1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest, we are running a Photoshop competition with a 32" monitor as the first prize - See here for details.

Official Home Gym Building Thread

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Psycho Sonny, May 1, 2011.

  1. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]


    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.


    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  2. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    Benches

    There are many different types of benches you can buy, ones with barbell holder's, etc. Those type of benches are only good for one thing and and one thing only bench press, therefore the best type of bench to buy is a utility bench. The most important thing about buying a bench is that it is SOLID. It should be able to take your weight and the weight of weights you will be lifting no problem. The average person weighs around 50-100kg. The average bench press after a couple of years of training should be around 60-80kg. Obviously people can weigh a lot more and lift a lot more than this, so you should be looking for a bench that can handle 200kg minimum. The bench I have is the one in the below video, it is rated to over 400kg's.



    As you can see this type of bench can be used in incline, decline and flat. Some of them also can have additional accessories added to them.

    [​IMG]

    This is a leg developer attachment to do leg exercises.

    [​IMG]

    This is a preacher curl attachment to do bicep exercises.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  3. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    Matting

    It is very important to have decent matting in your home gym, first of all it will protect your floor, but more importantly it will protect all the expensive equipment you have bought. Now there are a lot of cheap rubbish mats out there and you may be looking to save money and buy those, but I got some of those cheap mat's for free with some dumbbells I purchased and they are totally rubbish. I dropped a pair of 15kg dumbbells on them from just over a foot to test them out and it went through them. They type of matting you want is rubber, not eva foam or foam. Foam is completely rubbish (the free mats I have), EVA foam is a lot better than normal foam, but it's still not going to last you forever if you regularly drop weights on it, rubber mats will last forever and they are solid and extremely heavy, usually around 45kg for 6 foot by 4 foot 17mm thick mat.

    it's usually very expensive to buy rubber gym mats and Bodypower - Heavy Rubber Gym Mat (182 x 121 x 1.7cm) from http://www.fitness-superstore.co.uk/ are £60 a mat (they do however do free shipping if over a certain amount). I find the best place to buy mat's from is a local equestrian horse stall mat's supplier, failing that horse stall mat's from ebay or an internet shop such as http://www.endurancemats.com/. Horse stall mat's do the exact same thing (so long as its stated they are rubber) but will cost a lot less.

    Recently found http://www.strengthshop.co.uk/weekly-specials/rubber-gym-mat-6-x3-12mm-thick.html (very cheap for matting) and http://www.matman.uk.com/matman_stable_mats.htm (very good deal on 17mm mats)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  4. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    If you have any questions which have not been answered by the above, you may want to take a look here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=113942001

    If you want to see pictures and pictures only of home gyms, take a look here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=110243601

    If you want to do some additional reading then look here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26


    all of the above information and links is mainly written from an american point of view, so it may not apply in the UK, they get their stuff a lot cheaper and have a much wider range of products and manufacturers to choose from so bare this in mind when browsing the above.

    Injuries and why you need the right equipment?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfiw97lrteQ&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAKa5MCIKAY&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSTWcMdkWMA&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glN7Foer7NE&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otqbG5CbZ7E&feature=player_embedded
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  5. Morba

    Caporegime

    Joined: Mar 7, 2003

    Posts: 28,192

    Location: Krispy Kreme drive thru

    2 things:

    1 - needs stars in the title!! :p

    2 - about ****ing time :D
     
  6. toxic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 5, 2006

    Posts: 2,244

    Location: Scotland

    Good i guess...how many 'what do I need' threads get stated.
    Here's mine for an input to this.

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    And my new Ironmasters DBells...adjustable up to 52Kg each...

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
  7. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    looking very, very clean there toxic, amazing in fact, i should of bought ironmasters, they are the best you can get, value for money,dont take up a lot of space and built to last forever.

    is there any chance you could do a full review on them for fellow board members? take your time, in no rush, it would be greatly appreciated.

    i was thinking of selling all my dumbells and just buying them, but i doubt theres much point now.
     
  8. BennyC

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 25, 2006

    Posts: 13,605

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    Might be worth adding that standard plates have a 1" hole and generally use spindle lock bars which are a PITA to add/remove weight from and need constant tightening and are rated poorly. Compared to the olympic 2" and spring collars/bulldog collars which are much more convenient etc.

    Looks good though, long over due :cool:
     
  9. toxic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 5, 2006

    Posts: 2,244

    Location: Scotland

    cheers..ye man no problem. They expensive..but like you say, life warranty and they save a pile of space for what you would need if you wanted sets up to 50kg or so..not to mention the cost.
     
  10. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    i have 2.5kg all the way up to 45kg dumbells, in 2.5kg increments, they take up a lot of space and not to mention the cost of the racks to put them on (i have 2 racks). all of which ended up costing me roughly £1.3K (everything was second hand) and are worth about £2.2K brand new.

    im still in the process of re-painting all of the stuff i got 2nd hand so i will take pics of all my stuff when its fully finished. a couple of the dumbbells have some small holes / dents in them, im pretty sure it wont affect the weight of them, and you can barely notice them, and after refurbing them should be back to nearly new condition.

    if i could go back in time, i would probably get ironmasters, but whats done is done and im really happy with the set and the price i paid for them all. plus i know they should also last me forever, as i will look after them and refurb them every few years (spray paint is like £6-8 a can depending on where you get it from, nothing compared to the cost of the equipment). i think i will end up using 9 cans in total to do the dumbells and 8 big olympic plates. so about £70 to maintain my equipment every few years. a lot of people like the rusty look and just wd40 their weights 2 times a year, but i like mine to be fully painted.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  11. toxic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 5, 2006

    Posts: 2,244

    Location: Scotland

    what you have is certainly beter for ease of use, less faffing arround changing plates and stuff...so sounds like you dont need. The IM's are good as you say for saving space and getting more wieght ability for your cash! Will swap if you want :D
    What else you got at home?
     
  12. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    This is going to be a long list ;), if you ever decide to sell those ironmasters (doubt you will though), i may be interested, im in glasgow, so picking them up aint going to be a problem i hope, so long as your not in aberdeen lol.

    Benches:

    Gymratz adjustable bench - http://www.gymratz.co.uk/gymratz-adjustable-bench got it second hand

    Body Solid - http://www.gymratz.co.uk/bodysolid-gfid71

    with leg developer (and add on to use olympic plates not standard)
    and with preacher curl attachment too, all brand new

    might get the powertec pec fly attachment in future http://www.fitness-superstore.co.uk...rtec_workbench_pec_fly_accessory/11756_p.html it isnt supposed to be used with this bench but it will work with it

    Power Rack:

    Powertec with lat pulley, its the older model with the round spotter bars the new one comes with square spotter bars, i think the newer model is a lot stronger, it looks it anyway. got this brand new

    Bars:

    2 x 7 foot olympic barbells (1 is gymratz i think and is very rusty, i got it second hand for like £20, and the other is body power in nearly new condition, bought brand new)

    1 x ez curl olympic bar (body power, seems to be getting very rusty, i bought the black version brand new, dont know why its rusting so much, think it may be due to it being the black version, anyone buying and ez curl bar, get it in silver)

    2 x olympic dumbell handles (bodypower, i dont use these anymore, they are brand new, but i doubt they would sell for much, worth £60)

    bars i might get in the future are

    olympic tricep bar (can be bought for £40 brand new, looks good)
    olympic shrug bar (this is expensive, need to read up on it before i commit to such an expensive bar)

    Dumbells:

    york cast round dumbells 2.5kg to 10kg and 27.5kg to 45kg these were second hand and in well used condition http://www.gymratz.co.uk/cast-round-dumbell-2-5kg-pair

    rubber hex dumbells from bodymax or bodypower 12.5kg to 25kg these were also second hand but in brand new condition, you should of seen the guy i bought them off, skinny as a stick and never even looked like he used them once, he never even helped me carry them down 6 flights of stairs to the car, **** it, it was an amazing workout lol. the guy i bought the york ones off was a tank though and really nice guy, helped me load up the car and was friendly and chatty.

    Olympic Weights:

    got 3 different manufacturers, all of them are round, some have handles, all of them are metal. most bought brand new, 8 of them second hand. this is a serious amount of weight, i dont think i will ever need any more.

    6 x 25kg
    6 x 20kg
    4 x 15kg
    4 x 10kg
    4 x 5kg
    4 x 2.5kg
    4 x 1.25kg

    Storage Racks:

    Huge York Dumbell Rack - Apparently worth £300, cant remember how much i paid, it was part of the deal, its a beast though, 3 kids could sleep on it lol.

    Generic Dumbell Rack - Got it with the rubber hex dumbells, doesnt look even half as strong as the york one but its more than capable.

    Body Solid Standard weights and bar rack - i dont know if i gave fitness superstore the wrong code, or if they sent out the wrong one, either way, i phoned them up to tell them what happened, they said someone would call me back, but they never did, its worth like £80 or something, and i never use it, should really sell it, but i saw people saying these are better to use with olympic plates, because its easier to slide on and off, so i will start to use it.

    Generic Olympic weight and bar rack - looks like this http://www.gymratz.co.uk/york-olympic-weight-tree-rack except it has 3 bar holders on each side, meaning it holds up to 6 olympic bars, got it for £20 second hand, bargain of the century.

    Kettlebells:

    2 x 8kg
    2 x 12kg
    2 x 16kg

    never used them, going to start soon when i start my cut, should be starting my cut tomorrow. got them second hand.

    I have 1 very heavy medicine ball - generic off ebay, brand new, cant remember the weight.

    Boxing:

    Free Standing Wavemaster - top of the range free standing punch bag, brand new off ebay, its actually a kickboxing bag.

    generic Speed bag and bracket - off ebay

    generic Reaction ball - off ebay

    another punch bag - hanging, cant remember the weight or make, might be everlast

    pads and several types of gloves.

    hope to get a UFC grappling dummy in the future, and ufc gloves

    Matting:

    2 x 6 foot by 4 foot 18mm mats from fitness superstore, complete rip off.

    going to get at least 6 more mats from http://www.endurancemats.com/index.php?cPath=2&osCsid=2c84567f2496ad29afae82af3b0997ef in the future.

    also got some of those rubbish join together foam mats that cost like £16 for a pack free with the rubber hex dumbells, im using them currently just to cover the concrete floor and they are useless, dropped a light dumbell on them to test them out and it went right through it, so they are just there for the sake of being there until i get more of the real thing.


    no doubt ive probably missed something, thats all i can remember for now, will get pics up as soon as all the re-painting of second hand weights is done.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  13. Skillmister

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 3, 2009

    Posts: 18,934

    Location: Wales

    Nice thread. A home gym would be so great :cool:
     
  14. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    well if you go down the second hand route, if your lucky you might be able to pick up a bench, rack and a olympic set for like £600, brand new the same thing will be roughly double that.

    you also dont need that much space, theres guys in here and on other forums that have managed to cram racks into the tightest of spaces / rooms. if your serious about it, start checking out ebay and gumtree, and if you want im sure some of the guys will take a look at some of the ads you may be interested in, to see if it is quality stuff or rubbish.
     
  15. Skillmister

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 3, 2009

    Posts: 18,934

    Location: Wales

    Maybe when i've got my own place :p
     
  16. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    just bought some fractional plates

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-SHIRLAN...h_Training&hash=item3cb8157a8a#ht_3432wt_1031

    these were the cheapest i could find (never really looked that hard tbh, just on a couple of sites then ebay)

    £25 (including shipping) for 2kg in total of plates sounds extremely expensive, but i saw a place doing a similar package for like £50 (including shipping) and another for £35 (excluding shipping)

    also found 2 useful deals on matting

    if you want 17mm mats

    http://www.matman.uk.com/matman_stable_mats.htm

    if your not too bothered about thickness and want to save as much as you can get 12mm mats from

    http://www.strengthshop.co.uk/weekly-specials/rubber-gym-mat-6-x3-12mm-thick.html

    i really need some mats, but i also really need weight lifting shoes, think im going to go for the mats for now, then get shoes in a months time. i have 17mm mats already but im going for the 12mm mats for now, dont know whether to get 6 or 3, at least with 6 in future i could get more mats and double the 6 up to make 3. or just keep as 6.
     
  17. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    Made a simple spreadsheet to aid my decision


    Number of Mats ------ Sub Total Shipping Total Cost Per Mat
    1------------ £17.99 £10.00 £27.99 £27.99
    2------------ £35.98 £10.00 £45.98 £22.99
    3------------ £53.97 £20.00 £73.97 £24.66
    4------------ £71.96 £20.00 £91.96 £22.99
    5------------ £89.95 £20.00 £109.95 £21.99
    6------------ £107.94 £30.00 £137.94 £22.99
    7------------ £125.93 £30.00 £155.93 £22.28
    8------------ £143.92 £45.00 £188.92 £23.62
    9------------ £161.91 £45.00 £206.91 £22.99
    10------------ £179.90 £60.00 £239.90 £23.99
    11------------ £197.89 £60.00 £257.89 £23.44
    12------------ £215.88 £60.00 £275.88 £22.99
    13------------ £233.87 £60.00 £293.87 £22.61
    14------------ £251.86 £60.00 £311.86 £22.28
    15------------ £269.85 £75.00 £344.85 £22.99


    bit messed up but 5 mats seems to be the sweet spot, £22 a mat and roughly what i need anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  18. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    the strengthshop mats arrived and they are very good for the price, very different from my £60 mats and i got these when they were on offer at £17.99 now back up to £19.99 (excluding shipping), dont think they will be up to the job of having 150kg deadlifted on them, due to it being recycled rubber and thinner.

    fractional plates have not arrived, if they aren't here tomorrow, will need to chase supplier, then ebay sellers wonder why they get bad feedback.

    will update with pics next week, gym is looking very sexy now
     
  19. Jay.D

    Gangster

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 287

    Location: Gateshead

    I went about things the wrong way and started with standard weights instead of olympic....down the line ill probably not get my money back :(
     
  20. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 28,632

    you could get lucky on an unsuspecting buyer on ebay, who thinks its a good deal, but it is a false economy buying cheap equipment.

    are you looking to upgrade in the future to olympic gear? or anything else? if so look at second hand stuff on gumtree and ebay, some great bargains to be had second hand.