Building an Effective Home Gym

Many people feel that they would rather workout from home then drive to a gym or fitness club. However, a gym or fitness club provides nearly all the exercise equipment that one could want. You would have to dish out thousands upon thousands of dollars to even come close to mimicking a real gym. Needless to say, you probably don’t have thousands of square feet in your house to spare either.

Nevertheless, a home gym can be almost as effective as going to a real gym if you buy the correct equipment and utilize space accordingly. Here is a list of the most useful and affordable exercise machines that you should have in your home if you decide to create your very own home gym:

Dumbbells and Bench

This should be the foundation of any home gym. Using a bench and dumbbells, you can hit practically any muscle. You can do flat bench dumbbell press (chest), bent over rows (back), military press (shoulders), seated curls (biceps), dumbbell kickbacks (triceps) and dumbbell step-up (legs) among various other workouts using just dumbbells and a bench. You should buy a complete dumbbell rack (10 to 100 pounds) because you should always focus on improving your weight using perfect form. Another reason for having a range of weights is that it may encourage others to use your home gym with you. If you workout with friends and want them to come to your home gym then make it comfortable for them too. Some workout partners may be stronger than others so make sure you have a range of weights for not just you, but others as well. Working out with someone else is a great motivator and more enjoyable for many people. Give your friends or workout partners reason to use your home gym as well if you like having a spotter or someone else’s company. Lastly, make sure you buy a bench that can adjust angles so you can do even more workouts.

Cardiovascular Machine

Remember….your heart is a muscle just like any other part of your body. However, your heart is your most important muscle so never negate training it! Even if you hate doing cardio, you still should consider buying either a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. A treadmill is probably most effective if you want to get into shape but an elliptical or stationary bike may be a better alternative if you hate to run or have bad joints. Ask yourself which machine would you use more. Like I said, never fork over a lot of money to buy a treadmill if you hate to run. If you actually enjoy using one machine over the other then buy it, no questions asked. Utilize a cardiovascular machine as much as possible. If you are on a strict budget then think about running outdoors and not buying a cardiovascular machine to save money.

Power Rack

A power rack provides you with a barbell and safety bars. The power rack enables you to do some of the most fundamental exercises like bench press, squats and deadlifts. You can go to failure with a power rack even without a spotter because there are safety bars that prevent the weight from falling on you. Make sure you buy various weighted plates so you can adjust the exercises accordingly.

Universal Machine

A universal machine enables you to do more exercises on one machine than any other machine, giving you the best bang for your buck. In addition, you can do various core and abdominal exercises with cables and a universal machine may even come with a decline bench to do situps on. There are many exercises with this machine; some of the most important being lat pulldowns and various isolation exercises using cables for your upper body. These exercises can only be done using some sort of universal machine.


Now that you have some sort of idea of what you need, get to it! Building an effective home gym can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you have. Good luck!

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