Must Haves for Starting a Home Gym

Whether you are trying to work out daily or evading the hiked prices of gym memberships, home workouts are an excellent way to keep up with a fitness routine. It allows you to exercise whenever, without having to work around any time restrictions. You only need a one-time investment to set up your gym at home. The rest is all about convenience then if you have got the determination.

Many find themselves lost when starting a home gym because of the wide variety out there. However, you will not need all the equipment. So, it is imperative to know the workout essentials for not to waste your money and space. Let us have a look at the must-haves you need for a home gym!

But before you get there, we have put a quick buying guide on helping you choose the right home gym equipment.

How to Choose Gym Equipment for Home

With the wide variety of gym equipment in the market, narrowing down the essentials can be daunting. Use this guide to make this experience easier!

Know Your Workout Preferences for Equipment Type

Image of people working out

Identifying your workout preferences will let you figure out the type of equipment you will need, making your home gym set up a lot less stressful. 

Generally, there are two different types of equipment based on workout types—cardio equipment and strength equipment. Here is the difference:

Aerobic/Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises help cut down calories and improve your cardiovascular health. The correct equipment for these exercises is straightforward. You can even run or ride a bike. In-home gyms for cardio, essentials would be ellipticals, rowers, treadmills, and bikes.

Strength Training Exercises

If you are into building muscle strength and sculpting your physique, you will need strength training equipment. These

include weight machines, calisthenics equipment, and free weights.

Stick To Your Budget

Image of coins and banknotes representing budget

For many people, the budget tops the chart of consideration when building a residential exercise station. 

Sometimes, it gets tempting to go beyond your budget, especially with the new and savvy equipment out there for fitness freaks. But do not fall prey to this!

Always remember that you will not need or use all of them. Hence, settle with the basics and essentials. However, it does not imply that you cannot buy expensive or fancy gym equipment. If you can afford them, go ahead and build yourself a good gym at home. You can try some multi-purpose machines like the Smith Cage System. 

Factor in Your Workout Experience & Fitness Goals

Image of a woman working out with her trainer

Choose your home gym equipment as per your fitness goals and workout experiences. Set your milestones and start accordingly! 

Beginner and General Fitness Goals

If you aim for general fitness like muscle toning, weight management, and flexibility: you do not need an extensive gym setup. A good start can be an aerobic step, dumbbells, an adjustable bench, a fitness ball, and an exercise mat. You can add resistance bands and tubes for flexibility.

You may get multi-gyms where everything is compact and available.

Intermediate Experience and Fitness Goals

Are you into more strenuous fitness, muscle development, and strength training? 

One option you can consider is a complete set of dumbbells, barbells, plates, and an exercise bench with a barbell rack of good quality.

We recommend an advanced multi-gym for this. You can also go for the free weights option above and add a cheaper multi-gym like the Weider or Bowflex band system or a Total Gym.

Advanced Fitness Trainer

If you are an advanced trainer or into bodybuilding, you will need to set up a proper extensive gym. Generally, most such experts use home gyms supplementary to commercial ones! 

Check The Equipment Material for Outdoor and Indoors

Image of a woman working out

If you plan to set up an outdoor home gym, make sure that your equipment is resistant to weather elements. Avoid getting iron-made exercising tools, for you do not want them to rust and corrode.

There is much equipment that features materials resistant against wind, rain, heat, and snow. They are perfect for outdoor use. You can ask your retailers for this when finalizing a purchase. 

For indoor usage, the equipment material needs to be strong.

Know The Weight Capacity of Your Equipment 

Image of a woman pushing a barbell using her feet on an equipment

It is essential to select equipment that will accommodate the weights you plan on lifting with yours added. We also recommend checking the size capacities of the machinery. Good gym equipment will be able to handle your weight and size in addition to its accessories! 

Assess Your Gym Space

Image of a person accessing room space with measuring tape

It never feels good when a big purchase does not fit in its designated space. Hence, dedicate an area for your gym at your place. It can be your garage, basement, spare room, or even the porch outside. Then, take measurements of the area to ensure you buy equipment in accordance. You do not want to be sending purchases back only because they did not fit.

Furthermore, it is also about having a spacious gym. Overcrowded exercise stations can be hard to workaround. 

If you have ample space, you can buy large equipment. On the other side, look out for foldable, small, and portable equipment if your home gym will be small. 

Consider the Number of Users

Image of people in a home gym

If you find your gym equipment occupied with your partner, kids, or friends when accessing the equipment, consider getting a multi-station machine instead. Although expensive, they let more than one person exercise at the same time.

Must-Haves for Starting a Home Gym

As workouts can be one of two main categories of strength building and cardio, we have mentioned the home gym essentials accordingly. 

If you are looking for a bit of both, you may get all the products mentioned here. You can also customize your gym as per your preferences!

Best Home Strength-Training Equipment

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Best Home Strength-Training Equipment
Black Mountain Resistance Band Set
Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell
Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Set


1. Best Home Strength-Training Equipment


An exercise mat is a simple yet essential piece of your home gym gear. This one from Gruper is an excellent choice. It is affordable, easy to clean, and environmentally friendly. There are several colors available in it. This classic mat uses NBR material, making it a soft and comfortable choice that protects your knees and provides enough buffering. It is suitable for all light exercises. With its non-slip surface, you can use this mat on wooden, tile, and cemented floors. It also features high strength of tear and moisture resistance.

2. Black Mountain Resistance Band Set


This luxurious yet affordable kit from Black Mountain includes all the resistance bands you need for a full-body workout. The set comes with five bands and five levels of resistance. It also comes with door anchors, ankle straps with an exercise chart, and a carrying case. The resistance levels go up to 50 pounds that you stack for a combined 150 pounds if you are looking to challenge yourself.  With this set, you will not need to buy resistance bands separately! It comes with a 90-day unconditional refund offer with a year warranty.

3. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell


No home gym is complete without dumbbells. From tricep kickass to bicep curls with weighted lunges and Russian twists, dumbbells are essential to exercise equipment designed to strengthen and tone the body. However, buying different weights alone can get expensive. You will also need more space or a dumbbell rack. Thanks to these Adjustable Dumbbells from Bowflex, you no longer need to buy different sets. This one comes in a range of 15 weights in one.  With just a simple dial turn, you can adjust the dumbbell from 5 to 52.5 pounds. However, these are not a good choice for advanced lifters. The highest weight they offer is 52.5 pounds.

4. Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Set


This kettlebell set features high-quality cast iron with a vinyl coating. There are color-coded coatings to prevent corrosion, increase durability and reduce noise while using. It also protects your flooring and enhances the appearance of your equipment.  The smooth handle allows you to grab them comfortably. You can pull off high reps with ease. The structure also allows for upright storage. These are a fit for all ages and genders! Hence, if you have multiple users in your home gym, you no longer have to worry about more products in the same space.  There are different sets available. Choose the one that fits you the best!

Best home cardio workout machines

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
SCHWINN IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
NordicTrack RW Rower
XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black


1. SCHWINN IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike


If you like indoor spin classes, this Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike is for you. While there is no integrated tablet, the bike has a device holder and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to stream hundreds of workouts from popular apps such as Peloton, Apple Fitness+, and Zwift. In addition, the bike has 100 levels of magnetic resistance and an LCD for tracking performance metrics such as time, distance, and calories burned. Furthermore, because it has dual-sided pedals, you can use SPD clips or your regular athletic shoes. It also costs less than $1,000, making it a more cost-effective option than many other home exercise bikes.

2. NordicTrack RW Rower


With this rowing machine, you can enjoy interactive personal training at home powered by iFit. You get full access to iFit membership that gives you personalized trainer-led workout experiences. It is a good one for beginners starting a home gym. It also features an adjustable console angle. You can connect with your trainers on a tablet or smartphone. While there is no integrated tablet, the rowing machine comes with an integrated tablet holder. The best part? It features a silent flywheel powered by SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance). Hence, the RW200 offers one quiet, smooth exercising experience. The machine is also foldable. Hence, you can fold and vertically store it if your home gym is small. 

3. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill Black


When you talk about the best treadmills in town, you cannot forget XTERRA with its series of treadmills. Our pick is the T150 featuring a 16" X 50" surface for running. It also comes with an integrated 5 inch LCD to keep you updated on speed, incline, time, distance, calories, and pulse. The speed ranges go from 0.5 to 10 mpg, allowing users of all fitness levels to use it. You can also pull knobs to release the deck for folding and unfolding. Hence, this is a compact and versatile treadmill.  It also offers 12 preset programs with an unrivaled variety for home workouts. However, it may expose you to chemicals like toluene and acrylamide that are toxic for health.

The Bottomline

With these must-haves for a home gym, you can start your fitness regimen at home. You no longer have to worry about hiked gym memberships or gym timings to stay in shape.

Furthermore, you can customize your exercising routine. Stay tuned for more on staying fit!