At WRKOUT, we like to say that the perfect home gym is the one you have. You would be amazed by the workout your trainer can deliver in a six foot by six foot space! But we understand that you might want to move more than just body weight.

Here are our top five insights to consider when purchasing equipment for your home gym:

  1. The type of workouts you like to do. This is the most important question to consider. Are you going to be doing more high intensity interval training, cardio or yoga?  Depending on the type of training you will primarily be doing will often dictate how you layout your equipment and what accessory pieces you are purchasing.  
  1. Dumbbells, dumbbells and more dumbbells. They can be used for a variety of exercises by many people. Your trainer can progress and regress pretty much any exercise using dumbbells. Do you need a full rack of dumbbells or maybe a space saving interchangeable dumbbell set up will be better for your space?  The downside to the interchangeable dumbbells is that as they get bigger they can also get bulky and a little awkward compared to traditional dumbbells. But the space saving compared to a whole rack might just be worth it...especially if you aren’t using the bigger weights for many exercises.
  1. The treadmill, bikes, elliptical & rower are the four most popular pieces of cardio equipment.  So often though, I see them purchased only to be used lots in the beginning and then more and more sparingly. These items typically cost more money and take up more space.  Look back at bullet point #1. What is your primary purpose with your home gym? Answering this will give you some insight into whether or not this needs to be purchased. Personally, in my home gym I would choose either the rowing machine or an an Airdyne or Assault bike. Not only do they have a smaller footprint, but both can be used for longer cardio as needed. Either one will fit really well into workouts with your trainers.  They also have fewer computer components and are less likely to break down. Bikes and treadmills can be entertaining, but unless you are training for a specific event, there are many other ways to elevate your heart rate and achieve similar objectives in your training plan
  1. Kettlebells like dumbbells can be used for multiple exercises. They are one of my go to pieces of equipment.  They can be purchased as single bells or you can get them in pairs.  Kettlebells are sure to challenge your body, movement and heart rate when done right.  Multiple bells can take up room but they can also be purchased as an interchangeable design similar to the dumbbells.  Having access to 8 - 20 kg kettlebells in various increments will surely challenge most. You can also go heavier, but if they never get picked up or are only used for one exercise, they might not be the best investment in your home gym.  
  1. Corner cable units become incredibly valuable for the range of exercises and the space saving ability. In a commercial gym you might find a cable machine, a seated row, a lat pulldown...each piece is a standalone. For the home gym you are able to get a multiuse piece that fits nicely in the corner and can be used to train movements across the body and in every direction. An added bonus is that these sturdy pieces can also be used to attach superbands, heavy ropes and TRX suspension trainers for additional functionality.  When looking at these pieces be sure to look at the size of the weight stack so it is light enough for small movements but can challenge you for the bigger pushes and pulls.  Secondly, you want pulleys that are commercial grade for smoother movements. There is nothing worse than a squeaky pulley during a workout.  

Bonus Equipment

What about plyo boxes, heavy ropes and squat racks? 

For many home gyms, they are “nice to have” but not “need to have.”  

Plyo boxes are a great addition and can also double as a tool for your step up and/or rear foot elevated exercise. 

Squat racks tend to take up a large amount of space. But then you also need to purchase barbells, weight plates and safety collars. The biggest update to this home set up category has been much smaller profile racks that can be attached to studs in the wall and only come about 6-8” out from the wall.   

As you can see so many pieces can be added, but as with so many things, the more choices we have the more complicated decisions can be.  

The one piece that I would recommend to compliment your home gym is a Hypervolt percussion tool for recovery. We might all love getting to our massage therapist but it isn’t practical on a daily basis. Using the Hypervolt on all your muscles from the bottom of your feet to the base of your neck will surely give you the daily relief so many of us need after training days.  

Looking back at our top five things to consider when we look at our perfect home gym, we really need to identify the purpose or primary training objective for your training. Once that is identified, then choosing the best corner cable unit, dumbbells, kettlebells, piece of cardio equipment or whatever else your space can accommodate becomes less overwhelming.     

When I am training my clients, utilizing open space is still my first order of priority. This is because your body is the most important piece of equipment. At the end of the day, tools and toys are great but if we cannot effortlessly get up, lunge, squat, jump, pull and push then everyday activities become that much more challenging.      

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