How to set up a very affordable home gym

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I know this sounds like I am trying to do myself out of a job here but you know what, we can’t help everyone and not certainly not everyone can afford a personal trainer. In addition to this though I would say that everyone, our clients included, should have a home gym set up because it is more about the TOTAL approach that will make the big difference to achieving outstanding results and being able to do stuff at home is convenient and takes out the issue of ‘not having the time’.

I was eyeing off an outdoor undercover area of my home the other day and fantasizing about what I could put there if money was no object.

I realise this is a little off topic, given the headline but indulge me for a second on this one first.

Firstly, I would want to have a nice open area to roll and trigger point in, this open area would certainly have nice gym rubber flooring material with a fleck of ‘best practice’ orange….of course! As you know ‘rolling’ and trigger pointing is the very beginning of every workout we do, so a natural first priority. Next I would have the big gun piece of equipment that every serious gym needs, as the showcase of my poser gym. That piece of equipment would be a serious looking squat rack with all bells and whistles including a ‘torsonator’ attachment, spotting arms and a nice polished timber lifting platform (BP logo in the middle). I want this piece to be super solid and made of the highest quality components, because whilst I personally may not ever get to testing it’s load capacity, some monster I train might 🙂 But if I am being completely honest I don’t train many of those! Our gig is mostly about helping the average person who wants to move better and feel good so they can do more cool stuff in their life, which I think we can all agree is about as reasonable and universally desired as it gets. This squat rack, due to some inbuilt versatility will allow all the big important moves including bench press and deadlift along with the squat. You will also be able to do pull ups off this beast as well. I will have a great assortment of bands, deadballs, plyo boxes and of course the obligatory huge tyre and sledge hammer for my ‘functional training’ goals. I used to think these tyres were pretty naff but you can’t overspeak the thereapeutic benefits of hitting something with a sledgehammer…… It’s probably a bloke thing. And so, just on this same theme, I would have a boxing bag hanging in the middle, just begging to be worked by my 12 oz gloves made by Winning. In another corner of my fantasy gym I would have my Computrainer set up in front of a big screen, so I can get my full-on cardio workout in, to prep for a triathlon or cycle challenge. Next to this will be the Concept 2 rower, which is the single best aerobic workout tool known to man. It is simple yet oh so effective in working the heart, lungs, legs and back, in a way no other cardio machine can – weight supported and movement we don’t do enough of. That would be about all I would have to be honest. I don’t need any fandangled specialised Pilates equipment, treadmills or Pec Dec’s (no one in their right mind would anymore would they?) or leg press floor space eating clothes hanger – ahh the old leg press: Warning. Opinion alert!  “They are just lower back destroyers to feed an over inflated ego” I can hear the body building fraternity screaming at the screen. No-one says it won’t give you big quads if that’s what you want. Just keep it simple good folk of the best practice blog, you don’t need monster quads anyway or the bad back that often comes with the pursuit on this relic of the past.

Okay the above set up is not that simple but it is sweet as, don’t you think? Don’t, I repeat don’t ever think of getting one of those multi station machines with the dual leg extension and leg curl. You know the one I mean, cables everwhere and flimsy as. I HATE them because they are generally useless and WILL become somewhere you hang your washing when your leg press machine has no more space.

Okay back to the subject at hand – affordable and effective home gym set up for less than $300

  • Roll up exercise mat $10 from K mart. There are better ones of course but this one is easy good enough.
  • 90cm Foam Roller – AOK is the supplier but you can get  from us for $47– the really cheap ones are not worth wasting your money or the guilt of adding to landfill when you find out how really crap it is. Use a cheap arse tennis ball and golf ball,  if you are super serious in to pain for trigger pointing. I am not even going to count these in the cost as everyone has at least a few of these lying around.
  • Skipping rope $4 Local Police boys. It should last long enough and if it doesn’t what’s $4 to spring for another?
  • Adjustable set of dumbells up to 20kg $49 K mart – It’s steel so you can’t go too wrong here. Forget the razzamattaz $100o kind for two reasons. 1 this is about affordable! and 2 you won’t need something so FANCY! Spinning off the collars gives you some time to rest in between sets so all good with that part. Don’t get the really cheap plastic weight plate kind wither, they will be a waste of your hard earned.
  • Swiss ball – AOK supplier but $69 from us too if you want. It’s worth getting a good one here. Let’s face it, having a ball explode underneath you whilst hoisting a load of any kind is not worth the medical bills and time off for the sake of a few extra bucks up front. Remember I said ‘affordable’ not cheap. So let’s be clear, don’t get the $10 kind!
  • 4 graduated bands for resistance and assistance work. Pink, yellow, red and blue from Iron Edge $79 or thereabouts. For the all important lat pull down or pull up type movement you are going to have to ad lib with your surrounds and find something solid to anchor around or to. If you want to blow the budget a little you can get a pre-made chin bar and use those handy man skills to bolt somewhere solid with enough head room above, so you don’t bang it when smashing out the the pull ups. The ‘smashing out thing’ might only happen with the bands giving you assistance and that’s cool. The goal is pull your own body weight up because you never know when you might have to do that to save your ass running from the cops. Just kidding 🙂

With all that lot, you can do everything you need to do. When you win lotto you can get the fantasy one I described first – it was beautiful and when I actually set it up at home look out for the pics!




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