T Nation

Home Gym

I am in the process of assymbling my home gym and I am looking for comments on what I am missing or Including (ie. smith press etc…).

Linear Bushing Smith Press w/ Flat Bench Pull Up Station Dip Station Seated Row Station

OR

Flat Olympic Bench Press Squat Rack Pull Up / Dip Station Seated Row Station

7' Olympic Bar 5’ Olympic Bar 5’ Olympic EZ Curl Bar 6-45 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates 2-35 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates 2-25 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates 2-10 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates 2-5 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates

5-110 lb Power Blocks Dumbells Flat / Incline / Decline Bench

Swiss Ball Weighted Jump Rope 10lb Medicine Ball 53lb KettleBell AB Slings Dip Belt 70 lb Heavy Bag Speed Bag Stretching / Sit Up Pad 6’ x 10’ Rubber Mats 10’ x 10’ 2- 20” Plyo Boxes

Treadmill Concept II Rowing Machine Recumbent Bike w/ HR Monitor

AS always your comments and opinions are greatly appreciated! KraigY

  1. If the choice is between Smith MAchine or free-bench/squat rack system I’d choose the latter EVERY time. Smith machine IMO has very limited applications, and the potential to cause a muscle imbalance, injury, reduced strength gains for the big lifts due to it’s limited range of movement.
  2. Rest of your choices sound great (if you’ve got the money and the space!!). The weight choices are good- having enough 45’s is the main thing, then 2 of everything smaller will give you every combo you need.
    Power blocks are a great choice (don’t have them myself yet, but would like)- universally praised at T-mag.
  3. WRT cardio. If it’s a choice between ergo and bike, I’d take the concept any day. However, be warned! If it’s a mild warm up, or cardio on the off-days, choose the bike. You will find if you use the Ergo properly it’ll leave you as sore as a weight workout! (Have you seen the bodz of Olympic rowers? Man, their upper body and quads are awesome!)Not good if you’re weight training the next day and need recovery time! Of course the rower technique needs to be learned for maximum benefits, but this doesn’t take long (especially with some tips from an expert).

I’m still of the opinion that you’re always gonna want something more, so training at a commercial gym makes sense (also for the help and comraderie). But if that isn’t an option, you’ve certainly got the right ideas to get started.Good luck, SRS

I know you’re right about the smith press. It is just nice when you don’t have a spotter and it is a hell of alot cheaper to buy the combo unit than to buy all the pieces seperately but I think I’ll just slowly buy the proper equipment.

I have wanted a Concept II rower for some time now but the are like $ 700.00.Someday!

Thanks Again, KraigY

Flat Olympic Bench Press Squat Rack Pull Up / Dip Station Seated Row Station …how about an incline/decline bench?also,as for plates,it always seems that you need a few extra 10lb and 5 lb plates especially if you liek to keep the bars loaded liek the ez bar.i hate haveing to strip teh bars of plates jsut to move onto the next exercise.keep atleast 4-10lbs,4-5lbs and get 4-2.5 lbs as well for micorloading.tehy are great for curls and tri sets among other things like the cuban rotation where you cant just move up 10 lbs!
as for the gym it self.definetly go with the rack!no doubt thatit will serve you much better.i just went thru all this in july and know first hand what your going thru.as for the dip station,if you have the room ,you can get a vkr taht will give you the dip staition,knee raise station and the pull up station in one piece of equipment.as for bars,i like to use a 6 foot bar in the rack for side clearance reasons and i like to have a 5 foot bar for doing military press ,wrist curls and a slew of other things.i keep a seven foot bar on the mats for deads,shrugs and other heavy exercises.you will need a few extra 45 lb plates or 100 lb plates to leave them loaded depending on your strength.i am also a bit fanatical about keeping everything as ready to go as possible before i start my workout.i think this save alot of time in teh gym and you can get in and get out without spending all your time loading bars and setting up stuff.keep it organized and set yourslef up for the next workout to save time while working out.obviously some stuff you have to move around and load while your working out but you shouldnt ahev to be stripping your squat bar of plates just so you can do your deads or shrugs etc.
sounds like you have a few bucks to invest and all teh other stuff looks like good choices.ply boxes seem to be an ongoing problem for me since you always need a different size.in my experience you need two of each size from 12/15/18/21/24 and so forth.i usually build teh low ones from wood or use other crates i have etc.also,get your slef some good quality 3/4" fllor mats for teh gym.tehy make for a nice area to drop dumbells or weigts if needed.best of luck!!

Re: spotters and the power rack. If you use the pins correctly, you can train pretty safely without a spotter.

Whenever I visit my family I try to use the “home gym” we have, which consists of a standard bar and 175lbs of weight. needless to say, I’ve thought alot about home equipment, what with having to use an elaborate combination of electrical tape and twine to make sure I didn’t drop the bar on myself.

Always go for a 7’ olympic bar; if you need a light load, get an EZ bar. The 5’ “standard” bar is a piece of sh!t, almost impossible to use for anything involving momentum (e.g., olympic lift). Get a bench with a “guide” a good couple inches above the actual pins, because otherwise you’ll spend most of your time under tension on the last 4 inches racking the bar safely. get 45lbs plates for sure, and, again, 2 of all the smaller ones. A weight tree, while unnecessary, is much more useful than the “pry-the-weight-off-the-floor” technique.

I think a single power rack would be the best, safest, most versatile bet. Like Christian T. says, I don’t think very highly of any sentence that includes “on the smith machine,” but I know they’re cheap.

Recently I’ve become a big fan of medicine ball work for GPP and rehab. I have a 20lb MB, and I’m already looking to buy a 30lber and a 40lber. The point being that if you’re going to get one, I’d go with one heavier than 15 lbs. Check out the selection over at elite fitness systems, they have MBs going up to 150lbs.

There’s a good book called “Men’s Health Home Workout Bible” by Lou Schuler (Editor) and Michael Mejia (Editor). It pretty much describes all that you need, which isn’t much. Just say NO to Smith machines.

Nix the 70 lb heavy bag. 70 lbs will be way to light. Go for a 100 lb bag or more (a Thai style “banana” bag would be the best).

Dr. Squat, Fred Hatfield sells a “natural” Smith Machine that is supposed to move like you would normally move with freeweights. Also there are some squat machines out there that are more natural than the Smith. Finally you can do belt squats.

If you are looking for some pointers on the development of a home gym set up, I would definately consider the content of two particular articles by Dave Tate on his website (www.elitefts.com). These articles are titled “Sick of your Gym” part 1 & 2. They are definately worth a read!!

However at a cursory glance, baring the inclusion of the smith machine (personal bias here)it sounds like your proposed equipment inventory is quite comprehensive and it should provide ample opportunity for you to take your lifting to a new level!