As an avid home gym user–I’ve not used an actual brick-and-mortar membership in over five years–I’ve come to recognize some of the more pertinent items I believe are essential to building a functional home gym and I figured I’d share them here with you all today.
So lets jump right into it, shall we?
1. Dumbbells of varying sizes.
I cannot tell you how significant hand weights are to building strength. While your body weight is a great tool, as your goals change, and you look to get stronger, you’ll need more resistance and incorporating weights of varying sizes will help you towards that end.
2. A cardio machine.
Be it a bike, an elliptical, a rower, a treadmill…whatever, a cardio machine is a necessity since not everyone has the benefit of a walkable neighborhood or a great bike or hiking trail nearby.
3. A mirror.
Despite what some think, a mirror isn’t all about being vain. It’s of the utmost importance in every exercise you do that you use proper form and that can only be monitored by watching yourself do the movements. The price of the mirror isn’t nearly as important as the presence of one. I used a full-length door mirror for months before acquiring a gym quality one.
4. A bench.
An adjustable bench can be multi-functional because you can not only use it to perform various strength exercises, but it comes in handy as a cardio enhancement tool as well. You can use it to do exercises like step-ups, push-ups, and dips.
5. A heart-rate monitor.
A heart rate monitor (HRT) can be a pricey investment, but it’s a worthwhile one if you truly wish to focus your goals and make the ongoing adjustments necessary to truly maximize each and every workout.
Keep in mind these are only a few items that are, in my opinion, the most important elements of a functional home gym. That said, your creativity is every bit as important in making a home gym work.
Log your workouts, keep a diary of your progress, and include more items as you become more versed at maintaining a home gym.