If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand gyms.
My mission is simple : Put together a home gym that fits the following, very specific, very restrictive parameters.
- The gym must not cost me too much cash. I want to be frugal as well as sculpted.
- The gym must be completely hide-able. Stealthy? Inconspicuous? Can’t think of the right word. I don’t have a space I can use PRIMARILY for this endeavour, so I’ll be training in my living room, and hiding the equipment away at all other times.
- The equipment must be versatile enough to allow me to train for strength and a little size at the same time. Skinny arms be GONE.
So, there you have it. 3 requirements. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right?
So here’s what I’ve decided on, and the reasons why :
First, I looked for a bench. All bodybuilders say you should use a bench for bench presses (obviously), rows, sitting military press, and the list goes on.
After spending about 3 hours deciding upon the best bench for my requirements, I discovered floor presses actually recruit more chest muscle & are a lot safer than traditional bench presses. Furthermore, you don’t need to buy a bench. Happy days, £100 saved.
But wait.. if I don’t get a bench, how am I going to get the barbell into the correct position to press it, even from the floor? Dumbells.
I already have 100kg worth of olympic weights in the cupboard collecting dust, so I decided to put them to good use with a pair of olympic dumbell bars. They’re just like the olympic squat bars (usually 6-7ft long, with a 2″ diameter fitting for the weight plates) except they’re, well, dumbells. £55, bargain.
They look like this. Beautiful.
Oh, and purchasing these made me a bit nervous because, quite honestly, I’m concerned about big heavy weight plates falling off the ends of the bar mid-movement and crushing my beautiful face into oblivion. So I bought 2 pairs of Lockjaw collars, too. They’re pretty much the most reliable, safe type of collar you can buy for olympic barbells/dumbells. They look pretty sexy in red, too. £60, boom. You can see them in the photo’s above and below.
I’ve not sat down and really designed a circuit / program yet (my new equipment has only just arrived) but I’m thinking that along with floor presses, military presses, some variation of a squat with the equipment I have, bent over rows, I might even add some curls and tricep extensions. I’m not a fan of isolation exercises particularly, since they can lead to faulty recruitment patterns, but I might make a few exceptions to build a little bit of mass over the next few months. Then, throw in some kettlebell circuit training (you KNOW I love kettlebells) and I’m good to go. I’ll write a more detailed plan once I’ve put something good together.
So, there you have it. My new equipment cost me £105-110 and will allow me to do most of the things I want to do from the comfort of my own living room.
No gym fee’s for me, AND I can work out in my boxers, AND I can watch Ross Kemp on Gangs at the same time. I win.
Don’t forget to let me know if you build your own budget home gym, I’d love to hear about it!