Reasons to Construct a Well-Rounded Home Gym

If you’re anything like me, you have a laundry list of reasons why you hate going to the gym.  Don’t get me wrong, I love working out, but big-box gyms  attract the worst kinds of people in staggering numbers.  Nothing boils my blood like the following people:

1. “Mr. Advice” – This type of person usually stares at you awkwardly while you’re doing a set, then saunters over (shoulders squared and knuckles dragging, as if to assert his dominance) and tells you why everything you’re doing is wrong.  While I appreciate said person’s excruciatingly detailed knowledge of everything fitness, I don’t need his Mr. Miyagi impression while I’m doing my routine.

2. “LOL What I am doing?” – This type of person has no idea what he’s doing in the gym, and rather than ask (like a normal, well-adjusted member of society), he proceeds to misuse every piece of equipment, never wipe down anything, and generally be in the way of everyone.

3. “Can I work in?” – Now, there is nothing wrong with asking to work in on a set.  That behavior is perfectly normal and accepted.  There is something massively wrong with asking to work in with someone who is at a drastically different level of fitness.  I don’t appreciate 200lbs being added to the bar when you’re “working in” on my set, or 200lbs being removed.

Not only the people in a big-box gym grate my nerves, but the exorbitant fees and persistent training offers are enough to drive a person insane.  You take care to find the best deals on supplements, so why not maximize your money when it comes to your exercise equipment?

With all of these lovely gym characteristics in mind, perhaps it would make sense to create a home gym so that you may finally enter workout zen mode.  I am here to help you reach a gym Nirvana.

The following pieces of equipment are a must for any beginning homegym:

Power Rack

A power rack allows you to safely perform heavy lifts alone.  While it is always advisable to have a spotter, sometimes you just don’t have anyone around.  The safety bars in a power rack will catch the bar if you slip so that you don’t end up dying while pinned under 300lbs.  You are also able to perform pull-ups and dips with the correct rack attachments.

Power Rack
(CC BY 3.0)

Adjustable bench

An adjustable bench for incline, decline, and flat exercises allows you some versatility, as well as allows you to perform barbell bench press exercises in the power rack.

Olympic Weight Set

An Olympic weight set with an appropriate number of plates for your fitness level offers you the same selection as a major gym.  Adjustable dumbbell handles and other bars/accessories will further expand your options.

weight plates

Of course, this is a starting list.  As you begin to build your home gym, you may acquire weight belts, kettlebells, non-adjustable dumbbells, and more to further push you into the category of the god-tier home gym owners.  Craigslist and Ebay are excellent starting places for finding equipment.  Many people make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, purchase high end equipment, never use it, and end up putting it up for sale for a steal.  Best of luck!

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