T Nation

Setting up home gym

I’d like to set up my own home gym. I was thinking of buying a squat rack, and an adjustable bench (90 to 180 degrees). Does anyone have any suggestions on what else would be good to own? Also I’m interested in which brands are good and which have been flops. Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I would like to set one up as well … eventually as cash becomes available. I like going to the gym but some of the equipment I want is not there. I have given it some thought and here is what I would want, in order:

  1. Reverse Hyper Extension Machine - first because one does not exist in any gym near me.
  2. Power Rack with chin bar
  3. Lots of free weights, bars and dumbells
  4. Good adjustable angle bench …
    I think the previous items would let you do everything … Other things I would add in the future include a Glute/Ham Raise machine and a weighted adjustable height cable pull for various other exercises. …
    See Louie Simmons reverse hyper machine. Powerlift has some nice racks (mentioned in a previous article www.power-lift.com).

Other things I’d recommend:

  1. “Powerblocks” dumbells. Expensive but worth it.
  2. Good heavy duty rubber mats for deadlifting.
  3. Make sure your squat rack has a good chin bar attached to it.

I have the same stuff you’re talking about plus the above, there’s really nothing I want to do that I can’t right now. My next purchase will be an Eleiko bumper set and bar, and then make a platform, but I gotta save my pennies for that.

If your rack doesn’t have attachments for ths, a dip stand is very useful, as is a low pulley for seated rows (sorry, bent over rows just aren’t the same to me).

#1-Powerblocks - work great, take up no space and are worth every penny.
#2-Power Rack with chin bar, plate loaded high and low pully
Combine these with an Olympic weight set and an adjustable bench and you are 95% done. The rest is just icing.

I’ve had my home gym for about 8 years now. I made a free standing power rack out of 4 x 4’s, using cut 1 in. barbells with 3 in. diameter washers welded on the ends for the long and short pins. The materials cost less than $100, and it’s indestructible. Plus, you don’t get that annoying squeek when you slide the pins in because it’s riding on wood.
For dumbells, I bought a pair of handles called Smartlocks, from a company call Tru Mark out of Colorado. Combined with the standard free weight plates, you can build them up to 80’s, and the whole deal cost me about $350 less than power blocks. Plus the design of them is amazing, very fast and easy to change plates.
Good luck!

This post comes up every once and a while. I have a home gym and would not join a gym ever again. I have a power rack (with pull up bar), plate loaded lat pulldown / row machine, Power blocks, oly bar and alot of weight, COC grippers, a swiss ball, a stationary bike, I made boxes (ala Dave Tate), two five gallon gas cans (plastic) filled with sand for farmers walks, I made a dip bar with threaded pipe, made a weight tree with a 4x4 three pipes and a couple of 2x4’s, med balls, jumprope, adjustable bench, I made a bench that locks onto the pins of the power rack to do reverse hypers, that about covers it. I could do any exercise program with very little adjustment. Good luck, get the power rack, oly bar and weights, and power blocks first!

My home gym: Power cage with pulley at top and bottom (no chin though) adjustable bench, olympic weight set, misc attachments for the pulleys (row handle, wide grip pulldown bar, etc) pre-formed dumbells in increments from 10 lbs to 100 lbs and two dumbell racks to hold them. Treadmill, bike and a gazelle (ok, tony little sucks, but this is a descent piece of aerobic equipment). I also found a six pack of mirrors at walmart that are 1 sq ft each. I bought several packs and put together a 36 sq ft mirror. This was cool because I could make the mirror whatever size I wanted and could get around my chair rail moulding. I consider the mirror and important piece of equipment since it doesn’t let me cheat on form when I’m tired. The only thing I wish I had is a chin up bar and one more bench. It would be easier for both of us to work out at the same time then. I still go to the gym on occasion, but I mostly use my home gym. Kinda feel like I’m only paying a gym membership for tanning. I doubt I’ll renew next January.

What do you guys think about Bumper Plates?

Why are Powerblocks so great? It seems like some plain dumbell handles and olympic plates would be just as good and a whole lot cheaper.

I’m a strength coach by trade, but I sell equipment for a large company spanning northern Ontario. Because of our unique geographical position and virtual monopoly on fitness equipment, we have access to literally every major brand in the world.
A squat rack from Parabody is a great investment. However, I like the TuffStuff f/i/d bench (TMP75) - firmer cushioning, better support across the traps, higher weight rating.
I’d also recommend looking for some PowerBlocks. They work out to about the same as dumbells, but save a TON of space and are better balanced than a normal dumbell. You can also use them as kettlebells, of which most folks aren’t aware.

HOpe it helps. Email me if you have any questions about different brands.

Chris

my set up looks like this: olympic bar 400lbs of wieght, oly DB handles, heavy duty collars, adj bench, chin/dip bar, squat rack, med ball, floor mats, jump rope and a sled for draging around. I love my home gym.

I like the Nordic trac alot!..just kidding. I am about to invest in the same kind of set up. I just gotta get a big ass rubber mat so I don’t kill my carpet.

What do you guys use for claves?

PowerBlocks, def. worth it if you can put out the money, they would be the first thing that i would buy.