Must Have Equipments for Your Home Gym

Building a home gym can be overwhelming due to a lot of options out in the market nowadays.  Where can you find a good deal?  What brand provides good quality?  Which product meets your specific needs?  What are the must have equipments for your home gym?  It’s very challenging to know where to look and where to start.  If you’re trying to start up a home gym so you can build the body of your dreams at the comfort of your own home, it’s important that you know what you need and what equipments can help you conquer your fitness journey.

Here are some of the things I’m currently building up for my own home gym.

must have equipments home gym

MUST HAVE EQUIPMENTS FOR YOUR HOME GYM

If you’re on a budget like I am, you would slowly build your gym by starting with the basics.  The following are must have equipments for your gym that you can start off with.  They are all inexpensive and surely are enough to perform most exercises that you need until you become more advance and or have saved up for the bigger bad boys.

FOR STARTERS MUST HAVES

  1. Exercise Mat: You don’t need to do downward dogs to get a mat.  These things are very useful for a lot of floor and body weight exercises such as planks.  They also serve well for stretching which are very important parts of our workout routine.
  1. Resistance bands: Bands are good alternative and cheaper options when you cannot afford to buy a whole dumbbell set.  They give you the same amount of work and are available in different resistance loads.  As an added bonus, they can be easily stored as they don’t take that much space.
  1. Full length mirror: No…mirrors are not necessary so you can do your selfies.  Who am I kidding?  Of course I use it for my “Workout done!” post for IG!  Kidding aside, besides taking your accountability pictures you can post on Instagram (because it didn’t happen if it wasn’t posted), full length mirrors are great to ensure that your form is correct when doing your exercises.  There’s nothing more disastrous than lifting a heavy barbell with a wrong form.
  1. Jump Rope: Next to running and HIIT bodyweight exercises (which costs nothing), jump rope is the cheapest cardio item you can get for your cardiovascular training.  It looks like kids play but it is harder than it looks and will surely give you a sweat!

If you really just wanted the basics, you’re all set with the 4 items we discussed.  All you need is yourself and show up as there are a lot of effective bodyweight exercises you can do.  Click here to see a whole body workout with no equipment needed.  Add on the mat, bands, mirror, and jump rope and you can basically do a variety of exercise moves. 

The next items are still considered starters but not mandatory.  They are nice to have for increased weight and range of motion but would require a little bit more cash.  Don’t you worry–just a little.  These items are still considered inexpensive relative to the bonus items we’ll discuss later.

FOR STARTERS NICE TO HAVES

  1. Dumbbells: Dumbbells are great since they offer a range of weights from really light to super heavy.  I suggest to get a light set of 5, 8, 10, 15 pounds and 20 and 25 pounds for the heavy side as a start.  This weight variety should offer you lots of options so you can progressively overload (increase your weight so you can barely lift on your last 2-3 reps) your weights as you get stronger.   
  1. Kettlebells: I love kettlebells as it gives you both worlds of strength training and cardio.  There are tons of exercises that you can do to provide some bad ass core power, balance, speed, endurance, and more.  You might argue that dumbbells are similar but there are certain moves that are just unique to the kettlebell.

FOR ADVANCED TRAINERS MUST HAVES

  1. Squat Rack / Barbell / Plates: Barbells and any kind of free weights are much preferable than gym machines as they provide more range of motion.  Unlike gym machines which are well-supported, you can have more core engagement as you stabilize yourself during each move.  Racks will assist you in doing major exercises such as squats  for the biggest muscle.  
  1. Bench: Benches are great and are not limited to only dumbbell and bench press exercises.  If you get an adjustable one, you can do incline and declines, or even use it as step for bulgarian splits.
  1. Pull-up Bar: Workout your back and arms by doing some pull-ups and chin-ups.  Simplest exercises can be the best ones and beat any of the fancy high-tech equipment.  Plus, I bet you didn’t think you can use a pull-up bar to get some six-pack abs!  Sample exercises are hanging knee raises, leg raises, and windscreen wipers.
  1. Floor Mats: If you’re lifting some heavy weights, floor mats are good investment to protect your gym floor and absorb heavy weight drops.

OPTIONAL / BONUS EQUIPMENTS

  1. Stability Ball: You can push a lot of basic exercises to whole ‘notha level by using a stability ball.  Place your hands on the ball while doing pushups and feel those unused muscles and core to use as you try to keep good form on an unstable ball.
  1. Battle Ropes: Like kettlebells, battle ropes combine the beauty of both weight training and cardiovascular endurance training.  Except it is much more fun swinging these things around!
  1. Cardio Machine of Your Choice (Treadmill, Elliptical, or Rower): There are times when I just want to do cardio mindlessly without having to step outside or planning a High Intensity Interval workout.  To complete my home gym, I would love to have a piece of cardio equipment such as an elliptical.  

ALL-IN-ONE HOME GYM

You can buy the must have equipments for your home gym to slowly build up your own dream muscle factory.  But if you are in a rush, you want to have several workouts available to you right away, and you have some cash to spare, I suggest getting an all-in-one home gym.

I was specifically looking for something that has some of my favorite machines from my local gym. 

Cables…

Smith machine…

Pull-up bar…

Bench…

This machine has it!

I present to you…

The Marcy SM-4008 Combo Smith Machine

must have equipments home gym

This machine is very versatile and has comprehensive exercise options.  It offers:

    • Smith Machine: Allows you to perform various strength training workouts.  It has safety stops and bar catches to ensure that you are safe as you do your intense workouts.  
    • Cable Machine: It as a cable system that allows you to perform a lot of the classic all-time favorite workouts.  Pulley system is comprised of the following:
          • Two upper pulleys for  crossovers and tricep pulldowns.  
          • Mid pulley for chest press
          • Bottom pulley foot plate for seated rows.

must have equipments home gym

    • Pull-up Bar: Allows for upper body development as you use your body weight to develop your back, shoulders, and arms.
    • Adjustable Bench: Machine comes with a bench where you can do your bench presses, dumbbell workouts, and more.  Back is adjustable which allows you to perform several inclined/declined workouts.  Uphostery feels nice to the tough and has a matte feeling that won’t make you feel like sliding off.
    • Leg Developer: Bend comes with a total leg developer where you can place plates to perform your leg extensions and lying leg curls.

must have equipments home gym

    • Storage Posts:  Posts allows a place to organize your weight plates so they are not lying all over your gym floor (who wants a messy gym?).
    • Accessories: Machine includes a V-bar, shiver bar, triceps ropem, chain link, ankle strap, and two handles so you can perform more customizable workouts.

must have equipments home gym

Machine is well-built, sturdy, and made of steel to make you feel safe in your workouts.  It helps target different body parts and surprisingly does not take up much space.  It takes up about 1/4 of my single car garage. 

I purchased my home gym from amazon.  And it was the most affordable one that met all of my needs.

Downside

I love the machine and it fits my needs perfectly.  But with the price tag (the most affordable one I found in the market that offers this specifc ranges of exercises), it does come with a few downsides.

    • It does not come with plates.  You have to buy your own weights which I don’t mind at all.  I believe that each person has his/her own needs, skillset, and goals and should buy his/her custom weight plates.  The company cannot just manufacture all plates that covers all population.
    • It’s perfect for beginner to intermediate trainers.  If you are advanced and love to lift extremely heavy, I don’t think this machine is for you.  The maximum weight the bar can hold is 300 pounds and bench can hold 600 pounds including the user.

Not everyone can afford to have a home gym.  For me, I can’t afford to pay for a gym membership for life either.  So I opted to invest and start building up my own at the comfort of my own abode starting with the basic must have equipments for my home gym.  I can go anytime I want—no commute and no shower needed 😉

Crush those goals!

 

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