T Nation

Outfitting Home Gym for Cheap

Hey Everyone,

Looking to outfit myself a small gym at home (well apartment for that matter), probably not going to have a garage, its going to be more like part of a room, or hopefully in the future a room. Also might be moving in 6-8 months (most likely another apartment) so going to need stuff that is pretty portable, not too bulky and space consuming but strong.

I’ve gotten some of my best results in the past training at home as it seems to be my perfect time filler at home (which makes for some high frequency training and “greasing the groove”) and also something very motivating and yet peaceful about having your own personal training space.

I’m looking to cover only the essentials like dips, squats, pull ups and not much more than that. I’m looking to move more into body weight/Gymnast type training, but still want to do squats (deads and o lifts wouldnt fly too well in the apartment).

I work as a strength coach and personal trainer and at the moment work at a Gold’s Gym so during the day I have access to a lot of equipment (and do train during the day) but as you guys know, there is something about being able to train at home whenever you want, and I know I would do it a lot more (plus training at work sometimes can be a buzz kill…especially at a corporate type gym)

I currently have an olympic bar with 300lbs in the garage at my parents place (yes I know I definitely need to get more weight at some point), a couple of KB’s (a 53 and 88 pounder), an ab wheel, a couple of those carpet gliders.

I’m hoping to outfit it for a few hundred bucks max, but definitely want something that is going to hold up (about 220 myself). The first that jump to mind are elitefts and iron mind (especially the Vulcan Rack Set Up) as far as quality is concerned and know that they can have some good deals, but do you guys have any other suggestions or know of any other place I should be checking as well as stuff I may be leaving out? I’ll probably start perusing craigslist soon (insert casual encounter joke here) but any other resources or ideas would help a ton. Thanks guys.

If you are close to Los Angeles, there is a local place here (Global Fitness) which resells used or reconditioned commercial gym equipment. I have gotten a few good pieces of equipment for my gym there, and I have seen a number of power racks in their warehouse.

Yo Ski, you really want to put a power rack in your apartment? How much room do you have…it must be one hell of a pad! As a Devils Advocate have you thought that maybe if you want to bust a move you’d be better off doing a few body weight exercises … try working upto a single arm push up and a single leg squat.

I just spent a couple grand at MDUSA, a little above what you’re looking to spend, but well worth it in my opinion. They’ve got a special on bumper plates and a bar for about $1,300. Also got a standard power rack for like $600 bucks. Shipping was free on the weights and like $160 on the cage.

http://www.muscledriverusa.com/Pendlay-Black-Elite-Bumpers-HD-Bar-185kg-Set-Free-Shipping_p_1729.html

http://www.muscledriverusa.com/Pendlay-Power-Rack_p_2459.html

[quote]skiburr wrote:
Hey Everyone,

Looking to outfit myself a small gym at home (well apartment for that matter), probably not going to have a garage, its going to be more like part of a room, or hopefully in the future a room. Also might be moving in 6-8 months (most likely another apartment) so going to need stuff that is pretty portable, not too bulky and space consuming but strong.

I’ve gotten some of my best results in the past training at home as it seems to be my perfect time filler at home (which makes for some high frequency training and “greasing the groove”) and also something very motivating and yet peaceful about having your own personal training space.

I’m looking to cover only the essentials like dips, squats, pull ups and not much more than that. I’m looking to move more into body weight/Gymnast type training, but still want to do squats (deads and o lifts wouldnt fly too well in the apartment).

I work as a strength coach and personal trainer and at the moment work at a Gold’s Gym so during the day I have access to a lot of equipment (and do train during the day) but as you guys know, there is something about being able to train at home whenever you want, and I know I would do it a lot more (plus training at work sometimes can be a buzz kill…especially at a corporate type gym)

I currently have an olympic bar with 300lbs in the garage at my parents place (yes I know I definitely need to get more weight at some point), a couple of KB’s (a 53 and 88 pounder), an ab wheel, a couple of those carpet gliders.

I’m hoping to outfit it for a few hundred bucks max, but definitely want something that is going to hold up (about 220 myself). The first that jump to mind are elitefts and iron mind (especially the Vulcan Rack Set Up) as far as quality is concerned and know that they can have some good deals, but do you guys have any other suggestions or know of any other place I should be checking as well as stuff I may be leaving out? I’ll probably start perusing craigslist soon (insert casual encounter joke here) but any other resources or ideas would help a ton. Thanks guys. [/quote]

I’m all about the home gym but I don’t see the point for you. You’ve got a gym and your life situation justifies staying light on possessions for easy moves.

I had a setup like that in my garage. I had bumper plates, a decent bar, a cheap squat stand, rings, and a stud bar pullup bar that mounted right into the studs in the ceiling. I had a prowler too.

I’m pissed I sold all of that stuff.

Rings are useful as you can use them for a ton of stuff, and they are a bit better than blast straps for some movements.

Have you considered rent a storage space ans set up there? Or do you specifically want it right at home?

This unit is pretty cool, and you can do a ton of useful exercises with it
http://www.theg2scart.com/Garage_Gym_Squat_Dip_GHD_p/ggs-sdgp.htm

Hey everyone, thanks for all the feedback.

To respond to everyone in one quick shot

  1. Not trying to put a power cage in the pad, that would be quite baller, haha. Just some stands, with some saw horses or something as makeshift pins. I have been doing body weight stuff at the house but that said pounding out hundreds of body weight stuff gets old as I’ve always been about strength work. While I plan to do some high rep body weight stuff I would like the option to be able to work on max strength stuff, i.e. weighted dips and squats.

  2. I hear what you are saying about having the stuff at work, but with that said I don’t always have time to work out and this place isn’t the best atmosphere to train…lots of goofy shit going on, sometimes have to wait a while for squat cages and racks, platforms, chin bars, etc. (most of the time with people doing stupid shit like curls or shrugs, or cable crossovers), the music is awful there, and lets just say that I am in SF and its a Gold’s Gym so the clientele there is particularly “light on their feet”, not that it bugs me at all…but that said makes for not the best training atmosphere, so home would be much preferred, no distractions.

Also don’t want to spend my breaks at work as i typically do morning to noon and then a few at night which would mean I’m there all day so very mentally draining.

  1. That sucks man, sound like an ideal set up to me. Whoever got all that stuff sounds very lucky to me. Yeah I definitely want some rings at some point although I don’t have anywhere to put them up now, although hopefully some day I will.

  2. The storage space idea is intriguing, and something to keep in mind as far as being able to move out on my own and train clients in a space with some cheap rent…but the idea is to be able to train at home whenever I would like without having to leave, being able to hit some tough sessions and also supplement that with filler, like “my steak has another 3 mins…I can do another set of squats or dips” idea. Or between commercials during a game or what have you. Certainly a more productive usage of time compared to snacking or wanking off.

  3. That squat/GHR/Dip station looks like exactly what I would need right now. I’d be able to squat heavy solo, do rack work, dips, glute hams. That would be perfect, thanks a bunch definitely going to look into that one…especially at less than $500…what a steal!!!

Have you used this brand yourself? It looks sturdy in the pic although I’ve never heard of the brand myself and if I’m resting a heavy weight on something and positioned under I need to know its gonna hold.

  1. As far as the moving, you’re right I don’t want something too big, but something I can fit into a corner, and could easily come apart and be shipped would be ideal as the idea is to get the first few pieces of what I’m hoping to be a pretty kick ass home gym at some point down the line.

Thanks again guys for the feedback and ideas. Now it looks like I have some more stuff to look into.

Oh and another thing I forgot to get at. I have been working on trying to get my one arm push ups up more, and the pistol squats also, but sometimes the option to do some other stuff really helps as far as results and boredom, but very good point indeed.

I realize these are very tough body weight movements, which would definitely fall under “strength work” and I would love to be able to do those for high reps and much harder body weight exercises even down the line, but not quite there yet…especially with the pistol squat as the strength isn’t the issue as is the balance so working my squats with weights is a better option for me at the moment…plus they are fun as shit, haha.