Podcast Notes: Home Gyms 101
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In this episode of the Brawn Body Podcast, I discuss how I built my home gym from nothing to rivaling some commercial gyms, what I’ve learned along the way, DIY equipment, and more!
In this episode, I reviewed:
Why I built my home gym
How you can build a home gym
DIY Equipment vs Purchased Equipment
How to get creative with home workouts during quarantine
Below are notes about each section
Why I built a home gym
I started my fitness journey young (15 yo)
Nothing around - from a rural area, nearest commercial gym 25-minute drive
Price - I did the math. $35 per month for a gym membership * 7 years (I figured I’d graduate at age 22, little did I realize at the time I would go into Physical Therapy and graduate at age 24) = ~$3,000.
For $3,000, I figured I could put together a real nice gym at home (and still have something to show for it) and take it with me for wherever life took me after graduation
24/7 gym access
No people around
Workout outside, no rules: freedom!
How to build a home gym
Measure your space - how much room do you have?
Check your budget - how much are you willing to save/invest?
Check the flooring!
Consider if you’re the only one using it
Consider your ability and what you enjoy
Equipment availability *** New and used.
My personal thoughts on home gym essentials: Resistance bands, pullup bar, dumbbells. If you have space and finance, a power rack, barbell, weights and a bench are great too.
DIY equipment vs Purchasing equipment
Equipment I’ve DIY’d (NOTE: BUILD at your own risk! I am NOT responsible for any injuries/deaths coming from poor equipment construction)
Kettlebells - I’ve built these up to 35 lbs, and plasti-dip’d the outside.
Custom barbell storage rack - see picture (thanks to my Dad for the engineering)
Tractor tire - not much of a DIY, but it was free!
Equipment I’ve purchased
Power Rack - the one I have is no longer produced. Feel free to shop around to find one that fits your needs in height, weight, attachments, etc. Many people DIY these, and if you do, be safe and ensure sturdy construction! Steel is much stronger than wood.
Barbell and weight plates - not much substitute here. I love my iron grip plates, but they’re not great if you’re looking for Olympic lifts. Bumper plates may be more expensive, but your floor will thank you. I also highly recommend investing in a high-quality barbell: the black oxide bar I have is rated to 1,000 pounds and has not bent on 400+ deadlifts. I can’t say the same for some of my other bars…
A bench - preferably one that does flat and incline, decline is optional (but very nice to have)
Hex Bar - Great for deadlifts and farmer’s walks, relatively low cost.
Adjustable Dumbbells. They’re a bit more awkward to use than the typical fixed dumbbells, but the cost difference is night and day.
Resistance Bands - Add these to your power rack to overload a variety of lifts
Suspension Trainer - your body can be your barbell
Adjustable height cable columns - I bought mine from Titan Fitness. So far they’re holding up to my heavy usage!
Horse stall mats (tractor supply) for flooring. These are GREAT!
Ultimately, what you build vs buy is up to you - just remember to heed caution when building!
Creativity with your home gym
Think outside the box
I use my Suspension trainer straps with a barbell to do jammer press
I wedge my feet under the brace bar in the back of my power rack to perform Nordic Hamstring Curls
I use my tractor tire for weighted pushups, not just tire flips
Cable belt squats? Oh yeah!
Don’t limit yourself to just “barbell” and “dumbbell” exercises.
Here's some pictures of my home gym setup:
Here's a zoomed-in look at the barbell storage. Space for a hex bar, additional room for more bars, etc.
Hope you enjoyed this episode! Don't forget to follow us @brawnbody and check us out on Facebook!
Information in this post/episode is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. Consult your primary care provider prior to making any changes in your diet or lifestyle habits as discussed. Build DIY gym projects at your own risk, as we are not responsible for any associated injuries.