building a home gymBuilding your dream body is an exciting endeavor! So is building a home gym!

Let’s face it, driving to the gym, waiting on sweaty equipment and listening to know-it-all gym rats sucks!

I thoroughly recommend you create your own in-home gym as soon as possible.

The main objection to this is price. But I think you can create a cheap home gym if you stick to the essentials and compare the price to you’d spend to months & years of gym membership.

The convenience itself is priceless. I love being able to have my main meal of the day and then simply walking into my garage and cranking out some real muscle building sets.

Once you start working out at home you’ll never go back! I haven’t set foot inside a gym in about 4 years and I don’t plan on ever returning.

Free Weight Home Gym Equipment

So what home gym equipment do you really need? Here’s a list of the equipment I have at home and I think you should have too:

Home Gym Essentials

weights rackRack – Absolutely essential for performing squats, bench presses & military presses when working out alone. This PowerLine Power Rack will allow you to workout safely by yourself.

Small Rack – If you haven’t got space for a rack that size you can always opt for a smaller one that will still do the trick. A good quality one is required though.

weights benchBench – You will, of course, need a bench. It must be sturdy and it’s absolutely GOT to be adjustable. When researching I found this Best Fitness BFFID10 FID Bench which is quite cheap for a good piece of equipment. Don’t go too cheap please. A cheap bench just won’t do as it’s unlikely to be able to handle enough weight without snapping! Remember, a flimsy bench could kill you, quite literally.

Barbell – A must for barbell curls, military presses, bent over barbell rows etc…

dumbell setDumbbell Set – Self explanatory really (We are building a ‘free weights home gym‘ – no bowflex or Chuck Norris endorsed contraptions please). Needed for dumbbell bicep curls, dumbbell shoulder presses, flies…Basically, you’ll not get far without them. I think it’s best to buy the bars and weights separately like the Weider Chrome EZ Spin-Lock Dumbbell Bar. This gives you the freedom to decide the increments by which you will progress week on week.

Weights – You need the actual weights themselves of course. I recommend you get a wide variety of plates. You’ll need some very light weights too as this allows you to incrementally increase the weights you lift over time. For example, being able to increase your dumbbell curls by small weights like 1kg or 2 pounds is invaluable to anyone serious about pursuing continual muscle growth.

Sit-Up Bench / Slant Board – Once you get past ‘beginner level’ abs work, you need a decline or slant board to really stimulate the abdominal muscles further. The Spartan Sports Slant Board is exactly like the one I use at home.

Home Gym Accessories

valeo ocelot training glovesGloves – As you may have noted from a previous article, I’m a fan of the Valeo Ocelot Wrist Wrap Lifting Gloves. These gloves offer wrist wraps for supporting the wrists and prevent injury.

EZ Curl Bar – Necessary for the very effective EZ bar curls.

tricep barTricep Bar – Great little piece of equipment for blasting your triceps!

Magnetic Wheel Exercise Bike – This is what I do my cardio with. You know by now that I avoid cardio like the plague most of the time. However, when cutting I magnetic wheel exercise bikeuse a bike like the Phoenix 99605 Upright Magnetic Exercise Bike. The motion is smooth and quiet which makes cardio a little more pleasant 🙂

I really cannot recommend this highly enough. You’ll save time and money. You’ll also be more likely to stick to your workout plan if you don’t have to travel to the gym. There are no disadvantages to this!

It will change your workout life!

Your buddy,

Mark McManus

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