I decided to cancel my commercial gym membership and begin building a home gym in the garage. Below is what I have so far.
A power rack.
It’s a PowerMark 475R, which is basically a rebrand of one of the Body Solid racks. I also got a plate loaded lat pulldown & low row combo to attach to the rack.
The type of rack you want/need will depend on a lot of factors. Personally, I wanted a relatively cheap full rack with good reviews and the ability to attach a lat pulldown for some assistance movements I enjoy doing. I also wanted a pull up bar, which is actually attached to most power racks at this point. This particular rack fulfilled all those requirements and is also rated up to 360kg/794lbs, which I won’t be squatting any time soon (if ever haha).
A barbell and mats for deadlift.
I got the regular barbell from strengthshop.de to get me started. It’s a nice barbell with a price I can easily live with. If I lived in the US, I’d probably start off with this barbell. (Not if I was into Oly lifting.) Rogue has a variety of nice barbells too.
The 12mm mats I got aren’t going to hold up very long, so I’ll be buying some plywood for deadlift. Depending on what kind of lifting you do, you’ll need anything from plywood to thick mats (horse stall mats are supposedly a great option), or even an Olympic lifting platform. That is if you want to protect your floor. I’ll be buying some plywood most likely.
Pictured below is the deadlift jack I made myself out of pipe. I’ll do a separate article on how to make it in the future.
Other misc items.
What I already owned: Oly lifting shoes, some bands, a lifting belt, lacrosse balls, PVC pipe and an ab wheel.
What I bought: Plate tree, weights (obviously), some extra attachments for the lat pulldown and an adjustable bench. Also a small space heater.
Hopefully sometime this year an actual room will be built within the garage for the equipment. I will continue to invest in the home gym with other ‘toys’ (i.e. dumbbells, chains, more bands, etc.) until I have everything I want or run out of space.
Overall costs so far.
Everything combined cost around 1500€ (slightly over $2k). With my gym membership costing 40€ / $55 per month, plus another 40€ / $55 for gas per month, I’m at 80€ / $110 spent each month to attend a commercial gym (where I have to share, and sometimes wait for, equipment). That means in less than two years my gym will have been a good investment. I intend to train much longer than that.
The costs will continue to go up I’m sure as I buy more equipment (a lot of which was not available to me at the commercial gym), so I will be obligated to train until I die!
Where to buy equipment…
There are quite a few decent racks available on Amazon.com, if you live in the United States. If you want excellent quality, go with Rogue (available in the US, Canada and Europe) or EliteFTS (US only as far as I know).
Strengthshop.co.uk is excellent if you live in the UK. Strengthshop.de is excellent if you live in Germany (I bought my barbell, bench and weight plate tree there). They also just opened a US store at StrengthshopUSA.com, which looks pretty good.
HeliSports.com (I believe they cover most of Europe) is where I got most of my stuff. They have good quality items for low prices.
Obviously there are many other stores with great reputations you could buy from.