How to Build an At Home Gym

Hello and happy Monday! Happy Memorial Day, too! Our usual Memorial Day plans got postponed, we usually run the Bolder Boulder 10k, but because of COVID we will be at home enjoying the long weekend.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I post workout videos from my basement. As poorly lit as that space is, I’ve spent the past few years building my home gym and it definitely gets the job done. I wanted to go over what equipment I have, and how you can start to build a gym at home with minimal equipment.

Firstly, let me point out that in order to stay in shape, you do not need an at home gym–or any gym. If your goal is just to stay active and fit, bodyweight workouts paired with outdoor activities and sports will get the job done. However, if you want to specifically build muscle, get stronger, build bone density through resistance training, or just love lifting, you will need some equipment at home.

I started, as most people do, with just a pair of dumbbells. Pick a couple weights–one lighter pair, one set that you can lift with some effort, and one heavy pair. The lighter pair will come in handy on exercises like shoulder raises, where the lever is longer and the weight is harder to lift. The medium set can be used on things like bicep curls, that are challenging at the 10-12 rep range. The heavy set can be used for lower body exercises like deadlifts, or to use when you get strong enough for other exercises and move past that middle set. You could also get dumbbells like Powerblocks that are capable of multiple weights but are nicely packed into one set of dumbbells.

The next thing I got was a stability ball. This is a GREAT tool to have at home. Want to make any movement more challenging? Involve the stability ball. Forcing your body to do work on the stability ball challenges your core and forces you to become more aware of how your body is moving to stay stable. It’s a fantastic way to amp up your training a little.

To take my training to the next level, I got a rower. We got a great deal on one, and I wanted another option for cardio besides running. I love it for quick sprint workouts as well as endurance workouts. I think one machine piece of equipment is a great addition to a home gym, but I certainly don’t think you need all of them. Treadmill, elliptical, rower, bike…all are great options.

Now you can certainly stop there and you’d have enough equipment to do some great at home workouts. If you want to step it up a notch you can get a barbell and some weights to work on really building that strength and/or a weight machine. I have both and use both regularly. These give you the capability of making more strength progressions and adding weight each week which is what produces results. It took me several years to build up my home gym and it’s certainly not perfect (mama needs a squat rack for that barbell), but it gets the job done.

Hope this gives you an idea of where to start if you’re looking to take your workouts home more.

If you have some equipment at home, but don’t know where to start, join my Empower Your Fitness VIP group! You’ll get new workouts each month, ALL of which can done AT HOME. Sign up HERE to join!

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