T Nation

My Home Gym

I’ve decided to something I’ve always wanted to do, have my own home gym. Here’s the deal: I’m going to purchase a bunch of equipment and train people out of my own house, mostly high school athletes and possibly some middle-aged (20-35) men and women. The equipment I already own includes an olympic bench set with 300+ lbs. of weights, a curl bar, a pair of standard weight spin-lock dumbells, 50 lbs. of standard weights, an evil wheel, and sadly enough the Ab slide (for my wife). Obviously I don’t have much so here is what I’ve decided that I need to get: a good power rack with safety pins (preferably one with a chin-up and dip station), wooden boards or gym mats to stand on for squats etc., an adjustable good bench (flat, incline, decline), another pair of standard weight spin-lock dumbbells, 100 more lbs. of standard weights, a 6’ (25 lb.) olympic bar, a stand to hold weights with, and a swiss ball. I’ve thought of 75+ exercises I could do with this equipment and that excludes exercises with the swiss ball and exercises that do not use equipment. Once I get enough money I’ll replace my standard dumbbells with some Power Blocks and I might possibly get a T-bar Row and a Preacher bench. So the questions I have you guys are these: Is this enough equipment to train people with? If not, am I forgetting anything important that I should purchase? What is a good power rack to buy (I’m willing to spend $500 or more on it)? All suggestions are welcomed and thanks to anyone who replies to this thread.

i forgot to mention that I’m going to buy some cool stuff like the Captains of Crush (grip), a Sting Ray for front squats, and the EZ-grips by Ivanko. Of course, I wouldn’t be buying all this stuff if I wasn’t going to use it myself. I figure I can make all my money back with about 2-4 weeks of training people.

check out The Fitness Factory. They have a web site as well

Man sounds like alot of equipment and alot of money to me. It depends how you’re going to train. You said you will be training middle aged women. I dont think that they will utilize the bench press so much, military press or so much weights to a certain extent. My suggestion is to invest in a stairmaster(women love that) or a treadmill or something because they would want to prob lose weight or tone up right?? About the weights for the high school kids and middle aged men, what I was going to say is that even if u had a bench rack only with a bar, anyone who u train can get big. U dont really need so much fancy equipment. If u think about it, bench press works chest, tris. shoulders, and a little lats. The bar or dumbells can be used for military press. A pull up bar is ideal for back. An Ez-curl bar or dumbells is ideal for arms and can be used for more things. And last but not least squats is really all u need for legs. A bunch of free weights could cover all your needs so my suggestion to you would be to save your money on all the fancy stuff and stick to the basics, for the women, invest in a machine or two if you’re real serious about it. Just my two cents.

In general people like to work arms I think a good preacher bench (make sure angle is steep enough) and a cable machine would complete your gym

Been there, done it . . . Here is what I recommend (I’ve made alot of shitty equipment choices on the way to this setup - wasting alot of money until I got the “good stuff”): For Benching/incline benching/squating (with total safety) get a good squat cage - Body Solid makes a good one with a small footprint. Parabody makes a great Incline/Decline Bench that’s solid as commercial equipment - You’ll find that the cheaper benches will be harder to bench on! Also, get a Lat Pull machine - once again Parabody makes a real solid one, just make sure the quality is good. Of course the obvious barbell/plates/etc - Note, the cheaper the barbell (Olympic), the more flex it has - You’ll notice it as it will be harder to bench 300 at home than in the gym (at least most gyms use a higher grade bar). Protect your floor with 3/4" rubber flooring, this really comes in handy! Make sure your selective on your dumbells - don’t get shit like bolinger/weider/etc - their made for old ladies & wussies (they simply can’t handle much above 50 pounds without breaking). Get a preacher attachment for the Parabody bench - it’s as good as most dedicated units (no kidding, this one is nice). Don’t worry about the powerblocks, unless you’re tight on space their just high priced dumbbells.

jdmiami, if you think about it, what exercises/equipment would a gym have that i wouldn’t to accomodate a middle-aged women’s needs or wants? free weights and a swiss ball is pretty much all i need. these women don’t need the leg abductions and all that horsecrap. shoot, i’ll walk a few miles with them for cardio or ride a bike with them and write them their diet and they’ll lose the fat. thanks for the tips jim. i refuse to get a lat pulldown machine. that’s just a waste of money. my clients will be doing chins and pull-ups only. where can i find the 3/4" rubber flooring? more suggestions welcomed. thanks.

If you’re going to be training people in your home don’t forget about insurance. All you need is someone getting hurt, suing your ass and next thing you know the home and gym will belong to someone else.

Scott-You can find the rubber mats at a farm supply or tack (horse) supply place…They run about $30. for a 4x6 at 3/4" thick…Do you have access to a welder or any buds w/ one??Make your own Eq…I made a kick ass reverse-hyper for $160.00!! Slip into a gym with a tape and build it yourself…Run a add for weights and treadmills (dime-a-dozen)…Going to check out powerblocks this weekend… I’ll let you know how they are…

Scott: This isn’t really equipment, but if you live in America, you had better purchase it; an Umbrella Policy and/or insurance to cover you should someone be injured in your home. That will probably be more important than the type of Power Rack you buy. Make SURE it’s on your list, then go for it!

Do I really need insurance? Can’t I just have them sign a liability waiver saying that I’m not responsible for injury, death, etc.? That’s what I’ve done in the past. Since they’re younger than 18 years old, I’ll have they’re parent/legal guardian sign it to. Maybe I’ll just ask my dad, he happens to be a lawyer.