Unfortunately, for most of us the luxury of having a home gym just isn't in the cards. Many of us don't have the space or money to invest in creating a home gym. Treadmills, barbells, and squat racks can be expensive and can take up a lot of space within your home. After comparing the prices and dimensions of a quality squat rack to your bank account and the dimensions of the guest bedroom your dream of a home gym may be crushed.
But, your dream of a home gym doesn't have to die. You can still make serious gains without having a high quality squat rack, a barbell, and over 500 pounds worth of weight. With just a few, inexpensive pieces of workout equipment you can create a home gym that doesn't take up an entire room in your home and are easy to bring with you for those times you want to make gains-on-the-go.
Building a Home Gym Without Breaking the Bank
DumbbellsA set of dumbbells are a staple item for anyone's home gym. With a pair or two of dumbbells you can perform an effective upper body/lower body split workout that will allow you to make strength gains.
Dumbbells normally cost around $1 per pound of weight or less. So, for $100 or less you can purchase 100 pounds worth of dumbbell weight to start building your home gym. Depending on your strength and lifting experience the weight of the dumbbells you purchase is going to vary. Having one heavier set and one lighter set will allow you to perform drop set variations of multiple exercises to raise the intensity of your workout.
For example, using a set of 35 pound dumbbells along with set of 15 pound dumbbells will provide you with 100 pounds of total weight and the ability to perform an effective, high intensity, drop set workout that will produce serious gains.
Push/Pull/Lower Body Split Dumbbell WorkoutRest period between all sets and exercises is 20-30 seconds.
- Dumbbell Chest Press (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise (using light dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Skullcrushers (using light dumbbells) superset with Close Grip Push-Ups - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Single Arm Dumbbell Rows (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Bicep Dumbbell Curl (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 8-12 reps each arm
- Concentration Dumbbell Curl (drop set using heavy and light dumbbell) - 4 sets, 8-12 reps each arm with heavy dumbbell. Immediate drop set to lighter dumbbell for another 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs (using heavy dumbbells) - 4 sets, 20 reps
- Goblet Squats (using one heavy dumbbell) - 5 sets, 15 reps
- Dumbbell Lunges (using heavy dumbbells) - 5 sets, 10-12 reps
- Calf Raises on a step or curb (holding heavy dumbbells) - 5 sets, 12-15 reps
- Lying Dumbbell Hamstring Curl (using light dumbbell) - 5 sets, 12-15 reps
KettlebellThe kettlebell is normally used and thought about as an accessory tool within an individual's normal workout routine for a fat burning, HIIT session. But, kettlebells can also be used for building some serious strength from your head to your toes. And, you don't need an entire arsenal of kettlebells in order to crush a killer workout.
Starting your home gym with two kettlebells is a great way to get your low cost, home gym started or as an addition to your other home gym fitness items. Similar to dumbbells, kettle bells cost around $1 per pound or more. So, for two moderately heavy kettlebells you can keep your home gym costs under $100 and own two pieces of equipment that you can use to sculpt your body.
For this kettle bell routine I'd recommend purchasing two kettlebells weighing 15-45 pounds each depending on your strength level.
3 Day 6x6 Kettlebell SplitAll supersets performed in a 6x6 fashion: 6 sets of 6 reps.
- Superset - Two Arm Kettlebell Military Press and Alternating Renegade Row. Rest 60 seconds after completing superset and repeat
- Superset - Front Squats with Two Kettlebells and Double Kettlebell Push Press. Rest 60 seconds after completing superset and repeat
- Superset - Alternating Floor Press and Alternating Renegade Row. Rest 60 seconds after completing superset and repeat
- Superset - Front Squats with Two Kettlebells and One-Arm Kettlebell Swing. Rest 60 seconds after completing superset and repeat
- Superset - One Arm Kettlebell Military Press and Alternating Renegade Row. Rest 60 seconds after completing superset and repeat
- Two Arm Kettle Bell Swing. Rest 30 seconds between sets
- Lunges with Two Kettlebells. Rest 20 seconds between sets
Jump RopeThe jump rope is a fat burning machine and one of the cheapest, most effective pieces of equipment everyone should add to their home gym. Forget the $500 treadmill or elliptical and purchase a $5 jump rope to save some serious cash.
No, it's not just for kids, boxers, or MMA fighters. Jumping rope is an extremely effective tool for torching fat in a short amount of time. You can burn up to 200 calories in 10 minutes with a high intensity jump rope workout. And, your whole body is engaged during a jump rope workout as you are using your arms, shoulders, and chest to move and spin the rope around your body.
HIIT Jump Rope Session
- Moderate to fast skipping for 40 seconds
- Rest 20 seconds and repeat for 10-15 minutes
Battle RopesBattle ropes are another great piece of strength building and fat burning equipment you can add to your home gym for less than $100. Battle ropes come in different lengths and rope sizes so keep that in mind when looking to purchase a pair. A great starting set of battle ropes would be 40-50 feet in length with a 1½ inch rope diameter. This rope size is perfect for the beginner to expert fitness level individual.
Not only can you use battle rope for fat burning through a sweat inducing HIIT session, you can also pair them with your dumbbell or kettlebell workouts as an upper body finisher. With battle ropes you can get your heart rate up in a fat-burning state in 15 minutes or less or use it at the end of a push workout to torch your arms and shoulders one last time before calling it quits.
HIIT Battle Rope Session
- 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10-15 minutes
Start Building Your Home GymYou don't need thousands of dollars to start your own home gym. For around $300 you can start building your own fitness arsenal full of dumbbells, kettle bells, battle ropes, and a jump rope. And, you don't need a designated space to keep these items or perform these routines.
With this equipment you can work out anytime, anywhere, keep them in your vehicle if needed, and always have the ability to make some serious gains.
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