July 9, 2020

Setting up your own Home Gym

Going forward,I firmly believe some people will start to veer away from their large commercial gym membership and start to look at developing their own home gym.

From the coronavirus restrictions to the limited time people have nowadays or from people getting a lot more comfortable working out from home with the easy access to good online material following training plans its really a no brainer for a lot of people.

I started my home gym almost 10 years ago and I have rarely returned to a large busy commercial gym. I now train myself, family, and clients between a small personal training studio and my home gym.

The first thing many people will think of is cost…

I started out with one suspension trainer,a kettlebell and built from there.

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Slowly equipment coming together

If I offered you to pay your 50-100+ Euro direct debit monthly gym membership + your joining fee to attend a busy gym or if I offered you to pay Euro 1500 to set up a decent starter home gym set up what would you do?

Personally I would go with the homegym and go with the equipment detailed below.

The first step is to find some space. It can be large or small, upstairs or downstairs or even out the back garden. I turned my old shed into a training space and really built from there.

To this day,10 years on, I have invested in roughly 5-7 thousand euro worth of equipment and have gotten a hell of lot of use out of it not to mention the well over 100 people who have trained out of this tiny space!

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Some of the mens group who trained from the front garden and shed 2014/15

My best advice would be to pick small equipment that are versatile for exercises, easy to store, and won’t break the bank. Resistance bands, a set of gymnastic rings and a kettlebell really is a good place to start.

Time and time again I see people invest in treadmills, stationary bikes, and squat racks that are quite costly to start with, will take up space, and are fairly one-dimensional.

Too often, I have seen these gather dust in the corner before appearing in the graveyard fitness equipment section on adverts and Donedeal!

A good starting checklist for a home set-up

  • Exercise mat (I find the best place to buy an exercise matt is TK Maxx.You will get a very good quality one here half the price of all the other outlets)
  • Resistance bands (I find the best place are the stores mentioned below and generally speaking I think your best investing in resistance band sizes 13mm-25mm. Generally they are the most versatile when it comes to performing exercises and if you need any resistance band movement ideas then go check out my resistance band exercise directory that includes plenty of demo exercises
  • Suspension trainer.You can go with plenty of ideas here from a set of gymnastic rings ,a TRX or even a cheaper no name brand suspension trainer.All will do the job for home use.I have both a set of rings and a TRX and find them great for all round full body workouts.For cost and easy to set up then I would go with a set of gymnastic rings and buy them here.
  • Kettlebells are my jam!I am a huge fan of the kettlebell and this was the first piece of kit I ever started with for my homegym-a 16kg cast iron kettlebell! It features in most of my programmes and is a piece of equipment I generally bring with me when I’m on the road travelling.The kettlebell is an excellent exercise tool and is something I recommend everybody to have. It’s perfect for a home or park workout, versatile and quite easy to bring on the road.Buy them here and generally I recommend for females to start with a 8-12kg and males to start with a 12-16kg.If you need some movements to perform with the KB then go check out my kettlebell exercise directory
  • Hex dumbbells are the final addition for a great home gym set up and all the suppliers listed sell them. I would prefer the hex dumbbells over any kind of adjustable ones as they are so fiddly and often the selector based ones can break and feel too big for my taste.
  • Foam roller and massage ball The boring stuff but important bits and pieces I would suggest to have around the gym.For a massage ball anything can be used from a golf to tennis ball or even going with something more ideal from the company triggerpoint.Triggerpoint have a good selection of rollers to balls and generally on the more top end of price but if you want to go cheaper and entry level then go with the guys mentioned below to check out their styles

These would be my top suggestions to start with. As I said above,they won’t cost too much and you can really get plenty of workouts done with this selection.

As for the best suppliers I would highly recommend D8Fitness and McSport. Both suppliers will have a great selection for home use and I always find them very knowledgeable on what is the best option for your home set-up.

My last bit of advice before looking at further developing your home set would be to get the most use of the above and become consistent with working out from home. If you can see yourself sticking with the plan and are enjoying it, then perhaps look at going further and investing in more of the substantial equipment such as a rower, assault bike or perhaps even a squat rack station with weights and barbells.As time went on I eventually turned my home gym into a business and started training lots of clients from here so within time I went and got a bit more serious buying a rowing machine,good squat rack station with bars and plates to even a assault bike.

Let me finish this article in offering you some advice if you are considering setting up a home training space.I have helped out clients kitting out their space and now continue to train them from their home set ups.If you are thinking about setting something up then you can send me a direct message here.

Thanks for reading and happy training!

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2020 Home gym fully kitted out

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also see some of his previous articles here.