Setting Up the Ultimate Home Gym
If only money were no object! I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who fantasizes about having the ultimate gym set up at home! It’d be like going down town to a quality gym except it’s only you (and maybe a training partner) who goes there, and you can be as loud or as stupid as you want, with free run of any equipment.
But enough fantasy, lets get down to business!
The idea we’re looking for is to have the ‘ultimate’ combination of equipment to do resistance training, cardio, stretching, anything that should be part of your regular fitness routine. There’s not a hell of a lot of equipment here (compared to other people’s idea of an ultimate gym), but this is seriously all anyone could ever need!
The Right Space
Whether it’s a shed or a room you’ve gotta find some open space. You need a lot of space for equipment, not to mention a lot of space to move – remember, one major key to fitness is to move heaps – so you be make way for a lot of movement!
The floor would have to be solid – no rotten floorboards that’ll collapse under you when you squat out 100kg. You’ve gotta make that solid, concrete or something that will handle the load. I’d even consider putting down padded mats (similar to Martial Arts mats) – perfect for those movements where you need to be on the floor.
Weightlifting & Resistance Training Equipment
You’ve gotta have the weights themselves first and foremost (weightlifting is hard without weights to lift…), so below is what you’ll want:
Kettlebells are the bomb! In my opinion the most flexible piece of equipment for building muscle while developing explosive power and fitness… then you just pop it in the corner of the room! I’d never live without one. Get your hands a on a few different weights
Dumbbells, Barbells and Weight Plates
For the Heavy duty lifting, you’ll need these for ‘The Big 3′ . The more weights you have to mix up your training (especially for supersets and drop sets), the better. But this will probably be one of the most expensive parts of your ultimate home gym.
The Big Stuff
Still on the topic of Weightlifting and Resistance Training but also progressing to cardio / anaerobic, this stuff will take up the most space.
Power Rack/ Squat Rack
I’ll tell you now, if you want to get stronger and build more muscle – you’re absolutely insane if you are not doing weighted squats! The power rack isn’t really absolutely necessary, but will make it a hell of a lot easier to load up weight and avoid injury. If I had to choose between this and a Bench Press – you can keep ya bench press! Which leads me to…
Um, Bench Press!
For Upper body work, pushing out some heavy bench will get increase strength and muscle size! Chances are you were already going to get one though if you were planning on lifting weights at home! Do not underestimate the usefulness of a Flat Bench - if you can, get one!
Power Tower / Chin Up Bar
If you don’t do chin ups and pull ups – start. These exercises are right up there, among the very best you can utilise for upper body development. I currently only have one piece of big equipment in my home gym, it’s all I need – a chin up / pull up bar.
Cable Machine – optional
Ultimate home gym doesn’t just mean a heap of equipment – only the best! If you’re like me a cable machine is useful, but always go for free weights or body weight movements. Cable Machines however a handy if your training goals could benefit from certain movements particular to cable machines.
Treddy / Stationery Bike
If you’re like me, you like to warm up with some dynamic stretches (not static), and a bit of movement like shadow boxing or jumping jacks – whatever works. Or some people prefer the stationery bike or treadmill. If you do, it should be in your ultimate home gym.
Punching Bag & Gloves
Not optional! Even if you don’t train with it, the therapeutic use makes it all worth it. Sometimes you feel like punching something. If you do use it, then you can really get some serious workouts out of it!
The Little Stuff!
These little bits and pieces are more invaluable tools for your ultimate work out area. You can use them in a variety of movements and exercises to take your training to the next level!
They say 10 minutes jumping rope gives you a more beneficial workout than 30 minutes of jogging. Well those joggers should try sprinting! Nonetheless jumping rope is a really god way to get fit and build up endurance in your calves. And it takes up basically no space.
Medicine Balls are awesome tools when aiming for a high intensity workout, and are especially useful for core exercises. The ultimate gym must have at least one.
Body weight workouts are among the best movements you can do for strength and fitness. Period. Adding a vest makes it just that bit more challenging
Swiss Ball – optional
Awesome for Core Strength movements, but not essential. Dirt cheap though!
Other Seemingly Unimportant Stuff You Must Have
As I said – it seems unimportant, but this stuff is essential if you want to be able to use the word ultimate, because an ultimate gym is about more than just fitness equipment!
Walls are boring, and a flat color won’t fire you us like a picture of a motivational athlete or person. Hell even a picture of some hot chick is better than nothing – but maybe distracting
Big Ass Stereo with iPod Dock (and also iPod) – not optional.
Well, maybe optional, depends on the person! If you’re like me, you like to crank out some loud tunes that get you fired up! What better way to do it then with a good sound system that can house an iPod. Just create a workout playlist and you’re set!
If you train hard enough, often enough, you may need it.
Finally – A heap of Money
It’s not cheap, but it’s cool to fantasize about. Maybe one day it’ll be a reality? Until then I hope you enjoyed my take on the ultimate home gym for a quick read! If you have any additions or opinions, don’t forget to leave a comment!