Friday, 25 May 2012

HOW TO: Create your own Gym

Dumbbells (found on Google)
As you might already know, I prefer to work out at home. Partly because I find it cheaper and more free, as I can train whenever I want to, and not specific times. I know a lot of Gyms have open from 8-22 or something similar, but still find it expensive.

I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way, and therefore I thought, why not make a post about creating your own gym.
For general fitness, you really don't need any equipment at all (except a place to do pull ups perhaps). There are TONS of body-weight exercises out there, with various difficulty / strength requirements.

So the first thing you'll need is the space. You need some space, where you can work out, preferably something like 3x3m; perhaps a bit more or less, depending on your preferences.

Okay, now that you have the space, and you want to add a bit to your gym, and want to start training with some additional weight besides your own, I can recommend getting a pair of Dumbbells. Just as there are tons of exercises to be done with body-weight, there are tons of exercises with the Dumbbells. A lot of the exercises I do, which require a barbell, I'm able to do with my dumbbells; either by changing the exercise a bit or substituting it with an exercise, which targets the same muscle groups.

Pull-up Bar (found on Google)
Pull up bar
If you don't have a place to do Pulls ups, I would definitely also recommend getting a Pull up bar. The one I have is similar to this one -->
Easy to attach to the doorframe, and easy to take down after your workout. Often comes with a couple of small metal plates you can attach to the doorframe, so the bar can hold up to 200 kg and sometimes more.

Of course there is plenty of more equipment you can get, if you want, but I would recommend to start out with a pair of dumbbells and a pull up bar.
This can get you started quite cheap, and over time, you can introduce new equipment, like the ones I'm going to talk about now.

Resistance Bands (Found on Google)

Resistance Bands
There are 2 types of resistance bands, the ones that are flat and thin, like the photo, or tubed ones.
I can recommend getting some bands. They can be found in a variety of strengths. These can be used for adding some extra resistance or load to some of your exercises, like the push up or the squat.

Fitness ball (found on Google)
The fitness ball adds some new ways of doing some of the exercises you might already now, like push ups (but with feet on the ball, demanding your core to work more).
You can also use it as a bench, for e.g. dumbbell flyes, or similar exercises.

Bench (found on Google)
A bench is very useful, especially if it's one of the more expensive ones, where you can change the back, so you can make it incline or decline, as it will give you even more variety in your already big exercise-book.
Many of the exercises can be done on the Fitness-ball, but when you're starting to use a big load, such as with the Barbell, the ball might not be able to handle the weight

Barbell (found on Google)
Some of the exercises requires a lot of technique with the dumbbells, and it is easier to have a big load on the Barbell compared to the dumbbells.
I'm not saying that the Barbell doesn't require a lot of technique, because it certainly does, but there is some more stability in a Barbell Shoulder Press Up than with dumbbells, which also makes it easier to put on more weight with the Barbell.
A barbell set is often also much more expensive than a pair of dumbbells.
Sometimes you can find a Barbell + Bench offer, which can save you money, compared to buying the two separately.

I hope this has helped you in considering what to get for your home gym.
Please let me know what you think of the post, or if you have ideas for other equipment.