If you are a bodybuilder, you have probably had a difficult time during this pandemic. With gym closures and restrictions, it has been hard to find a place to get in a good workout. Unfortunately, this has not gotten much better, with many of the smaller bodybuilder-oriented gyms remaining closed.
This leaves you with more mainstream commercial gyms, which can be okay, but the gym culture might not be what you are used to. So, what are you supposed to do? Maybe you should just give up. Not on working out, but on working out at a commercial gym.
There has never been a better time to build your own home gym, so why not pull the trigger? It might just be the best decision that you ever make, so let us look at what you will need to build a simple home gym for bodybuilders.
Quality Gym Equipment
First, you are going to need some quality gym equipment. Do not make the mistake of skimping on quality, because the quality of your workout and your safety are at stake here. If you are short on cash, there are several websites like this that can help you with financing.
The important thing to remember is that if you shop for quality, you will get equipment that will last for decades. If you go cheap, you will end up paying more in the long run.
So, what do you need?
An enclosed cage or weight rack is the number one piece of equipment that you should buy. It will allow you to do every exercise that you need to get in a full-body workout. Everything from squats to bench presses, to military, can be performed with the help of this piece of equipment.
Best of all, cage systems have safety bars. This will allow you to lift safely without the need for a spotter. If you are working out at home, this is important because you are unlikely to have a spotter at your disposal all the time. Safety should always be a top priority when working out by yourself.
Expect to pay $500 to $800 for a good cage system. Yes, this is more than a standard weight bench, but the versatility you get makes the price well worth it.
A good weight bench is crucial. You want one that can be used flat and that has an adjustable incline. If you want to decline, keep in mind that good benches capable of decline are hard to find, especially ones that are strong enough to support you and 200 to 300 pounds of weight. It is probably better to skip the decline feature.
Now, about weight capacity. You need to be sure to look at the weight rating of a bench. Make sure that it can support your weight plus what you plan on pushing. Also, give yourself plenty of weight capacity to grow because you probably plan on getting stronger.
Expect to pay around $200 for a decent bench. You can find benches for less than this price, but they are usually not suitable for weightlifting.
Finally, you are going to need to find a good set of Olympic weights. Nothing fancy here, as long as the weight ratings run true. Read the reviews to make sure that they do. If you are OCD and want your weights to match, be sure to order enough plates to grow with. At the minimum, you should order a 300-pound set, but you might want to consider adding a few extra 45-pound plates.
When ordering your weights, the biggest concern should be the weight bar. Not all Olympic bars are created equally. Make sure that yours is rated for at least 600 pounds. The last thing that you want is one that bends. Also, avoid chrome-plated bars. They almost always end up chipping, and you do not want to end up with a bar coated with tiny metal splinters.
Expect to spend $300 for a decent 300-pound weight set. Try to pick one up locally if you can avoid expensive shipping charges.
Stick To The Basics
The equipment above is enough to allow you to easily get in a full-body workout. You will be able to do squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, and just about any other movements you desire. Start with this equipment and then add additional accessories as you customize your home workout. Resist the urge to buy other accessories now, until you know just how you will be working out at home.
Choosing Your Workout Space
Now that you have the equipment in mind, you need to find a good place to set everything up.
For most, the first thought will be the garage. After all, the garage gives you a nice big open space with solid flooring that you do not have to worry about damaging. There is a problem with the garage though. Unless you live in a mild climate, there will be times of the year when this space is either very cold or extremely hot. This can make getting your workout in a grind, and it will very likely hurt your consistency.
If you can swing it, an indoor heated and cooled location would be ideal. It will be far more comfortable, and you will be more likely to stick with your workout.
Keep in mind that while cage systems are big, most will have a footprint of just 4 feet by 4 feet. If you cannot dedicate a full room to your equipment, most master or spare bedrooms should have this much space available. With the help of furniture slides, you can even scoot your gear out of the way when not in use.