A home gym that will get you where you’re going (towards big muscles) will require some thought.
You’ve got two major considerations to contend with:
- Space Limitations
- Budget Concerns
Your overall goal is to fill the space you have with the best bodybuilding equipment your budget will allow. Furthermore, it must be the right equipment, equipment that is geared towards your goals.
A little planning now can save you from a lot of frustration down the road and leave you with a home gym that will last a long time.
For more information on the home bodybuilding equipment that will help in your goal to gain mass, go to the Bodybuilding Equipment page.
The Single Biggest Key to a Muscle Producing Gym
When starting from scratch, the first and most important thing you need to achieve is the ability to perform the basic muscle-building compound exercises. These are the exercises, more than any other exercises, that will be responsible for putting muscle on you.
For most of these exercises, you only need a bench, barbell and sufficient weights.
In fact, check out Eight Get Big Exercises back on the main weight training page. Take the basic gym from the table below and add a couple of chairs for bench dips and you can do every one of these weight lifting exercises.
As you grow, add to these basics the capabilities of doing these weight lifting exercises at more challenging resistances (more weights and a self-spotting method) as well as the capabilities to do more valuable weight training exercises.
When starting out, you do NOT need to do every single exercise ever known to man. Exercises like leg curls or preacher curls may have some value as you advance but they are not of any great importance when you first get going.
Finding Space For The Home Gym
You won’t need an airplane hanger to hold all the bodybuilding equipment necessary to get an effective muscle building workout. I’ve seen one-car garages turned into dream gyms with everything the most experienced bodybuilder would need. And the space of a garage isn’t a minimum by any means.
All you really need is some space in the corner of a room or in the basement. Some place big enough for a bench and some weights.
Be creative. The more space the better, but just a little space combined with a great deal of creativity (your bench in a corner of the basement with a low ceiling but a make-shift pull-up bar out on the porch is just as good as having both next to one another – probably closer than in many gyms) can get you where you want to go. You may find out you have quite a bit more space than you originally thought.
Once you’ve decided on the space you can spare for your home gym, get out the tape measurer and find out the exact dimensions you have available. Get floor space and ceiling height and also measure the doorways and stairwells (you don’t want to have a nice piece of equipment that won’t fit through the basement door and ends up being an expensive but ugly coffee table).
Know exactly what you have to work with. Get out the graph paper and draw out your space.
And then, check your checking account…
Budgeting For The Home Gym
Of course, if you have an airport hanger but have trouble rounding up enough change for the meter, you can still be in a sticky spot.
Relax. Effective home gyms can be built on most any budget.
If an available option, buying new is the quickest and easiest route to go. You get exactly what you need with the quality you demand.
However, if your last name isn’t Trump, you may have to go the used route. Quite fortunately for you a great many people with ample finances start home fitness programs without the necessary requirements of motivation, knowledge and stick-to-it-ness.
Check Craigslist, the classifieds and ask around – you may be surprised to learn that so-and-so has this or that gathering dust in their basement and it which is just what you need.
You’ll have to do a little searching and perhaps settling, but the effective home gym remains in your reach.
Four important things to keep in mind (buying new or used)…
- Be careful when looking at “deals”. Sometimes deals aren’t really deals but, instead, a way to get you to impulsively take junk that nobody who’s thinking straight would want. Make sure, regardless of price, that the piece of equipment you are looking at is something that you both want and need.
- Keep an eye on quality. Make sure your purchases are going to work for you for many years to come. Remember that you will push this equipment hard. Gaining mass, in fact, will call for you to pretty much abuse it. In many cases, it will be better to wait until sufficient funds are available to buy quality later rather than crap now.
Consider building your home gym as you grow. Mass-building lends itself well to this method of home gym building. When you first start out, you won’t need very advanced bodybuilding equipment to get noteworthy results.
As your goals are attained and higher goals are set, it may be necessary to make additions to your home gym to continue with your amazing gains. And if you are putting away the money that would otherwise be going to your membership at a gym, you will be ahead of the game.
Decide on your budget. Don’t put an unrealistic number here, big and bankrupt is certainly somewhat worse than thin and able to pay the electric bill. Decide what you can afford to spend up front and if this won’t be enough to get all you desire, set an amount to be put away each month to build your home gym as you grow.
When deciding how to set your budget, don’t forget to consider the money you will need to spend on food and supplements to provide your body the materials it needs to build muscle. If you spend so much on your home gym that you have no money left over to properly feed your body for muscle growth, your home gym won’t have the chance to show you what it can do.
Ultimately, you’d be better off eating well and working out by swinging in the branches of the trees in your backyard (monkeys are very strong).
Putting It Together
You now have the means to plan the mass gain home gym for your situation. You have a sketch of the space you have available and an idea of the budget you will have now and in the coming months to finance your home gym.
A little pre-planning (getting an idea now of what you will want/need in the future) will allow you to expand your gym in an efficient and cost-effective way. Check out the table below:
Approximate Costs For Home Gyms
Incline/decline bench with crutches and leg extension and leg curl capabilities, squat capabilities, barbell, dumbbell handles, 300 lb. weight set, pull-up capabilities
The good gym with a power rack (instead of bench crutches), EZ curl bar, bench dip capabilities
The better gym plus a High/low pulley w/ lat and row attachments, stationary bike
The prices listed are just general approximations. You can spend less by going the used equipment route and being a little creative so don’t get overly discouraged if these figures seem undoable for your situation. You can also spend much more than these amounts if you want.
Regardless of what you spend, it won’t be the bodybuilding equipment that will be responsible for your success – it will be your determination and perseverance.
The bodybuilding equipment you choose for your home gym will depend on space and budget limitations as well as personal preferences. Spend some time shopping. Make a wish list. See what will fit in your space.
Picture your gym not only how it may look in two to four weeks, but how you want it to look in six months or a year. You don’t want to fill up your space with crap and not have room for that bargain you will find in three months. Start with a basic home gym and add capabilities as you grow. Or splurge and get everything you want and put the shopping annoyance behind you.
Whatever way you build it, make sure to plan ahead.
Thinking home workouts aren’t for you?
If all this seems like a hassle and you find yourself leaning more and more to joining a gym… Check out the Gym Memberships page for some tips on picking the right gym with some favorable terms.
If you are the type of person that is motivated and not distracted by having people around you, you will probably do best in the commercial gym environment.
Couple more articles you may like…
Find out the pros and cons of both these muscle building methods and discover which one should get the bulk of your focus.