Building your own home gym has a few clear perks: convenience (it’s in your home) and flexibility (it’s your gym). Not only does that afford you free reign of the place with no wait times, no jerks to compete with, and no need to disinfect machines, but it also means you can customize it to suit your needs.
It’s all yours, baby.
No matter your fitness goals or workout philosophies, here are five pieces of workout gear that your home gym absolutely needs.
#1 Indoor Exercise Bike or Treadmill
If you’re really going to commit to working out from home, you need a piece of equipment that can provide an adequate warm-up and put you in the workout mindset. Stretching is great, and so is jogging in place or doing some jumping jacks, but the best way to fully prepare for the hard work ahead is on either a stationary bike or treadmill.
Cycling is an especially great warm-up because it’s extremely low impact. It also involves the arms and core and builds stamina by working the cardiovascular system.
If you’re immediately thinking Peloton or some other fancy name-brand machine, you should know there are much cheaper and simpler options that will offer what you need without all the bells and whistles.
And if you can’t decide which? Why not both? It’s your gym, after all.
#2 TRX Suspension Training Set
Suspension training uses your own body weight as resistance when building strength. With a complete set of TRX straps and a properly installed wall mount, you’ll have access to nearly unlimited exercises as long as you’re open to trying new things.
It puts less strain on your body than free weights and is, therefore, a great alternative for beginners, those recovering from injuries, or athletes looking to build endurance and full-body fitness rather than pure muscle mass. The TRX PRO4 training kit has everything you need to start suspension training in your home gym.
#3 Bench Press/Pull-Up Bar Combo
Everyone loves a good two-for-one deal. A multipurpose machine like a bench press (or squat rack) with an attached pull-up bar will maximize the variety of exercises you can do while minimizing the valuable space it takes up.
It can be a little difficult if you typically use your gym alone, but you should never attempt overhead lifting or bench pressing without a spotter (sorry, safety first).
You’ll also want to invest in the right type of footwear. Avoid lifting while wearing your multipurpose running or walking shoes, no matter how perfectly they suit you in the rest of your daily fitness regimen.
#4 Yoga Mat & Dumbbell Set
It’s simple in comparison to pulleys and levers and gizmos and gadgets, but there are a plethora of exercises that require nothing but a yoga mat (or even a towel) and a variation of dumbbells. A yoga mat is great for core exercises, like planks, sit-ups, mountain climbers, and more full-on workouts like Pilates (or yoga, of course).
Purchasing a set of free weights ranging from one to ten pounds will give you plenty to choose from when you want to amp up your everyday fitness routine without engaging in hardcore strength training.
#5 Stereo System
What better way to initiate your workout than by blasting your favorite tunes and hyping yourself up?
Quite frankly, there are none.
To turn your home gym experience from a sad, boring couple of hours spent in your garage to a high-energy, soul-fueling part of your day, invest in a quality speaker system. Time will fly by, and you won’t have to listen to yourself grunt and groan over the music playing from your pathetic portable speaker.
Get Fit, Not Deflated
These past few months have been a strange time for everyone, and there’s a chance you’re not totally stoked about your body in its current form. If you’re just getting back into the workout routine or are already feeling discouraged with your current physical fitness, avoid putting mirrors up around your gym and stick with these five pieces of fitness gear instead.
For now, forget about looking good and focus on feeling good. Keep up the hard work, and the rest will come in time.