What To Look For In A Home Gym?

Answer these questions before you go and buy a home gym!

In theory, buying a home gym is not a hard task at all. You can click yourself to a web shop or walk to the nearest brick and mortar store. There, you can buy the first one the salesperson recommends to you. This surely is a convenient way, but it might not be the most beneficial method to get a home gym. The reason is, before you buy one, you need to ask yourself a few questions and answer them. This way, you know better what you want – not just a vague “I want some home gym” idea on your mind. Below, you will find the questions you should think about. After you have studied these, you will be in a much better position of purchasing the perfect home gym for your use.

What do you want from home gym?

There are two reasons people buy a home gym. Either to lose fat or to build muscle. Those are really the only options you have. All that talk of getting in shape, getting toned or getting fit is just one or both of those things happening. In general, getting in shape is about losing fat while revealing the muscle underneath, or even packing some new muscle at the same time. I assure you that most home gyms are capable for both fat loss and muscle building. Shedding fat or getting bigger muscles is more about eating. However, let me also tell you, with cheapest home gyms you might not be able to do all the best movements, which brings me to my next point…

What exercises does it offer?

Suffice to say, any home gym is decent for reaching your goals. But if you want to fine-tune your acquirement to suit your needs, listen. If you just want to get fit in general I suggest a traditional home gym machine with several different stations, such as leg press, pec deck and pulleys. A good example of this is Bodysolid Powerline, an affordable machine that will make you look a little better if you put in the effort.

On the other hand, if you want to maximize muscle gains, I wouldn’t recommend the above home gym as the first choice. I would recommend a power rack that offers all the “meat and potatoes” movements such as squats, deadlifts/rack pulls, bench presses and pull ups. True, those exercises are often considered to be hard and taxing, but they will also give a lot in return. If you are serious about this hobby but don’t want to hit a commercial gym, such a power rack should be a high priority for you.

The things you should consider before buying a home gym

Regarding the previous, a big part of muscle building or fat loss is of course the diet. Exercise alone won’t get you anywhere. The same can be said about diet. You need both for changing your body. In fact, if you have a 100% solid diet you can surely pack muscle with a regular home gym as well. It will just be more effective with said power racks. Nonetheless, never underestimate the power of dieting when it comes to strength training and to the question why behind it: shedding fat or building muscle.

How much does it cost?

Home gym prices start from three hundred dollars. Finding one that is cheaper is a tough task, unless you are happy with a simple power cage (you could very well be, as discussed above!). Sky is the upper limit for these machines. I have seen some home gyms in the 2000-3000 dollar range. For a person interested in general fitness, those expensive ones can be ruled out – despite them being called “home gyms”, I think they are actually more used by professional gyms. The sweet spot, if you want decent quality (a home gym that lasts for years, even decades), is around 750 dollars in my opinion. You can get alright machine for 300-400 bucks, but there is always a reason why a product is cheap or expensive…

Am I actually going to use it?

I need to say the truth here: getting a home gym and just staring at it won’t change your body at all. Nor won’t once a week use for a month or two. You need to hit it several times a week for months before you will see the lost fat or built muscle (which, ultimately, depends on how much you eat). So do not buy home gym if you are not in it for the long term. In fact, the best thing you can do is to make a lifestyle chance. For example, if your goal is to lose fat, don’t look at it as a project that has a beginning and end. Rather, look it as a change in your life where you start living and eating healthier, and of which working out is just a part. This way you will realize the long-term benefits of strength training. You will make a habit of hitting the home gym. That’s the real secret of getting in shape.

Do I have space for it in my room?

Well, this one is purely logistical. If you have a low ceiling (7 feet) room, consider that many home gyms are taller than that. You often need something between 7 and 8 feet to accommodate a home workout machine. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to put yours in a cramped space such as basement or garage.

As you see, buying a home gym does not really differ from buying anything as big and expensive. First and foremost, you need to know what you are planning to do with the machine, and whether the machine is helping you reaching your goal or not. However, most if not all, home gyms are designed so that either goal – fat loss or muscle building – is possible. Thus, the selection of available exercises and price become an important factor. There are many to choose from, and with this task our home gym reviews might be very helpful reads for you!


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