Best Home Gym Equipment

What Equipment should I buy for a Home Gym?

Well that depends upon what your goals are. Home gyms are notoriously expensive and you should have a really clear idea of what you want to create.

I’d say absolute home gym essentials are:

Power Rack (or some form of squat rack)

Multi-gym

Bench

Lifting Platform

Weight Plates

– Your favourite cardio machine

Dumbbells or Kettlebells

Flooring

– Specific accessories (based off your goals): skipping ropes, pull-up bars, medicine balls, resistance bands etc.

But you’re not going to get any change out of £10,000 from the above I don’t think. Especially when you account for flooring, installation and gym setup costs. Lifting at home isn’t a cheap hobby.

But it doesn’t have to be expensive.

But if you can afford it, a home gym is the most efficient, simple and spacious way to exercise. Your very own 24 hour gym. Setup to your liking. No one to leave weights on the floor or put them back in the wrong place.

Your gym your rules.

How much does it cost to build a Home Gym?

A good one? Thousands of pounds. Somewhere in the region of £10-15k for a relatively high end one.

However, I’ll show you that for less than £2000 you can get a decent quality gym together at home, ideal for weight loss and muscle building.

For around a £1000 you can pull some equipment together for bodyweight exercises and higher repetition hypertrophy workouts. But you can’t class that as a home gym.

Good quality weights, flooring, platforms, racks and machines aren’t cheap trinkets.

But you wouldn’t trust a poor quality car to get you from A to B – so why trust a low quality power rack to hold your weights and stand the test of time?

As the old adage goes, ‘buy cheap, buy twice!’

Gym Membership vs Home Gym

An average gym membership in the UK costs £35 a month. Over the course of 3 years that’s £1,260. 5 years that’s £2,100.

My guess is that if you’re buying a home gym you’re probably more fanatical about fitness than your average gymgoer. So my guess is you’re spending at least £60 a month on the gym.

So that’s £1800 over 3 years and £3000 over 5. Take into account distance travelled – this report suggested the average gymgoer travels 4 miles each way (hint: the closer you are, the more frequently you go).

If you go 3 times a week, that’s 24 miles a week. 1,248 miles a year. 7,488 miles over 5 years.

That’s absolutely incredible.

If you live in London where the average speed is just 17.4mph (7.8 in the centre), travelling to and from the gym will take 1hr 23m every week.

That’s nearly 72 hours a year!

If you live in central London, that’s 3hr 13m a week if you drive. Almost 163 hours a year.

But no one drives in central London.

If I had enough space, one of the first things i would do is purchase a good quality home gym. My time is as precious as yours and the savings would rack up.

But let’s be realistic.

It’s never going to be a money-making venture, but that’s not the point. It’s a luxury purchase for someone who has a lust for iron and money and space to spare.

Nothing better than waking up on a winter morn knowing your plates are right under your nose.

Best Home Gym Ideas

If you’re short on space you need to be efficient with space as per the below. You’ve got to be incredibly efficient with storage and DIY storage racks and wall setups are critical to a clean and enjoyable space.

If you’re dead serious about powerlifting then setting up with monolifts and fantastic quality iron is a necessity. The below double monolift example is a real beauty.

If space isn’t an issue and you want to focus on something like crossfit, then you’ll need to have a wide open space, coupled with power racks, cardio machines and a functional fitness area.

If you live somewhere warm and the weather never deviates from 24 hour sunshine, then a) you’re a dick and b) you need a simple outdoor setup to make the most of it.

Which Multi Gym is best for your Home?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Stack Installation Guarantee Shop
Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer ££££ 430lbs / 195kgs Yes Lifetime frame and parts
Inspire Fitness M3 Multigym £££ 210lbs / 95kgs No Lifetime frame and parts
BH Fitness TT-4 Home Strength ££££ 216lbs / 98kgs Yes 2 years
Tunturi WT80 Leverage Gym £ Unlimited Yes n/a

Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer is an exceptional multi-gym with a weight stack to rival even the more advanced lifters.

Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer 
The Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer is a fantastic piece of kit

The adjustable pulley system means you can squat, bench press and deadlift safely (and with reasonable weight) – all essential for optimal strength training.

Don’t think the fluff (or accessory) work is neglected either. Tricep ropes and EZ bar curls cater for the beach bod lovers and tight t-shirt connoisseurs. Whilst the leg curl and extension functionality means the more serious athlete is looked after.

The quality of the equipment and lifetime guarantee means this multi gym is absolutely top of the range. Highly recommended and almost foolproof, you and your family will love it.

Inspire Fitness M3 Multigym and BH Fitness TT-4 Home Strength deserve honourable mentions for the overall quality, exercise options and functionality.

They’re still excellent options and come in slightly different dimensions and cost (Inspire Fitness M3 Multigym is the cheapest of the above) so make sure you check exactly how much space you have.

Returning anything is fucking horrible, let alone a massive multi-gym.

And if you’re really after a top quality multi-gym on a budget, then the Tunturi WT80 Leverage Gym is one of my favourites.

Whilst you do have to buy the weight plates, it’s much more effective than a pulley and cable system.

Best Home Gym Bench?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
Primal Strength Adjustable Olympic Bench £££ 600kg Spotter & Adjustable Platform Lifetime Frame & 2 Years Parts
Jordan New Olympic Adjustable Multi-Bench ££££ n/a Adjustable: Incline, Decline & Flat n/a

For the more serious lifters out there, the Primal Strength Adjustable Olympic Bench is top of anyone’s list.

Primal Strength Adjustable Olympic Bench
Primal Strength Adjustable Olympic Bench is ideal for powerlifters and serious gymmers

It’s been expertly engineered for powerlifters and the built-in safety features mean you can push yourself and test your max without fear of imminent death.

Which is a bonus.

A massive 600kg weight capacity is amazing. The peg feature allows you to attach resistance bands to the bench (ideal for speed training) and the lack of plastic parts make this a world-class, sturdy beast of a bench. An incredible home gym option.

The Jordan New Olympic Adjustable Multi-Bench is ideal for the slightly less serious lifter. Whilst the greater expense may put you off, it’s much more versatile and allows for incline, decline, flat and shoulder pressing.

Something most other benches do not.

So if you’re all for versatility and saving space, the Jordan New Olympic Adjustable Multi-Bench is a serious alternative.

Best Home Gym Bench on a budget?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
York 530 Heavy Duty Multi-Functional Bench £ 200kg (including lifter) Adjustable Height & Leg Curl Unit n/a
York Olympic Combo Bench ££ n/a Adjustable Height & Leg Curl Unit 12 months

York 530 Heavy Duty Multi-Functional Bench is a great option for beginners. A 200kg (including lifter) max weight is going to be fine for anyone outside of the more dynamic amongst you.

York 530 Heavy Duty Multi-Functional Bench
York 530 Heavy Duty Multi-Functional Bench – a great cheaper option

The adjustable height and angle is brilliant for chest and shoulder development and it’s really brilliant value at sub £200 on sale.

The addition of a leg curl unit at the base of the bench is a useful, if not somewhat ‘bodged on’ option to have.

York Olympic Combo Bench is a brilliant adjustable alternative. Slightly more expensive, but York really is the business when it comes to good quality weightlifting equipment.

Best Power Rack?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
Exigo Power Rack System £££ Unspecified Chin up bar, lifting platform, dip station 2 years moving parts, 1 year on cables
Exigo Olympic Elite Multi Rack £££ Unspecified Chin up bar, weight horns & band pegs 2 years moving parts, 1 year on cables
Primal Strength PT POD ££££ 600kg 2 Power racks, storage, chin up bars Lifetime

It’s very tricky to pick between the Exigo Power Rack System and Exigo Olympic Elite Multi Rack. Both are absolutely amazing pieces of kit admired by lifters around the country.

Exigo Olympic Elite Multi Rack
The amazing Exigo Olympic Elite Multi Rack

If I was purchasing one, it would certainly be the Exigo Olympic Elite Multi Rack purely from a cost point of view.

Both have amazing capacity, incredible quality of equipment and bodyweight options aplenty. Whichever you have the space and £ for, you can’t go wrong.

Primal Strength PT POD is an absolutely amazing workout station. Enormous weight and storage capacity, 2 racks and pull up bars aplenty, it’s a surefire winner.

The only reason it isn’t my number one is the huge amount of space it take up. But you can afford it (spatially and numerically) then you should.

Best Power Rack on a Budget?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
Primal Strength Foldable Commercial Power Rack ££ Unspecified JHooks, storage & chin up bar Unspecified
GymGear Full Power Rack £ 180kg Chin up bars & dip station Unspecified

You don’t have to spend the earth on a good quality power rack. The Primal Strength Foldable Commercial Power Rack is a great example of that. At only just over £1000 they’re both an absolute snip.

Primal Strength Foldable Commercial Power Rack 
A cheaper option – Primal Strength Foldable Commercial Power Rack

Both racks look good, compact and brilliant for those short on space at only just over a metre (in width and length) – it’s the perfect home gym solution. Easy to fit a good quality weightlifting platform behind it too.

(More on that later).

The chin up bars and bodyweight functionality is essential for any solid power rack and the varying grip bars will have your back as wide as it is long in no time.

Possibly…

At below £500 the GymGear Full Power Rack is exceptional value.

It still has solid calisthenic opportunities and is compact enough to fit in most home gyms. A great alternative to those looking to keep costs to a minimum.

The only downside is the 180kg max weight. But I’m sure that’s fine for 99% of people.

Best Home Squat Rack?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
Exigo Elite Free Standing Squat Rack £££ Unspecified JHooks & safety spots 2 years
Life Fitness Signature Series Olympic Squat Rack ££££ Unspecified Storage & safety spots Lifetime

I love the Exigo Elite Free Standing Squat Rack. If you’re a competent and confident squatter, then I truly believe you should purchase free-standing squat racks.

Exigo Elite Free Standing Squat Rack
The Exigo Elite Free Standing Squat Rack is terrific value

They can hold a huge amount of weight, take up very little room and look phenomenal. The downsides to squat racks vs power racks are primarily that you miss out on calisthenic opportunities and storage space.

The upside is how simple they are to fit into almost any space. The Exigo version  comes with a a number of excellent optional extras including:

  • JHooks
  • Safety spotters
  • Dip bar
  • Pull-up attachments

The Life Fitness Signature Series Olympic Squat Rack is a close second for me when considering space, look and functionality.

This larger type of rack is fantastic for beginners or those with more space. It’s particularly safe for squatting and has excellent storage potential. Spectacularly durable and effective with heavy weight, the Life Fitness Signature Series Olympic Squat Rack is a great option.

Best Home Squat Rack on a budget?

Multi Gym Cost Weight Capacity Accessories Guarantee Shop
UKSF Squat Rack £ > 300kg No 12 month
Primal Strength Alpha Heavy Duty Squat Rack £ 300kg JHooks & spots Lifetime

UKSF Squat Rack can hold well over 300kg and takes up such a small amount of space it’s the perfect home gym option for those on a budget.

UKSF Squat Rack
UKSF Squat Rack is amazing for the price

Made of such durable steel and coming in at under £250, it’s the perfect inexpensive squat rack.

Another heavy duty squat rack that handles a huge amount of weight, the Primal Strength Alpha Heavy Duty Squat Rack is compact, powerful and ideal for those short on space and cash.

Best Home Gym Platform?

Multi Gym Cost Width Accessories Guarantee Shop
York Solid Oak Platform £££ 250cm No 12 months
UKSF Olympic Lifting Platform ££ 200cm Resistance band attachments 12 months
Primal Strength Platform £££ 250cm Resistance band attachments n/a

Really your platform needs to be good quality and a reasonable size. The York Solid Oak Platform really is the business.

York Fitnss Weightlifting Platform
York Fitness Platform

As are the UKSF Olympic Weightlifting Platform and Primal Strength Platform. All the above platforms really are the best in the business for the money.

Very little to pick between the three of them, but the York Solid Oak Platform allows for customisation. Important for a home gym in my opinion.

The UKSF Olympic Weightlifting Platform comes with built in band attachments, so you can train for explosivity and speed. As does the Primal Strength Platform.

To me that makes those two the top choices.

Best Home Exercise Equipment for Beginners?

Equipment Model Cost Function Average Review Shop
Spin Bike Tunturi Cardio Fit S30 ££ Cardio 4.6
Kettlebell Set Vinyl 2kg – 14kg £ Resistance training 4.1
Power Rack Mirafit Heavy Duty Cage ££ Compound & bodyweight exercises 4.4
TRX Training GO Suspension Trainer £ Bodyweight resistance training 4.5
Fitness Box Ab Wheel, Skipping Rope & Pushup Pal £ Bodyweight training 4.5
Floor Tiles EVA Foam Tiles £ Floor protection 4.6
Dumbbell Sets Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set £ Resistance training 4.3
Budget Bench York Olympic Combo Bench ££ Free weight exercises 4.3
Multi-Gym BH Fitness Multi Gym £££ All over body sculpting 5

Firstly you need to protect the area you’re using as a gym. So you need some floor tiles to prevent damage. The EVA Foam Tiles are cost-effective, highly rated and come in a variety of colourways to suit every home.

Every good home gym needs a top notch piece of cardio equipment and the Tunturi Cardio Fit S30 Spin Bike is just that.

32 levels of resistance, distance, speed and calorie tracking and a max user weight of 135kg makes this joint-saving piece of equipment a home gym must-have.

When you don’t fancy traditional cardio, I recommend a fitness box such as Ab Wheel, Skipping Rope & Pushup Pal. Burn calories and build muscle with HIIT workouts, whilst learning to be light on your feet and powerful in the press.

You then need a kettlebell set (Vinyl 2kg – 14kg) and a dumbbell set (Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set) to create an environment where resistance training is simple and effective.

The variety of exercises dumbbells and kettlebells allow for make them essential for a good home gym. Cardiovascular and hypertrophy wise.

Obviously you then need a bench to allow for pressing and effective total body resistance exercises. The York Olympic Combo Bench is a budget-friendly bench ideal for home performance.

Finally every gym needs a good multi-gym. The BH Fitness Multi Gym is ideal for all over body sculpting.

With a 100kg weight stack, leg press, chest press, flies, lat pulldown, leg extension and curl it’s the perfect accessory for those looking to stimulate muscle growth.

Best Home Gym Equipment for Weightloss?

To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. You don’t need specific cardio machines or expensive racks. If your sole goal is to lose weight I recommend:

  • Watching what you eat
  • Doing some form of resistance training
  • Getting yourself fitter

You don’t really need much home gym equipment for to lose weight. If you wanted to keep it as budget as possible, I suggest the  Ab Wheel, Skipping Rope & Pushup Pal fitness box. A cheap and cheerful way to increase your cardio and resistance training.

When you start to take it more seriously you should look at purchasing:

Then you’ll need a weight set to go with it. Black Olympic Disc Set is a great beginner option and can easily be scaled up (+ it doesn’t cost the earth)!

Then you’d need a bench. York Olympic Combo Bench is a great beginner – intermediate option that won’t break within 12 months.

FInally get your self a spin bike. The Tunturi Cardio Fit S30 is a fantastic option for those looking to save wear and tear on their joints and lose weight.

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