My Home Gym Setup

My Home Gym Setup

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Home Gym

I wrote a few posts 2 weeks ago about training at home and a few of you have asked about the equipment that I personally use.  Well here’s the list with links for each piece.  As you can see, I keep things pretty minimal.

Home Gym Setup

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As mentioned in the last post, I use the Torque Athletic Pull Up System.  Having a pull-up bar is mission critical, and this one from Torque is heavy duty.  I also use a set of adjustable rings from Torque.  I love the powder coated steel the rings are made out of and prefer them to plastic varieties I have used from other companies.

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Many mornings as soon as I roll out of bed the first thing I do is start swinging a kettlebell.  I have a pair of 53 lb. kettlebells from Dragon Door.  I’ve used kettlebells from several different manufacturers, and Dragon Door is my favorite followed closely by LifeLine.

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Over the last year or so, I’ve become a big fan of sandbag training.  The one I use is from Henkin Fitness and I love it.  At first I was skeptical getting a sandbag with handles (others I had used before had no handles and forced you to develop grip strength), but I’ve found the handles add versatility to the training that is unmatched by bags without handles.  Also, this sucker seals up tight and I have never had a single grain of sand spill out in my house.

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This is my 50 lb. adjustable weight vest from WeightVest.com.  Truth be told, I rarely use all of weight and usually adjust it down to about 20lbs.  I use this for all of the basic body weight exercises, especially push ups, pull ups, and squats.  And if you ever want to put more burp in your burpees, try doing them with this bad boy strapped to your torso!

Do not underestimate the lowly ab wheel.  This simple tool will leave your abs begging for mercy.  I picked mine up at a thrift store for $1.99.  Here’s one for $9.99 from Target.

I also have a Concept 2 Rower in my bedroom, but that’s a recent addition resulting from shutting down my gym.

So what do you think of my home set up?  Wondering how I do strength training without a barbell set up?  Have a piece of equipment in your home gym that you absolutely love?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

– Vic

18 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Vic,

    Quick question: do you use any push up device or do you do them on your hands (or fists)?

    Thanks,

    JM

  2. Awesome stuff. My home gym is a simple one too. Pull up bar and kettlebell.

    The ab wheel is another favorite of mine. I have done a crunch in ages. I like to do circuit with the ab wheel and different planks. Capped off by some renegade rows. Great core work.

    Dan

  3. Great and simple! I too have a very simple gym set up but ALL of my ideas came straight from you and I want to thank you for that!

  4. WOw! Amazing setup you have there! I bet you could do squats with the vest on and with the sandbag across your shoulders, right? Also, for those of you who think that the sandbag is a little expensive as I did, then you can pick up an army canvas bag and bag up the sand in a few trashbags and that works just as well. I like the other stuff though! Does anyone know of a cheaper alternative to weighted vests?

    • Ankle weights are cheaper than weight vests. They aren’t as convenient or nice, but if you’re looking to save money you can get 20lbs for $10. They will work well for things like pull-ups and dips.

    • Depending on what you are going to use it for, some heavy chain might be the best economical alternative to the weight vest. The chains would work fine for most bodyweight movements like squats and pull ups. Probably not so good for high impact movements like burpees. Good luck.

  5. Perfect set up Vic.

    I have the same but rather than rings I use the Lifeline Jungle Gym. Like a TRX but less than half the price.

    A recent addition has been a pair of Fat Gripz. These things are just amazing. Pick a grip exercise, put these things on the bar and suddenly your rep count drops by 50%! For pull ups or deadlifts they are amazing.

    http://www.fatgripz.com/fatgripz-v3-d.html

    On the subject of gear cost, whilst I am all for being ecconomical the difference between a budget kettlebell or sandbag and one that is designed for longterm use is simply huge. If you are in it for the long haul, get the best kit you can afford. One decent kettlebell is better that a set of crap ones that mess your hands up.

  6. I recently got a 53 lbs KB. You say you swing inside – aren’t you afraid of dropping it and smashing up the floor? I usually drop it at the end of each set for whatever I’m doing and so I train with it outside on the grass.

    And what about the heavy lifts? I assume you go to a gym for that? I like your set up and have a pretty minor setup at home compared to yours (a sandbag that fills to 200 lbs, a 53 and pair of 72 lb KBs, a homemade bulgarian bag, an ab roller, I do pullups off the ledge of my baclony) but cannot live with barbells so I must go to the gym for that…

    • No, I do not drop my kettlebells. Not that it’s bad if you do, it just wouldn’t treat my wood floors very well. 😉

      I agree that you cannot beat a barbell for the heavy lifts – especially squats and deadlifts. However, I’ve found some methods that are certainly not an exact replacement but do provide some strength training. Let’s be clear – when I say strength I mean any movement where resistance used limits output to no more than 5 reps. So instead of a barbell back squat, I use pistols with a kettlebell (I’m lucky to squeeze out 3 reps with the 53 at this point. Again, not as good as the barbell for strength, but an alternative given my current equipment limitations.

  7. Pretty sweet setup man. My home gym is wall to do handstand pushups against and a set of adjustable dumbbells, up to 30kilos each.

    I also have a playground with dip and pullup stations in front of my building.

    The vest in particular in your arsenal look very appealing.

    Y.

  8. Great idea to share your home kit with us! Very inspiring.
    I can’t wait until I move out of my flat into a bigger place so I can have my punchbag back from my parents’ garage!

    Even though I have a gym just round the corner from me, I refuse to sell off my old weights because some days you just want to workout in the comfort of your home/garden.

    There are so many recycling type schemes now, it’s easy enough to pick up old tyres etc which all make great home equipment – don’t always need to be state of the art 🙂

  9. I’m a gym goer myself but had an impromptu “home gym” experience today that I thought was worth sharing. I got an excellent shoulder (delts), back (traps), and ab (obliques) workout in just about 40 minutes. Here’s what I did: Trimmed the hedges with an old skool and quite dull I might add, hedge clipper, mowed my .30 acre over grown yard with a push mower then raked in all onto my driveway. Picking up the dog shit first had to burn a few calories and gave my overworked hamstrings some good stretching. And I can tell ya that the cold Bud Light Lime I had afterwards was the best damn beer I ever had.

  10. Vic you got almost everything at your home that could be useful in fitness. I only have few equipments for home gym setup but now i am thinking to set up my home gym in way to did it. I think it would be very helpful for those who dont get time to go gym regularly.

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