8 Essentials to Equip Your Ultimate Home or Garage Gym for Under $1500
You can get a monthly membership at a local globo gym for around $20-30, which makes it a bargain even if you only go twice or three times a month. Spread out over a year, it still only amounts to a little over $200, which is fine.
If you’re not finding the time to get to the gym, however, or if your $20 a month membership isn’t getting you anything other than entry — i.e. the equipment isn’t great and there’s not a lot in the way of coaching — then you could be wasting a lot of precious time.
You Dream Home Gym or Garage Gym Setup for Under $1500?
Then there’s CrossFit, where a two-month membership can cost as much as your annual membership might cost at the globo gym. You’ll get more personalized coaching and the chance to socialize, but if you’re someone who prefers to workout alone, or you’re looking for a way to supplement your gym membership with home workouts, then investing in a home gym setup can be done for under $1,500. Seems like a hefty pay-out, and it’s not cheap, we’ll grant you, but since you’re the only one who will be using your kit, then it’s going to last a long time, and when it comes to serious fitness equipment, quality really does matter.
Groom+Style have put together the key components of an awesome garage gym, covering everything you’ll need so that you’re always just minutes away from whatever workout you’re looking for — full body, or isolated.
The Basics of the Ultimate Garage Gym
A well thought-out garage gym should be more than a dusty set of dumbbells and a chest expander. You want to make sure that you have certain key areas covered, so that you’re not only motivated to get started, but so that you have everything you need to stay safe and train effectively.
The 8 items listed below will cover the 3 core requirements for any effective home based gym:
1. Start with a Yoga Mat
It’s easy to skip the warm-up when you’re training at home. Why, we don’t know, but you shouldn’t, and these simple pieces of kit will help to make sure you’re training safely and effectively.
Taking the time to prepare your body for exercise should be a priority. If it’s not, then you’re not training effectively. Yoga is exercise in its own right, but you don’t need to spend too long using it to get ready. All we’re talking about is 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretching to both lengthen your muscles, prepare your joints and bring some awareness into your body and mind.
Resistance bands are great for firing up muscles before lifting and exercising. They come in varying strengths, and are especially useful for activating muscles in the back, shoulders and glutes. Work these into the beginning of your routine, before you start the heavy stuff.
Two of the basics covered right here in squats and pull-ups. Investing in a solid squat rack with a built-on pull-up bar is essential for getting the most out of the space you have at home. We’ve linked to a very reasonably priced setup, but if you’re planning on using a lot more weight, or you’re going to be doing kipping pull-ups and other CrossFit related movements, then you might want to consider something with a little more weight.
If you’re serious about weight training, then investing in an Olympic style barbell is going to give you the best opportunity to train efficiently and in a way that’s challenging. If you’re going to be doing squats, deadlift, cleans, bench press and so on, it’s with an Olympic barbell that you’ll get the best center of gravity and weight distribution. The handling is better than on standard, cheaper barbells, too, and because they’re heavy (45 lbs men’s bar / 33 lbs women’s bar), using one is a workout in itself.
Your biggest investment by far in your home or garage gym is going to be the weight plates. For now, even though you’re still spending a lot of money on these, bear in mind that you’re not going to get a huge amount of weight for the money we’re talking. Best to start off with our suggestion below, then add to your weights as you go.
This selection of plates has a combined weight of 260 lbs, which is fine for most workouts, and for working small sets on your squats. Set contains 10, 15, 25, 35 and 45 lb plates.
6. A Pair of Dumbbells
Once again, realistically, you’re only going to be able to afford one set of decent dumbbells at first, if your budget is around the $1,500 mark. Start out with a medium weight that’s going to serve you well for most workouts, and build on that as your gym grows.
If you do find yourself having money to spare then consider a set of high quality adjustable dumbbells.
Weightlifting equipment is going to take up most of your budget, since the push-ups, running, burpees and what have you are totally free. A good jump rope, however, opens up a lot of other possibilities, and can improve not only your cardiovascular fitness, but also muscular endurance and coordination.
That’s about all you need to get started with an awesome home or garage gym of your own, but if you have any money left over, then we highly recommend buying some chalk. It’ll make lifting during hot weather (and when you’re sweaty) easier and safer. The chalk balls and blocks are better and cleaner than the loose chalk, and if you need to keep things clean, then liquid chalk is another great option.
Things You Might Want to Consider Later On:
If you are well on your way to building or setting up your ultimate home gym then you can also consider adding a few other items to your arsenal.
An ab machine to further shred that six pack
A simple balance ball to vary your work?
A high quality mini trampoline is also a great way to vary your workouts.
Until then, happy sweating.