The Essential Home Training Center

Creating an economical, efficient, and effective home gym is of paramount importance for the Lifetime Athlete. Commercial gyms are great, but being able to hit your workout and do exactly what you need — getting it done as quickly as possible and with the utmost convenience — is perhaps the greatest benefit of a home gym. 

In current times, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, home-based training has seen a massive upsweep in popularity. The use of home gyms is further enhanced when it is supported by online coaching and training. When I work with motivated, athletic clients in a 1-on-1 online coaching capacity, or as part of our online training team, the Training Tribe (T2), I always recommend a specific set of items that helps clients to get maximum results.

Listed below are the equipment requirements for T2. These items are absolutely necessary for you to get the most out of your workouts, and they represent a highly valuable (yet not overly expensive) long term investment in your success. After you review the list, I’ll also provide a link to a video which details all the items and which also contains suggestions for getting started on a very limited budget. Being a Lifetime Athlete and a member of the Training Tribe is can-do country and it’s all about creating wins…#findaway #noexcuses. You can always use what you have, modify some of the programming, and build your training center over time. You may already have some or most of what you need for T2. Availability on many of the items may be limited, so being willing and able to improvise is important. When you are faced with the situation that you don’t have something, try to avoid thinking or saying “therefore I can’t or won’t do a certain aspect of training.” Instead, consider saying “how can I make this happen.” Feel free to ask me for suggestions as well.

  • Dedicated training space (minimum 80 square feet). This can be in a spare room, basement, garage, back porch, etc. Key is that it is always set up and ready to go.
  • Bright lighting (however you configure). Essential for safety and enjoyment. Make this a space you want to be in.
  • Bluetooth speaker (for tunes, videos, meetings). Crappy audio sucks.
  • Rubber floor mat. A must for traction, jumping, and dropping weights.
  • Flat bench (sturdy model). Critical and versatile.
  • Several dumbbells (minimum 3 pairs you consider light-medium-heavy…e.g. 15-30-50#. Use your judgement and collect more as you gain strength.
  • 2 kettlebells (1 light, 1 moderately heavy…e.g. 15-20# and 40-50#). Any brand or style.
  • 1 basic 1-inch diameter barbell (not Olympic) with a few plates, e.g. 60-inch model with 50-60 pounds worth of plates in 5-10# sizes…or homemade equivalent.
  • 1 functional training sandbag @ 25-50#. Buy or make.
  • 1 medicine ball @  8-15#. Any kind will work.
  • 1 padded exercise or yoga mat. Your choice for floor exercise.
  • 1 nylon strap 6-8 feet in length. For stretching and other movements.
  • 1 medium exercise tubing with handles. Err on the side of stronger resistance.
  • 1 jumprope. Any decent model.
  • Pull-up bar or handles of any configuration. Stand-alone, doorway models, pipes, rings, etc., just make sure it is safe.
  • Wish List (to eventually acquire)
    • Olympic barbell, plates (basic iron), and collars.
    • Bumper plates (at least one set of 10-kilo plates).
    • Barbell cage/rack.
    • 1 sturdy plyo box 12-18 inches in height.
    • 1 piece of cardio equipment e.g. bike (spin, assault, etc.) rower, treadmill, etc.

If you’d like to see visual examples of all this equipment, as well as how to get started by creating this setup on an extremely low budget using simple items, check out this video. Training at home has always worked well for a specific subset of the athletic population. Now it may represent the new norm. I hope you feel this information was helpful and that you feel empowered to create your own essential home training center.

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