Best Home Gym Equipment Money Can Buy
Exercise is a vital component of achieving your balanced lifestyle. Exercise can stimulate weight loss, the maintenance, and if you eat enough calories – the growth of your muscle mass and strength.
On top of that exercise has a rejuvenating effect on your entire body, and exercise serves as an excellent stress-reliever for body and mind.
Not only does exercise affect your physique positively, it also stimulates the production of a great amount of hormones that make you feel happier, more satisfied & productive.
However, if you are not really a fan of spending hours in a humid gym, waiting for people to finish off their exercises, or lets not forget – the monthly recurring fee for your gym membership you may not be as inclined to work-out.
However, there is a solution!
With a couple of simple pieces of equipment you can create excellent (full-body) workouts in the comfort of your very own home – the home workouts will have the exact same results as the workouts with the numerous amounts of equipment you have in the gym – with their doubtful use, and effect on muscle tissue growth in comparison to home gym workouts.
This equipment can all be implemented relative to the level of advancement of the user. This equipment is applicable whether you are and advanced athlete, or just starting out with your healthy lifestyle.
What Does Exercise Do For Me?
I like to see exercise and diet as sort of symbionts, they often have a hard time lasting without the other. If you manage to practice both at the same time it often contributes to the longevity of your new lifestyle.
Aside from that, it is hardly effective to workout 6 days a week – only to indulge in burgers and regular diet coke. You will be far better off feeding your fatigued muscles with powerful nutrition like eggs, avocado’s & nuts for example – to support your body’s reparation processes.
Eating junk-food while training your butt off will simply never lead you to the healthy and fit physique you desire. Vice versa it is not as effective to be on a healthy diet, like keto for instance, only to be sedentary all day. It is simply not the optimal environment for your body to be healthy.
When pairing exercise with other effective weight loss strategies like intermittent fasting and/or the ketogenic diet you will further stimulate your body to burn fat as its main source of fuel.
Exercise and diet go hand in hand.
A combination of both of these is the most optimal environment for your body to be healthy, and to reach your goals with, as well as maintain your results when you get there. Whether that is to simply improve your health, to get the body of your dreams, or to perform as an athlete.
As research has shown time and time again – Exercise has a host of benefits to provide for your body:
- Exercise stimulates fat loss
- Exercise helps you maintain a youthful skin
- Exercise aids in helping your preserve bone density, and health
- Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as cognitive diseases such as dementia
- Exercise stimulates the maintenance and growth of your lean body mass, or muscle tissue
- Exercise makes you feel happier because of the hormones that are produced upon intense physical activity. An example of this are endorphines.
Which Exercises Are Most Effective For Me?
When I first started working out almost a decade ago, I incorporated all these minor, single-joint exercises. In the world of fitness these are known as ‘isolation exercises’. Back then this was highly popular. The thought process about incorporating isolation movements into your workout routine used to be that you train your muscles very targeted, resulting in better progress.
However, lately compound exercises have been way more trending, and for good reason. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that involve multiple joints and separate muscle groups to execute the movement. These compound exercises very much simulate how the body is designed, multiple separate ‘components’ of your body working together.
Your muscles greatly benefit from this.
While isolation exercises don’t deserve to be demonized in any way, they simply do not give you the best bang for buck. I recommend to incorporate no more than 1 isolation exercise per muscle group. The bulk of your training regimen optimally consists of compound exercises.
Not only do compound movements train a lot more muscles within one movement – they also save you a lot of time since you are targeting that much separate muscles. I often only use 4, up to a maximum of 6 exercises per workout.
Couple that with a bit of cardio, and you are done within an hour with a more efficient workout than spending 3 hours on isolation exercises each workout.
The big exercises I recommend you incorporate into your workout routine are:
- Squats (Any variation – Sumo, goblet, high-bar, low-bar, box, jump)
- Pull ups (Chin ups)
- Bench press (Barbell or dumbbell)
- Shoulder press (Barbell or dumbbell)
For cardio you can incorporate either incorporate steady state(on a machine) in door, or you can go running/cycling outside. Alternatively you can perform high intensity circuit style (body) weight training with short resting periods to keep your metabolism super high.
Another good option that I like to incorporate is rope jumping. Not only is rope jumping extremely fun to do, you also burn a lot of calories with it. On average you burn an astounding 117 calories with just 10 minutes of jump roping! (as a bonus your calves will be on fire, goodluck ascending staircases the following day 😉 )
What Is The Best Home Gym Equipment?
I will list the best home gym equipment so you can train all your muscles with dedicated home workouts, regardless of your degree of experience. I will list the equipment from top to bottom, from most recommended down to still very useful – but not required for a complete workout routine.
I will list equipment that supports both the execution of compound, as well as isolation exercises – so you can determine which home gym equipment is best suited for your needs & uses!
To start the list off with – one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can think of. These barely take up any space and allow you to execute bench presses, squats & deadlifts – and many more.
I recommend you get your hands on a set of iron dumbbells since these are more solid, and less prone to get damaged, like you may get with rubber dumbbells. As you will be using these at home I suggest you get adjustable dumbbells; like the AmazonBasics Dumbbells as they come with a set of weights as well. This will allow you to increase the load as you get stronger.
- Price – For a relatively low price you get a set of dumbbells that will do the trick. They are adjustable, meaning that you can increase the weight as you progress in your strength levels. The AmazonBasics dumbbells come with 2 handles, 4 screws, and a total of 38 pounds of weight.
- Adjustable – Since you can always buy a few extra plates, you can increase the weight even if you are no longer challenging yourself with the plates that come with the dumbbells itself. The drilling is 30 millimeters( in case you want to buy additional plates)
Another alternative that you may consider, especially as you get more advanced and have an increasing amount of plates on your dumbbells, are the Ironmaster Quick-Lock dumbbells.
Since the fixation of the plates doesn’t work via a screwing mechanism like the ones from Amazon, but instead they are locked with a pin insertion on the side – allowing you to rapidly switch up the weight of your dumbbells, with a single spin on the insertion. Ideal if you want to save time!
- Ease of use – Since these dumbbells come with a pin lock, you only have to turn the pin, and pull it to adjust the weight. Making these dumbbells ideal if you want to incorporate drop sets(where you quickly have to switch the amount of weight), or if you simply want to save time!
- Weight – Since these dumbbells come with a standard total weight of 45 lbs (or 20 KG) per dumbbell they provide with a lot of room to increase the weight as your strength increases. If the weight still becomes too light for you at some point – Ironmaster sells a 120 lb add-on kit for $299, you can continue to progress endlessly regardless of your current level.
- Since the shape of these dumbbells is rectangular, they allow for proper execution on exercises like the Push up row.moreso than with a round dumbbell that rolls away.
- The Ironmaster quicklock dumbbells come with a stand that is very efficient to store the dumbbells as well as the plates in. That way it barely takes up any place in your room since the stand has a small footprint!
- The plates on these are interchangable with the Ironmaster Quick-Lock kettlebells.
* Click here for a more in-depth look at the best dumbbells available on the market right now!
2. Jump Rope
Ideal to incorporate as a fun, cheap and effective way of home-gym cardio – jump roping burns an incredible amount of calories, while also exercising your calves, shoulder and leg muscles. A jump rope is also easy to take with you if you want to continue jump roping when you are going on a vacation to keep up your conditioning, for instance.
You can use a skipping rope for a warm up by using it with light intensity, as well as a full-blown high intensity interval workout for a complete cardio routine.
- Adjustable This jump rope comes with adjustable cables. The maximum length is 10 feet, making it adjustable to your length whether you are tall, or short!
- Light weight – The lightweight 2.5mm cable allows for a rapid pace in your rope skipping.
- Take it with you anywhere you go – The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope comes with a convenient nylon bag to make it easy to take it anywhere with you
An excellent piece of equipment to use with a host of exercises that are simply a bit clumsy to do with dumbbells. A good example of this is the squat swing, in which you first perform a squat, with the weight in front of you – followed up by a shoulder front raise. The gravity point of kettlebells(at the bottom, instead of evenly divided like with a dumbbell) makes a kettlebell more suitable for exercises like these.
- Different feel than dumbbells – Due to the gravity point of the weight it is more suitable to perform certain exercises like the squat swing, upright rows & rear deadlifts. Alternatively kettlebells can be used as a substitute for exercises that are also very viable to perform with dumbbells, but will give you a different contraction when performed with a kettlebell; a good example of this is the incline dumbbell curl in my opinion.
- More usability – The handle makes the kettlebell suitable for exercises that require both hands, like for instance upright rows & pullovers, as well as exercises that would normally be most suited for a barbell – like squats(as a goblet squat) & deadlifts.
I personally recommend you to get your hands on the Ironmaster Quick-lock kettlebell for the same reason i recommend their dumbbells.
- The Ironmaster Quick-Lock kettlebell is adjustable – making it very suitable to continue using the same kettlebell; but only increasing the weight.
- Usability – Unlike any other adjustable kettlebells, The Ironmaster Quick-Lock will allow you to switch weights very fast, making it very suitable for drop sets or if you want to save time on your workouts.
- Progresses along with your strength – The Ironmaster Kettlebell comes with 57.5 lbs of weight, allowing for a lot of progression within your strength.
- The plates on these are interchangable with the Ironmaster Quick-Lock dumbbells
4. Fitness bench
If you want to increase the arsenal of exercises you can perform, it is a good idea to get yourself a fitness bench so you can perform a host of effective exercises like bench press(Incline & decline as well), seated military press, pullovers, lying triceps extensions & reverse crunches just to name a few.
Again, like their dumbbells & kettlebells, Ironmaster really out did themselves with this bench in terms of usability, quality and solidity.
- Adjustable – The Ironmaster Super Bench is fully adjustable with 11 angles; ranging from decline to incline to upright.
- Lightweight, but very solid – With its light weight it can easily be moved to where you see fit, but make no mistake – this bench can support up to 1000 lbs of weight.
- Expandable – Not only is this bench versatile in its use with dumbbells & barbells and all the exercises you can perform on this bench with those – the Ironmaster Super Bench also allows various expansions in the form of various attachments that you can add to the frame of the bench making exercises like lat pulldowns, crunches, dips, chin-ups, pull-ups & preacher curls a possibility!
Another piece of equipment i highly recommend you to get for your home gym setup. While this piece will take up some space in your home, and you can perform most of the exercises you can perform with a barbell – with kettlebells, dumbbells or even bodyweight as well – barbells simply provide a better capacity to progress in these exercises.
If you can spare the room for one – i highly recommend you purchase it.
The olympic bar XMark Elite Series I is an excellent olympic barbell with great quality for the price. This barbell is s sturdy it will last multiple lifetimes.
- Low pricing – Priced at just under $150 this bar will fulfill all your workout needs.
- Overloading capacity – This barbell is capable of handling 1500 lbs of weight, meaning that you can progress for years and years using the same barbell.
- Easy spin – The 6 needle bearings allow for an easy spin when holding the bar while the weight pins turn, making ab rollouts possible, as well as easily rolling the barbell out if you are for instance trying to move the weight in position for a deadlift.
I personally have great experiences with locking your plates in with the Greententljs Olympic Barbell Clamps 2 – a set of clamps that are lockable with just one hand allow for very easy adjusting of your barbell load. These are very durable and will last you a lifetime.
6. Exercise Mat
An unmissable piece of equipment, most commonly used to perform your abdominal workout routines on. An exercise mat can be used for exercises such as crunches, reverse crunches, floor presses, mountain climbers – but it can also serve as a support for your knees when you are doing sets of ab rollouts.
I recommend that you get a slightly thicker exercise mat to avoid any back problems, especially when you have hard floors underneath.
The Prosource Fit Tri-Fold Folding Thick Exercise Mat is an excellent choice in that regard, for a very attractive price.
- Foldable – The exercise mat from ProsourceFit is foldable, making it ideal to take anywhere with you.
- Thickness – Because of the thickness it protects your back and provides a solid support for your back, and joints while your perform your movements.
- Easy to clean – The vinyl layer on the ProsourceFit mat makes it easy to clean after having used it.
- Pricing – At just $40 it will give you the only tool you need to keep your abs visible and toned for the rest of your life.
7. Pull-Up Bar
Another great addition to your home gym equipment if you can spare the space on your wall, or doorway for it. A pull up bar will not only allow you to perform regular pull ups on, but chin ups(hands facing towards you), and hanging leg raises(abs) as well – making this a full body piece of equipment.
For doorway use – i recommend you buy the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar.
- No damage to your doorway – Since the bar grips the upper door post it doesnt leave any damage on your doorway.
- Installable within seconds – Since you don’t have to mount it with screws or tape, the bar can be ‘installed’ during your workout and removed when you are done.
- Low pricing – Since the bar costs you less than $30 to perform alot of full body compound exercises on – it is an absolute no-brainer.
For on-wall mounting, a good option is the Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount Pull Up Bar.
8. EZ Bar
Next to the traditional olympic bar – i recommend you to buy an EZ-bar for exercises where your hands are narrowly placed together like tricep extensions, close grip bench presses & barbell pullovers.
The reason for this is your wrist health. Positioning your hands on a straight bar with the aforementioned exercises will put a lot of unecessary strain on your wrists which may lead to injuries.
Another reason is the different contractions due to the different hand placement, as well as EZ bars being shorter and thus concentrating the weight to a more narrow point.
The XMark Olympic EZ Curl Bar is a great bar for your workouts at a relatively low price of just $230, evem with added weights to allow for progression!
- Interchangeable plates – It comes with 50mm drilling, making the plates interchangeable with your regular olympic barbell plates.
- Diverse usability – Allows for a host of exercises – both isolation as well as compound
- Strong coating – With its extremelty durable black manganese phosphate coating you will be ensured that the paint is protected and will not fade. It is very sturdy.
- Weight support – This sturdy EZ bar supports up to 400 lbs of plates which allows your continued progression!
- 65 LBS of plates – This set comes with 65 lbs of plates to allow for continued progression for at least a few months.
- Pricing – At only $230 this EZ bar and the weights come at a very attractive price.
Same as the regular XMark Elite olympic bar – i highly recommend you to purchase the Greententljs Olympic Barbell Clamps, to ensure your plates are securely locked on the bar, as well as easy to remove with just one hand.
9. Ab Wheel Roller
As a full-body trainer the ab roller will be a great addition to your home gym workouts.
While the ab roller targets almost all muscles in your entire body when you perform ab rollouts, the primary targeted muscle group will be your abdominal muscles, along with your core.
Ab-rollouts are personally one of my favorite exercises to incorporate into my routine. They are extremely effective at targeting all your abs. In fact – if you do 3-5 sets of this exercise alone it will be enough to make you sore.
Along with your abs, you will target your back muscles, shoulders, trapezius, forearms & triceps muscles with ab rollouts:
The Perfect Fitness Ab Roller holds a few advantages over other, more basic ab rollers.
- Excellent grip – The Perfect Fitness Ab roller has handles that are shaped in line with your wrists, giving you a better and more firm grip on the roller.
- Easy to take with you – The handles are removable which makes them easy to take with you on a vacation for instance.
- More muscle activation – The use of a spring mechanism inside the wheel makes it more effective at putting constant tension on your muscles, making for a more effective workout – which in turn will lead to better results.
Why Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
As you can see – you obviously don’t need to spend a monthly recurring payment on a gym membership in order to get your workout routines in.
You can exercise every muscle whether you are a beginner, or an advanced athelete in the comfort of your very own home -with the equipment i listed above. While it will cost you a minor initial investment, buying your own home gym equipment will save you money in the long run – as well as saving you from all the common annoyances we all tend to run into in public gyms.
If you want to take your home gym to the next level you can also consider buying one of my most recommended power cages for a complete home gym that will give you the ability to perform any exercise you can think of!
Additionally, if you are interested in an exercise routine that doesn’t require any piece of equipment at all, but still builds slabs of muscle – you can check out my muscle building workout plan here.
As always if you have any questions, or tips/products you like to apply to your home gym – please leave them in the comments below!