As a bodybuilder you actually prefer to be in the gym day and night. After all, to get perfect pecs or the most beautiful biceps and triceps , you will have to work hard. The gym owner will no doubt know you because he has to kick you out every night when it’s closing time. Once you’re addicted to strength training, it’s permanent beast mode: onand you are unstoppable. If you really want to be able to train day and night, whenever you want, a home gym is of course the perfect solution. Then you can just hang in the weights at home and always work on your muscles. But how exactly do you make a home gym? Which materials should not be missing if you seriously want to work at home for your gains?
MAKING YOUR OWN HOME GYM: THE ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT
When we’re talking about a home gym, it’s obviously not about those crappy machines that your neighbor orders on Tel Sell and uses them three times and then never needs to look at them again. We’re not talking about cross trainers, exercise bikes and treadmills either. We’re talking here about the essential equipment you need for the real gains; materials for the serious bodybuilder. The following elements should in any case not be missing in your own home gym.
We start of course with the most important elements for the bodybuilder: the weights. We probably don’t need to explain to you that you won’t get very far in your home gym without a barbell and weights. These should actually be the first purchases you make. You can already get a barbell for next to nothing, but it is smarter to put a little more money into it and make sure you get good equipment right away. We know enough stories of cheap barbells that suddenly bend during a lift because they can’t handle the weight. Of course you can’t wait for that at all. In this case, cheap is often expensive!
Tip : For a home gym, investing in bumper plates is not a bad idea. Bumper plates are free weights that you can hang on the barbell. The difference with ‘normal’ weights is that the bumper plates are covered with rubber. This allows you to drop them ‘safer’ on the floor. They also make less noise as a result. Such plates are used in Olympic weightlifting, but in a home gym, where you cause noise nuisance faster than in a normal gym, they are also a great addition.
In addition, of course, in a smaller space you have a greater chance of damaging things if an elevator does not go well. Such a layer of rubber can make a difference in some cases. It is of course not the intention that your entire floor will be full of dents and cracks in a few weeks. The downside to bumper plates is that they aren’t cheap, so if you’re on a budget, this may not be an option.
After you have purchased a barbell and weights, the next logical step is of course to purchase a good set of dumbbells. There are sets of dumbbells with ‘fixed’ weights, but you also have short dumbbell bars that you can screw on to a different weight, just like with the barbell. We recommend the latter variant for your home gym, because you can hang as much weight on it as you want. So you can adjust them exactly to your schedule. You can easily put a few extra pounds on the bar if you want to go a little deeper, without having to search for the right dumbbell.
Another advantage of dumbbells with free weights is that you can often store them more efficiently. For a decent set of fixed weight dumbbells, you often quickly need a rack, which can take up quite a bit of space. Since your home gym will probably be built in a garage, shed or bedroom, any space saving is a plus.
Of course, a bench is also indispensable. Just check how often you use it in the gym; it’s essential equipment for your workout, so your home gym is no different. So this is definitely something you should invest a few cents in. You can of course go for a simple, horizontal bench, but if you really want to get the most out of your equipment, an adjustable bench is a much better purchase. With an adjustable bench you can perform many more different exercises. Your back muscles , your shoulders , your triceps , your chest muscles ; you can train them all on such an adjustable bench.
When buying a bench, pay close attention to its sturdiness and stability. Cheap benches may seem fine at first, but those little wobbles and loose legs will certainly not become stronger if you lie on such a bench with two heavy dumbbells. Before you know it, the whole thing falls apart and you can start looking for a new sofa again. When purchasing a bench, it also applies that cheap is often expensive.
The importance of a power rack will probably also be no stranger to you. Many bodybuilders use it to break through a plateau in their training, for example by training a certain movement specifically. Furthermore, a power rack is certainly indispensable in a home gym, because it makes your training a lot safer. At the gym you can ask someone to spot you, so that they can absorb the weight if a lift doesn’t quite work out. But if you are working on your bench press at home and it goes wrong, then you really have a problem if the barbell ends up on your chest. With a power rack you can prevent such accidents.
In addition, a power rack is also ideal for all kinds of exercises that you would not be able to perform so easily. You can often add all kinds of ‘extensions’ to it, such as dip bars . So such a power rack is quite versatile, and you can always adapt it to your needs and progress.
Also with a power rack, sturdiness and stability are of vital importance. Of course you don’t want the barbell to be caught by a rickety rack in the event of a failed lift, so that it ends up on the floor or, worse, on you. In any case, it is wise to choose a rack that you secure to the ground with bolts. This is the case with most racks, but keep an eye out for it during your search for the perfect power rack.
Resistance bands (or resistance bands in Dutch) are a super simple way to intensify your training. Resistance bands are very popular among powerlifters, and for good reason. Did you know that by using resistance bands you can provide up to 90 kg more resistance?
For example, if you use them to weight your barbell while squatting, they’ll pull the weight back to the floor as you go. So you will have to put more and more force during the exercise to get up. Many bodybuilders who use bands say they see results much faster with them. In addition, you can do countless exercises for both your lower and upper body , for example as a warm-up. Purchasing a set of good resistance bands for your home gym is therefore definitely worth considering.