Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength

HELPING YOU GET STRONGER SINCE 2004

Taking Advantage of Your Location
Posted By Scott Bird
Filed In : Articles
Scott Andrew Bird

I love the humble rack pull.

In this series Blaine and I will be looking at just some of the ways to take advantage of your location when it comes to working out. No matter what your idea of ‘working out‘ is, there are several things you can do right where you are.


Of all the places I work out, the Home Gym is by far my favourite. Always there, ready for action whenever I get the chance. Today I’ll take a brief look at the contents of my own home gym, a few things I’d like to add and the many reasons this is such a great location for training.

My own home gym – what’s in it?

The home gym setup I’ve been using for several years now hasn’t changed all that much (despite having moved house quite a few times), and includes :

A few things I’d like to add

Naturally, there are quite a few things I’d love to add to the above list (if space and money were unlimited, of course) :


The benefits of a home gym

There are several positive aspects to any home gym, regardless of its size or location around the house. These include :

  • Chalk is allowed : although I can understand the reasons this powdery substance is often denied entry to the weight-room, it’s great to be able to use it. My own weapon of choice – the chalk ball.
  • You choose the music : the music playing during a workout is there largely to motivate you. Although it seems like a minor thing compared to the lift itself, it’s much easier to produce a PR or two when you like the stuff coming out of the speakers.
  • Free from distractions : my own home gym isn’t exactly a peaceful place, but it’s great to know that I’m the one clanking the plates and turning up the music.
  • Always available : whenever I’m in the mood to throw the iron around – even it it’s 3am – I can simply wander into the home gym and get to work. Superb.
  • Set up just the way you like it : for me, this is a big one. I’ll stop short of saying I’m a control freak, but I do like to have a pretty good idea of the outcome before I start something.
  • Unusual exercises are allowed : experimentation is always good (well, most of the time). I like the freedom to test variations on the common moves, practice some of the older exercises and generally just try things out.
  • Inspiration rather than rules : The home gym is not the place for external limitations. Commercial gyms seem to focus on the things you can’t do, rather than the things you’ve already achieved.

    In the home gym you can replace the rules list with a much more inspirational board. Jot down the things you’ve already done – that squat PR you set last week, your CoC #3 close and so on.

  • Sources of inspiration : Other home gyms I love the look of

    It’s always great to see how other people set things up. A couple of personal favourites :

    • Toffe’s Gym : This is the ultimate outdoor gym. Superb.
    • Ice Chamber : When it comes to mixing things up, this is definitely at the top of the list.

    Final thoughts on training in a home gym

    Overall, I love it. No matter how much room or money you have available, a home gym can be a magical place.


    Also in this series :

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter, or add a comment below. Cheers.

NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the Straight to the Bar Daily. A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.

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