27 Ultimate Home Gym Equipment Ideas

by FitStaff

Home Gym Equipment Bench Stand

Most commercial gyms suck nowadays suck. Lots of treadmills, stationary bikes and shiny exercise machines that you shouldn’t be using.

And let’s not forget the rules! Rules against, you know, actually working out hard. Careful on that last rep of the bench press.

You might grunt a little and that could get you a warning from the club! If you’re lucky.

You could get kicked out. Permanently.

Hey! Don’t make so much noise when you put down that barbell!! And what the heck are you doing performing a barbaric exercise like the deadlift anyway?!?

Here, take a seat at this shiny new machine. You won’t have to work nearly as hard and it’s much less noisy!

Speaking of noise, don’t even get me started on the music!

The other big drawback of these commercial gyms is how difficult it can be to complete an effective workout. What I mean is, if you’re doing metabolic training, circuits, supersets or body weight exercises, it can be difficult to arrange an area with the right equipment.

hot woman working out with dumbbellsWant to superset the deadlift with the bench press? Good luck!

Trying a metabolic circuit using five exercises with multiple pieces of equipment? In a crowded, shiny commercial gym? HA! Good one, boss!

Stop breathing so heavy! You’re scaring the other customers!

There’s also the hassle of time and travel. No to mention some people just aren’t comfortable working out in a gym.

So what can you do? You can find a gym that allows real training to take place. And you can do some workouts at home.

And don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of workouts you can do in a typical commercial gym.

So another great option, if you belong to one, is complete certain workouts there and other workouts at home (and even outside when you’re talking about great exercises like sprinting, farmer’s walks, etc.).

You don’t need much in the way if equipment or space to get a good workout at home. And it doesn’t have to cost much money either.

And the great thing is, you can get by with buying just one good piece of equipment and add to your options over time.

And yeah, muscle men, you can get as big and strong as you want. All you need is an Olympic Barbell, weights, and a Power Rack. And you don’t need much space for it, either.

Let’s take a look at all the cool goodies you can include in your ultimate home gym set up.

Power Rack

powerline power rack home gymThe Power Rack is an awesome and versatile tool. You can do pretty much anything in it and do it in safety, such as bench presses, squats, shoulder presses, etc.

A power rack with an Olympic barbell set and a bench is a complete gym.

Olympic Bar with Weights

You can grab a 300 pound Olympic Barbell set for pretty cheap and it can be all you ever need, even without the power rack.Olympic Barbell Set

It takes up barely any room and you can do most anything you’ll need to do from deadlifts to floor presses, to barbell complexes and more.

Dumbbells

Hex dumbbellWhat you go with here is up to you depending on your budget and what you want to do. You could go upscale and grab a set of Power Block dumbbells or you could get adjustable dumbbells and extra weights. Or buy multiple fixed with dumbbells over time.

Or, hey, all three options eventually!

Adjustable Bench

I think you know what this is. Stick it inside the power rack for the bench press, shoulder presses, etc.


Resistance Bands
resistance bands

Real resistance bands rock. They aren’t the old bands or tubes you think of from silly 80?s exercise videos where no one breaks a sweat.

You can start out with one band but you can also get multiple bands with all different resistance levels.

A complete set of resistance bands is a gym unto itself that you can stick in a bag and take with you.

Suspension Trainer

A good suspension trainer like the Jungle Gym XT or TRX is a fantastic piece of equipment that allows you to do tons of different exercises.

Certain equipment options like resistance bands or a suspension trainer are not only complete gyms by themselves but are very portable. If you travel a lot you can just stick them in a bag and you’re good to go.

Kettlebells

kettlebells and battle ropeAnother gym all by itself. As you can see, a number of these options can be your own complete gym. This is really great if you’re on a limited budget and/or don’t have a lot of space.

And then you can add pieces over time to get more variety out of your workouts.

Jump Rope

Everyone needs a jump rope. It’s a total body workout that can drench you in sweat in a matter of minutes.


Power WheelPower Wheel

Ouch! And it’s not just the basic ab roll outs (although they hurt and hit the entire body). You can do lots more exercises like hand walks, walking push ups, etc.

Medicine Ball

Explosive abdominal work. Can be part of great metabolic conditioning workouts, especially outside where you can do med ball slams, tosses, etc. Try doing those in a commercial gym setting.

Chin Up Barironman pull up bar

Gotta do your chin ups and pull ups! The Ironman Pull Up bar is the simplest set up I’ve seen. It takes two seconds to put up and take down in a door frame.

Speed and Agility ConesAgility Cones

Okay, this one (and the Agility Ladder) may not have as much appeal to everyone as the more traditional home gym tools. But they can give you some variety for your cardio, get you training outdoors in the fresh air and help you MOVE BETTER!

So if you’re not just training for looks but also for health and the ability to be able to DO THINGS, grab a set of agility cones.

Agility Ladder

See above (Agility Cones). Challenge yourself with certain exercises, track time and improvement, etc. Train like an athlete! Get fitter, faster and leaner!!

power sledPower Sled

Fantastic for conditioning work and sprints. Not as convenient as other tools as you’ll need a field or something nearby and will have to lug it in your car. But if that’s possible for you, go for it because you’ll get a lot out of it.

Foam RollerFoam Roller

MUST HAVE! Even if you’re going to start out with a one piece home gym (like an Olympic Barbell, Suspension Trainer, Kettlebell, etc.) you still have to have a foam roller. Use it! Every day!

YOU (Body weight Exercises)

You can’t beat the price on this one. There are TONS of fantastic body weight exercises you can do. And yes, you can completely change your body with just body weight exercises!

SandbagSuper Sand Bag

Another tool you could grab if you’re going to start with just one piece of equipment. Even better if you eventually add it to your growing arsenal of cool tools!

Quality Mat

You definitely want this if you’re going to have an Olympic Barbell Set and/or a Power Rack

Gymnastic Ringsgymnastics rings

I don’t have a pair yet but it’s on my wish list!

Dip Stand

Portable. Doesn’t take up a lot of room. Really good for a couple of fantastic body weight exercises, dips and inverted rows (see the first picture up at the top).

Plyo BoxesPlyo Boxes

Box, Plyo Box, Aerobic Steps (Step Up Box)

Great for explosive leg work. The aerobic steps can add to exercises like lunges. I also learned from BJ Gaddour that they are a good tool to use for doing exercises like squat thrusts and burpees.

Thighmaster

I’M KIDDING!

Shaker Dumbbell Thingy’s

YEP, STILL KIDDING!

Fat Gripz

Awesome tool for your grip.

Gymbossgymboos interval timer

Freaking love this thing! Doing timed intervals? You GOTTA have a Gymboss!

speed hurdlesSpeed Hurdles

Another cool extra tool if you like the idea of training like an athlete and using things like agility cones and a Quick (Agility) Ladder

Heart Rate Monitor

You can get a decent HRM at a pretty reasonable price nowadays.

Or, if you’re a gadget geek with lots of money, you can go crazy here and get one with tons of data that you can download to your computer and analyze until your heart is content!

Stretch Rope

Uh, for stretching?

Battle Ropesbattle ropes

Okay, sure, not many home gyms have the room but you can use them outside. They are BRUTAL! In a fun way, of course! They’ve been popularized lately by MMA fighters using them in their conditioning programs.

You can tailor your home gym to suit your budget, space, and workout preferences, not to mention the portability factor for some of these tools.

I’m sure I’ll come back and add to this as I thin of or come across other cool tools to add to the home gym arsenal.

If I could get one thing? A couple of years ago, I probably would have said a 300 lb Olympic Barbell set. Right now, with different goals and different training strategies I’d probably say a Kettlebell (or two, based on the same budget or the barbell set), or Jungle Gym XT, or Dumbbells, etc. But that’s personal preference and is definitely goal dependent.

But since I’m writing this, I’ll give myself TWO “one” thing choices – the 300 pound Olympic Barbell set and a kettlebell. Problem solved!

Play Hard, Have Fun, Get Dirty!

Gregg Gillies is a Certified Metabolic Trainer and author of the 5 star rated book, Flat Belly Blueprint, available on Amazon. He’s written hundreds of health and fitness related articles that have appeared on sites like Bodybuilding.com while also being published in the print edition of Ironman Magazine, and contributing to programs like Underground Chest Training Connect with me on Google Plus

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