Essential Home Gym Equipment Basics

What is a minimalist home gym? A minimalist home gym is a special, specialized workout room that is significantly smaller than most standard gymnasium settings, and usually it has fewer pieces of personal equipment than typical gymnasium settings. When people think about a home fitness gym, the first things that come to mind are usually the bench, the rack of weights, the treadmill, the body building machine, etc. This is all fine and good, but you don’t have to go that route if you can’t afford it. There are plenty of other ways to save money on your home fitness gym, that don’t involve so many pieces of expensive equipment. Here are some tips to save money on your home fitness gym that may not otherwise show up in your otherwise overwhelming search for new exercise equipment:

Start Strength Training When You’re New to the Weightlifting Process If you are starting out strength training, or switching over to it from cardio, it is important that you start slow, with a much lower amount of reps and sets (than with cardio, where you might be used to much heavier weights and reps). This is especially important for beginners because you don’t want to damage any of your joints, or worse, get hurt while trying to add muscle and strength. For those who have been lifting for a while, you may be able to transition into lifting heavier weights and sets, but for those who are new to strength training, starting slow with lower weights and reps will help prevent injury. It may also allow you to work out longer during the week.

Do Uppers and Deadlifts Always Use Chin-Ups When doing pull-ups and deadlifts are both part of your overall strength training program, you may want to consider using a chin-up bar, instead of a full bench press or barbell. Doing pull-ups and deadlifts help build strength all over your body, not just your upper back. A good exercise to start out with if you haven’t done many pull-ups is the standard chin-up. The same goes for deadlifts: doing heavy deadlifts is an essential component of any serious home gym workout.

Don’t Do Bulking Lifts Every Day Do not do bulking lifts on your home gym! A lot of people think they need to do bulk strength training in the weight room on a daily basis, but this is not how your body works. Your body breaks down and rebuilds on a day-to-day basis. Instead of doing bulking exercises on a regular schedule, focus on getting a heavy workout on one day, such as your first day back from vacation, or your first day at the gym after holidays. Each week, increase the amount of heavy lifting that you do. For those who do not lift enough, you can drop the amount that you lift and work on getting stronger over time but doing bulking exercises every day is not helpful and actually hurts your chances to build muscle!

Squat Barbell Clean and Press Power cages are great additions to your home gym because they improve your form, give you extra training support and you can perform a variety of isolation and compound exercises while sitting at the bench. Power cages are great for those recovering from injuries and for just plain health and fitness. If you do not have a power cage, you can still perform a wide range of basic exercises with a barbell such as dumbbell press and shoulder press. If you cannot afford a power cage, just do squats and deadlifts at your own gym. They will give you a strong base to build upon with more strength building exercises.

Buy Bumper Plates to Save Space Buy bumpers to save space. Many gyms use bumper plates because they look like the real thing, weigh the same, and they are small enough to be stored in your gym bag or in a locker if you do not have a dedicated space for bumper plates. They do not take up much storage space, but you might want to keep them around if you are training with a lot of weight. If you plan to spend time lifting heavier weights, consider getting bumper plates and having a few around for whenever you need a little extra support.

Buy a Ready to Run Racks to Avoid Oversized Boxes Buy a ready to run rack instead of a standard plate rack for your home gym. A ready to run rack is sturdy and made out of heavy-duty steel. You can buy the racks in varying weights so that you can use heavier or lighter weights. A heavy duty rack is more sturdy and will not break under the weight of heavy plates and heavy Olympic size bars.

Buy a Dumbbell Rack to Avoid Oversized Boxes If you do not have a bumper plate or a deadlift platform, you can use a wide variety of workouts at your home gym such as free weights, cables, rows, dips, shoulder presses, squats, leg presses, cleans and deadlifts. A wide variety of exercises can be used to develop a solid fitness routine. Remember, if you do not have the proper equipment, you cannot achieve peak performance. Choose a rack and a deadlift platform that are sturdy and durable and you can enjoy a variety of workouts.