Here’s the deal: You can burn as much fat and pack on as much muscle at your home gym as any public gym (BUT you need to choose the correct equipment!).
Some home equipment is bought and used as a much-too-heavy paper weight. Or it collects dust in the corner of the basement…
On the other hand, a lot of fitness equipment is a waste of money. The department store stock isn’t built with much quality. They tend to break down within weeks of use.
Your home gym is an investment. It is an investment into the lifestyle of health and wellness. And this investment will pay you multiple dividends:
In other words, exercising will make you feel better, look better, and live longer. Your home gym will keep you physically active and mentally sharp. Your physical fitness is priceless: proper fitness has been proven to increase life expectancy by 7 years! (2)
Home gyms have an added bonus, they can save hours of commute time every single week by providing a workout space in your own house.
I’m sure you have used the commute as an excuse to not go to the gym! (I know I have…)
Even if you are not interested in a full gym setup, adding 1 or 2 pieces of the following equipment can replace a day at a commercial gym.
Here are the 9 home gym essentials that will guarantee a workout capable of reaching your fitness goals:
Let’s start with the obvious ‘MUST HAVE’ piece of equipment for the home gym done right. The Power Rack.
(I am including the bar and the plates with this purchase automatically so this list can be more fun!)
The power rack and its accessories allow for the widest variety of compound movements:
If you want to strengthen your entire body - or add head-turning lean muscle to the shoulders, arms, chest, back, and legs - a power rack is a must.
And it is perfect for a home gym. You can progressively overload each movement and not have to worry. The added safety catchers and spotter arms will ensure the gains and lessen the pains.
So if resistance training is crucial to your physical activity needs AND you can only invest in one piece of equipment… The power rack is the addition for you.
I know. Another obvious, boring choice. But it is an irreplaceable piece to every gym - home or commercial. You need it to get the full benefit of a power rack. And dumbbells lose half of their value without an adjustable bench (more on dumbbells in a minute!).
The adjustable bench press gives you the ability to perform all of the primary pressing movements - using a barbell or dumbbells.
It also can be used for a variety of accessory movements for the entire body:
This list could go on for hundreds of exercises, but the endless variety of movements has one constant: The adjustable bench.
The power rack offers you a variety of compound movements.
The functional trainer offers you a variety of accessory movements.
With the guided instructions, some attachments, and creativity you will be able to complete nearly every upper body - and a few lower body - accessory movements. From every angle. With consistent resistance from the cables.
I am going to stop there. I could type out variations for hours.
This machine is a body-building home gym favorite. You could get a full-body workout from this machine alone!
If you want a variety of accessory movements for a fraction of the price, these are for you.
There are countless tradeoffs in the amount of exercises, angles, and resistance. However, you can still work every upper body part. These will quickly and easily add variety to your workout. They are easy to store and can be taken anywhere to use.
Dumbbells are a staple in any gym - home or commercial.
They add variety to barbell compound movements and can perform the other accessory movements that the cable machine can’t.
If you have a power rack, dumbbells, and a cable machine, you never have to set foot in a commercial gym again.
Why adjustable? A full set of dumbbells will be expensive and take up a lot of space. This is a more cost effective alternative that takes up as much floor space as 2 pairs of shoes.
You might be catching on to the theme of this list - versatility. Home gyms typically lack large amounts of square footage. You need effective equipment that can provide more value in their exercise capabilities than the space they occupy. That is what you’re searching for!
The TRX is the perfect definition of this. By watching a quick tutorial on Youtube, the TRX will provide a blood-pumping workout for any muscle group.
The best part about the TRX: the workouts are scalable. You can change the angle of your body to modify the load and the difficulty of the movement.
Since there are no free weights involved, the TRX provides low impact movement. Use it as an accessory after compound movements, for variation in a workout routine, or when the joints are aching but you desperately need a workout.
If you haven’t already, try this out!
Alright lets add a fun one to the list. The conditioning ropes. These are another low-impact, versatile option to add to your workout.
You can use them for explosive training, endurance training, strength training, or a combination of the three.
Implement these in your routine to increase endurance, improve balance and coordination, and strengthen your arms, shoulders, and back.
Have fun with this. Use it in a super set. Use it as a finisher for a painful burnout set. Or if you are daring, try doing a full length workout with this rope. You will feel it in the morning!
I had to add this to the list. It is cheap, takes up no space, and is the best ab workout you will ever receive!
If you don’t want strong abdominals, then continue to overlook this must-have piece of equipment.
It is time to add some cardio equipment to the list. There is a reason I put cardio on the bottom…
But if you want to burn calories and maintain a healthy heart, cardio is a must.
And the most common cardio equipment is the best option for a home gym - the treadmill.
Want lower impact, low intensity? You can walk.
Want to burn up the calories and get a sweat going? Throw the treadmill on an incline and walk at a moderate pace.
And of course the treadmill can be used for long jogs and intense, HIIT-style sprints.
For someone that despises even looking at a treadmill. Or for those that like to add variation to their cardio. The stationary bike is for you.
The stationary bike has less impact on the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. If you want all the benefits of cardio but need to get off your feet, buy a stationary bike.
Option 1 is the classic, old-fashioned spin bike. Hop on and ride for miles. This bike is more effective at keeping pace for long periods of time. Great for low-intensity steady state cardio!
You have probably seen this crazy contraption. If not, here is your chance to look away.
The assault bike uses a giant fan as resistance. The harder you pedal and move the handles, the more resistance the bike creates. This is brutal. But a great way to perform HIIT style workouts.
For those of you with the ‘challenge accepted’ personality, enjoy this at your own risk! Your lungs will be on fire.
We have all been there. You get done with your workout. You’re feeling refreshed. That perfect level of tired but not too tired.
Then a day later - maybe a few hours later - your muscles get sore and tender. Every muscle you move starts to tighten up. You are uncomfortable and want to lie down absolutely still.
Yeah, that isn’t fun. Which is why a massage gun is essential for any gym-goer or home gym enthusiast.
It is handheld and can target specific trigger points for near-instant relief. Also, you do not have to flop on the ground like a fish like you do with a foam roller.
It can be used pre-workout as a warm-up or after your workout to promote recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and relieve the limiting feeling of muscle tension.
Seriously. If you do not have a massage gun, get one. It is a life saver.
You made it to the end! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this blog post. The P3 family appreciates it!
This list provides you with the ‘MUST-HAVES’ in your home-gym. But I know that working out is subjective and you need to outfit the gym based on your interests and needs…
So if you have any unique ‘MUST HAVES’ in your gym… We want to know!
If you think I left out a crucial piece of equipment… We want to know!
What are your favorite pieces of home gym equipment?
Leave a comment for us down below!