T Nation

Putting Together Apartment Gym


I'm putting one together and am looking for recommendations regarding what basic equipment to include, models of equipment, and ingenious solutions to the size problem.

I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend. We use the other bedroom for a study room and there isn't enough free space anywhere for an Olympic sized barbell. I'm figuring I'll buy something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Systems-Short-Olympic-Bar/dp/B000JGEK3I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328110289&sr=8-2 , an adjustable dumbbell set, a floor mat, an ab wheel, and I already have a pull-up bar.

Other suggestions? BTW,it can't be loud and it can't be larger than a couple feet.



This will fit into any apartment... or closet.


lol. My boyfriend's mom got one of those. Thankfully it broke before either of us had to see that. I'm pretty sure some person with serious weightlifting experience developed that as a joke and then discovered that it never had to end.


I will work you out a few times a week.


Also, this boyfriend of yours...I hate him. He needs to go away.


Do you have a vehicle? You could keep stuff that you can do in a park or parking lot in the car, like prowlers or sleds, farmers walk stuff, and sandbags, etc. If you can't set up a pull up bar in the apt you can always do those at a park/playground too.


I want a truck SOOOOO bad. But, alas, it's just a small car for now. The pullup bar is already set up and getting used.

I like your idea about taking equipment to different locations for workouts. I've always wanted to deadlift on a mountain. I don't know why; it just crosses my mind when I start a hike. I'm planning on working out in the "shared" front yard during the summer and debating whether or not to get bumper plates.

I think if I convert my bedroom into a half-office, half-workout space, I can get an Olympic barbell in there, but I'm a little concerned about something going wrong in the middle of a workout and accidently putting a hole in the wall or floor.

Has anyone else done the apartment gym before?


Gym membership anyone?



BTW I've been doing daily exercises at home in addition to my gym workouts and my mentality is so much more focused and positive when I do them (plus you can workout naked and blast whatever music you want) that I've decided never stepping foot in a gym again would be worth the space cramp.

If gyms have ever bothered you in any way (which, from the squat rack curls threads, I'm guessing applies to 90% of the people on here), I recommend working out at home.


Get some heavy bands and position some eye bolts discretely and strategically so as to not detract from the aesthetic qualities of the room.

Make sure that they can also double as attachment/binding points for bdsm play.



That's a good idea!


For the first three years of undergrad I lived in an apartment that had just enough room in a screened in porch for a power rack, plus an apartment gym that was shitty by itself, but perfect for finishing up with accessories. I loved it. The next year I moved into a house across the street from a real gym and started just going to the gym. It's worth it imo for the extras that you'd find, unless you have the funds to create a very nice home gym.

If you are serious about lifting weights and can't at least fit a power rack in your apartment then I'd get the gym membership and just do ancillary workouts at home... BW exercises, prehab stuff, bands, core work, yoga, etc. That way you can still get in quality workouts but also have the ability to squeeze in a serviceable substituted when needed.


I'm attending college right now and have access to a very recently built, 3-story, state-of-the-art rec center. However, as I mentioned, I REALLY prefer working out at home. Between heavy bands, a barbell, rack (not full cage), adjustable bench, and adjustable barbell, I think I would be able to do most of my work at home.

The only thing I do regularly that I wouldn't be able to do with that set-up would be leg-press. What exercises did you find that you couldn't do at home?


Gotta door?


Can you dedicate the spare room for equipment and put the office desk or what ever in a living room? I previously lived in a one bedroom place and put my bed and everything in the main living area and my bench/weights etc in the bedroom.

As for the leg-press, I got a smith machine a while ago that I do vertical leg-presses on, it was cheap and takes up little room, I'm also planning on attaching a pulley to the top of it.


There were some articles a month or so ago about unilaterial leg work. I tried some, worked well. Ben Bruno's articles often rely on weight-vest loading, straps, rings, and boxes. Stuff you should be able to use in conjunction with your pull-up bar. You can get straps/webbing at outdoors stores for pretty cheap, also online.

A Bulgarian bag, inner tube and sand, can be useful.

If you do not mind doing front squats for legs, I would suggest building a pressing log. I built my own using pretty basic tools (ax, hatchet, hammer, chisel, etc.) with the addition of some black pipe and leather. I put pins on the end so I can add weight. Chains work as well. Plus, they are also good for cleaning and pressing.

EDIT: My next pressing log is in my avi.


Just get one of those electronic ab belts to work your abs while your on the couch watching TV.


If it's a ground floor apt. I'd raise the option of adding a small addition.


A gym membership.


get a garage and put all the shit in there?