Home gyms are more popular than ever.
You might be just starting out on your fitness journey, sick of driving to the gym, looking for a better workout/life balance or growing restless during the COVID-19 lockdown.
If you’ve decided to build a garage or a spare-room gym, then what do you put in it?
Why should you build a garage gym?
At-home gyms are more convenient and it’s easier to fit regular exercise into your schedule.
Buying weight training equipment for the home is cheaper in the long-run as initial set-up costs can be off-set against savings on membership fees.
You don’t have to share your equipment with strangers and you don’t have to queue behind them for it, either.
You’re in control of the cleaning regime
You won’t feel self-conscious because there’ll be no one else around to judge you.
Even small home-gym equipment can help you make impressive gains.
Things to Consider Before Building your UK Garage Gym
- You’ll need to measure the space you have to ensure you can fit the equipment that you want inside.
- You may need to consider flooring to protect your equipment as well as the floor in your garage. Gym flooring is relatively inexpensive but it’s recommended if you use free-weights.
- Ventilation and temperature control could be an issue. It might be something that’s as easily solved as opening a window or you may have to consider other ways of staying cool.
- Mirrors can help improve form.
- Lighting is a safety issue, too.
- How will you store your equipment?
- What décor or entertainment options are you going for? You might want to keep things super-simple or mount a TV to the wall.
- You also need to think about what you want to use your gym for. Is it for strength training or cardio? What budget do you have and what are your non-negotiables?
What are some home gym essentials for bodybuilding?
Your gym should reflect your training goals and the outcomes you want to achieve. It’s important to sit down before buying any equipment and really drilldown on what you need or want. At-home gyms can be filled with high-tech equipment costing thousands of pounds or they can have a relatively simple set-up.
There’s nothing wrong with adding machine weights to your gym but we feel that barbells are often a better option especially in the UK where garage space is a premium.
Olympic Weightlifting Bars
Olympic weightlifting bars are designed to increase performance and reduce the risk of injury: two things that are key to working out safely at home. Olympic bars are easier to catch and can reduce the chance of wrist injury. They’re used in powerlifting competitions and in Olympic competitions, too. They’re heavy to lift but they can take more weight giving you a better scope to move up.
You add weight plates to either end of a weight bar. You can choose from different materials and different weights to step-up or vary your training. It also means you’re in control of what you’re lifting. There’s no guesswork and it makes it easier to track any improvements in strength.
It’s one reason why weights have the advantage over resistance bands.
Weightlifting bars and plates are relatively easy to store. You can rack them or hang them on a wall.
The stronger you become or however your goals change, you just add heavier plates.
If you're short on space but looking to add weights to you're home-gym set-up, you can also use dumbbells.
Also known as a power rack, it’s a cage-like structure with adjustable horizontal bars that make lifting weights without a spotter safer. If you lose control of what you’re lifting, the safety bars will take the weight which is far safer (and better for the flooring) than dropping them.
Weight benches are primarily for upper body workouts. They take up a bit of space but you can buy collapsible ones.
Pull ups are a simple but effective way of developing upper-body strength. They’re a great core and back exercise, too.
You might also want to add in some cardio equipment in the form of a treadmill or a bike. You might want to mix-up your training or add some variety. Treadmills and spin bikes can take up room but there are collapsible options. If you don’t have the space or budget, then it’s simple enough to just run or cycle outdoors.
What If You’re on a Budget or Don’t Have Enough Space in Your Garage?
You don’t have to have big equipment to get in a good workout. You can work up to adding in free-weights or you can use gym accessories to help you hit your goals. They’re a great way, too, of supplementing your gym practice if you’re still regularly paying for membership at a bricks and mortar gym.
You can build muscle with resistance bands. They’re incredibly versatile and easy to store. Resistance bands are rubber or latex tubes or bands that use external resistance to strengthen muscle. What makes them useful is unlike weights you can use them horizontally, too, rather than just creating resistance through gravity. They’re great if you’re prone to injury, too. Going on holiday? They’re far easier to take with you than weights.
Booty Bands can be used in numerous exercises including squats and glute bridges. They’re great for helping build strength.
When done correctly Ab rollers are a killer. They’ll help create stronger and more defined abs.
You’ll find a range of gym accessories on the GymHugz website.