I've turned into quite the crusader for the home gym revolution. I always sort of had a home gym myself or at the very least worked out at home on occasion.
However my biggest struggle with training at home was I always felt rather limited in the kind of equipment I had access to and the lack of potential for progressive overload provided by it.
My mom tried numerous times to try to buy barbell and weight plate sets, but none of them really cut it for the kind of training I wanted to do.
And for a long time I resigned myself to the fact that if you wanted to get in a great training session you really needed to make the drive across town to the gym.
This changed for me though in college when I was introduced to the kettlebell and some more advanced bodyweight exercises. I began to see that there was a way to get seriously strong and in great shape without always driving to the gym or even having access to the typical gym equipment.
Not that it isn't useful just it isn't necessary.
I also began to really enjoy the convenience of avoiding the prep and travel time to the gym, being able to wear whatever I did or didn't want too while I trained, playing whatever music I liked, and not having to deal with the social environment that are the larger commercial gyms (if you have been there you know what I'm talking about.).
All that being said for a long time my "home gym" consisted solely of a yoga mat and a 45 pound kettle bell which I kept stashed away in the laundry room of my wife and I's 800 square foot apartment.
I'd drag them out mostly on the weekends or days in which I didn't already have to make a trip to the gym to train clients or work the front desk.
My passion for home gyms hit another level when my wife and I moved into our first place with a garage my Junior year of college and suddenly we had a bit of extra square feet in there to dedicate exclusively to a more elaborate home gym that didn't need to be quite as mobile as my yoga mat and kettle bell.
Over the next few months following that move which included opening my semi-private training facility I found myself becoming quite the skilled used equipment acquisition specialist and after satisfying out our facilities equipment needs I began slowly filling up my own small space in the garage with the equipment I thought would allow me to have the most EPIC training sessions right at home.
As I said it started with a kettlebell and yoga mat and over those months and up to now I've added two more kettlebells, a barbell, 315 pounds of metal plate weights, a squat rack with pull up bar, weighted pull up belt, bands, rings, a second barbell (college graduation present to myself), and most recently a set of Bowflex dumbbells that can go from 10 pounds to 90 pounds and a utility bench.
After all that time, searching, saving, and accumulating I'm pretty satisfied that I've pieced together the "home gym for me."
As you can see it's really not "that" much equipment and the amount of space it all occupies is really minimal especially when you consider that there is still room in the garage for my wife to park her car in.
Despite my home gym's small foot print and puzzle piece equipment collection I get some pretty awesome training session in right at home. It's freaking fantastic and way better than I ever thought a home gym could be.
In fact if I didn't have my facility I'd continue to train exclusively at home and invest in growing the space and equipment selection of the home gym.
And thanks to companies like Rogue Fitness this is finally a real option for those of us who want commercial quality equipment to train with at home.
I say this because I think the home gym is best viable option for the vast majority of us who want to stay in great shape year round for the rest of our lives.
It may seem kind of daunting at first and you may be questioning how the heck you'd ever get started training in your own home gym as you have no idea what you're doing to begin with let alone what half of the equipment in my home gym is, but trust me I have my reasons why I feel you need a home gym.
First and foremost let me say that I am making the claim that the home gym is the best option for most people based on my evaluation that it offers the most sustainable and manageable gym option for most people that also gives a return on the money you invest into it.
For example you could join a typical pay-to-rent-the-equipment commercial gym where their goal is to sign up as many members as possible, over sell the value of all the equipment they have which you have no idea how to use, and try to sell you on some over priced mediocre personal training services or you could take the same amount of money you would spend on that commercial gym membership over several months and invest it in several kettlebells, hire a coach to train you on proper form and technique and have a complete system to train yourself with for life that is universal no matter whether you are at home or using the kettlebells at a gym away from home.
I think in the long run the second option gives us the largest chance for long-term adherence because it gives you the option to perform your training where and how you want to, you get to develop competency with an educated professional in-person or online, and you can start inviting some friends (ones you actually like to be around) over to train with you a few times a week to start to develop a community around your training.
Sure having a variety of equipment and tools at your disposal is fun and can give you a few more degrees of freedom in your programming to play with, but that is only the case if you know what to do with all that equipment.
Yes they offer a ton of value in terms of equipment and amenities, but that really isn't value if you are someone who doesn't know where to start and is just looking to start making progress towards their goals.
Instead as I described earlier the best option is to learn how to accomplish your goals using one or two different tools, getting competent, and familiar with them then moving on to the next when you feel ready.
This allows a home gym to some what reflect your growth and competency in the gym as the more adept you become in a variety of exercise and the more tools you learn to use the more equipment your home gym will have in it. However this doesn't happen over night so you have plenty of time to save your money, make decisions about space, shop around for equipment, and finally decided on the next equipment purchase you'll make instead of just continuing to put your money into someone else's pocket who isn't really adding anything to your life.
I do want to stress though that I think the most important part of all of this is hiring that coach.
The home gym is useless without the knowledge to use it.
I don't care if you seek out the coach first or if you seek out the coach based on the style of exercise you want to learn, but the important thing is that you do in fact seek them out. This will allow you to use your time in the home gym effectively and efficiently, keep you safe, and ultimately allow you to continue to make the using equipment you invested in for your home gym a regular habit.
I know many will probably say something to the effect about needing to have a destination to go to in order to be in the mood to train and that is fine we don't all have to agree.
I know others will probably say something about having a coach for accountability and while I understand that need I'm not completely sure that outsourcing your accountability to others is the best long-term strategy.
But if you need to do that a home gym is still a viable option. Many coaches do in-home training and online training is a fantastic option. Not to mention something as simple as inviting a few friends over to your house a couple of days a week to train can replace the accountability factor of a commercial gym.
Like I said at the beginning of this piece I know I'm biased on this topic.
I enjoy my home gym.
I think it's one of the best long-term solutions for busy people to stay in shape.
It forces you to focus your fitness journey on educating yourself, investing into yourself, and ultimately gaining more and more ownership over your own training.
Not to mention it takes a way a ton of excuses that people make about why they can't get to the gym.
Not many excuses to make about why you didn't train when there is a complete gym a few feet away from you at any given moment.
I hope you find this inspiring and possibly gets you moving on finding a way you can begin to build your own home gym.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training