Set up a gym at home

There are many advantages to working out at home. One, it’s convenient. Two, there’s no extra commute or having to deal with the crowds at a health club. And best of all, you don’t need to spend a fortune or add another wing to your home for a massive home gym. There are many effective fitness tools on the market right now that are fun, affordable, and require minimal space. When choosing equipment there are a few things to consider. First, are the components that go into a fitness routine. From a movement standpoint the human body is built for pushing, pulling, rotating, raising/lowering one’s center of gravity, and locomotion. Your program should consists of strength training, balance & core conditioning, and cardiovascular endurance to cover all of these movements effectively. Remembering to choose equipment that is versatile is key for setting up a successful home gym. The second thing to consider is space. While it would be nice to dedicate an entire room for a gym, sometimes we don’t have that luxury. At a minimum try to designate at least a 10′ x 10′ area. This will give you enough space to perform basic athletic drills or exercises that use resistance tubing. Last thing to consider is cost. While all of the featured fitness products below are economically appealing, by no means do you need them all to get started. Purchase products that give you more variety first, then fill in the gaps as your budget allows.

Here are some of my favorite fitness tools that will provide a killer workout and give you the most bang for your buck.

TRX Suspension Trainer: is a body weight training tool that uses suspension straps from an overhead anchor point or from a door attachment. The user can adjust the angle of their body to make exercise easier or more challenging based on their strength and fitness level. You can perform over 100 exercise with the TRX using it for strength training, cardio, balance, core, and much more. A must have for any home gym!

Resistance Tubing: is perfect for duplicating all the exercises of cable machines at the gym without the price tag or space requirements. Resistance tubing is also a great tool for rotational core & strength exercises. At a minimum you should have at least three tubes. One with light, medium, and heavy resistance.

Stability Ball or a BOSU: Not only provides many strength, balance, and core options, but you can also duplicate many of the exercises that require a bench and with more challenge!

Agility Ladder and/or Jump Rope: A great cardio workout doesn’t have to be confined to a machine, especially when working out at home! Not only will your heart get pumping with an agility ladder and/or jump rope, but both tools are perfect for improving foot speed and athleticism.

Powerblocks or Select Tech Dumbbells: an entire dumbbell set condensed into one pair! The obvious advantage is the space you save, but also you end up saving more money in the long run when you compare the cost of buying individual dumbbells. Just insert the pin or turn the dial to select your weight and your ready to rock! Many weight range options exist with both Powerblocks and Select Tech dumbbells depending on your needs. And of course adding dumbbells to your home gym will give you countless exercise options for both strength and cardio!

Medicine Balls: are a great tool for core conditioning and for power exercises that require throwing. If you play any rotational sports like golf, tennis, or baseball, medicine balls are great for you’re looking adding some power to your game.

Jason Wanlass, owner of Monster Personal Training & Athletic Conditioning has more than 15 years of experience in the fitness industry.  Contact him at or