Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Slacker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:27 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:44 pm
I believe home gyms are a grand idea, but that in reality they are rarely used as much as one would workout going to a gym. There are too many distractions,,there are to many excuses. One being that you can work out any time. When you can do a thing at any time, that time becomes no time.
When people tell me they have a home gym and exercise, I don't believe them.
Then again there are many people who go to a gym and their exercise is self delusional.
Me, I like a gym. You to go there. That alone is part of the commitment. Once there, you can have all the weights you want. Not just the couple matched Dumbbells you bought. Essentially then you are maxed out on the largest. To get better you have to buy more.
A home gym is often like those lonely cold hotel gyms with limited equipment and no atmosphere.
People who won't workout on their home gym equipment, likely won't get much done at a commercial gym either (unless they have a personal trainer or some other outside force to "keep them accountable"). In fact, there is a GIGANTIC segment of the commercial gym market that is tailored specifically towards courting these specific customers ($10/month charges - they don't actually want you to show up and survive off of having 4000 members making monthly dues but only 300-500 showing up consistently and the rest showing up maybe a few times a year).

Someone who is motivated to go out of their way to get to a commercial gym is likely to have the motivation to work out from home on their own equipment too.

Now, the idea that some people get better results in a commercial gym has merit. Maybe I'd be Class I USPLA instead of Class II if I went to a commercial gym (WITH workout buddies)...but I don't compete anymore, so I don't care about trying to get those extra few pounds on my lifts.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Monk » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:53 pm

h82goslw wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:44 am
To OP I found a great website on this forum last year and use it often. has fantastic workouts.
Whoa! is awesome! The workout plans don't quite line up with my individual fitness goals but are right in line with what is being discussed in this thread and look appropriate for lots of people. The nutrition section looks valuable for me. Thanks for posting this!

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by 2015 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:11 pm
2015 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:21 pm
Quite impressive you engaged in hard core competition for 25 years. It does take a special form of determination and drive in that sport or any other. One of the best side effects is the type of person it turns you in to. It's no wonder you accomplished your goals.
Thanks! You are correct and over the years I talked about how it has impacted my professional growth and drive. It was very instrumental. That may be able to be said for a lot of athletic endeavors.
I'd venture to say it impacted more than your professional life. I know I don't need to tell you after 25 years competing having mastery over the body takes a high degree of self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control. These and other competencies required for physical competition spill over and influence success in many other domains in life. I've never known anyone with mastery over their physicality as a result of years of hard work who wasn't highly effective in other ways as well. Again, quite impressive.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:38 pm

EnjoyTheJourney wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:30 pm
Kettlebells are inexpensive and very versatile.
Kettlebells are very expensive (compared to alternatives) and their functionality is pretty limited. They are ideal for swings, and...? A barbell or adjustable DBs are superior for the large majority of movements.

This thread isn't for me because I have a 2-car garage gym that probably costed more than my car did new. But, I've trained and been a pretty high level competitive athlete almost my entire life, not to mention devoted 11yrs of university education and most of my career to this subject.

I would agree that TRX (or much cheaper alternatives like WOSS or gymnastics rings) is probably a good place to start for someone with limited space and somewhat ambiguous fitness goals.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by BruDude » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:59 am

It works. Really well. I have one. Check out the FB users group with progress pics. Some of them are pretty nuts.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by forgeblast » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:37 am

I was in the same boat. I started looking at the fold away racks that mount on the wall, etc. But in the end I went with kettle bells.
I am doing the Simple and Sinister program, and its a work out! I do that one day, then I have a pull up bar for rock climbing that I use on the next day. Then I take a day, and go back to S&S. I have found that the kettle bell work outs are really helping me. is a good site if you want to make your own equipment.
Also check out reddit there are a lot of great kettlebell and bodyweight threads.

I bought my kettlebells from kettlebell kings. They are highly rated and are of great quality.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by alfaspider » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:57 am

Obviously, everyone's fitness goals are different, but I strongly advocate traditional weight training equipment. Cardio doesn't really demand fixed and specialized equipment. A pair of running shoes, and perhaps a jump rope for when you can't get outside is all you really need to get the cardio you need. Treadmills, elliptical machines, etc. are fine if you like them, but I wouldn't call them an important foundation- really just things to use for running specific training (i.e. pacing work) or to give a break from calisthenics if the weather does not allow running/cycling outdoors.

You can get very strong with calisthenic exercises, but the difficulty is that it can be very difficult to get the progressive overload you need to get strong while maintaining motivation (at least for me). 50+ push ups in a set is a lot tougher mentally than bench pressing your five rep max. Variations can help, but often emphasize secondary muscle groups.

I'm also not a huge fan of kettlebells for general fitness because they create dynamic loads. Dynamic loading is great for sports training (since many sports demand explosive movement and quick reaction), but significantly increases the risk of injury. The principle of progressive overload is that you body gets stronger by slowly adapting to bearing more and more load, but as soon as you place a force on the body it has not trained to absorb (for example, an unexpected lateral force in a misplaced kettlebell swing), it is likely to cause injury.

Therefore, I would say that if you have home fitness equipment, it should be barbell and dumbbell training. If you have very very limited space, a bench and a set of adjustable dumbbells will go along way. If you have just a bit more space, and especially if you have gotten strong enough that you need very heavy dumbbells to continue overloading, I would advocate a squat stand (partial power lifting cage) and barbell set, which allows you to safely perform the "big 3" lifts (deadlift, squat, bench press). Rouge fitness makes the gold standard IMO, but they are a bit more spendy. ... uat-stands

For super cheap home workout ideas, I also reccomend Scooby is an older (50+) natural body builder with great down to earth advice for people looking to get fit.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by fishmonger » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:36 am

In December I purchased a full set of dumbbells (5-50 lbs) for about 900 bucks. Some of the best money I ever spent. Added to a bench and pull-up bar I already had, just cancelled by gym membership that was $82/month. Will pay for itself in less than a year.

Also picked up a cheap exercise bike for free off Craiglist. It's bare bones compared to the Pelotons of the world, but both the wife and I use it, and at worst it's a good way to warmup

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by John88 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:31 pm

Wife and I work out at home and have Power Blocks Classic, a cable machine, and a bench. If we had to - we could do away with all the equipment and just do body weight exercises and perhaps a pull up bar and bands to supplement. In case you think body weight exercises are too easy try a Pistol Squat or Bulgarian Split Squat.

The Power Blocks are nice because they take up very little space and can be used in place of barbells in most exercises. If you want more resistance you can add resistance bands. I highly advise learning proper form to minimize injuries. Because I have rotator cuff issues I have done a lot of research on which exercises to avoid and how to make certain exercises more shoulder or joint friendly. For starters I focus on compound exercises (deadlifts, squats, back work, chest, and core).

Example of exercises I avoid because of my bad shoulder: dumbbell flys, dips, bench pressing-instead I do pushups. Push Ups can be made harder with bands, a weighted vest, or feet elevated. No upright rows or overhead pressing, instead I do Landmine presses or use a cable machine.

I do not have knee or back issues but use the Power Blocks for front squats and deadlifts which are supposed to be a more back or knee friendly. The Power Blocks also are handy for Farmer Walks.

There’s a ton of information from trainers on the web about workouts and some of it conflicting. There is no way I can work out now at 60 like I did in my 20s. Find someone with knowledge that relates to where you are in your fitness level and age. For example I like some of the articles by Tony Gentilcore found here but many of his articles are too hardcore for me.

For Resistance Band workouts James Grage has some nice examples on YouTube;

Wife does yoga and I do a lot of stretching. We try and hit 10,000 steps per day also do fast walking or light jogging on off days to exercise perhaps the most important muscle-our hearts. Equally or perhaps more important is what we eat. We try and avoid processed foods and sugars but are OK with fruit, veggies, low glycemic carbs such a sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, black or brown rice, etc. and sometimes bread such as Sprouted or Ezekiel bread.

Good luck on your journey,

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Finridge » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:20 pm

Consider getting some PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Like this:

You can do almost everything with dumbbells and these take hardly any room.

There are some other adjustable dumbbells on the market, but these are probably the best.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Finridge » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:23 pm

Consider getting some PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Like this:

You can do almost everything with dumbbells and these take hardly any room.

There are some other adjustable dumbbells on the market, but these are probably the best.

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