GO Nutrition Referral Code - AEXS1U for a free bag of protein A lot of people seem to be interested in building their own home gym. A lot of these people seem to be under the misconception that building a home gym is cheaper than joining a public gym. Yes you can build a home gym for a few hundred quid, in the same way you can build a house in the slums of Brazil or India for a few hundred quid. These houses are obviously not fit for their purpose much like a gym costing a couple of hundred quid will be. This thread will focus on mainly bodybuilding/weightlifting equipment with some cardio, if you want to build solely a cardio gym at home, you would be better off taking up running, skipping, dancing, etc due to the price of “decent” cardio machines being over £1K easy (concept 2 rower for example). The first and most important rule of home gym building is, never buy cheap. If you buy cheap, you will outgrow the equipment within a few months and then have to re-buy the decent equipment anyway, meaning you wasted a lot of money. Another very important reason for not buying cheap is safety. Believe it or not hundreds of people will kill or seriously injure themselves every year due to not having the right equipment. Even with the right equipment thousands of people will injure themselves every year, this may be due to improper warm up or pushing your body further than its physical limits. Therefore when it comes to health do you seriously want to risk the potential of 50-200kg crushing you? There are 2 different main routes to home gym building: 1. If only 1 person at a time will be using the equipment then it’s best going down the power rack/cage route. 2. If you will be training at home with a partner, unless the partner has the roughly the exact same height, weight, build as yourself you would be better off with a multi system. Why a power rack? A power rack will allow you to do hundreds of exercises safely, and will act as your spotter. This spotter however, never gets tired, bored, lazy or weak. Therefore it creates one of the safest environments to train within. Why not a power rack? If you and your training partner do not have the same height, weight and build then you will find yourself constantly changing the catchers (spotters), weights, bar position, etc every set. This is extremely tedious and can become detrimental to your focus having to change the whole setup after one of you has completed a set. If you don’t mind all of this then get a power rack, but it’s the equivalent of having to change a tyre on a car after every mile. Why a multi system? It allows you to do a lot of exercises safely; not the same amount as a power rack but near enough the same amount. You do not have to change the setup of anything to accommodate people of different heights or weights, it also allows beginners and advanced user’s to do a workout together with next to no interruptions. It is also safe and comes with safety bars which you pull in and out in order to catch the weight. Why not a multi system? Your probably thinking why I don’t just get a multi system it’s the best of both, even though I train alone all the time, in the future if somebody else joins me then I have the option to do so. Well multi systems have their disadvantages too, the main one being that it won’t work your stabiliser muscles. Therefore you will be a lot weaker than someone doing the exact same thing in a power rack. These machines are huge and take up a lot of space, which most people simply don’t have. There are other systems/equipment which can do similar stuff as the 2 routes above but they will be inferior. Examples of such will be squat stands, smith machines, bench stands, etc. although these equipment are useful, the money would be a lot better spent towards a power rack. Now that I have the main piece of equipment sorted what next? You will need weights, to be more specific Olympic weights. Olympic weights are the same as standard weights except the hole is bigger 1" vs 2". Now you are probably wondering why I am suggesting Olympic plates when that is the only main difference? The reason for this is, the equipment used with Olympic plates is a lot stronger, safer and well made, they also hold their value a lot better than standard plates and like the name suggests they are built to the Olympic standard so they will fit all other Olympic equipment. Most systems will also not work with standard plates, for example most power racks need a 7 foot bar, most Olympic bars are 7 foot, also most multi systems will only accept Olympic plates. Therefore in 99.9% of cases Olympic plates are better than standard plates. Usually a standard barbell will only have a maximum load of 120kg which simply isn't enough and most Olympic barbells will easily hold triple that amount and some can hold up to 1000kg. Therefore from here on in, standard plates wont even be considered as an option, as there disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. Guide to buying Olympic plates There are many different types of Olympic plates to consider, the below is just a normal average plate and the cheapest option. Weight is weight therefore if you are on a tight budget then this would be your best option. The plate below has 3 main differences from the weight above, it has handles, making it a lot easier to carry, i personally recommend getting plates with handles due to the fact that carrying them back and forth is a chore and when your going to be doing it a lot, handles make it easier. Another difference is that the plate is coated in rubber, this means that it is well protected, and shouldn't rust or chip like the above weight. This can obviously be a problem and if you can afford the extra I would definitely get rubber coated plates. The final difference is that it isn't round, this can help weights from rolling about and is good if your using Olympic dumbbells. Below is a example of bumper style weights, these weights are the same size, even though they are the same weight. e.g. a 5kg plate will be the same size as a 20kg weight. These are the most expensive type of weight you can buy, therefore i do not recommend them as in a home gym they are overkill and not needed. The different colours below identify different weights of plate. They can also be dropped for a huge height and not be damaged, like the power lifters at the olympics dropping them from above their head, etc. Don't be scared of buying anything second hand, especially plates, gumtree and ebay are your best bets for snagging something cheap. Below is an example of how you can clean up plates, no matter how bad they may look. Doing this is a simple process, WD-40 the plate and clean with some steel wool or wire brush or some sandpaper, to remove any loose rust. Then give the plate a good rub with a rag and wd-40. Use another rag to wipe clean. Now your ready to prime. The best spray paint primer to use is rust reformer by rust-oleum, it says you can spray paint this directly onto rust, but i prefer to clean the plates before doing so. After 1 or 2 coats of rust reformer you can then use any colour of normal rust-oleum spray paint for your finish. After 1 or 2 coats of your top coat, you can then decide to paint the letters a different colour using normal rust-oleum paint and a small brush or foam pad. Your weights should now look like the picture above, i like to go 1 step further and add rust-oleum clear gloss on top, to give them more protection and a shiny finish. All of these spray paints can be found in B and Q, Homebase and Amazon.