It’s May, which means everyone is racing to get that summer body. The gyms are packed with sweaty, aggressive men and women, who all appear to snarl at you if you so much as look at that squat rack.
Well, fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are millions and millions of people around the globe who have invested in a home gym - and you could be one of them. In fact, I’d recommend it. You can beat the queues, avoid paying a monthly fee, and design it the way you want. No more of those useless leg machines.
So, assuming you’ve got the space - and that cellar you just use for storage would be a good idea - there’s no reason to not build your own gym. Of course, it’s not that simple, either; choosing the right fitness equipment is considered an art form. You have to factor in your program and your goals. So, to help you out, here are the absolute best bits of kit you can splash your hard-earned cash on.
A Power Rack
Ask any bodybuilder what the staples of muscle growth are, and you’ll hear two things: a great diet and a power rack. There’s a reason for that, too. A power rack combines many pieces of equipment into one behemoth, and you’d usually have to buy them separately.
The best power racks allow you to do dozens of exercises. You can do bench press, pullups, squats, deadlifts and curls, all from the comfort of your man-cage. Because they’re so useful, power racks aren’t cheap, but it saves you the hassle of buying things separately. Plus, it saves space. Home gyms are limited, so buying an all-in-one will create more room.
Most people neglect the usefulness of an EZ Curl Barbell, but they cannot be understated. For the uninitiated, it’s a barbell that’s curved, and fits the shape of your hand much more nicely. This allows you to target the biceps much more easily when performing bilateral curls.
In terms of a straight barbell, be very careful here. There are two sizes; Olympic and Standard. Standard barbells are typically smaller than Olympic ones, but are still suitable for all exercises. They also take plates with a 1 inch hole, so don’t buy the wrong size. Olympic Barbells take weights with a 2 inch hole, and can typically handle more weight.
Bodybuilders who lift heavy weight risk damaging their body. When you perform squats, that barbell is digging into your back. When you perform seated calf raises, it rests on your knees, and when you do glute bridges, it rests on your stomach.
So, shield these body parts from harm buy investing in a barbell pad. This will cushion the barbell and make your body more comfortable with a crushing weight on top of it. Pads are cheap too, and cost only a couple of dollars.
Look, you still need to do cardio. Just a little bit, anyway. You can break and build those muscles all you want, but they won’t show up without losing the fat. So lose that fat! Treadmills have tumbled in price in recent years, so if you have room go for it!