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A home gym? Sounds like a dream come true. You do not need a massive house with a huge basement or an impressive garage to come up with your gym, but just a bit of space somewhere to set your equipment. At the same time, you do not need 20 different machines like gyms do, but only the right accessories to ensure full body workouts without too much hassle. Home gyms are space efficient and represent a great solution. But when it comes to home gym must haves, you might be a bit overwhelmed. What is better than the rest? If you think about it, you could find a use for virtually any machine or piece of equipment in the world.
Reasons to Invest in a Home Gym
Be honest about it – you are a busy person. Whether or not you have a family, it is hard to split yourself between work, friends and relaxing time with yourself. When you think about the gym, you have to pack everything up, drive over, find an empty locker, wait to use equipment, take an inconvenient shower there and drive back home.
How about getting home, changing your clothes, having a quick meal and exercising for an hour straight away? A home gym will save you at least an hour whenever you want to exercise. You may not want to do it every single day, but exercising four or five times a week will save you plenty of time. Plus, you can skip all the hassle of doing all the above mentioned time-consuming tasks.
How many workouts have you skipped for things that popped up out of nowhere? It happens. Everyone does it. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. But when you have your gym, you can exercise once you are done with the unexpected situation. There are times when you simply refuse to hit the gym, such as evenings, when everyone in your neighborhood seems to go there after work.
Some extra flexibility allows you to workout whenever you have the time. Your gym is open round the clock. Do it before you go to sleep, in the evening or early in the morning. There are more important priorities in life, so work your way around them. Up at 4 AM with some extra energy? Go, lift some weights before work and your day will be much better.
Your Own Rules
It is your gym, so you have your own rules. When you head to a public one, you might face all types of rules. Put the weights back, do not use any chalk, forget about grunting and so on. Some rules make sense – you do not want to look for weights everywhere when you need them, do you? Some others are a bit stupid.
When you fit your basement or garage with some home gym must-haves, you set your own rules. Play any music you want, as loud as you want. You can cuss, yell, sing and grunt – whatever helps. Drop your weights if you feel like or shower in chalk. Wear anything you want – as much or as little as you want. In fact, you can exercise naked if you feel like it. Simply put, do whatever you want.
There are times when you wish you could do specific exercises in the gym, but you just do not have the right equipment. It is always too much or too little of something. Public gyms are designed to meet everyone’s general necessities – they are not individualized. What does it mean? You have to adjust your training style to the equipment – terrible idea.
If you want results, you will have to adjust your equipment to your training style. You have the opportunity to do that with your gym. Get the right home gym must-haves based on your style, necessities, and expectations. It makes no difference if you want to stay fit, lose weight, become a bodybuilder or a lifting professional.
A monthly subscription will not kill your finances, but do the math over five years. Sure, you will spend a higher amount of money for the equipment you need at home, but then, it will pay for itself. Start with the basics and add more equipment as you gain experience. It is just the optimal way to respect your budget.
Girls in yoga pants squatting in front of you, fit men pumping weights with their veins sticking out, television sets everywhere, music, talkative people, mirrors, classes… These are just some of the most common distractions in the gym. At some point, if you think about it, you waste an hour doing things that you could do in half an hour without any of these distractions.
With your gym, it is all about the iron.
Now that you are aware of why having your gym is the better idea find out what to look for when about to fit it with some home gym must-haves.
What to Look for in Home Gym Must Haves?
Just like for pretty much everything in life, your available budget will dictate the gym equipment you can purchase. Obviously, everyone would like the most sophisticated machines with high-quality standards, good looks and plenty of gadgets fitted on them. Many of these things are just bells and whistles. They are exciting at first, but less likely to become useful in the long run.
From this point of view, stick to basics. You do not need a magazine rack for a cardio machine, just like you do not really need MP3 connectivity, built-in speakers or charging ports. You are at home; you can do all these without investing in such bells and whistles.
If your budget is tight, you can also consider financing. Obviously, interest rates will put the prices higher, but at least you can get everything in one go, rather than struggle saving month by month.
How much space you have is one of the leading factors in deciding on the home gym must-haves because you obviously cannot get more than what you can accommodate. At the same time, while you can get plenty of machines in foldable designs, you do not necessarily want to unfold and set your gym up before every workout, only to disassemble everything once you are gone. It would take too much time, and you would lose motivation.
If space is not an issue, you can certainly invest in lots of machines. If it is, your options are limited, but you can still fit together a cardio machine (be it a rowing machine, a stepper or any kind of bike), a power rack, a weight rack, and some small accessories.
When you measure around, remember specific equipment requires some space around it for long motion and free movements.
Know the Equipment
Learn about different types of equipment and what each of them can do for you before you spend any money. More criteria can classify fitness equipment, but most commonly, you will find strength and cardio equipment. Some products are complex and allow multiple exercises for all kinds of groups. This is your main category to look into if space is a problem.
Cardiovascular machines include bicycles, rowing machines, treadmills, stair steppers, elliptical trainers and so on. Your options are more diversified when it comes to strength – barbells, dumbbells, shoulder presses and so on. Plus, you can find at least one machine for pretty much any muscle group.
Do not sacrifice quality, but do not invest in overpriced items either. Gym equipment can be dangerous, so you want quality items that will not fail on you when you put pressure on them. Reliability is a key, so it is highly recommended to purchase home gym must-haves from well-established manufacturers with a good reputation. You will find companies designing equipment for professional gyms, as well as home gyms. In other words, you will not have to spend a fortune. The point is – go for durability and quality.
Moreover, quality equipment comes with safety instructions, as well as durability and maintenance advice to keep your costs low.
Needs and Expectations
What do you expect from your workouts? When they go to the gym, most people have a plan in mind. They want to lose weight, stay fit, get toned, build strength or muscle. There is also a category of newbies who have no primary purpose, but they go for general fitness and try pretty much every equipment they can see.
When you reach the stage of having your own gym at home, you probably have some experience already, and you know precisely what you expect from this experience. In other words, if you are into strength, it is pointless to invest in three cardio machines.
Now that you know what to look for in gym equipment, what are the most essential home gym must-haves on the market?
Top 3 Home Gym Must-Haves
The set from Serious Steel Fitness comes with six high-quality bands in different colors and resistance levels:
- Orange – 2-15 pounds
- Purple – 5-35 pounds
- Red – 10-50 pounds
- Blue – 25-80 pounds
- Green – 50-120 pounds
- Black – 60-150 pounds
Resistance levels depend on the pressure you apply. At the same time, they are way higher than cheap bands, so you can push your workouts to the next level. Given the impressive resistance range – 2-150 pounds, you can use the set whether you are a beginner or an experienced bodybuilder.
The set is quite versatile and allows multiple workouts – both the lower and upper body. They can improve your booty, glutes and pretty much everything around your legs, but they are just as handy for the upper body – muscle ups, dips or pull-ups.
The band must be chosen with your bodyweight in mind, as well as the amount of unassisted repetitions you can do in a set. Keep in mind that you can secure bands under feet or against stair poles for different levels of resistance – pretty much anything solid and stable.
No matter what types of muscle groups you want to target, you do not have to waste your time researching ideas, exercises and their efficiency over the Internet. Sure, the more you know, the better. But if you want to get to work straight away, you have a detailed electronic guide with lots of ideas.
It will teach you what to do based on your expectations and fitness levels, so you can start working out as soon as you get the set.
- High resistance range
- Full set for every fitness level
- Durable bands
- Electronic guide included
- Suitable to both lower and upper body workouts
- A rubbery smell can be annoying at first
- Elasticity tends to diminish with time
Yes4All’s adjustable dumbbells represent some of the best-rated home gym must-haves. Whether you want to get toned, stay fit, grow in size, build muscle or strength, dumbbells represent a must. These are classics that no gym should miss.
This model has a top-notch construction – solid cast iron core. Cast iron is all about durability. This set is tough and stable. It will not bend or break after a few months of everyday use, so you can leave yourself in good hands.
Regarding design, safety is more important than the actual importance. No one will come to watch you exercise and compliment you on how beautiful these dumbbells are. You just want them to be safe and efficient to prevent injuries.
Luckily, the coating finish is based on neoprene. It is a non-slip surface. It feels comfortable, and it does not require any glove. Moreover, it reduces the noise – great when you workout overnight – and protects the workout area and floors from damage.
Versatility and Shape
In terms of versatility, these dumbbells allow you to work literally every muscle group. You can work your arms, back, shoulders, abs, and even legs – specific exercises for abs and legs though. They allow you to gain stamina, build strength, grow your muscles and improve your metabolic rate.
Their shape is also related to safety standards. The weight number is mentioned on end caps for quick identification. The hexagonal heads are shaped this way to prevent rolling.
- Cast iron construction
- Anti-rolling design
- Adjustable weight – 40 pounds
- Can be customized to 200 pounds
- Easy to adjust
- Screws might come loose after too many adjustments, yet they are still safe
- Might feel a bit too long for some
Diversity and Portability
These home gym must-haves from TRX allow you to conduct your class without spending a fortune. The suspension trainer system is lightweight – under 16 pounds – and can go in any room. If you also go to a commercial gym, you can take it with you. It is simple to pack and provides superior workouts.
It is suitable for anyone regardless of the fitness level. Visible changes will occur with 20 minutes a day only.
The package is full, and you get a whole system – not just the actual trainer. Simply put, you get a suspension training strap and anchors – usable both indoors and outdoors. A big mesh carry bag is included for transportation and convenient storage.
Worried about your lack of experience? You have a few workout guides with instructions, not to mention a free application for your smartphone to improve your workouts and get even more ideas. A workout poster is also included.
Ease of Use
Even if this is the first time you use such a system, you will get used to it in no time. You do not require any experience at all. The guides will tell you how to use it for maximum efficiency. Digital workouts are also simple to follow and available in more options – 20, 40 or 60 minutes.
Whether you are interested to improve flexibility, boost endurance, gain muscle or burn fat, the set will work wonders.
- Durable construction
- No experience needed
- Workout guides included
- Easy to store and transport
- Suitable regardless of your workout goals
- Cannot hook onto a doorknob
- Metal clasp might scratch the top of the door
Bottom line, home gym must-haves are quite diversified, and they vary from one user to another. The good news is you do have options, yet you have to consider your personal needs.
From all the products mentioned above, Serious Steel Assisted Pull-Up Band, Resistance & Stretch Band might be the most comprehensive one. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, it will support your entire body without taking too much space.