How To Build a Home Gym
The benefits of having your own home gym not only can result in drastic improvements for your physique, but building a home gym saves you time it takes to commute to the gym, eliminates the excuses you make for yourself to not go, and takes away the distraction of other people you would normally have to share gym equipment with. Most men don’t utilize most of the weights and workout machines their fitness establishments offer in the first place, resulting in wasted money that could be better spent investing in longer-lasting personal fitness assets. After all, investing in your own health, appearance, and longevity are the most worthwhile and long-lasting investments of all, and although the initial purchase of home gym equipment can be immediately expensive, money will be saved long-term by pocketing your monthly gym membership fees.
Mental barriers are a common obstruction to achieving personal fitness goals, specifically finding the motivation to drag yourself to the gym after those long hours spent in the office on work days. By designing your own home gym set, there are no longer any excuses you can use to not exercise. You will also find relief in knowing that you won’t be wasting time and money commuting to and from your gym, using dirty gym showers, and sharing locker space with other gym-goers. Most importantly – you can wear whatever you want! There are no fitness attire restrictions when it comes to working out at home, taking stress and time away from dressing yourself for the gym.
One of the biggest benefits of acquiring home workout equipment is the ability to rid yourself of those self-conscious thoughts we all encounter when working out in front of others. It can be distracting knowing that someone is behind you during your sets, waiting for you to finish up on whatever machine you are using. Perhaps you are not fully confident in your workout form or technique for a new exercise you have learned, and you find it distracting or feel self-conscious when others watch you complete your sets. Anyone who has set foot in a gym has felt these feelings of self-consciousness, and this is entirely normal. However, distractions take away from our ability to physically perform our best, and this can be avoided. These home gym ideas are designed to help you collect the essentials you need to build the body you are looking for in the privacy of your own home, wearing whatever you want, taking as long as you want on your own exercise equipment.
Finally, before we dive into our list of the best home workout machines and equipment, it is imperative to mention that working out at home is not an excuse to slip up on your form, or develop lazy habits. Therefore, it is highly suggested to use a stopwatch to time between your sets to ensure that you are not taking too much time between workouts. You can also design your home gym with mirrors to keep an eye on your form, making sure that you are using the best movements to build muscle while avoiding injury.
Without any further ado, here are 30 essential home gym equipment to help inspire your home gym ideas!
Least Expensive Home Gym Equipment
Let’s start with some easy wins that should be a no brainer. These items are priced under $100, and take up little to no space at home, while offering a variety of functions for your home workout routine.
Muscle Groups: abs, core, arms
Not all gym equipment has to be expensive, and a yoga mat is a perfect example of this. I use my yoga mat daily to perform my abdominal workout routines, push-ups, stretching, and other core-focused exercises. The best part about investing in a yoga mat is that they incur little to no cost at all, with most priced at around $20. I personally prefer moisture-resistant, rubbery mats that are on the thicker side, providing more support to my hip bones when performing rigorous abdominal workouts. Sometimes when I find myself in a time crunch, I will run through my ab routine with my medicine ball on my concrete apartment floor, which would be highly uncomfortable without adequate cushioning from a yoga mat that is thick enough.
Solution: Amazon offers this Thick High Density Yoga Mat that I have found to be extremely functional – small enough to store under your bed or roll up into your closet, while also providing enough thickness and support to workout comfortably when exercising on a hard surface like concrete.
Buy it now on Amazon: Thick High Density Yoga Mat
Muscle Groups: primarily abs
Another reasonably-priced home workout product that you can use every day during your abdominal routines is the medicine ball. I incorporate my 12-pound medicine ball into my abdominal workout daily as well, although the benefits of this home workout gear does not stop at the core. You can also use your medicine ball for glute and whole leg workouts by rotating movements such as overhead lunges, medicine ball squats, single-leg squats, and more!
My favorite medicine ball exercises are the medicine ball crunch, Russian abdominal medicine ball twist, and the hardest – the med ball boat balance, during which you must balance the ball on your shins while balancing in an upward crunch. Like the yoga mat, a medicine ball typically shouldn’t cost you more than $40, and they tend to last a lifetime.
Solution: Amazon offers a Sports Performance Medicine Ball that comes in four different weight options: twelve, ten, eight, six, and four. For most beginners who are new to incorporating the medicine ball into their ab routines, yet not new to doing ab workouts in general, an 8-pound ball will be the most functional. I personally use a 12-pound medicine ball, but it took me two years of regular use with lower weights to get up to 12.
Buy it now on Amazon: Sports Performance Medicine Ball
Muscle Groups: shoulders, back, glutes, core, legs
Most people don’t have an abundance of space set aside to dedicate to a home gym, especially for us apartment-dwelling city folk. Therefore, the kettlebell weight is a perfect answer to the need for space utility, providing many different opportunities for types of exercises and muscle benefits with such a small piece of equipment.
The most common workout people use a kettlebell weight for is the Russian kettlebell swing. This is a multi-muscle targeting workout, engaging the shoulders, back, hips, glutes, and legs. By guiding the bell in continuous swings between your legs up to eye-level height, you are providing 5 big muscle groups with a rigorous and cardio-intensive workout, all at the same time. You can also incorporate the kettlebell into your ab routine.
Choosing an appropriate weight is contingent on your fitness goals – if you do higher reps (the amount of times you swing the bell each timed set) with medium weight, this will help you develop lean muscle while simultaneously burning fat. If you choose heavier weights with a lower amount of reps each set, this can help you achieve larger muscle mass. For men in average to decent shape, or if you are just beginning, I would suggest starting with a kettlebell that is between 30-35 pounds. For men who are more experienced and in better shape, I recommend training with a kettlebell that is between 45-50 pounds.
Solution: Amazon offers a standard, heavy-duty Rep Kettlebell. These come in weights starting as low as 2 pounds, and go up to 106 pounds.
Buy it now on Amazon: Rep Kettlebell
Muscle Groups: cardio
Again, in line with doing our best to save you space and show you the best-value equipment possible, one of the smartest and most cost-efficient home gym essentials is the jump rope. Although I do not personally engage in heavy endurance cardio immediately before my workouts, I like to warm up my muscles with 5-10 minutes of medium to high-intensity jump rope. This encourages blood flow throughout your entire body, preparing you for heavy lifting, abdominal crunches, or other exercises.
Some people who rely on heavy cardio for a substantial portion of their workout routines entirely replace the expensive, age-old treadmill with jump rope. When jumping rope, you are fully in control of the intensity and length of your sessions, and can time these sessions using a stopwatch to oscillate between high-intensity and recovery periods. With jump rope you can easily burn just as many calories as you can while running on a treadmill, depending on intensity and length of workout.
Solution: Amazon offers a Premium Quality Jump Rope. Honestly, you don’t need anything fancier or more expensive than this.
Buy it now on Amazon: Premium Quality Jump Rope
Muscle Groups: back, biceps
This is by far the least expensive piece of equipment that can help you achieve improvements in your back muscles. This is one of my favorite home gym essentials because you can achieve significant improvements in personal fitness with such little investment. Most doorway pull-up bars are anywhere from $50-$100, and can offer similar, if not better targeted back workouts than expensive gym machines.
Most doorway pull-up bars offer at least two grip types – a closer grip where your elbows will both face forward, as if you are protecting your face in a boxing match. The other grip will be a wide-angle, where your elbows face outward, parallel to your shoulders. It is important to find a pull-up bar that offers both grip options, because each provides different benefits for your muscles. The wide-grip pullup will target the muscles in your back, shoulders, and biceps, while reducing strain on the forearms and biceps, while the close neutral-grip hammer pull-up will target your lateral muscles and biceps.
Solution: Amazon offers a Total Upper Body Workout Bar that is designed for most standard doorways. This pull-up bar also offers both grips I mentioned above – ideal functionality at a super low price.
Buy it now on Amazon: Total Upper Body Workout Bar
Muscle Groups: biceps, shoulders, glutes, back
Not to be confused with a barbell bar, the weighted workout bar is typically padded with foam to provide comfort and use for reasons other than bench presses. Depending on the weight class you choose, these bars are highly functional across a wide variety of workouts, from single-arm bent-over rows to exercise your back muscles, to standing shoulder presses. They can also be used for squats, lunges, and calf raises, and are fantastic for people who are less interested in building huge muscle mass, but instead are seeking a lean physique.
I personally use these for my forward shoulder raises, keeping my arms straight in front of me, gripping the bar as I raise it from my legs up to eye-level, making a 90-degree angle between my arms and the rest of my body. I make sure not to bend my back during this movement to ensure that I am activating my shoulder muscles.
Solution: Amazon offers a Weighted Workout Bar starting at 5 pounds, up to 30 pounds. I would recommend purchasing two – a heavier one you can use for your lunges, squats, and other leg exercises, and a lighter one that you can use for your arm exercises. I personally use a 30-pound bar for all my exercises, however this might be too much for someone new to weighted workout bar training.
Buy it now on Amazon: Weighted Workout Bar
Muscle Groups: stretching back and leg muscles
I would like to point out that this is one item not specifically designed to build muscle, but when used effectively can help prevent injury and muscle strain. Foam rollers are used to stretch out your back muscles and legs, helping to stimulate blood circulation to speed up muscle recovery. I prefer ones that have foam spikes – these help to break up muscle scar tissue and painful knots.
To use a foam roller, find a flat surface and space where you can roll your full body on the ground. I typically start by putting all my weight on the roller beginning in my upper back, and rolling to the mid-back region. You can do the same motion if you wish to stretch out your upper leg muscles which can be difficult to stretch, starting on your side with the foam roller near your hip, and allowing your bodyweight to guide yourself forward, moving the foam roller closer to your knee.
Solution: Amazon offers a Textured Muscle Foam Roller that offers the foam spikes I mention above. You will notice that there are three sizes – the half size version, and the 22-inch, and the 30-inch. I recommend either the 22 or 30-inch, as this will provide you with more mobility when working on stretching out your back.
Buy it now on Amazon: Textured Muscle Foam Roller
Muscle Groups: full-body functionality
Resistance bands are by far the most underrated and under-utilized piece of gym equipment that, when used correctly, provides you with one of the safest and most effective targeted workouts. Unlike traditional weight training involving heavy free-weights or machines, resistance bands allow you to perform the same strength-training movements with equipment that is easily portable, less expensive, and far less heavy.
When traveling, I like to bring two sets of bands with me – one with medium resistance and one with higher resistance. I can simulate bicep curls by holding the middle of the high-resistance band under one of my feet while standing upright, and using each end grip to pull up in a bicep curl motion. I also simulate overhead shoulder presses in a similar manner, holding the band under my feet while pulling the grips over my head, activating my shoulders and arms. Along with upper-body movements, resistance bands can be used to activate the core and abdomen, as well as legs when used properly.
Solution: Amazon offers Quality Resistance Bands which can be bought as a set, or individually by resistance. Given how inexpensive these bands are and the necessity for varying levels of resistance, I recommend investing in the full set.
Buy it now on Amazon: Quality Resistance Bands
Muscle Groups: cardio, legs
If you have ever been to cardio boot-camps or CrossFit classes, you are probably already familiar with the step platform. These can be used for box jumps at varying heights that make for an excellent cardio workout, but can also be used with dumbbells to do weighted step-ups.
I sometimes use these for decline push-ups, placing my feet on the step while pressing into push-up form as I normally would from the ground. This provides more natural resistance from your body-weight than you normally achieve with regular push-ups.
Solution: this gym-standard Original Step-Up Platform is the same piece used in classes and gyms, and comes with four standard riser blocks, making the height up to 8 inches when using all the risers it comes with. However, this can be adjustable up to any height you want simply by buying additional Step Platform Risers. Your box jumps will require a higher surface, so I would recommend purchasing between 10-14 risers, so you are able to continuously increase your jump height as you continue to train and improve.
Buy it now on Amazon: Original Step-Up Platform
Muscle Groups: forearm, grip strength
The forearm is a muscle group that is often overlooked during gym sessions, overshadowed by the focus on larger muscle groups that exercises like squats and the bench press target. However, the forearm is one of the stronger muscle groups in the body, and is perhaps one of the most visible. Most importantly, we are constantly using our forearms for gripping, lifting, and maneuvering.
When I first started lifting, one of the biggest issues I would encounter when performing weighted lunges was my inability to maintain a continuous grip on heavier barbells. Completing my lunge sets was not an issue due to leg strength, but I simply couldn’t hold the heavy barbells for extended periods of time. I soon learned that this was due to my inadequate grip strength, which I found to be easily solvable with the right equipment.
Hand grip strength trainers are kind of like stress balls on steroids – they provide much more resistance when you try to clamp down, and your forearm muscles feel exhausted afterwards. Regularly performing grip strength training will end up benefiting you in your other workouts as well, making it easier to maintain grip for longer periods of time.
Solution: Amazon offers a Hand Grip Strengthener with an adjustable resistance range from 22-88 pounds.
Buy it now on Amazon: Hand Grip Strengthener
Muscle Groups: abs, glutes, core
Another inexpensive, easy-to-store, multi-functional home gym equipment essential is the exercise ball. This equipment has recently gained more widespread traction for its use in offices as replacements for chairs, due to the benefit it can have on posture. However, in a workout and home gym setting, the exercise ball can literally be used for any major muscle group in the entire body. For example, it is commonly used for back extension movements – for this exercise you lay your body belly-down on the ball with your feet on the floor, bending at your hip (not the back) to raise and lower your upper body in continuous movements.
This gym equipment piece can also be used for leg exercises such as lunges, squats, hamstring curls, and more. I most often use the exercise ball to activate my core and abs. I usually sit on the ball and find a wall to firmly place my feet against, with the soles of my feet against the floor and my toes touching the wall. This provides leverage when lifting your upper body in a crunch motion, bending only at the waist.
Solution: Amazon offers a high-quality (and highly-reviewed) Exercise Ball in multiple sizes. The ball comes with a pump, and can be easily transported while on vacations or trips.
Buy it now on Amazon: Exercise Ball
Mid-Price Home Fitness Equipment
Once you have built out your multi-functional and easily transportable gym using our suggestions above, or you already have those items and are looking for more heavy-duty workout solutions, the following ten items are for you. This workout equipment is slightly less easy to transport and slightly more expensive, but are still a best-use of space. These machines are less than $1,000 and can be used for multiple exercise movements.
Muscle Groups: biceps, shoulders, chest, full leg workout (weighted lunges)
Chances are you have used these at one point or another, assuming you’ve stepped foot into a gym before. Dumbbell free-weights are an extremely effective way to target the biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and even the back muscles if you know the right movements. The best part about these guys is they are on the easier side to store, and can be taken apart and hidden under your bed or in your closet when necessary.
Personally, I find myself using dumbbells most often for incline bench press, whereby I use the bench to create a 45-degree incline, and press the weights above my chest to the full extension of my arm length. Although bicep curls are an obvious use of this machinery, another great movement I often use them for is the dumbbell row, keeping the length of my back parallel to the bench while raising the weight (one arm at a time) up to my chest, activating my back muscles. On certain days I also use 50-pound dumbbells to do walking lunges, providing an intense leg exercise for my glutes, calves, and other upper-leg muscle groups.
Solution: Amazon offers an extremely reasonable Adjustable Dumbbell Set for the weight class that goes up to 60 pounds. I would recommend this option so you get the versatility of being able to use the full 60 when working on stronger muscle groups such as the chest, but can lower and adjust your weight to accommodate weaker muscle groups.
Buy it now on Amazon: Adjustable Dumbbell Set
Muscle Groups: to be used with barbells and dumbbells for various chest-focused movements
A weight bench will truly become a significant cornerstone to your home gym once you start building out room dedicated to more permanent pieces of equipment. When buying a weight bench, it is imperative to make sure that it is adjustable – the bench must have the ability to be set perfectly parallel to the floor, and adjustable at increasing increments of approximately 15 degrees up until a full 90-degree angle. This will ensure that you have the full functionality to use it for overhead shoulder presses with the highest 90-degree angle, traditional bench press while the bench is parallel to the ground, and incline bench press when it is at a 45-degree angle.
I always find myself using the weight bench and adjustable dumbbells together for movements such as the incline bench press, dumbbell row, shoulder press, and more. Additionally, if you eventually decide to incorporate larger pieces of equipment into your gym like the adjustable barbell bench press machine, you will need this weight bench to use with it.
Solution: Amazon offers a Super Max Weight Bench that is adjustable at all angles mentioned above.
Buy it now on Amazon: Super Max Weight Bench
Muscle Groups: used to support chest, glutes and legs (squat movements), lower back (deadlift movements)
Fitness equipment retailers often sell multi-functional bench press machines that can also be used for weighted squats, which is a lucrative idea to save money while getting the most out of your machinery. The bench press and the squat are two of the most effective workouts to build muscle mass quickly and efficiently, targeting several of the body’s largest muscle groups. When investing in a bench press machine that also offers squat functionality, it is important to make sure you can adjust the height of the bar to accommodate your body when you are lifting in a seated position, and when you are standing to perform your squats. A bench press machine will typically involve a metal “cage” that will house the safety bars that hold your barbell when you are not using it, a long barbell on which you can increase or decrease your weights, and the adjustable weights themselves that slide on and off the barbell.
Not only can you use this machine for major movements like squats and bench pressing, but I often take the barbell off the rack altogether and perform deadlifts, activating my lower back muscles and glutes. You can also adjust your bench up to a 90-degree angle to do overhead barbell shoulder presses.
Solution: Amazon offers a multi-functional Super Max Power Cage that contains the adjustable cage mentioned above, and comes either with or without a bench.
Buy it now on Amazon: Super Max Power Cage
NOTE: the bench press cage does not come with the actual barbell and weights. For this, I recommend the Olympic Weight Set. This includes the barbell, and high-quality cast-iron weights up to 300 pounds. Most sets on Amazon only include adjustable weights up to 100-130 pounds, which will not be enough for your heavier movements like bench presses, deadlifts, and squats. This set provides the functionality up to 300 pounds, and can be adjusted down for lighter movements like the overhead shoulder press.
Buy it now on Amazon: Olympic Weight Set.
Muscle Groups: used to support chest, glutes and legs (squat movements), lower back (deadlift movements)
If you read about the bench press machine I mentioned above, you already know that you can use one equipment piece to accomplish both major exercises. I suggested the Super Max Power Cage that can be used not only for bench presses, squats, but also for barbell overhead shoulder presses, deadlifts and so much more. As mentioned above, you will also need the actual barbell and weight set, and for this I recommended the Olympic Weight Set with adjustable weights up to 300 pounds.
I do want to mention an add-on you might want to consider to make your squats more comfortable. When squatting using heavy weights on your bare shoulders, the barbell can feel extremely uncomfortable against your shoulder bones. I always use a barbell cushion to help evenly distribute the weight of the barbell across my shoulder length, which is less distracting and far less painful.
Solution: Amazon offers a super standard Barbell Squat Pad. You really don’t need anything more complicated or expensive than this.
Buy it now on Amazon: Barbell Squat Pad
Muscle Groups: used to support chest, glutes and legs (squat movements), lower back (deadlift movements)
I am relisting the same pieces of equipment used for the squat machine and the bench press, just in case you are skimming this article to find an equipment piece based on exercise movement. Again, I recommend the Super Max Power Cage to hold your weights and adjust the height of your barbell, and the Olympic Weight Set that is adjustable up to 300 pounds, which should be more than enough for your deadlifting needs.
Your deadlifts and squats should be two of the heaviest, strongest movements you endure during your workout sessions, which is why it is important to invest in a weight set that is adjustable beyond 100 pounds. Even as a beginner, most men outgrow the 100-pound weight limit rather quickly when it comes to squatting, deadlifting, and even bench pressing.
Buy it now on Amazon: Super Max Power Cage
Muscle Groups: triceps, biceps
This fitness equipment piece is like a full-size barbell, but shorter in length and symmetrically bent in the middle of the bar. A curl bar provides the functionality to do several types of barbell curls using different grips, activating various arm muscle groups. Like the regular barbell, it is important to purchase a curl bar weight set that is adjustable up to at least 70 pounds for men – this is equivalent to curling 35 pounds per arm, but is made easier since one bar is supporting the weight.
Your curl bar can also be used for skull – crushers, which is an effective workout for the triceps. For this movement, you lie flat on your back on your weight bench, and hold your weighted curl bar directly above your forehead. You then extend your arms full-length above you, at which point you should feel your triceps activating.
Solution: Amazon offers an Olympic Curl Bar with weighted plate sets up to 115 pounds. I recommend starting with the 95 pound set as this will give you the functionality to increase your weight limit several times before needing to buy additional weights.
Buy it now on Amazon: Olympic Curl Bar
Muscle Groups: chest, back, biceps, abs
Using your own bodyweight as a means of resistance training is not only one of the most effective ways to work out, but also one of the safest. Like everything else I have mentioned on this list, for this category I want to suggest a multifunctional piece of equipment you can use for several movements, and most chest dip machines also offer pull-up and abdominal workout functionality. Performing routine chest dips can be an extremely effective way to target your chest and arm muscles, while using your natural bodyweight as resistance while performing pull-ups can help to dramatically grow your back and bicep muscle groups.
The best part about this machine is that it includes a back rest, pads for your elbows, and hand grips to perform abdominal leg raises. I sometimes switch between using the arm rests and hanging from the pull-up grips when performing my abdominal leg raises.
Solution: Amazon offers a Power Tower Chest Dip and Pull-up Machine that offers all the functionality I mentioned above.
Buy it now on Amazon: Power Tower Chest Dip
Muscle Groups: cardio
Although I place a great deal of attention on resistance and weight training exercise equipment machines in this article, I do also recommend a few items that are ideas for cardio sessions. Investing in a punching bag is not only relatively inexpensive, but it provides an excellent method of relieving stress and engaging the cardiovascular system. Sometimes I prefer to break up my lifting sets by increasing my heart rate using the punching bag, or even using this as a means of warming up before my workouts. To save yourself time, money, and energy, invest in a punching bag set that comes with heavy duty punching gloves to protect your hands. Also, make sure your ceiling can hold 70 pounds or more.
Solution: Amazon offers an Everlast 70-Pound Punching Bag complete with punching gloves, a bungee cord, and hand wraps. If your ceiling cannot hold a bag this heavy, or you live in an apartment that does not allow you to bold punching bags to your ceiling, you can purchase the Everlast Heavy Bag Stand that will hold your bag in place without the need to bolt it to your wall or ceiling.
Buy it now on Amazon: Everlast 70-Pound Punching Bag
Muscle Groups: abs
There are many different variations of this machine, but the idea here is that you are using your own bodyweight to roll your bent legs in an upward motion toward your chest, providing a precisely targeted abdominal workout. To activate your side abs, you can also orient your legs (while bent) to your left or right, while rolling your knees up to your chest in continuous motions.
I like to perform long, sweeping motions, lifting my knees up to my chest over 5-second intervals, and lowering them back down again. Doing this movement slowly will provide further resistance for your abs, making your movements more effective and difficult.
Solution: I recommend the Ab Coaster Max from Amazon. Although there are fancier and more expensive machines out there, this one will provide you with all the functionality you need at the best price.
Buy it now on Amazon: Ab Coaster Max
Higher-Priced and Larger Home Gym Equipment
For those of you who have more space available to invest in higher-priced machines that take up more space, these items could elevate your home gym set to the next level. These items are designed to target multiple muscle groups by offering various movement options. If you are an apartment management company building out a gym for your residents, or a homeowner dedicating a rather large room to your personal gym, these pieces of exercise equipment might be ideal for you.
Muscle Groups: total body conditioning
I love this machine because you can target nearly every major muscle group in the body using a wide variety of motions with one piece of equipment. I most often use the cable fly machine for my chest cable fly extensions, but it can really be used for almost anything. You can lift the cables up to chest level keeping your arms fully extended to engage your shoulders. You can do forward back backward leg kicks to exercise multiple leg muscle groups. The cable handle height is also adjustable on both sides, allowing for various degrees that also help to activate different muscle groups.
Solution: although there are fly machines out there that cost thousands of dollars, Amazon offers a Powerline Cable Crossover machine. Keep in mind that this machine does not come with the weights, so you will have to use your Olympic Weight Set to adjust for higher or lower resistance.
Buy it now on Amazon: Powerline Cable Crossover
Muscle Groups: cardio
If you are going to invest in a cardio machine, I highly recommend an elliptical/stair machine over a traditional treadmill. These cardio machines put far less stress on your knees and joints, and are better at activating and burning fat in your glutes and other leg muscle groups not targeted by treadmills. Like treadmills, elliptical machines offer adjusting resistance levels, and can also time your workouts and measure your distances each session.
Solution: Schwinn offers a highly durable and multi-functional Elliptical Machine on Amazon.
Buy it now on Amazon: Elliptical Machine
Muscle Groups: full-body
If you are ready to take the next step to building out your home gym and invest in a machine that essentially serves most of functions the equipment previously mentioned offers, you will probably want to consider what I call an “all-in-one” home gym machine. These machines often go by various names, but the idea behind them is that they offer solutions to the major exercise movements so you don’t have to buy lots of individual pieces to serve the same function. These are a more cost-effective solution to someone building their own home gym, and most are warranty-protected and offer financing options.
Before investing in an all-in-one home gym, it is important to make sure that it offers the ability to perform all the major workout movements you need. It must offer a bench press, squat functionality, cables to pull cable flies, the bench must be adjustable up to 90-degrees, and it must offer some form of a leg extension or leg press. Many name brands like Bowflex offer these at high prices, but I personally think the best option is offered by a lesser-known brand called Marcy Diamond.
Solution: I am confident that the best option for an all-in-one home gym machine at the most competitive price possible is the Marcy Diamond Smith System offered on Amazon. This machine offers all the functionality I mentioned above, including various grip types, a warranty, and highly adjustable bar catches. Unfortunately, this all-in-one machine (like most of its kind) does not come with the adjustable weights, so these must be bought separately. If you do not already have a set to use with this machine, Marcy Diamond identifies the XMark Olympic Plate Weights as guaranteed to fit.
Buy it now on Amazon: Marcy Diamond Smith System
Gym Accessories and Other Add-Ons
These items are often overlooked when building a home gym, but these little accessories can be annoying to exercise without, and oftentimes help to keep you safe.
These little guys hook onto the ends of your barbells and curl bars to make sure the weights don’t slide off the end during your sets. They are especially useful if you are squatting without a spotter and you slightly lose your balance. Dropping weights can result in broken toes and injured feet, and we don’t want that to happen.
Solution: these Olympic Barbell Camps are the best solution on Amazon, and work with any standard-size barbell. They also come in a bunch of fun colors to brighten up your gym.
Buy it now on Amazon: Olympic Barbell Camps
Calluses can be annoying and painful, and are very common in weightlifters who don’t protect their hands during their sessions. You can even develop calluses using low-quality gloves, which is why it is important to invest in a quality pair that will last you awhile.
Solution: Trideer makes Anti-Slip Weight Lifting Gloves that are available on Amazon. You will notice that they offer sizes small to extra-large. I am a 25-year old man who has about average hand size, so a medium size fits me just right.
Buy it now on Amazon: Anti-Slip Weight Lifting Gloves
When working out, you should constantly be hydrating to keep your muscles working their best. I use the same protein shaker bottle to carry my water during my workouts that I use for blending my pre-workout drinks and protein powder. These should be at least 28 ounces in size, large enough to supply you with about an hour’s worth of water while exercising.
Solution: BlenderBottle offers a super standard Shaker Water Bottle on Amazon. Make sure you like the color you choose – you will be using this every time you work out.
Buy it now on Amazon: Shaker Water Bottle
These can be used to enhance your workouts by adding extra weight to either your ankles or wrists while exercising. By wrapping this extra weight around your wrists or ankles, you are simply creating more resistance and weight to lug around with you while going through your other exercises, making your workouts even more intense. You can even wear these while walking around the house, or hide them under your jeans or pants while at work to get a continuous workout when you aren’t at the gym.
Solution: Amazon offers a quality pair of Ankle/Wrist Weights available in weight as low as 1 pound per wrap up to 5 pounds per wrap. I recommend going after the heavier options if you plan on primarily wearing them while in the gym, and buying lower weights if you wish to wear them for an extended period of time, whether at work or on walks and runs.
Buy it now on Amazon: Ankle/Wrist Weights