working out in your home gym

Discussion in 'Home Exercise Equipment' started by imported_gripstrength, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. There've been some posts lately in which guys have discussed their home exercise equipment. I thought it would be fun to have a thread in which folks who train at home talk about how it stacks up against working out in a commercial gym, the equipment they've got, the stuff they'd like to have, and so on.

    I did a search and didn't find anything on this topic, so I'll go first: I set up my home gym in my garage last year. I got a PowerTec rack and PowerTec assisted chin/dip unit, a solid flat/incline/decline bench, 300 pounds of Olympic weights, and interlocking rubber floor pads. A buddy gave me pairs of dumbbells from fifteen to 60 pounds. Finally, I have an Olympic curl bar. The whole thing cost maybe $1,300 to put together.

    I still have my Gold's membership but have scarcely used it since starting my current cycle, which focuses on front squats, stiff-legged deads, bent-over rows, military presses, chins, dips, and incline bench presses. None of these movements requires any special equipment that I don't have at home.

    Although I'm not ready to give up the membership yet, I'm finding that training at home is unbeatable in so many ways: convenience, not having to cruise for a parking spot, never having to wait for equipment, playing music I like, having absolutely no excuse to miss a workout, never having to deal with any knuckleheads other than myself ;) sum, I am really digging it!

    Things I'd like: a dip belt, a quality Olympic curl bar (mine's hollow and lacks a good solid feeling), and perhaps a seated calf raise unit. It'd also be nice to get some heavier dumbbells, up to 85 pounds or so. For now, though, what I've got is more than adequate.

    Here's a composite pic of my home gym:
    It'd be fun to hear about other guys' setups. Any other home trainers here?
  2. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member


    Have a look over at Dave Drapers site, he's got some really good lookin' thick-grip stuff... which should be fairly easy to replicate
  3. Thanks man! I'll take a look at Dave's site.
  4. mathey

    mathey New Member

    I have a squat rack that is homemade (not by me) that I paid $70 for, it also has a chin-up bar across the top. I use this for squats, bench and seated OHP. I use an incline bench in this that the wife bought and doesn't use.
    I have a homemade dip stand made of lumber. It used to be my squat rack, but the uprights twisted so bad, I cut it down to dip height.
    Almost all my free weights were actually free or nearly so. I did buy some 25's from Walmart back when they were $10. I've also purchased some bars over the years, but don't use half of them. I only have standard weights, as they are easiest to find for free/cheap. I have enough plates and sizes that I can pretty much keep a bar loaded for each exercise I do, which saves a lot of time.
    I have a roman chair I traded a guy for a TV stand.
    I have one of those Weird-er all-in-one gym things that I use for pull downs and calf raises. This was purchased because the wife was going to use it. Meanwhile, it's there so I use it.
    I have also landed a treadmill, cardio rider and recumbent exercise bike for free...i don't use any of them! well, the cardio rider holds my t-shirts...
  5. Wow Mathey, you put your gym together for practically nothing. Now I wanna find a calf machine for free!

  6. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Heya guys

    I have been training at home since basically 2001, then in 2002 I joined HST.

    It then become more and more serious, till eventually I bought myself the Trojan power cage, not too bad...but if one really wanted some improvements could be made.

    It has been of good use to me and has provided the rugedness I expected, sometimes I get a little weary of it when I am doing squats as they never gave me specs, how much can the "animal" hold, and I can get pretty serious with the weights.

    Nothing beats a home gym for a serious, disciplined chap, it does not argue with you [​IMG] there is no one hogging the bench, unless it is the partner taking too long, in which case is sort him out [​IMG] and well if you are motivated it is always waiting.

    Only thing missing are the chicks, but one can always place a few posters on the wall.

    One day, I'll create one with a sauna, shower, mirrors and all the attachments missing and implanted high quality speakers, in a shining rubber matted room just for the purpose, that way I can always sleep in the gym instead of "with the dogs" or "in the couch", ah...ah...ah. [​IMG]

    Ah, yes and I have about 300 kgs of plates, 2 straight bars and 3 dumbells, they waste time to change weights but are great when needed! All this is in the garage of course!

    Here's the cage:
  7. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    I have a Tuff Stuff Power cage: (see link)

    I love this cage. It is super stable and able to hold far more weight than I will evey be able to lift (or anyone else for that matter). I also have the optional weight stack which only goes up to 200 lbs but still great for many things. I like the fact that is has bar catches front and rear and well as outside the cage. Dipping handles are included as well as a chin bar.

    A Body Craft FID bench. Really solid and stable with good variety of positions.

    I have about 500 lbs of olympic weights and another 400+ of standard. I have a couple of sets of 18" dumbell handles so I can load on lots of weight and then a couple of sets of the regular 14" ones as well.

    I have a huge variety of handles for cable work. My favourite item is my power hooks for loading up huge weight on the dumbells and not having to throw them up into place. By far this is the best piece of equipment I have bought in years and they are cheap to boot!

    I am still in need of some serious rubber flooring but have yet to be able to find any locally that does not smell like petroleum. If anyone in Canada know of a place to order from please let me know. In the mean time I will conitinue to use my foam mats and carpet.

    There is nothing like a home gym where you can work out when you want, wearing anything you want or nothing at all. You can listen to whatever music you like and as loud as you want. No waiting and even better no socializing. Just get down to business and save the socializing for later.
  8. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator


    I workout at home too. All I have is a lat machine, and I also have a bar that I can do regular puyll-ups on. I also have a bench that also comes with a doo-hickey for leg extensions and a dipstation, and if I adjust it right, it can even become a squat rack. Pretty nice bench that one, but old. Everything I have is fifteen years old, except for the new bar and weight plates recently bought to add more weight.

    Oh, and of course adjustable dumbbells (you know what I mean, dumbbell bars where you have to put plates on it, not the ones that are of fixed weight)
  9. lestat02852

    lestat02852 New Member

    What's your opinion on the Powertec dip/chin assist machine?
    Do you like the quality?
    Does the assistance seem smooth and natural?
    And is there any adjustability with the width of the dip handles?
  10. Hey there lestat,

    For the most part, I like the PowerTec chin/dip unit. It was the most affordable assisted machine out there (it was around $300 last year and shipping was free). The assist mechanism is a simple lever; it doesn't involve cables, pullies, or anything like that, so maintenance isn't going to be an issue--and yeah, the movement is smooth.

    It was kind of a pain in the arse to put together, and when the machine arrived a major part was missing. Still, the outfit I purchased it from (GymCor) sent that part along quickly.

    One thing that's not ideal is that the places where I'd normally grasp the bar for wide-grip pull-ups are occupied by two joints that are welded together (make sense?), so I have to do 'em with a somewhat narrower grip than I normally would. There's a set of handles you could use for super-wide-grip pull-ups but they're too far apart for me. On the other hand, the machine does have a couple of handles that allow you to use a palms-facing-each-other grip, which I like a lot.

    The dip handles aren't adjustable, unfortunately. Guess I'm lucky the width works for someone my size.

    Overall I'm really happy with the machine. There's tons of stuff you can do with it and I feel it's been a great addition to my home gym. It's not perfect but it's more than adequate for my needs.
  11. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    I use an old leather lifting belt I have with a chain that has a clip. The chain is very heavy and the clip is the same you find on a pulldown machine where you attach different bars/handles. Works very well. Just buckle the belt on its loosest hole and string the chain through the front and attach a plate(s). Everything but the belt came from a local hardware store.
  12. Good tip, Bryan! I s'pose I could just use my current lifting belt thusly. Per an old tip from O&G, I've been using a knapsack for added resistance--sticking in plates and "carrying" 'em on my back. A good cheap fix unless/until the knapsack starts falling apart.
  13. Okay, I'm new to HST. I'm one of those "non-bodybuilder" types that understands that some bodybuilder programs can help in a fitness routine.
    I work out chiefly because I have a very bad back from an injury in the military. If I keep the muscles in shape, it takes the stress off damaged tendons and ligaments allowing me to function.
    Free weights are not an option. Been there, done that (multiple times under multiple programs). Every time I ended up on serious meds and complete bed rest. One or two times I ended up in ICU.
    This all gets down to the reason for this post. One piece of equipment I can use is the Total Gym. Not the one as seen on tv, but rather the one used by physical therapists. It supports my back as I work out. I'm going to make an HST routine that I can use on the Total Gym. Has anyone else done this for the TG or other like equipment?
    Frank Reid
  14. Sonny

    Sonny New Member


    In a home gym you have to know what you are really going to use and not just but every piece of equipment just to have it sit there and collect dust.
    I’ve been working out at home for over 30 years.
    I started when I was about 15 years old with a not many plates a couple of dumbbells, straight bar and a homemade bench.
    Your gym doesn’t have to be elaborate to make great gains. It is in how you use what you have.
    As time has gone by I have accumulated what I believe is all I need to be able to develop ever body part and have one hell of a work out.
    If I were to give any advice on building up a great home gym would be to buy the essentials first bench, bars and steel. Then add on with the rest of the equipment as money allows.
    I like to buy what I feel is quality equipment with a reputable company to back it up if something falls apart.
    That is why I prefer Body Solid. It comes with a lifetime guarantee.
    I had my adjustable bench break, I call them up and in to day I had my new part.
    So start off with the good stuff from the beginning.
    The only pieces that are not shown are the hack squat machine and the lat machine
    Sonny WMD

  15. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I want your garage Sonny . . . my garage is crap . . . trade? [​IMG]
  16. Wow man, nice setup! Good view, too. I forgot to mention one of the other things I love about home training: opening the garage door to fresh air.

    I broke down and got a dip belt, which arrived today. Got tired of lying down on the floor every time I needed to unload the backpack. ;) The chain's a little short, but that's an easy fix.
  17. mathey

    mathey New Member

    My latest score...

    Northern Lights Hack Squat/Leg Press with 230lbs of new plates...$75


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