The Joys of A Home Gym

As a home gym-user for most of my workout life, I am a great advocate of this highly convenient setup. It saves money, it saves time, and most importantly, it allows me to bench press in my pyjamas.

I know that many of you appreciate the idea of a home gym, but are unsure where to start, deterred by concerns of expense and space requirements. But let me assure you- these excuses are unfounded. My setup was bought out of my pocket money, and lives, in its entirety, in the corner of the spare room. I”ve affectionately nicknamed it “Gym Corner”.

Here it is, immediately post workout and in a bit of a mess. The strange cardio contraption (which I use to hang resistance bands, lifting straps etc) belongs to my father, and is not an active feature of my “Gym Corner”. And no, dad doesn”t use it either…

home gym

Gym Corner was born of circumstance, having moved away from where I”d been previously attending a regular gym. In my new location, I didn”t have access to a local gym, other than a pathetically equipped “fitness studio, completely void of freeweights. There was no way in hell I”d be paying for the use of a treadmill and an adductor machine, so a home gym was my only logical option.

I purchased a spinlock barbell and dumbbell set, an adjustable bench, and a selection of fixed dumbbells. The latter aren”t actually necessary, but they are useful if you want to be incorpering intensity techniques such as dropsets and supersets.

Later, I added a pair of squat stands (though I”d have preferred a proper squat rack, the stands are far more economical with my limited space) and a chin up bar. These were extremely worthwhile additions, and I”d highly recommend these as part of any home setup, although, like me, you may want to start out with the very We have assembled a dynamic technical team of certified experts in the areas of litigation, electronic discovery services, computer forensics, free data recovery analytics and free data recovery management and information technology. basic basics, whilst you test the waters.

It”s needless to say, in terms of cardio, you don”t need any equipment at all. You could go crazy and buy a $5 skipping rope or a $10 workout DVD (I like this kickboxing workout), but even that isn”t essential. You have arms, legs and bodyweight- the world of cardio and conditioning is your oyster! Other than running (which personally, I don”t enjoy), there are all sorts of wierd and wonderful circuits you can have fun with at home or in your local park- it”s just a case of experimenting with what”s available to you.

So, to sum up, you could have a very effective home gym with simply:
1. A spinlock barbell/dumbbell set
2. An adjustable bench

Useful, though non-essential additions include:
1. A selection of fixed dumbbells
2. A squat rack or squat stands (which can also be used for bench press etc.)
3. A chin up bar

You can pick up all these things fairly cheaply brand new (I”ve linked to Amazon, which is where I kitted out my home gym), and there”s also the second hand equipment on eBay or Craigslist if you”re on even more of a shoestring. All in all, the entire selection of items above needn”t cost in excess of $500, with the essentials coming in at under $300. When compared to an ongoing gym membership, that”s an absolute bargain. The only extra expense is when you”re getting so strong that you need new weight plates!

You can blast your music as loud as the neighbours will tolerate (and sing along), you can dance or shadowbox in between sets without funny looks, and you can pull your “last rep” face without fear of traumatising an unsuspecting fellow gym-goer. It”s win-win.

So if you can”t- or won”t- attend a gym for whatever reason, get yourself a Gym Corner style home gym, and get cracking!

14 replies on “The Joys of A Home Gym

  • ben thompson

    Lol my last rep face causes members to cancel their membership…if i had space i would defo home gym it all the way

  • Deb

    Remember that you don’t have to start out with all the home gym equipment at once. Buy a little at a time and it’s amazing how you seem to find the space to add what you want next!

  • Charli

    Yep, as I said, a spinlock BB/DB set and a bench are all you need, initially. You could even get by without the bench.

  • Susan

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been working out 6 days a week at home for just over a year. Using dvds, a selection of dumbells, a few bands, and a chin up bar. Want to start exploring resistance training more seriously and have been wondering what else, if anything, I need. Felt like I needed a bench as another basic.

  • Charli

    Good to hear that a home gym set-up has been working for you, Susan! Yes, a bench opens up a few more options, plus I’d definitely look into a squat rack/stands and a barbell set- that really made all the difference for me in terms of being able to progress with heavier weights.

  • Becky

    Firstly, I live in LA and am surrounded by gyms. – not far away and not that expensive either. I’m more of a “classes” girl to get me motivated and to get to the gym. If I’m early for my class, I’ll go and lift weights and also when my husbands t the gym, we tend to lift together.
    The way I see it, just getting to the gym, doing what I can is a plus for me.

  • Jake

    Another great place for equipment on a budget is a chain of stores called ‘Play it again Sports’
    Retail store with second hand sporting equipment. Sometimes easier than Craigslist

  • Doug Champigny

    Hi, Charli!

    Couldn’t agree with you more – we set up our home gym in the basement… I workout & train my wife & our son, so it saves us 3 memberships – plus it’s a lot easier once the snow flies each year!

    We use one of the doorway chinup bars, which can easily be removed if company is coming over. Once you have one, add a pair of ab straps to it – makes leg raises and knee raises possible while training at home, and those are two of the best ab exercises.

    Keep up the great work & stay fit!


  • Keith Townsend

    great tips! I’m moving in this direction too – I still have my LA Fitness membership but I hold it mainly for the spin classes. At home I used resistance bands, dumbbells, and P90X2. I combine that with running outsidel Thanks for the advice

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