Working out with Olympic weights is one of the best ways to increase your fitness level. While commercial gym membership provides absolute convenience, nothing beats the luxury of having your home gym. You are fortunate if you have room and budget for one. If you are relatively new to weight lifting and need a place to start, you will have a good idea of what you need by the time you finish reading this short article. You can then decide if making a home gym now is a good idea for you, and go from there.
Commercial gyms have a lot of equipment, and it might seem that to build you own mini-version is a daunting task. It is not. You don’t need 80% of the material you see in a gym. Some of the machines can only benefit experienced bodybuilders or weightlifters. If you are one of them, then you probably don’t need to read this article since you know all the facts already. In practice, most gym machines are used by people who don’t know much about weight training and use them inefficiently. Commercial gyms love tools because they save space and allow them to have more people on the floor. You cannot cram many people working with free weights since they need more room for safety. Combined with the lack of knowledge, this is the main reason why there are so many weight machines and so few free weights in the gyms.
You will get much more out of your home gym if you use free weights. You need very few items to have a complete workout. Here is the list.
There are two types of weights you can use – Olympic and standard. As you can see from the article title, I think that Olympic weights are the way to go. Telling them apart is easy: standard plates have one-inch holes; Olympic weights have two-inch holes. A bar with Olympic weights is much sturdier and allows heavier weights. A standard bar can be enough for a beginner, though. It all comes down to your budget and your aesthetic taste. Make sure that the rest of the equipment is suitable for the type of bar you plan to use. You also need about 300 lbs of weight plates for your bar.
To begin with, a horizontal bench will suffice. You don’t need to use incline for a while. But if you are looking far ahead and don’t have room for two benches, consider getting the one that inclines and declines.
This is the center of your home gym – make sure you get a high-quality product that gets high user reviews, and it will serve you forever. High quality is especially important if you exercise alone and don’t have a spotter/partner. Power rack becomes your spotter then, for squats and Bench Presses. Also, get the one that has a chin-up/pullup bar. If you plan to use your basement, make sure that you have enough height for your choice of the power rack.
All the equipment comes in a variety of quality and price levels. There are plenty of user reviews that will help you figure out quickly what fits your goals and your wallet. And this is all you need to start and keep going for months if not years. You can add other things later. Adjustable dumbbells will probably be the next item on your shopping list. But good ones are expensive, and they are not the necessary part of a workout. You will also need several things to set up the room. Floor mats and plate racks should be a part of your home gym. Many people use a treadmill for warm-ups while others run outdoors or use other types of cardio exercise.
The most important thing is an excellent program. Training with Olympic weights is the most effective and safest way to gain strength, but only if you use proper technique. Get a good book and study it thoroughly. If there is a good weightlifting gym in your neighborhood, consider going there for a few coaching sessions. And have fun!