Home Gym Set up – Where to start?
When setting up your home gym you first need to think about space and budget. I set up my personal gym in a 280sq/ft space where I am able to have two personal trainers training clients at the same time. How can this work in such a small space? Selecting key equipment and floor design.
You need to think about floor space, wall space and storage. I personally wanted a clean uncluttered boutique style gym. I had a clear vision of what I wanted my walls to look like and this kept me focused with buying storage and equipment. Why? Because I was clear on my concept of keeping the walls uncluttered and having work station style mirrors, I did not buy extra equipment and storage. I was committed to my vision and bought the key items only.
Let’s start with the heavy boys.
The main event - The Power Rack or Half Rack.
The power rack will likely be your biggest piece of equipment. Think about where it will be positioned, then make it work for you. My gym did not have the floor space for a large square rack. I had mine custom made, for not much more than it would have cost me at somewhere like Rouge. My rack tapered at the top uncluttering the room and came with barbell holder on the side and neat weight holders attached. It also has a removable triceps dip attachment. The weight plates will not come included so you will need to purchase them separately.
The old boys - Dumbbells
Dumbbells for me are my go to piece of equipment in any gym. Think about what weights you will use and start with those, you can always add more at a later stage. Then keep in mind your aesthetic vision, this will help your storage rack decision. Make sure your storage can accommodate the extra weighs if you’re not buying them all at once.
A strong extra - Kettlebells
Much the same as dumbbells, think about what sizes you need and start with those. Then storage for now and later.
Heavy boy bonus - Functional Cable Trainer
This piece of equipment is very nice to have, if it fits, and if it fits in budget. Cable trainers are brilliant and I’m sure in time I will work one into my space. However, if like me, you do not purchase one, fear not. Resistance bands can bridge the gap for some exercises and there are other pulley systems on the market that are less cumbersome and affordable.
This is a pulley system I currently use.
Stability is key.
The Necessary - Stability Ball
Stability balls are a key ingredient for core and balance training. Your core is your foundation so unless you train your core to be stable then you will never get the best use out of your heavy equipment.
Added resistance - Resistance Bands
Not only are resistance bands inexpensive and easy to store, they also pack a mean punch to your workout. Resistance bands are a can’t do without item for strength and stability. Also, as mentioned above you can use resistance bands for some cable exercise. They are also great for assistance work like pull-ups and triceps dips.
Wobble on - Bosu Ball
This is an inexpensive fun piece of equipment that can be easily stored. It is perfect for stability and strength workouts.
Slam that - Slam Balls or Medicine Balls
Think first about storage and then the weight, think about what weights you will use the most and start with them. I personally have 10lb through 25lb Medicine balls and 6lb through 12lb for slam balls. It’s a matter of personal choice based on what you will use.
Let’s speed up the power.
Jump to it - Plyo Boxes
Again think about space, but plyo boxes are the perfect finisher to any gym, home or public. Plyo boxes are relatively inexpensive and come in different heights. You can buy them as a set or individually.
Snakes and - Agility ladders
Speed and agility is not in everyone’s plan but I personally think an agility ladder is great fun for those days when you want a fun cardio based workout.
Last but not least.
Where the heart lies - Cardio Machines
This will be heavily based on space and budget. I couldn’t fit a treadmill into my space so I opted for a rower which can be easily stored and is a hell of a lot cheaper. If you like to run then the sidewalk is always there.