The convenience of working out in the familiar comfort of your home is one of the benefits of buying in your own fitness and training equipment. It’s a worthwhile investment in your health, too. Good quality weights and workout gear aren’t inexpensive, but they’re also meant to be durable and last for a long time. It’s also for your own safety to buy equipment that’s solid and not liable to break or malfunction with regular or heavy use. The following considerations and steps can guide you in making informed decisions about investing in weights and equipment for creating or updating your home gym.
Evaluate Your Fitness Goals and Needs
Decide on what your short-term and longer-term training goals are – realistically. This will help you determine what kind of weights you need for your workout routines. If strength training is what you intend to focus on, conduct research on weight equipment that’s specifically designed for bulking up, getting lean, increasing stamina or a combination of goals.
What Weights are Right for You
Weights for strength training come in different shapes and styles. Consider all the different types of weights, from weight plates to kettlebells. A multi-use barbell set can come in handy, and it could be supplemented with a set of simple dumbbells. You can mix and match as you see fit, and then decide on other factors to personalize your weight collection.
- Fixed or Adjustable: Fixed weights are sturdy, simple, and effective, but the weight can’t be adjusted and they can take up a lot more space. Adjustable ones can save space and be changed as you increase your strength.
- Round or Hexagonal shape: round weights can be more comfortable because they don’t have edges, but hexagon shaped ones don’t roll around. It’s a matter of personal preference and sometimes experimenting with both can help you decide.
As for the material, quality weights are always made of steel, but there are two common outer layer materials you can choose from:
- Rubberized weights have a rubber layer around the exterior, which makes it easier to grip, safer to use, and not as loud when they get dropped on the floor. The only disadvantage is that the rubber material can tear or wear down over time and with heavy use.
- Bare or “naked” steel is a more traditional, industrial look, which you may prefer. Bare steel weights have no extra coating except for maybe rust protection coating.
Know Your Strength
Wherever you’re at in your training goals, whether you’ve been training for a while already or are just starting out, it’s important to know how much you can realistically lift without over doing it. This baseline will give you a better idea of what range of weight you should buy. You can always invest in more weights as your strength increases and you make progress in your training. Try not to overestimate or underestimate your strength. Be goal-oriented and push yourself, but also be conscious of your limits and don’t take on too much too fast. This will also stagger the amount of money you spend on weights. You don’t need all of it all at once.
Take Exact Measurements
Measure the space you’ll be using to lift and work out in, and create a rough floor plan to map out the designated area for your home gym. Weights are not only heavy, but they also take up a good amount of space, depending on what sort of equipment you buy. You’ll want to optimize and maximize the room you have for working out, with adequate space to move around and not feel cramped or restricted in range of movement. Once you have an idea of what you can comfortably accommodate in your floor plan, check the dimensions of the equipment and weights you’re interested in. More importantly, make sure that what you purchase is the correct size for your height and physique.
Choose Based on Efficiency
Weights and individual pieces such as benches can be multi-functional and used interchangeably with other equipment. You can end up spending less money and taking up less space with equipment that has more versatility and compatibility with other weights and pieces. If you want to go all in on a fitness set that is cross-functional and good for working out your entire physique, here are some available options:
- Lifting stations: Metal frames fitted with supports and sometimes come with a built-in bench. These can offer a range of exercise options.
- Home/multi gyms: Holistically designed to target and strengthen different parts of the body, this is an all-in-one set up. These are designed with a cable and pulley system that sets a point of resistance for each different exercise, and they come with various attachments and features.
Weight benches: Efficient, versatile, simple, lightweight, and easy to move around a limited space. They’re usually very affordable, but generally sold separately from the weighted plates that are used with them, which can get expensive depending on the amount of weight you’re looking to lift.
Select additional accessories for comfort, safety and proper use
Comfort and safety should be your priorities when it comes to working out with heavy weights. You’ll optimize your workouts by using weights properly and efficiently. There are a vast variety of fitness accessories on the market, not all of which are absolutely essential to every weight lifter, but some that might be especially useful or even essential for your individual purposes. Extra training gear that you may consider might be gripping gloves, weight racks and storage, collars, belts, straps, and floor pads. Depending on the type of floor you’ll be lifting on in your home, some sort of floor protection might be a good idea, to protect it from scratching or other damage from the heavy steel weights you’ll be using.
Having done your research and decided what type of weights and equipment are best, you can start browsing online or in stores to find what you need and want. Customizing your home weight-lifting center can be an exciting experience that can motivate you to achieve your fitness goals. You also won’t need to worry about gym fees, and will have the privacy to focus on yourself and develop a healthy routine.