When I tell people where I train most of them are amazed that I can add so much mass to my body with a Bowflex or Soloflex. At least that's what they assume. When I tell them that I have a complete gym setup at home most are amazed that I would take the time to do this and not just join a gym.
I train in a gym on occasion but when I am training I hate to be around people. I don't want anyone talking to me, looking at me, or getting in my way. At home I never have to wait on equipment, I can train with my shirt off, I can listen to Korn, Rob Zombie, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park (you get the picture) as loud as I please and not have to sit through any of that Backstreet Boys crap.
At home I don't have to follow any particular schedule. If I want to get up and workout early in the morning I can, if I want to train late at night (which I do quite often) I can. By training at home there are no restrictions on what I can and can't do.
To me, the pros far out weigh the cons when training at home. In this article I will discuss the types of equipment that I have and the ones that I feel necessary to build a big physique.
When I first thought of where I wanted to workout I thought about a couple of gyms around my area. Then I decided to look into a good home gym. The first thing I did was to decide where to put it. I didn't want to be limited to space so I decided the garage was the best place for it.
It's hot as hell during the summer and colder than a witch's tit in an iron bra doing pushups in the snow, in the winter. So I purchased a big fan for the summers and I just have to bundle up during the winters.
Home Gym Equipment Needs
After deciding where to put my home gym I stared looking for equipment! So here is a list of all the equipment I have and an approximate price for each piece.
I knew I wanted an Olympic style weights when I started shopping. The usual Olympic set comes with an Olympic bar with a variety of different pound plates. The entire set weighs 300lbs or so. I spent right at $100 for this. Don't settle that concrete crap. Buy real weights, you will be much happier.
I have a Weider bench that is a flat bench, which inclines and declines. It has a preacher curl setup on it as well. It also has the leg extension and leg curl attachment. So just the bench alone has a lot of uses! Luckily when I bought it, it was marked down to $79.
Not on sale it will run you $115 or so. But just make sure it will hold you the amount of weight you will be using. In other words don't buy some piece of crap.
DumbbellsI didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a dumbbell set with weight ranging from 30lbs to 100lb dumbbells so I opted for the Olympic dumbbells. They run about $25 a piece for a 15lb dumbbell. I can add weight and strip weight as I please.
I love these things and if space is tight they work out great. Each dumbbell if loaded full can weigh well over 125lbs.
Incline BenchThis was free. My friend is a football coach and asked me if I needed an incline bench that they were going to put it in the garbage. Aside from the padding coming apart it was in perfect condition. It has an adjustable seat and three different bar placements on it. This came in handy since my Weider Bench didn't extend to the best angle for me.
Multi-Purpose Pec Deck:
This is by Weider. Once again I was in a local sporting goods shop just minding my business and there it was. Last one in the store and marked down to � off. It cost me $125.
It has a pec deck, machine bench press, pull down bar for training the lats, leg extension attachment which I have never used.
With this machine I can do so many of the exercises I could do at a gym. I can do pec flies, machine press, lat pull downs, pull ups, seated rows, triceps push downs and cable work when training biceps and forearms. This machine really completed my home gym nicely. It allows me to do more than just the basic movements.
By far the best piece of equipment I have yet to purchase. Once again I got this on sale after Christmas last year for $99. This makes the entire workout better. When doing squats I don't have to kill myself taking the weight off of the rack from the flat bench. I use this for just about every body part.
It has adjustable settings for bar placement. I can place the bar about knee height, which is great for doing deadlifts, or a little higher when doing barbell curls and bent rows. I can stress how important this piece has been for me in the past year. Buy one, you won't regret it.
This is another must. I have a good, actually two good stereos with CD players in them. I have a CD burner on my computer so I download a ton of mp3s and make my own workout CDs. This has been great on those 5 am training days when I need a little pick me up.
If you train in the garage as I do you will need a fan? It gets hot as hell in there.
Now these are expensive unless you have an uncle like I did who was going to throw them away. This is not a must but it does allow you to check your form, and admire the pump you have going. You just can't go out and buy mirrors either. You need to get some of good quality.
I looked at some cheapos and they either made me look tall and skinny or short and fat, kind of like the mirrors in Fun Houses.
I like to train barefoot. So I have a lot of old carpet in my garage so on cold mornings the garage floor won't freeze my feet and it also saves on wear and tear of my garage floor.
To me training at home is the only way to go. It's a ton more motivation for me when I lift over 300lbs for close grip bench press. With no spotter I better get the weight up or I am in deep doo-doo. I can train when I want, I can take my time and I don't have to worry about slamming the weight down after a grueling set and have some skinny worker come over to me and tell me "stop doing that or you will tear it up".
In my next article I will touch on different workouts for those who train at home. I will be very broad going from people who only have a bench and some weights to people like myself who have a more complete gym.
Until next time: Lift Hard, Stay Drug Free
"I once saw a fat woman wearing a shirt that said GUESS on it,
I said thyroid problem."