The Home Gym

I love working out at home.


Home gym

I love working out at home. On a few occasions over the years I've been drawn into the world of commercial gyms with shiny machines - only to lose interest a few weeks or months later. Weight training in a home gym, using mostly free weights, has never felt like a short term thing. Unlike going to a commercial gym, training never feels like a chore; in fact I look forward to it.

One of the reasons for this feeling is undoubtedly the fact that my home gym has been designed with one person in mind - me. Everything that's there (and it's a pretty simple setup) is there only to enable me to increase my own strength; there are no mirrors, banks of televisions or anything else to act as a distraction. The music is always loud, fast and exactly my taste. Perfect.

A second factor in my love of training at home is the presence of a training partner who shares the enthusiasm for the rugged simplicity of the setup, and doesn't bat an eyelid when I introduce somewhat unusual exercises into my training. It's all part of the fun.

So what do I have in this simple setup? The gym revolves around the presence of a power rack, bench, bars and weights. The other items are somewhat periferal - a few toys for grip training, a bike to warm up on and a good assortment of resistance bands. These items afford a vast array of exercises, and I add new ones every few weeks. After a year of regular training in many things I'd feel reasonably well-versed; powerlifting is constantly giving me new opportunities to learn. A wonderful feeling.

If starting again I'd make only minor modifications to the setup, such as purchasing a larger number of weight plates at the outset (fears of the training becoming a phase); and equipping myself with a simpler bench - I began without a power rack, and getting a bench with side stands seemed like a good idea at the time. Now they are unused.

For anyone currently considering the setup of their own home gym, I'd suggest the following:

Everthing else depends on available space, finances and intended use. If you're interested in Olympic Weightlifting, a few bumper plates and a lifting platform will be handy (you're probably best advised to build your own platform - much, much cheaper).

Other items you might like to consider include some of the variety of grip tools (Ironmind's Rolling Thunder ranks highly on my own wishlist), a sandbag (once again, these are often best when home-made), medicine balls, or your favourite piece of cardio equipment.

Oh, two things that will prove indispensable - a CD player and plenty of hard-hitting tunes. Now you're set to go.


You Might Also Like...




NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.



Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.



Like this? Check out :

Setting Up A Home Gym.

Ready to get started? Great.

DIY Equipment Ideas.

Stuck for ideas? Try these.

The Home Gym 2007.

Wonderful place to train.

Welcome to the Gymchats IV : 137 - 156.

Over the past few months we've had some superb discussions on Google+ : thank you all. It really is fantastic to hear your ideas and techniques on such a wide variety of training topics.



Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :


blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.