It’s been a couple of years since I took a good look at my home gym. I use it all the time, of course; but I don’t often stop to think of the things that should be in there. As a starting point, here’s a look at the current setup.
Power rack, bar and weights
This is the core of the gym, and features heavily in my workouts. Rack pulls (it’s a fairly small room, so I usually do these instead of full-range deads), pull-ups and even kettlebell swings take place in and on the rack. It’s very much a major player.
Bench (with preacher and leg curl attachments)
Although I rarely use the attachments, the basic bench comes in handy for a number of things – not least of which is the bench press. As the ceiling doesn’t allow for standing overhead press work, I generally use the bench for seated versions of the same movements. Once again, this is usually done inside the rack.
Exercise bike (stationary cycle)
Until recently, this lived in the garage and was seldom touched. It occasionally gets dusted off for warmups (although kettlebell swings are the norm).
I’m still impressed by what first seemed to be another piece of equipment that would soon end up in a garage sale (the infomercials don’t help). As versatile as any variety of cable machine, it gets regular use as part of a warmup.
Assorted dumbbells (and kettlebell)
Although there are several pairs of dumbbells lying around (one of which has been fattened ready for farmers walks); they seldom get used. I suspect they should, but the barbells and kettlebell are enough for most things.
This is definitely one for outdoor training; which will resume in a few months (when the weather gets a bit warmer – it’s the cold part of the year here). There are other outdoor items which seem to magically appear when things start to heat up; anvils, sledgehammers, ropes, bricks – a seemingly endless list of fun stuff.
Bullworker, ab roller
These are closer to being collector’s items than pieces of gym gear that get regular attention. They’re here because, well, where else would you put them?
Bands, belts and chalk
Of these, the chalk (currently in the form of a climber’s chalk ball, which is incredibly convenient for the gym) gets the most use (usually when I’m doing rack pulls). The bands and belts come out to play as needed – to help break sticking points, to make chin-ups interesting or simply when I feel like a bit of a change.
The collection is simple – grippers, tennis balls and lengths of chain. The reason for this is just as straightforward – the bulk of my grip work involves standard items such as plates, bricks or any heavy objects around the house.
Chuck Taylors, of course.
iPod Shuffle (1st generation)
Last – but certainly not least – is the PR-busting mp3 player. As I mentioned a while ago, I wear this when performing exercises such as rack pulls (with the bar at waist height or below), and plug it into the stereo for other things (all varieties of chin-up for example). Always with a suitable mix of hard-hitting tunes, naturally.