There are many people who just don’t like commercial gyms. This is understandable since most commercial gyms suck really bad and are often nothing more than a rip-off. Having a home gym offers serious advantages.
Number one is, of course, the fact that you save a lot of time. You don’t need to travel 2 hours and weight for the sweaty chemists to finally give you a chance to use the equipment. The only downside of training in a home gym is that it can be considered somewhat asocial but how many friends did you make in the gym anyway?
So, what does a home gym needs to be effective? It really depends on what exercises you want to be doing.
1. Bodyweight focus
The most minimalistic home gym would be one consisting of a pull-up bar and a dip station. If you want to focus on bodyweight exercises, that’s all you need – a way to do pull-ups and dips.
While dips and pull-ups are plenty for your upper body, similar minimalistic gyms would make it a little hard to train your legs. Of course, you can do different single leg exercises such as pistols and Bulgarian split squats but they are not exactly the most optimal way to train your lower body.
2. Barbell focus
If you want to include the basic barbell exercises in your routine, you need a stable power rack, good Olympic bar, weights, collars and chalk. The power cage must have safety pins so that you can bench press and squat safely in it when you are alone. However, even if you have that, we still recommend that you NEVER max out alone for obvious safety reasons.
The power rack can also be used for pull-ups/chin-ups/ring pull-ups and if you are a little creative you may even be able to do some dips. This is considered to be the most complete home gym that has absolutely no limitations. There are professional powerlifters such as Mike Tuchscherer who are known for developing their strength in similar garage gyms.
3.Kettlebell and dumbbell focus
While it would be nice to have a power rack in your house, it’s expensive and most people don’t have the space. In that case you may go the kettlebell + dumbbell way. Those two will allow you to build quite a lot of strength and mobility for the most part. Of course, you won’t be able to develop as much brute strength as the barbell approach allows you too, but you can still get in a pretty good shape with different complexes. On top of everything this method can be combined with a lot of bodyweight exercises and you will, without a doubt, be stronger and fitter than 90% of the population.