I get asked often which pieces of equipment I would recommend for a home gym. In my belief, a home gym should focus on the following priorities:
Always the first priority, whether you work out by yourself, in group or with a trainer. Make sure your equipment is attached well, assembled well, you know how to use it and it has been maintained properly.
You should know how to use it, therefore pick something you’re comfortable with. Also make sure it fits in the room well and it’s not an inconvenience to use it – because if it is, you won’t use it.
3. Mental Motivation
This one is often overlooked. You should look forward to using it. If you hate running on the treadmill but heard sprints are great for you, the investment made is not worth it. Think about what you want to accomplish, what you like to do and what you would like to be better with / at. A home gym should be a motivating environment and choice of equipment is a huge factor.
4. Ease of Use
This ties in with convenience. Just in case, make sure you know how to use the equipment. If you don’t, make sure you at least have someone who can teach you properly OR get a workout program which takes you through one step at a time.
This will determine what you purchase and install. Good news though, you don’t need to spend a ton to get an amazing home gym.
This might be my most important one. The home gym has to scream ‘workout’, has to be inviting and has to put you in the right mindset. The mental motivation is not only about equipment, it’s also about the layout of the room, the wall colors, what’s on the walls etc.
Now that you have an idea of what we’re looking for, I’ll cover the first part of how to make a great home gym: equipment. These are my 5 favorite pieces of equipment to add to a home gym. If you want something else, go for it! Just keep the priorities above in mind. In the next few blog articles, I will cover some other aspects of the home gym.
– TRX® Suspension Trainer
The TRX Suspension Trainer is probably the most versatile tool in the fitness industry. As a trainer, I can train a 24 year old football super star and a 98 year old with limitations side to side easily, simply because the suspension trainer offers such a level of adjustments. The main downside of the suspension trainer is the learning curve. It takes time to learn the correct technique and you have to be very strict on your form. Unfortunately many coaches also oversee many of the important points of technique.
– Kettle Bells
Kettle Bells are fantastic tools which you can use for a lot more than just swinging. Technique is key and get a few different weights. Don’t forget to get some doubles as you need pairs of the same weight for many exercises.
Free weights are king. If you want to have a strong, lean athletic body, you have to lift weights. Resistance training can be accomplished with the other pieces of equipment as well but heavy lifting (yes, even for you ladies!) is done best with free weights. I personally like the PowerBlock Dumbbell Set as they save cost and space.
A weight bench is needed for free weights exercises, as well for a large amount of body weight exercises and plyometrics.
– Yoga Mat
Finally, a cheap one! A yoga mat can be used for several things: yoga of course, body weight exercises, plyometrics, anti slip for TRX exercises etc. Yoga or regular stretching should be in everyone’s routine – yes even for you big fellas. It’s crucial for injury prevention and can offer amazing benefits in mental relaxation, digestion, spine health and so much more.
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.