Agreed, but band tension is much different, as you probably know. The bands tend to load up where the lift is the most difficult on a lot of movements. Cable tension feels much different.

He’s got a lot of room considering it’s a home gym. He should be able to pack everything in there if he’s smart about it.

Mine is probably around 250 sqft, and I was able to get a bunch of stuff in there.

[quote]Modi wrote:
malonetd wrote:
Modi wrote:
A lot of my equipment is specialized for Powerlifting, so I could get into the details, but if you aren’t PLing, a lot of it would be overkill. (chains/bands/boxes, etc.)

I agree with except, with space potentially being an issue, bands can be a decent alternative for cables. Almost anything you do with cables, you can do with bands.

Agreed, but band tension is much different, as you probably know. The bands tend to load up where the lift is the most difficult on a lot of movements. Cable tension feels much different.

He’s got a lot of room considering it’s a home gym. He should be able to pack everything in there if he’s smart about it.

Mine is probably around 250 sqft, and I was able to get a bunch of stuff in there.[/quote]

Oh, I understand the point about band tension. I was going to mention it in my post, but didn’t feel like typing it all out. I just wanted to throw it out there for an option. I don’t even know what kind of gym he’s trying to build.

I have the following in one bay of a 2 car garage:
Crepinsek power rack with 8x8 base
Hex DBs 5-120
Reverse Hyper Pro
GHR
chest supported row
various bars (3) power bars, SSB, ez curl
Lat pulldown/low row
700# of plates on two weight trees
full set of bands
adjustable bench
probably a couple things I’m missing

Yes its crowded and I occasionally have to move something around but it works til we move somewhere with more room.

I just bought the ironmaster DBs and really like them. I had hex dbs to 65lbs and sold them. I needed to go up to 120lbs at least and that was going to cost a fortune. Do your self a favor and check out Ironmaster before you buy anything. I have their bench and DBs and really like them. You may want to look at some of the attachments for the bech. I didn’t need them.

Adjustable DBs

Bands

Saftey squat bar - gread for GMs

Landmine for doing Tbar rows - I made mine out of plumbing pipe.

Different size foam rollers for doing Manpon presses.

Incline ab board - I also use this for Reverse hypers in my rack.

Lat PD/ low pulley machine - I would just use your rack for this. All you need is a loading pin, some PVC pipe, a strap or rope, and your imagination.

An old tire/rim filled with sand to carry around.

A small stability ball full of water to carry around.

Some rocks or sement blocks to throw around.

I definitely second the Ironmaster Quick Lock dumbbells, especially when space is at a premium. There is a lot of good information and tips in this thread as well:

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/home_gym_the_costbenefit_analysis

If I built my home gym all over again, this is what I would do (I currently have many of these things or comparable equipment in my home gym in less than 250sq feet of space in my garage). I don’t have a GHR or Prowler at the moment, but I plan on getting them sometime this year or early next year:

  1. Elite power rack with lat/row attachment (I have a Body Solid with lat/row attachment - no complaints!!!).

  2. Ironmaster Super Bench (attachments optional, but I do recommend the dip bars and ab attachment. I have all of the attachments except the chin bar).

  3. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells (I have the add-on kit so I can go up to 120lbs each).

  4. Olympic bar and 300+ pounds in weights (I also have a Texas Power Bar).

  5. Deluxe Glute-Ham Bench (on my wish list for this year - probably buy it during the Elite sale this November/December).

  6. Prowler (Want it! will buy soon. Only have an Elite sled right now. Works great!).

  7. Bands, med balls, boards, foam roller, Blast-straps, various attachments for lat/row attachment.

  8. 4’x6’ Rubber mats (get from feed store). You’ll need at least two to put under the power rack. You can also get additional interlocking mats to put around the power rack.

  9. Chalk.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
5) Deluxe Glute-Ham Bench (on my wish list for this year - probably buy it during the Elite sale this November/December).
[/quote]

Get it! I got mine a few months ago from Elite, and it’s a great piece. Built like a tank.

Sweet!

Is it easy to adjust? Seems like it won’t be an issue even for a short guy like me.

I’ve been wanting it for a long time! And it should go on sale soon (they only do it once each year).

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Sweet!

Is it easy to adjust? Seems like it won’t be an issue even for a short guy like me.

I’ve been wanting it for a long time! And it should go on sale soon (they only do it once each year).[/quote]

Yep. It’s got adjustments for how high you want your feet and how far back from the knee pad. It adjusts with a pull pin (probably 6 or 7 holes to choose from) and has 3 screw handles to tighten everything up so it doesn’t have any rock to it. (2 screws on the length and 1 on the height).

It takes about 5 seconds to adjust it. The diamond plate footplate is pretty burly, and plenty wide, and the step on the bottom is very useful for getting into position. The band holders look strong as hell, but since I get plenty of work with just body weight, it will be a while before I use them!

The split pad design is good if you want to have children in your future.

I was wondering about the split pad. So I should go for that rather than the regular one? I wasn’t sure what the purpose was of the split pad.

The diamond footplate and step were some of the reasons I wanted the Deluxe model over the basic GHR bench.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
I was wondering about the split pad. So I should go for that rather than the regular one? I wasn’t sure what the purpose was of the split pad.

The diamond footplate and step were some of the reasons I wanted the Deluxe model over the basic GHR bench.[/quote]

Some people say it doesn’t bother them with the regular pad. I didn’t want to risk it. I foam rolled my nut once while working my quads. It was like getting punched in the sack by my big brother all over again.

It’s definitely a nutsaver. It’s a big investment dollar wise, but you’re only going to buy it once if you get it from Elite. If you’ve got the money, I’d pay for the upgrades.

Thanks for the input. The R2 Combo Rack from EliteFTS is something I have my eye on. I train for powerlifting so I feel I have plenty of room for a rack and bench. Everything else will be just to fill the gaps.

I do want a reverse hyper and have instructed all people in my life to buy all the metal weights they come across at garage sales so I can start welding together a complete DB set. Thanks again.

[quote]Glenn Claybo wrote:
Thanks for the input. The R2 Combo Rack from EliteFTS is something I have my eye on. I train for powerlifting so I feel I have plenty of room for a rack and bench. Everything else will be just to fill the gaps. I do want a reverse hyper and have instructed all people in my life to buy all the metal weights they come across at garage sales so I can start welding together a complete DB set. Thanks again.[/quote]

Ok, since you are PL’ing, here are some of the things that I have in my setup (a little smaller than yours)

Power Rack (not Elite - oops)
Adjustable Bench (0 to 80 degrees)
Weight tree with 900+lbs of weights
Adjustable Oly DB Handles
Jump Stretch Bands (2x-mini,light,avg,strong)
Iron Woody Chains (10-5/8" chains w/leaders)
Cybex Lat Pulldown (commercial piece)
Bunch of Handles (LPD,Rope,Narrow Grip,etc.)
45 degree Hyper
Elite Deluxe GHR
Texas Power Bar
Piece of crap Weider Oly Bar for Rack pulls (already bent)
Elite Yoke Bar (SSB)
Treadmill
12"/14" Box Squat Box
2ea-2" boxes,4" boxes,8" boxes (for elevated pulls)
Chalk & 1 gallon pail

That pretty much covers the basics. I made the boxes for Box Squats and Elevated pulls from 3/4" plywood with a 2X frame. I got my flooring from a gym equipment dealer. I didn’t have to pay shipping, just waited for it to come up on the next truck. 4x6’ sheets of 1/2" rubber flooring, and I just double it up if I’m going to DL off it.

Some of the stuff I was able to get cheap from gyms upgrading equipment, some stuff I got for free for simply going to someone’s house and removing it (i.e. Treadmill)

Use craiglist and search frequently. Ebay is good too, if you localize your search.