Building a Perfect Home Gym
By Jake Stephenitch and Shawn DiPrete
You know that home trend a few years ago where everyone wanted a man cave in their house? They would plaster everything in sight with their favorite sports team souvenirs. Decorative beer collectibles. Maybe a Reggie Miller signed jersey. Blackhawks ceiling fan. You know, all the essentials.
This year Shawn DiPrete and I are starting our own trend – replacing all that junk with a sweet home gym. A place of your own to do really high quality strength training without breaking the bank. Instead of spending a ton of money on one of those multi station machines that don’t really work all that well, let us show you some better options.
Option 1: The Mega Baller Home Gym
The Mega Baller Home Gym is awesome if you have some extra space and a bunch of money to spend. You will have the benefit of being able to do all of your training from the comfort of your own home without those creepy naked guys in the locker rooms. Basements can be a particularly good place to put a gym because the temperature is usually perfect for training year-round. You could also put the equipment in a garage and possibly catch the attention of a cute girl walking her dog in front of your house as you Squat shirtless.
Baller Equipment List
Power Rack (squat rack) -craigslist/Rogue fitness
Olympic Barbell and weights – Craigslist
Dumb Bells – Craigslist (usually $.50/pound)
Trap Bar(hex bar) – Craigslist/Perform Better
Flat Bench – Craigslist/Rogue Fitness
Resistance Bands – EliteFTS/Rogue Fitness
TRX or Suspension trainer or Gymnastic Rings (much cheaper than suspension trainers) – Craigslist/TRX/Perform better
AB Wheel-Target Plyo Boxes – Do it yourself (I recommend building them in three-dimensional sizes) example the ones I have at my gym are 30x36x42 http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/07/21/how-to-make-a-plyometric-box/
Medicine balls – Rogue Fitness/Perform Better
Chin up/Pull up bar – DIY, or comes with power rack
Bike for conditioning (Schwinn Airdyne, Spin bike, Rollers, trainer)
Gym Flooring – Horse stall mats from your local farm supply store are about $30 for a 4′x6′ super heavy mat.
TOTAL INVESTMENT: About $1500-$2000*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, how much weight and what you choose for a bike.
With all of this equipment we should be able to do just about anything we want in the gym. Here, Shawn shows us an example of what you can do with a fully equipped gym.
Option 2: “Ballin On A Budget” Home Gym
Most of us don’t have an extra few grand to invest in the baller gym. For just a few hundred you could definitely buy enough equipment to get a great workout.
Ballin On A Budget Equipment List-
Kettlebells – If you look around you can find places that sell kettlebells for about $1/pound. To get started, for the bare minimum you could get away with one bell. Probably a 35 pound bell for men and 25 for women would be a decent starting weight for many exercises. As you get stronger (or have more money) you can get heavier bells or buy pairs of the same bells.
Super Bands – bands are awesome because you can do so much with them. You can make exercises harder or easier depending on how you use them. They could be used for speed training, core work, pushing, pulling exercises, etc…
Furniture Sliders – For about $6 you can find a pack of these at your local hardware store. They can be used to move a couch across your carpet or we can use them for tons of different exercises.
With a little creativity and a sound understanding of basic exercise principles you can get a killer workout with very little equipment. In this video I show you several exercises that you could pull off in your home with less than $100 of equipment.
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $100-$300*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, and if you want various kettlebell options
If you spent all your money on race entry fees and can’t afford any equipment, don’t worry. Many of the strongest pound for pound athletes in the world get strong by doing bodyweight exercises. Gymnasts can do things with their body that some of the most jacked lifters could only dream of.
Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Single Leg Squat and core exercises are all great things to master, before you ever need to lift any weights.
Whatever your budget, you have no excuses for not doing your strength training. Not only will it make you faster, it also makes you more resilient for when you take a good crash. Remember – strong people are harder to kill!
-Jake Stephenitch with Shawn DiPrete