How to Build a Home Gym – Essential Exercise Equipment

Beg, borrow, or steal this stuff to build slabs of homegrown muscle

home gym set up featuring essential exercise equipment

As muscled up men we’re no strangers to the gym. It’s our home away from home, a sanctuary for jacked dudes who love nothing more than lifting heavy sh*t. So why the hell not bring the best bits to you?

Never again will you be held back from hitting the iron house by subzero snow, swarms of heavily armed hornets, or wild Kardashians lurking in the driveway. Here’s how to build a home gym and all the essential exercise equipment you’re gonna need.

The Space

First things first bro, we’ve got to get a safe space. No, not some p*ssy pillow filled corner of the classroom for oversensitive snowflake betas! We’re talking about an area that’s not gonna kill us once we start shedding the blood, sweat, and tears of a hard workout.

Ideally, you’re looking for somewhere flat and away from the elements. Whilst it’s manly AF to train outdoors like a gorilla or ancient Spartan warrior, your equipment won’t hold up so well. For most of us this place will ideally be a garage or indoor room at ground level.

Next, we’ve got to get the floor in order. Just like a battleship needs a sturdy scrubbed deck, we need an area that’s flat, clean and free from debris. Nobody wants to be tripping over paint cans, porno mags, or empty buckets of protein powder whilst swapping between exercises. Not only is this dangerous, but it’ll ultimately slow down your workout our swole friend.

Finally, make sure the ground won’t fall through under your monumental lifts bro. You’re strong as sh*t remember? Whilst you might be able to handle that ripping deadlift, your shitty studio apartment floor will not. Before you kill your neighbor or burst a water pipe, get to know the ground you’re working with.

Obviously, it goes saying to only build a home gym on your own property. You can’t just take over other guys garages by force, or can you? It’s your call, broseph.

home gym goals full of essential equipment

Essential Home Gym Equipment

Okay, real talk, what makes a gym special? Some would say the smell of spit and sawdust, smoking hot chicks in the squat rack and your favorite bench that’s had your back (literally) since day one. But they’d only be half right.

In reality, it’s all about the equipment. So, what you choose to spend your cash on could make or break a home gym. Don’t blow your wad on a life-size Arnold Schwarzenegger statue sculpted out of solid gold. Because unless you’re planning on push pressing it bro, it’s bullsh*t purchase for gainz.

Grab these things instead…

 

Barbell

A barbell is to a bro what a huge ass sword is to The Mountain from Game of Thrones. It’s a weapon that, when used correctly, can inflict savage results on mere mortals and separates the men from the beta-boys. Simple in nature, yet god damn deadly effective.

We’d recommend purchasing a proper Olympic bar. They’re the most fundamental piece of equipment found in any strength training program and are as versatile as they come. Plus, with a high-quality Olympic bar, you’re guaranteed decades of deadlifts and won’t be let down when it matters most.

Go for a standard 20 kg weight and a size that suits your space. Shorter versions are available if you’re stuck for swinging room.

 

Weights

Okay, you can stop laughing because we know it’s obvious. Yet you’d be surprised how many dudes don’t know the first thing about buying weights for a home gym.

Firstly, make sure they’re going to fit your Oly bar. Whilst the sizing is pretty standard across the board, some manufacturers make weights that’ll only fit narrow bars.

A great way to get around this is to purchase Olympic plates with 2” holes. Not only will they fit your bar, but they’ll all be the same height. This’ll definitely come in handy when you plan on deadlifting, glute bridging, or doing any kind of off-the-ground Olympic lifting.

Secondly, try to get hold of rubber plates. Whilst it’s a lot cooler to literally only lift iron or steel, your floor won’t thank you for it. Metal plates will destroy that fresh layer of concrete you laid last summer quicker than the Rock takes out an epic cheat meal. If you didn’t already know, that means f*cking fast.

bumper plates essential exercise equipment for home gym

 

Dumbbells

Just like the barbell, dumbbells are highly versatile pieces of kit that can hit all muscle groups. All it takes is a single pair and a spot of imagination and you have all the tools for a total body workout. Still not sure? Check out this dumbbell only beast-mode back workout.

Plus, because they’re utilized unilaterally, dumbbells are a great tool for building independent strength on both sides of the body. Regardless of your fitness goal, an evenly strong physique will help keep you free from injury and ward off muscular imbalances.

SpotMeBro say seek out a hexagonal set coated in rubber. Not only are they safer for your floor, they’ll last longer too and won’t bash you up like traditional metal disks. Just remember to buy a variety that corresponds to your current strength levels and allows room for progressive overload.

 

Power Cage

Remember that scene in Step Brothers when Will Ferrell gets stoked about bunk beds? Well, that’s how we feel about power cages – ‘there’s so much room for activities.’

You can bench press from them, hit heavy squats and even pull deadlifts straight from the rack. If you’re into bodyweight training a power cage can also be the perfect place for performing pull ups.

A selling point that should never be understated is their safety. Because you’ll most likely be working out home alone style, a power cage’s spotter bars could save your ass if you need to bail. Whilst we never give up on a lift at SpotMeBro, the same can’t be said for everybody else.

Tip: Look for a power cage with space to store your weights on the side. This saves extra space for training and/or other gear.

bodybuilder using power cage in home gym

 

Adjustable Bench

Did you really think we’d forget about the bench, bro? What sort of skinny boy planet are you on?

Every home gym needs an adjustable bench in its arsenal. Throw it under the power rack and you have an ideal spot for the bro-est of all exercises the bench press. Plus, pull it out in the open and you’re set for flyes, dips, seated press, incline pushups and quite literally everything else.

We’re all about adjustable benches in our home gym. You’ll want to be able to alter the angle of attack during exercises like the bench press to target different areas.

 

Power Tower

Maybe you’re not ready to commit to a full power cage or you simply don’t have room. No worries bro set up a power tower instead.

They’re space economic, cheaper, and still incredibly versatile. You’ll be able to smash sets of pull-ups and other bodyweight exercises all in about four-square feet. Grab yourself a weight belt and you’ve got everything for tough upper body workouts.

 

Pull Up Bar

If you’ve watched any kind of movie about being on the inside, you’ll know prisoners get swole as fwuark. Performing pull ups all day will explode your traps and quickly build striated fighter jet wing lats.

But pull up bars aren’t exclusively just for pulls. They can be used for a bunch of other upper body workouts like muscle ups, towel grip chins or ab-thrashing toes to bars.

Bolt one of these inexpensive pieces of steel to a wall and ceiling ASAP. It’s a minimalist essential that hardly takes up any space, but offers unlimited opportunities for gainz.

wall mounted pull up bar

 

Heavy Bag

You don’t have to be Conor McGregor to work the bag, bro. Hitting the heavy bag is a great way to release stress and can provide a crushing cardio workout.

Opt-in for a real heavy-duty option from a reputable brand. As a strong ass mutha you’re gonna be punching with serious power, so don’t settle for anything that’s not up to your level.

If you’re not sure your wall is ready for a pounding set sights on a ceiling bracket. Alternatively, if you’re worried about tearing the roof off find one that fixes into the floor.

 

Rubber Matting

If we had a dollar for every time we’ve witnessed weights wiping out a nice new floor our bank account would read like a phone number. Scrap that, we’d be balling with Floyd Mayweather money for sure.

That’s why any decent home gym is well equipped with rubber matting. If something heavy like a dumbbell, barbell or kettlebell comes crashing down it doesn’t crumble like your p*ssy knees under our first warmup squat. There’s no point paying all that cash for a tasty home gym if it’s gonna cost you double in repairs, bro.

Not only that but they’re extremely hygienic. Nobody wants nasties crawling over their skin and gym equipment because they’re the fastest way to get sick or contract a grim skin condition. With rubber mats, it’s super easy to squeeze cleaning product straight onto them and wipe it off in seconds.

Therefore, for the sake of your wallet and health, buy some rubber matting. You’ll still be able to leave an Instagram worthy puddle of sweat on them so don’t worry about that.

 

Stereo

Finally, you’ve got to set up a shredding sound system bro. Hip-hop, heavy metal, Baroque bangers circa 1750, it doesn’t matter – good tunes help you lift harder and for longer, fact. What you listen to is just as much a part of your training system as the program you’ve written.

So, take full advantage of your lone wolf environment and crank the sh*t out of your pump-up playlist. It’s just you, the bar and a set of savage goals to achieve in there. For once it won’t matter if you leave your headphones on the front seat of your truck.

barbell and bumper plates being shown as essential piece of exercise equipment every home gym needs

 

There you have it, bro. Bag yourself a bunch of this stuff and you’ll have everything you need to sculpt lean slabs of muscle without having to leave home. Now, if only we could find some way of getting the hot yoga-pant-wearing #fitgirls in here too…

 

Hungry for more muscle knowledge, bro? Hit these up for some reading reps:

References

  1. Barwood MJ, Weston NJV, Thelwell R, Page J. A Motivational Music and Video Intervention Improves High-Intensity Exercise Performance. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 2009;8(3):435-442.

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