Tuesday, August 18, 2015

FAQ Home Gym


“I have plenty of unused space in my basement and I’m considering using it for a home gym. Because of the cost I’ll have to do it over time but where should I start?All I have at this point is a used set of weights consisting of 1 Olympic bar and about 500 pounds of plates." C.J., Memphis, TN.

First, if you are married, try to hide the fact you have unused space anywhere in your house. Women, like Nature, abhor a vacuum and will do their best to fill it with something!

Obviously, you want to cover the basics first-items you’ll use the most regardless of your personal goals. As you get the basics covered, your choices will depend somewhat on your goals. Since you indicated you main goal was to gain muscle mass and you're relatively new to lifting my choices would be for the items you'll get the most use out of .

That being said, my first purchase would be a heavy weight adjustable bench with upright bar supports. Not something you would find in the sporting goods department at Sears but a bench rated to handle the kind of weight you’ll be handling. If you can afford to, go ahead and get the power rack mentioned below and you can get by without the uprights.
Adjustable Bench

Next on my list would be a good set of dumbbells. You can start with a set up to about 50 pounds and add to from there as need and money permit. (I'd recommend Rogue or York brands)

My third purchase would be a good quality power rack or squat rack. For a home gym I’d go with a rack with safety bars. Rogue Monster Lite racks can be used as power rack or squat racks.
Power Rack

After that the possibilities are enormous. I would throw in some auxiliary items:
A jump rope, a heavy bag and gloves, pull-up and/or dip bars and the like. 

And watch the catalogs for sales and free shipping specials.

Setting up a home gym is not cheap but it can be worth it the long run....no time wasted  (or gasoline) in driving back and forth, no dues or initiation fees and you are less likely to talk yourself into skipping your workouts. 

Everyone likes to save money but don't skimp on quality. Pay a little more for quality and it will last for years and be much, much safer. 

Oh, and get some matting (even if it’s just thick carpet) on the floor so your wife doesn’t realize you have unused space in the basement. And buy some of that “spider web in a can” at the joke shop to put around the entrance!

Also be sure to read Dan John's advice on building a home gym here:Dan John article from T-Nation

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