UPDATD 5/22: We recently upgraded our HQ Gym Facilities. We want to help you upgrade yours.
For many people building a home gym is becoming more and more of a priority. As the COVID19 pandemic goes on longer and longer, it is becoming apparent that just “waiting it out” isnt working. It’s time to get up off the couch and move to the living room floor, basement, guest room or wherever your personal sanctuary of fitness is.
While the thought of creating a home gym can be intimidating, it doesn't have to be. We are here to help!
Whatever your budget is, Whether its $100, $500, several $1000, or somewhere in between, it is very manageable. Afterall your health and sanity are at stake.
Lets start easy
$100 (Or Less!) Home Gym Range - $
Let's start with some bare essentials. Add ass many of these inexpensive but effective training equipment options as you can.
Mini Bands: $10 - $20+. They are a wonderful tool that will add a good deal of tension for a variety of exercises. Keep in mind that the cloth bands will last longer than the rubber ones, but are a little more expensive.
Bands: Honestly these are a must! They are where you want to start. There are just so many things you can do with bands. Basically, any exercise you would use a cable machine for you can interchange with bands. Seriously, It is a no brainer. Especially if you ever travel again you'll thank us. If you ever expand your gym, and want to use your bands as accommodating resistance we recommend you get the either the TRX or JR Bands.
Sliders: $10 - $20+. Are a great tool to add complexity to your bodyweight exercises. Sliders work on either your carpet or wood surfaces. Rubber however doesn't work so well.
Exercise Ball: $20 - $40+. Known as Swiss or Stability Balls, these are a great tool for your core. Plus they can be used as a poor man’s “bench”. One thing to keep in mind when buying an exercise ball is make sure you get the correct dimension or size relative to your height.
Pull Up Bar: $35+ Every guy needs one. But ladies should do pull ups too. These are just great for upper body and core training. Bonus tip once you have this you can add a TRX (more on this later) to it and you've got a compact whole body gym. Here two options we think you will love.
Jump Rope: About $10. We can't forget conditioning! This is about the cheapest “cardio” machine you can get. But it’s beautifully effective!
Flossing Bands: $20+. Yes bands again (you'll see bands later as well). These are a bit different than the mini bands we showed you earlier. They are great for mobility work. Especially warming up and rehabilitating the shoulders. They have many other uses too.
$100 - $500+ Home Gym Range - $$
Ok so let's move things up a notch. Say you have a little bit extra to spend on your home gym. You could go one of several ways here. You can do a combo of TRX Straps + Adjustable Dumbbells, or you could go with a Landmine Attachment + Barbell & Weights. Both are solid options that provide variety and effective training.
TRX Straps: $200+ The first thing you should invest in is a TRX Suspension System. This one tool can seriously do it all! One of the hardest muscles to work at home is the Back. Pulling and rowing movements are difficult to replicate without a gym or weights. But the TRX Suspension System was invented specifically for that purpose. We can't recommend this training tool enough!
Adjustable Dumbbells: $350+ Dumbbells are the first weight lifting equipment we recommend. In a perfect world every client would have a TRX and a pair of Adjustable Dumbbells. They are so versatile and effective. Being adjustable means you don't have to have hardly any room to store your equipment. Most are 5-50 Lb but we have included some options that are even heavier.
Woman's Glute Gym: $225 - $500. Ok so if you are a woman and you are interested in building your own home gym, then this is your section. It is no wonder that one of the best female trainers, Bret Contreras, also makes some of the best glute focused and female oriented training equipment. For less than $500 you can get a some great staples for your home gym. You'll love looking at the rest of the equipment in his line up HERE. But these are some of our favorite recommendations.
Landmine Attachment: $225 - $325. It is not that expensive but this tool will add so much to your training. It is an amazing tool for how small it is. The value you will get cannot be stated enough.
$1000+ Range Home Gym - $$$
Now that you got your feet wet, let's start building the type of gym that will make you never miss the corporate gym. Use all that gym membership fee money you are saving and spend it on yourself. Build a gym you'll want to live in. After all it is your Home
Adjustable Weight Bench: $125 - $545. A weight bench is a staple piece in any legit gym. You will be using your bench all the time. So do not go cheap here. Also, if you are going to buy a bench, make it an adjustable one. Here are a few options. The Vulcan is the one we like best for heavy weight price considered.
Squat Rack & Cage: $795+ A squat rack is a sign that you are ready to move some weight! The sky is the limit here. You can choose all kinds of options and styles. All the companies on this list make quality and great designed equipment that will last whatever you throw at it. We cant help but be a bit biased to the Dark Horse Rack!
Olympic Barbells: $135 - $500+. If you have a Squat Rack then you need a solid Barbell. Here are few good choices. You'll want to do some homework here since there are a lot of options. But these Companies all provide products you cant go wrong with. If you really get stuck, Just go with a Rouge Ohio Bar.
Olympic Weights: If you are going to do any kind of weightlifting in your gym. You will need Weight of course. For all your Olympic Weight needs we highly recommend Weight It Out . These guys deliver an amazing product. Seriously, the best quality we've seen. Most weight plates are made from bulky iron and the weight itself can actually vary quite a bit. But Weight It Out plates are calibrated and made from steel. Also, they are only 3/4" thick. So you can stack them way easier and they take much less room. Perfect for a home gym setup where space is limited but durable enough for a commercial gym. Plus these guys are a small American Made Company in the Midwest with excellent customer service. Make sure to use code DARK6 for 6% off your entire order!
Cable Machines: $1,640 - $7,750. These are definitely your most expensive machines but if you have the room in your budget they are very much worth it. Free weights are great and certainly should be utilized. However there is a different feel to cable machines that is very joint friendly and a must if you are a serious Physique Athlete or just favor Bodybuilding. The best is a Freemotion Cable Machine. But 2 Cable Stacks, or even a High Pulley Lat Pulldown/ Low Cable Row Machine will be well worth your investment. Trust us, Yes we have a Freemotion Cable Machine In our HQ Gym.
Assault Bike: $775. Conditioning. after a jump rope if you want to get serious about conditioning there several options. The safest and easiest is with an Assault Bike. There are many options but for the price and durability the Rouge Echo Bike is the best option. A bike requires the least amount of guidance and is the more "natural" movement. You can just focus on effort, and yes we have one ourselves.
Rowing Machine: $900 - $2705. The other great option for conditioning is a Rower. Its a great total body workout. The Concept 2 is the way to go. But if you have very rich blood we have given you another option. For more info on picking up the right rower for you can check out this article: https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/best-rowing-machine.html
It is worth noting, that there are few items that are worth having. Maybe they are not essential but they do make training more fun, Interesting, and fun!
Specialty Bars: These provide different grips and center of balance adjustments that vary the training effect and demand on the body. There are many different options and companies that make these bars. We list just an option so you can see what it is.
Kettlebells: Similar to dumbbells but provide a very different feel that allows you to do such exercises as Kettlebell Swings and Turkish Getups.
Medicine Balls: These are a great tool for athletes, weekend warriors, or those that are looking to add some power development to their training at home. Read golfer and all rotational sport athletes NEED this. Yes we have some, of course.
Reverse Hyper / Glute Ham Developer: If you are serious about working the Poster Chain, as in your back side, then look no further GHD's (Glute Ham Developers) are simply amazing. But even better in our opinion are Reverse Hypers. Reverse Hypers were invented to rehabilitate injured low backs. Trust us, they are a life saver if you are a serious lifter. Our favorite for the size and money is the Westside Scout.
There you have it! We have done our best to get you started with planning your home gym! Don't feel like you need to stay in the bounds of the price ranges we set out. It is just a way to start organizing all the hundreds of training tools and equipment available to you. Go ahead and mix and match any of the ideas we presented to customize things to your personal taste and needs.
Even better, ask for our help. We would love to help you set up a home gym you are proud of that will serve you and your family for years to come.
Your health is worth every bit of money you can spare. But building your home gym doesn't have to leave you bankrupt. Whatever your budget is we have you covered. Even if all you have is your body we can provide you with a solid workout program.