Building A Garage Gym – What Equipment To Choose?
If you’re like most people, the idea of a home gym conjures up images of huge piles of equipment, all taking up space in your already cramped basement or garage. The reality is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get in a great workout at home – and you certainly don’t need anything as big and bulky as a treadmill or an elliptical machine.
In fact, all you really need to get started is your body weight, but we all know that we get adapted to it quite quickly, which is exactly when the need for weights comes in. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what you might want to consider adding to your home gym arsenal once you’re ready to make your garage a fully-functioning gym.
#1 A Squat Rack
When it comes to building a gym in a fairly small place, you HAVE TO be efficient and pick out the most effective pieces of equipment. Squat racks are some of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment because they can be used for a variety of exercises.
For example, you can use a squat rack to do:
- Calf raises
- Bench presses
- Overhead presses
- Biceps curls (usually forbidden in a public gym)
- Rack pulls
Last but not least, if you read part 1 of this article series, we talked that a big disadvantage of a home gym is the lack of a spotter. And well, with squat racks and their safety pins, that is no longer a problem!
#2 A Dumbbell Rack
It is true, the squat rack provides us with the opportunity to put all that raw power to work with the help of a barbell. However, when it comes to developing a functionally and visually symmetrical physique, you just can’t go without uni-lateral work. THIS is where a dumbbell rack comes into play to give each side of your body a nice workout, separately.
While a squat rack will allow you to do all your basic, compound movements, a dumbbell rack can help with that AND some auxiliary exercises, such as:
- Shoulder presses
- Lateral raises
- Triceps extensions
- Dumbbell rows
- Goblet squats
- Dumbbell lunges
- Biceps curls, all kinds of biceps curls!
If not a whole dumbbell rack, you can opt for a set of adjustable dumbbells that will do the work just fine!
#3 Dip & Pull Bars
For the most part, people think that at the beginning of your ‘training career’, you should start with bodyweight exercises and then move on to weights. And well, that couldn’t be further from the truth, because even when you adapt to your own bodyweight, these exercises are still bomb.
This is especially valid when you consider adding some extra weights to those movements! If what we just said resonates with you, consider getting a dip & pull-up bar to your home gym. This is the equipment that will allow you to do different kinds of bodyweight exercises, including, but not limited to:
- Chest/triceps dips
- Wide grip pull-ups
- Neutral pull-ups
- Leg raises
- Knee raises
- Active/passive hangs
- More complex bodyweight exercises
#4 A Cable Machine
Now, though free weights must be at the core of your workouts if your goal is to get stronger and more fit, that doesn’t mean you should ignore cables.
In fact, we all know how good of a pump cable machines can bring about. With this in mind, it is fair to say that a cable machine should be considered once you get all the other essentials sorted! A cable machine will allow you to do more concentrated work on exercises, such as:
- Triceps press downs
- Cable curls
- Cable pullovers
Knowing what equipment to use for your garage gym is important, but having the right attitude and mindset will make or break you. A home fitness workout should be about more than just getting a good sweat on. It’s also about testing yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally – all of which are necessary components if you want to live an active life and improve your body and mind.
The most important thing you can do when building your own space at home is to choose gear that fits your lifestyle goals to feel like a part of who YOU are. So go ahead, get on the market and find YOUR perfect pieces of equipment to set up your personal training temple!