Build Your Gym

        With so much at-home fitness equipment available to you, it can be hard to tell which pieces are worth your money and which are not. To help you solve that problem, below is a list of my favorite pieces of at-home fitness equipment. These are each products that I use regularly in my own home gym.

THE ESSENTIALS:

Dumbbells

If I had to name one item that all home gyms should include, it would be sets of dumbbells in varying weights. Having a variety of dumbbells significantly increases the number of exercises you can perform compared to using your body weight alone. Dumbbells can be pricey, however. For that reason, I recommend buying only a few sets at first and then picking up heavier sets once you need them. The price of dumbbells varies, with the average price being between $1.50-$2.00 per pound. You can find dumbbells at most sporting goods stores and some big-box retail stores. However, if you are looking to save money, you can also try online locations such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

 

Weight Bench

I bought this bench in 2017 and it is still in just as great of condition as the day I bought it. It easily adjusts to incline, flat, and decline positions and is a total steal for the quality and versatility that it can bring to your workouts. The Weider Incline Weight Bench pictured above can be purchased here.

 

Pull-Up Bar

Although you can purchase pull-up bars that screw into your wall, I have always liked using doorframe pull-up bars because they can be taken up and down within seconds without damage to your wall or doorframe. As well, they are a multi-functional piece of equipment. In addition to being able to use them for a variety of styles of pull-ups, you can also use them on the ground to perform tricep dips, push-ups, and crunches. The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar pictured above can be found here.

Pull-Up Bands

There are not many of us that start out being able to do an unassisted body-weight pull-up. In order to help you progress to being able to do a pull-up, you should use pull-up bands. These bands come in a variety of thicknesses to provide you with a range of assistance. The thicker the band, the more assistance you will receive when using it. My favorite bands are the WODFitters

Pull-Up Assistance Bands. The full set of these bands can be found here. As well, WODFitters bands can be purchased individually. If you would rather go this route, but are unsure of which band thickness to select, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am happy to chat with you so that you are confident that you are purchasing the correct equipment for your needs.

 

Food Scale

Although not technically a piece of gym equipment, it is absolutely one of my fitness necessities. Using a food scale and nutrition tracking app (such as Cronometer, my personal favorite) can provide you with SO MUCH insight into your eating. The food scale that I use and have had for years can be found here. I bought this in 2013 and it still works as well today as the day I bought it!

 

Water Bottle with Time Tracker

Another non-gym equipment item, but I am obsessed with it enough that it HAD to make the list. I have used so many water bottles over the years and none were quite what I was looking until I found this one. The time-tracker feature makes sticking to your daily water goal super easy! I also love that it has the fabric handle feature and comfortable sipping spout. It comes in a variety of colors, which is just plain fun! And, it is very durable and well-made. You can check it out here.

 

EXTRAS:

Treadmill

I went back and forth between putting the treadmill in the essentials category or the extras category. The only reason that I landed on "extras" was because whether or not you will benefit from having a treadmill depends on a variety of factors such as your fitness goals and your access to outdoor walking and jogging spaces. Personally, I use my FreeMotion treadmill multiple times a week and could not imagine my home gym without it. It is an absolute essential for me. I particularly love the FreeMotion because it adjusts to a 45-percent incline and a 3-percent decline, allowing you to program a variety of workouts that challenge not only your cardiorespiratory endurance, but your lower body muscles as well.

 

Heart Rate Monitor

I decided to purchase my first Polar Heart Rate Monitor in March 2021 and I am so glad that I did! As a super type-A and data-driven person, I love being able to use the information that I get from this device to tweak my workouts, accurately gauge my intensity, and monitor my progress. If you would like to learn how using a heart rate monitor can help you with your fitness, reach out to me. I would be happy to share how I use mine and how you can incorporate Polar into your training program. The Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor can be found here.

 

Dumbbell Rack

While not necessary when you are just starting out, if you are planning on purchasing many sets of dumbbells, having a nice dumbbell rack can keep your fitness area looking clean and organized. My home gym is where I go to destress and take time for myself. Given my personality, I know that if I had dumbbells scattered everywhere, it would take away from that relaxing feeling. The rack pictured above is the Marcy 3-Tier Dumbbell rack. It is the rack I have in my own gym and my all time favorite in it's price range. This dumbbell rack can be purchased here.

 

Plate Mate Magnetic Hex Weights

Most dumbbell weight sets are sold in 5 pound weight increments. The problem with that is that it can be really challenging to move from using a 10 pound dumbbell for an exercise to a 15 or from a 15 to a 20. When searching for solutions, I recently came across Plate Mate. These 2.5 pound magnetic weight sets (1.25 pounds each) adhere to your steel or cast iron dumbbells increasing the weight of your dumbbells by 2.5 pounds making the transition to the next weight level much easier. (Note: These will only adhere to steel or cast iron dumbbells. They will not adhere to rubber-encased dumbbells.) Plate Mate Magnetic Hex Weights can be purchased here.

 

Super Cute Gym Shorts!

Properly fitting gym clothes that you feel cute and confident in can make all the difference, even when you are working out from home! My all-time favorite workout shorts are made by Tough Mode Apparel and can be found here. They are super comfortable, don't ride up, and come in lots of adorable patterns.

If you are looking to create your own at-home workout space and have any questions on equipment, give me a call. I am happy to help!

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