Updated: Feb 23
Going along with a trend from some of our recent social media posts. We are going to talk a little about home gym equipment. It is a difficult area to navigate and make decisions on what equipment will be the most beneficial and cost effective. The first thing you have to consider is, what do you want to do? It does not matter what or how much equipment you have if you don’t use it. Cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, bikes are great for just that. If is something you enjoy, great. However, maybe consider something other than a treadmill if you don’t like being on a treadmill. Bikes are a great option that can be used by most people. An option that is gaining popularity quickly is a rower. If you are looking into cardio equipment, things to consider: What are you going to do on it, slow and steady workouts while you watch a show on your tablet, sprints as part of a circuit, or do you want something that has online class offerings? This may dictate the style that will work best for you. We would highly recommend deciding what you want first and what your goals are, then start looking from there, checking reviews on brands and models. Before you buy find a store or place where you can actually test it.
Next, resistance equipment. Oh this is a large topic so we will hit some highlights. Power bands or “pull up assistance bands” are highly versatile and cheap but many things will require something pretty sturdy to anchor them to. Dumbbells can be tricky. Getting a bunch of individual dumbbells is a large space demand even if you have a stand, and gets expensive in a hurry. Adjustable dumbbells (and kettlebells) can be a better option. There are a lot of options out there. Some of the cheaper options are not as well made and some of the most expensive are not worth the increase in price for most people. Price and durability are the biggest things to look at. Also, who will be using them and up to what weight? Smaller individual dumbbells are much cheaper than large ones. So, for example, getting a heavier adjustable dumbbell that goes from 10-90 pounds then buying individual 2, 3, 5, 8 sets is going to be cheaper and give you a wider range than adjustable from 5-55# then buying 60#, 70#, 80# etc. But buying ones that go up to 90# for someone who will not lift over 40# does not make sense either. The adjustable Kettlebells are great as well but we have found little more functional difference with them vs a traditional cast kettlebell. Having a couple more common cast kettlebells weights vs an adjustable might work for you if you don’t use them often (13#, 25#, 35#, 55#).
Most people can get everything they need with bands and dumbbells. Never needing a barbell and plate weights or a squat rack. If you are wanting to be able to use a barbell, shop around and look at options. There are amazing space saving options out there. The free standing, 2 piece barbell racks are great and big space savers at home vs a full cage.
Other accessories that are great to look into if you are wanting some more, a fold-up adjustable bench that will incline and decline is great to have and can be stashed away when not being used. A landmine attachment as well gives you great options if you have a barbell. Make sure to check how it will anchor down and will work at home. Since the pandemic began, the options for home equipment has exploded, so a little research may make more available than you ever thought possible!
The most important thing, without question, is what will you use and enjoy! Start there no matter what.