No matter how long you have been training, the fact of setting up a gym at home and not having to drive every day to a commercial gym is the dream of many athletes.
If you are like me, you know how stressful it is to be in a gym and have to wait for someone to finish using the bodybuilding tower so you can use it.
Not only that. It is also quite annoying to sit on one of the benches of the gym and realize that the person who used it before you did not clean it and it is covered with sweat.
It is for these and many other reasons that I have given myself the task of creating the best guide to set up a home gym that fulfills all the functions of the most expensive gyms in your city.
Now, setting up a home-made gym doesn’t have to be expensive as most people think it is. You will see this below.
It does not matter if you are just starting or if you have been training for 10 years, at the end of this guide you will know exactly where to start and everything you need to carry out this “tedious” task.
Table of Contents
Benefits of starting a home gym.
Before I begin, I must clarify that a little more than two years ago I started the task of setting up my own gym at home and so far everything is going great.
Not only that. I have also helped several of my friends and colleagues set up their own gym as well, which qualifies me to be able to guide you in this new adventure as well.
To start, let’s explore the benefits of setting up a home gym.
Training at home has a large number of benefits such as saving time, being able to train at any time without any problem, among others. Next we are going to talk about some of the benefits of setting up a home gym.
1. You save time.
If your goal is to save time every day and not have to drive to the gym closer to your home or work, then a home gym is perfect for you since you only have to jump out of your bed in the morning and that’s it, you can now to train.
Who has not put aside the idea of exercising for lack of time? Believe me, I’ve done it too.
If you ask most people the reasons for not exercising, they will tell you that it is due to lack of time.
If it is not because they leave late for work then we say that we have many family and work obligations. This leads to neglecting our health and we also set a bad example for our children.
Imagine being able to get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning and do a weightlifting or cardio routine every morning. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?
And, how about being able to arrive from work in the afternoons and be able to train from the comfort of your home?
With a home gym you will no longer have to think that you no longer have enough time to exercise.
2. You save money.
Having a home gym also allows you to cancel your current gym subscription and save your monthly money.
For example, my previous LA Fitness subscription here in the United States cost me about $ 30 per month. If we make accounts, the annual average would be about $ 360 per year which I save by not paying this subscription.
What do you think? With this money that I save per year I could easily make a trip to Miami or another tourist place, or buy that new Play Station that I have wanted a long time ago.
But beware, riding a gym at home has an initial investment that may seem a bit crazy for some.
In my experience, setting up a gym can cost around 500 to 2000 euros. It all depends on how appropriate you want this to be and what your goals are.
You may only want a conditioning center for simple exercises or perhaps what you are looking for is a complete gym where you can lift weights and train all parts of the body. But later we will talk about this and the different types of home gyms.
Returning to the subject, with what you save in a couple of years of not paying gym subscription you will be able to set up your own gym and not spend money in boring gyms, full of smelly people or make long lines to use the machines of exercises that you like the most.
3. You can exercise freely and decorate it as you wish.
As I mentioned earlier, being in a commercial gym can sometimes be annoying.
Waiting for someone to finish using a machine you want to use can be annoying. Like those people who sweat a lot and do not clean the equipment after using them. Nor can we talk about that unpleasant music that some gyms sometimes play.
Personally, I prefer to train every day in the morning because in the afternoon the gyms produce claustrophobia due to the immense number of people who usually go to the gym at this time of day.
By having your own gym at home you will have the opportunity to train at your leisure, at any time you want and listen to the music you like best without bothering others.
Not only that, you will be able to invite your friends and as many people as you want without the need for them to also have to pay a monthly subscription.
With your own gym at home you will be able to say goodbye to those annoying individuals who are only going to occupy the weight machines, which apart from this do nothing since they spend taking selfies and looking at their cell phone every five minutes to see what There is again on Facebook or Instagram.
Finally, you can decorate your space to your liking without anyone saying anything.
This may sound silly but it’s true. By having your own gym you will want to give it life and mount a couple of photos of your favorite bodybuilders to give you motivation in your workouts.
By the way, do not forget your photo of Arnold to give you motivation in those days that you need.
Things to consider when setting up your home gym.
Since we talk about the benefits of setting up a home gym, let’s talk about the things you need to know before buying any type of equipment to strengthen you at home. It is not going to be that you buy a new treadmill and when you get home you realize that you do not have space to place it.
Before starting a gym in your home you should ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have adequate space to accommodate all gym tools?
To start, you must select the space of your house where you are going to locate your gym.
You must choose a space in which you do not bother anyone else. In the same way this must be wide and must have a floor strong enough to support the weight and falls of the weights.
I recommend using a room in your house that is empty and in which you can add enough clothing without feeling that the space is too small.
Choosing a room to set up your home gym is not so simple, you have to make sure that the floor does not have unevenness. In case the space has this problem, try to go to a reform expert to solve the difference correctly.
It also takes into account the distance that separates the floor from the ceiling. It is not going to be that you choose to buy a weight training tower or a power cage and then realize that it does not fit in your room and you end up returning them.
Many people need to include breaks in their home gym routines. If you are one of them, check the height between floor and ceiling very well. In this way you can avoid blows to the head during the activity.
I recommend choosing a room that has a minimum height of 2.4 meters.
If you have a garage that you do not use it would be wonderful because they are usually quite spacious and the floors of these are strong enough and you do not need to buy extra protection for these.
If you live on a second floor or higher, make sure that the weight of the equipment is resisted by the floor and that if you drop a weight, it will not disturb the neighbors below with the noise.
What is my budget?
Although many “professionals” suggest that you will spend thousands of dollars to start a gym, they are not right.
The truth is that with a thousand euros or less you will be able to start your own gym and you will have enough equipment to exercise the same or better than a traditional gym.
But do I have to invest all this money at once?
No, if you wish, you can buy the equipment one by one.
If you do not have all the money to make the expense then go buying the parts of your home gym one by one.
Let’s start with the basics, one of the keys to building a safe home gym is to properly condition the space.
And is that allocating a space to get strong at home is not to place a lot of gym machines inside a room, because you could stumble on weights and also you will not be able to develop your routines comfortably.
We will know the keys to condition a room in your house well and turn it into your personal training center.
Why? Well, exercising at home on uneven ground can be dangerous if you are using a gym machine.
But do not worry. Later we will talk about the basic tools for a gym and show how to set up the perfect gym with a low budget.
What to do if the space is very small?
If the room is small you should avoid the excessive placement of fitness equipment, as you could hit yourself with other machines during training.
In these cases we suggest that you opt for a bodybuilding tower, because you can perform several exercises with this device.
Finally, locating tables in the room is unnecessary. Remember that your goal is to set up a home gym, not set up a living room. If you want to place a piece of furniture, opt for those that are fixed on the wall so that they do not take up much space and do not become an obstacle when training.
Not having furniture inside your gym room is a good idea, since you will not have an excuse to take breaks during workouts and sit and rest for long periods.
If the space is not very wide, it is essential that you do not obstruct the windows of the space you chose to exercise, so avoid locating machines, furniture or other elements that prevent the entry of air into the room or living room.
Although it seems unimportant, ventilation is essential to train comfortably, even for your health.
Finally, make sure the floor is optimal for your workouts. Training on very smooth ground is a factor that could cause serious incidents. Can you imagine that you slip with a weight while training and it falls on top of you?
Exercising on a smooth floor is almost a safe fall, because with a simple drop of sweat (or water) that makes contact with its surface could cause an accident.
If so, I recommend good floor support. Of that later.
Will I train during the nights?
Many people do not have time to do their fitness routines at home during the day, either because they must fulfill their job responsibilities or have to do other activities. For this reason, they are exercised at night, which means that they must include lamps on the ceiling that provide the correct disposal.
We advise you to avoid the placement of decorated light bulbs or with opaque lights. Proper lighting could avoid possible trips, bumps or accidents.
Similarly, you will not want to bother other people who live in your home or your neighbors.
If you are going to exercise at night, first check that the blows of the weights do not cross the room where you are going to install your gym. It is not going to end up bothering other people and it becomes a problem to train at home.
In short, conditioning the space for your gym is not a difficult task, but you should not ignore these details that are very important for you to train safely and comfortably.
Essential elements for setting up a gym at home
What is a power cage and why is it the most important element of a home gym?
Also known as force cages or squats, these home gymnastics devices are structures that are usually made up of four columns joined at their base and at their upper end, which have been designed to function as support to rest a bar at different heights.
In simpler terms, it is a multi-support to do your weight routine at home , such as bench press, deadlift, military press, paddle, squats, etc.
The best thing about these sports gadgets is that you don’t need anyone’s help to use them, because they include safety bars. This means that if you fail to press or squat, you will not be left with the bar on the body.
If your goal is to gain muscle mass then you will need a power cage; also known as force cage.
The muscle cages are the main machine to have at home if you want to gain muscle mass since they allow you to do exercises such as:
- Bench press
- Bulgarian squat with bar
- If the cage has grab bars, you can also do triceps and dominated dips.
What is a bodybuilding tower?
Fitness towers (also known as abdominal towers) are fitness equipment that allows you to tone and strengthen your muscles using the weight of your own body.
These home weight training machines are characterized by including a bar above the level of the head, another at the bottom to make abdominals and incorporate handles at their lateral ends. For this reason they are considered as multifunctional equipment.
These may not be complete like bodybuilding cages but with these devices you can work your arms, back, abdomen and other muscle groups. They also provide an opportunity to gain strength and increase the degree of difficulty of your exercise routine at home, incorporating a weight belt or maintaining a dumbbell between your legs.
Benefits of using bodybuilding towers at home.
The contributions of the abdominal towers are very important for all those people who exercise inside their homes and want to tone their bodies.
Below we detail the benefits that you can enjoy once you have this equipment in your home. Take note!
They allow to work several muscle groups.
Like or similar to a power cage , with these machines you can exercise legs, arms, abdomen and back, so they are quite useful for doing triceps, dominated, abdominal, lunge and vertical knee lifts, all without leaving your home.
It is best that you have the opportunity to exercise these muscles to the fullest in a separate way and without the advice of a coach.
They help increase your functional strength.
The exercises you can do with these fitness devices at home, apart from helping you to grow your muscles, also help you to improve the link between the nervous and muscular systems.
This positively influences the performance of your daily activities such as walking, turning, pulling and pushing.
They contribute to fat burning. Training with these gadgets promotes fat burning, they also help define biceps and back muscles, even contribute to the reduction of sagging waist.
Optimize your posture. By strengthening the back and abdomen you can maintain an erect body posture, getting a thinner and elongated figure.
Reduce back pain. When you exercise with these fitness equipment at home, you not only strengthen the muscles, you also reduce the tension in the neck and back, which will help you reduce muscle discomfort.
You do not need to go to the gym. One of the most remarkable benefits of these weight training machines is that you do not have to pay a monthly fee at the gym to exercise. Although, you will also save travel costs to go to the gym.
It is a good investment. If you are really a fan of the fitness world and dream of setting up a gym at home, you will notice that getting a multifunctional tower is an excellent investment, since in a few months you can get good results without spending money in a gym.
You can train 24/7. Having such a device at home represents a possibility to train whenever you want, because the tower will be available to you at all times. In addition, you can do your exercises listening to music, in underwear, watching TV, etc.
Adjustable Weight Training Bench.
Weight bench: What it is and the benefits of buying one for the home.
Weight benches (or weight training) are home gymnastics devices that have been specially designed to exercise, strengthen and increase muscles.
At first glance, they may remind you of urban or street banks. But according to the modality you choose you will work different muscle parts of your body.
These home weight training machines can become the best allies of those people who want to tone and increase muscle mass from the comfort of their home.
On the other hand, if you combine them with a good muscle cage you will have something very similar to a professional gym due to the amount of exercises you can do with these two.
Benefits of weight training banks:
- They are very versatile, versatile, simple and easy to use fitness devices.
- They allow to lift the free weight (weight discs or dumbbells).
- They provide the possibility of training both the upper and lower train, as well as the middle zone with an extensive variety of exercises.
- The back and spine suffer less when training with these domestic machines.
- The risk of injury is minimal.
- Their designs have a biomechanics system capable of adjusting to different types of users.
- They are ideal for getting strong at home, performing training with established objectives and achieving measurable results, whether medium or long term.
Other muscle areas that benefit from doing your weight training at home with a weight bench are the quadriceps, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and breasts.
Olympic Barbell Bar
Now with your strength cage and your weight bench you can start buying the ideal components to take advantage of these.
For this you will need a long Olympic bar, with which you will be able to do squats , bench press and other compound exercises that will definitely help you gain strength and increase muscle mass.
I recommend investing in buying the best of the best, since the idea is that it lasts many years and at no time get damaged during an exercise.
The Olympic bar that I recommend the AFW 105103, a bar that supports 50 mm discs and which is one of my favorites.
In order to use this long bar you will also need a pair of Olympic weight discs.
Depending on how much weight you can lift you will want to choose the right ones for you. If you are still a newbie I recommend you start with about 10kg and as you get experience you can get heavier.
What are dumbbells and their benefits?
The dumbbells are pieces of bodybuilding that offer several training possibilities, since they are not used exclusively to develop the arms, but also serve to focus the work on other muscles.
With these fitness accessories anyone can get strong at home by working the chest and biceps, for example. All thanks to the fact that they allow repeating patterns of concrete movements with which you will concentrate the weight on a muscle or a muscular group .
Depending on the size and weight of the dumbbells, they can be used to make different patterns and develop brute force. Although, the truth is that these weights are also very useful to lose weight and take care of our health, from the comfort of our home.
Although it is not completely necessary, it does not hurt to buy protection for the floor of your house.
For these you will want to buy a floor mat that resists shock and the weight of the machines that you are going to install to complete your home gym.
The puzzle-shaped mat is the number one choice for home gyms.
This comes with a set of 18 slabs, which will protect your floor from the weight of the machines and also the blows generated by dropping the weights.
I highly recommend these not only for what they are economical but because they will help you greatly in the following:
- Protect your floors from scratches, scratches from falling weights.
- Protect floors from heat and cold. Ideal if you train in parts of the world that are extremely cold or hot.
- They reduce the noise caused by jumps and / or falls of weights on the floor.
- They protect the supports of cardio machines such as home bikes or treadmills .
- They prevent damage to floors due to sweat or liquid spills because they are completely waterproof.
Finally, I must say that these are quite easy to assemble and generate a couple of square meters.
Best fitness accessories to complement a home gym.
The above are the tools that are sure to help you train from the comfort of your home. With these machines and a little imagination you will find the best exercise routines to do at home .
Now, if you want to take things to the next level and improve your new home gym even more then you will want to continue reading since I will show you the accessories to complement your new gym.
Why? The truth is that these fitness elements are of great help to complement your weight routine and, at the same time, you can provide more variety to your training, so you will not get bored of doing the same exercises all the time. Like a running watch , they are not completely necessary but they will make your life much easier.
It is also important that you have other accessories and materials at your fingertips so that you can expand the variety of exercises and achieve innovation in your training, since these fitness elements will allow you to maintain a more varied and dynamic routine.
But what are the accessories and materials you need for your home gym? You do not have to go to another website !, because I have created a complete guide where you will see all the details about it.
One of the main advantages of using these accessories for training is that they are usually small, so they will not take up much space inside your home and keeping them will not represent any inconvenience.
We also have to highlight that the prices of these training elements are very affordable, an aspect in which all users always look.
Eye, you don’t have to buy them all. Only those who think you will need to improve your workouts at home.
Also known as kettlebells, kettlebells are weight training pieces that are shaped like a cannonball and are perfect for toning your muscles faster. Once you include these fitness accessories in your home gym you can train with greater intensity and define each of the muscles in your body.
Unlike traditional dumbbells , it is recommended that you have a kit of kettlebells of 2, 5 or 10 kilograms so you can perform a complete workout. By having a set of weights of this type you will be prepared to improve your lifting capabilities.
Boasting a rough handle that does not slip and weighing 2kg (for beginners), kettlebell that will help you increase functional and explosive strength, as well as achieve great body stability .
It stands out for being of the highest quality and is also quite useful for strengthening ligaments and tendons.
Elastic bands. They can never be missing due to their extensive uses.
Do you want to work the force? Elastic bands represent an excellent alternative to weights, they even allow you to perform almost any type of strength exercise.
Nowadays it is possible to find models with different resistance levels, so that you can choose the one that best suits your requirements or opt for a set of several resistors.
These materials are very cheap since you can buy them by spending only about 15 euros on Amazon, although the ideal is that you opt for a quality model that can withstand at least 20 kilos of tension so that it does not break easily when training in House.
Abdominal roller (recommended if you want to strengthen your abs).
The double exercise wheel is one of those training elements that serves to quickly and effectively reinforce the abdominal area, although it also allows the triceps and shoulders to work.
Of course, for you to obtain good results it is important that during the exercises you keep your back straight (one tip to achieve this is to always look at a fixed point).
If you are really determined to buy this accessory to exercise at home, do not opt for Chinese brands, but for recognized firms in the fitness world. Also, look closely at the type of plastic with which it is manufactured.
Jump rope (optional).
Another fitness accessory at home that should always be present in a home gym is the rope. The reason? It’s simple! It helps you get a better warm-up and perform cardiovascular exercises for effective fat burning, it is even an alternative to work every muscle in your body.
Training with the rope is very fun and, best of all, you can transport this sport tool anywhere. In addition, if you add a good weighted vest to your rope training you will see results much faster.
One of our suggestions when buying a rope is to take into account the density of the cable, its thickness and the material with which it is manufactured, because if you choose a model with a thick cable and low density, the air resistance will begin to be evident in the speed of the turn.
For beginners we recommend opting for a rope with high / medium density.
Mat or mat (recommended if you do not have floor protection).
The mat is a fitness equipment that we should not overlook, especially if within your training you have framed doing floor exercises (stretching, toning, yoga or pilates).
It is really a very useful accessory and its use is practically mandatory to prevent your joints from suffering damage while you exercise on the floor. But, this is not all! You can take your mat to any place to do your exercise routine, either on a trip or on a visit to a friend or family member.
What models are ideal for home fitness? Those that have been specially designed for exercise and those that have an excellent insulator for the sleeping bag. It is important to opt for a quality mat, otherwise, you might regret it after a few months.
Fitness gloves (optional).
Exercising with home gym machines or other sports equipment involves the use of moderate or high loads, which lead to the appearance of chafing and calluses on the hands during workouts.
It is also possible to visualize blisters, cracks, even wounds that make it difficult to perform the exercises. The best way to prevent this problem is with the use of gym gloves.
Therefore, if you want to train comfortably and avoid the appearance of corns, you have to buy some fitness gloves that provide protection to your hands (including palms, back and fingers), or opt for some gloves that usually cover the area of skin that comes in contact with the bar. You choose!
Bosu Balance Trainer: What are they and what is it for? (Optional)
When reading his name you may not know what it is about, but Bosu is an indispensable training element to boost your muscles.
It consists of an accessory that on the one hand has a flat design and on the other has a rubber ball. It serves to stretch and fortify the lower area of the body, as well as to obtain greater resistance in the legs.
In case you are starting in the world of weights, it is best that you get a Bosu with handles to train in a safer way, avoiding possible incidents such as falls or ankle sprains. Once you get used to it, you can use this fitness element without a handle.
Gym ball or fitball (Optional).
If you are looking for a fitness accessory that is quite effective to tone the body and gain muscle from the comfort of your home, the fitball or gym ball is the ideal sports tool for you.
Although it is also used in yogurt and pilates classes, it also serves as the perfect element to complete your home gym, as it opens up the possibilities of doing various stretching exercises and activating all muscle groups.
With these balls you can perform squats, abs and get a good pumping training, it is even possible to use them as chairs to enhance the back and abdominal area.
We advise you to opt for a fitball of at least 65 centimeters in diameter, this is the standard size to hold thin and more bulky users.
It consists of a heavy ball that contributes to the strengthening of different muscle groups, after training in various positions or throwing with the ball. This accessory brings a number of benefits and allows you to do a wide range of exercises.
The medicine ball is a tool that should not be missing in your home gym. It can be obtained in different weights, however, we recommend that you choose a model that has at least 4 kilograms, although the most ideal is that it is 5 kilograms.
Decanting for a lower weight option is not appropriate, because the necessary counterweight would not be exercised to strengthen the muscles and perform other exercises.
Massage roller or foam roller (optional).
It is a fitness tool that works to promote the myofascial release of the muscles, that is, the connective tissue that allows movement and is located around the muscles and other areas of the body.
The massage roller or foam roller has to be incorporated into any routine of bodybuilding exercises to reduce tension and relieve sore areas from weights and repetitive movements.
In short, it is an ideal accessory to give you a self-massage, thanks to its raised surface emulates the sensation produced by the hands of a masseuse.
Aerobics step (optional).
The aerobics step is a great ally to train at home. It always integrates “feet” that allow the adaptation of its height in two or more positions to adjust the level of effort.
One of the characteristics that the users of these training elements value most is that they are very practical and simple to transport, they are also developed with non-slip materials that ensure a reliable and quality session.
However, on smooth surfaces it is important to place a non-slip mat or mat below the step to prevent falls or incidents. If you want to guarantee your stability even more, fix your feet to this fitness accessory and start small if you are a beginner.