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Advice for Starting A Home Gym

Dear Dr. Bell, I need some home gym advice. I’m looking at starting a home gym so I can work out and eventually start training my clients. Where do I start? What are the essentials? Any other tips or advice would be appreciated.

I am sure you are getting a ton of different opinions on what to purchase for your “Home Gym.” My recommendation will vary somewhat depending on your experience, needs, goals and most importantly….my mood!

For instance, if you have read my previous Blogs, and FitBit Articles, you may have noticed that I consider the Squat “The King of Exercise,” however, a Squat Rack is a relatively steep investment for a limited amount of exercises and completely worthless if you don’t make an absolutely essential investment in an Olympic Weight Lifting set of weight plates and an Olympic Lifting Bar. Therefore, an Olympic Weight Lifting Set is your first investment.

99.9% of weight lifters and body builders will make their next investment in an Olympic Weight Lifting Bench, preferably an adjustable bench that goes from 15 degrees of decline to 90 degrees of incline, to be used for Shoulder Presses. A Bench gives you a far greater variety of exercises, including “The King of Upper Body Exercises,” the Bench Press.

Next, would probably be a Squat Rack, Dumbbells, and mats for floor work, including stretching to improve your flexibility. Initially, you can jog, run, or jump rope for your aerobic exercise. You can do aerobic exercise every day to keep your cardiovascular system strong.

You can always add plates and heavier dumbbells as you get stronger.

One thing to consider is to buy all your equipment USED! While used equipment may not be as pretty or have that “New Equipment Smell,” you can sometimes get used equipment for 5-10 cents on the dollar. You can really stretch your investment dollars to buy 10-20 times the equipment you could get if you bought them new. This could stretch your equipment buying plans to add some of your favorite exercises.

You could consider a cable machine, Chin/Dip station, Leg Curl Machine, Leg Press Machine (which could be used for your calves as well), Seated Heel Raise or more.

Also consider buying storage racks for plates, bars, dumbbells, etc. to keep your workout area neat and orderly. This keeps you motivated and prevents injuries.

Building your own home gym can be fun and eventually be highly profitable when you start your personal training business. Your own home gym may be your first step in your goal to build a successful personal training business. You might also consider adding the IFPA Fitness Facility Manager Certification Course to help you manage your own gym.

Good Luck!

Dr. Jim Bell