I usually recommend my clients to buy some home gym equipment. Then they can get a good workout in even on days we won’t have time to meet. But what gym equipment do I need? That’s a great question and the reason why I decided to write this guide.

When you’re looking on the Internet, you’ll find plenty of exercise products for purchase. Flashy marketing materials working hard trying to separate you from your hard earned money. But we have to be careful. Many products may be of sub-par quality and could even cause serious damage to your health. To make matter worse many are overpriced.

What Gym Equipment Do I Need

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of equipment. Sadly, most are now stuffed in my garage and rarely touched. But a few of them I am using frequently.

This article will give you advice what to look for when buying home exercise equipment. It will save you both time and money, and you wont make the same mistakes I did.

Before answering what gym equipment do I need, let’s start with defining three criteria that I use when selecting my equipment.

Size and Mobility

First of all I prefer items that can easily be stored away in my house. I’m not a big fan of large, heavy exercise equipment. In addition I prefer them to be mobile and lightweight so they can easily fit into my gym bag. If I can carry the equipment with me, I have the freedom to choose where I want to workout. Why not at the beach, or during my lunch break at the office!

Compound and Isolation

This criterion is very important. I believe a healthy individual need to perform both full body (compound) and isolation exercises, thus I prefer my home gym equipment to be versatile. If the equipment is not versatile enough, you’ll end up focus on just a few muscles which could cause muscle imbalances. Over time this may result in tight muscles, improper posture or injuries.

Price and Quality

Finally we have price and quality. The reality is we all have different budgets for our purchases. However there’s one thing we can all agree on: we want our purchased items to last many years. There’s always a trade off between price and budget, thus we should not always purchase the absolute cheapest item. You’ve probably heard of the old saying “you get what you pay for”. That’s usually the case.

Now when we have our criteria, lets answer what gym equipment do I need.

I have defined three different options. The first two are for everyone while the third is more advanced.

Option 1: Resistance Training

Everyone should own some dumbbells. With just a few dumbbells, you can have a great upper body workout without leaving the comfort of your living room. Examples of dumbbell exercises includes Shoulder Presses, Chest Presses, Bent Over Rows etc.

It’s important to select a dumbbell set from a reputable supplier. I own this 20 pounds dumbbell set that I highly recommend.

In addition, I recommend purchasing a pair of ankle weights. Ankle weights are great for leg and core workouts. Examples of lower body exercises you can do with your ankle weights includes glute kickbacks, sitting leg extensions, side leg raises etc.

I own this 5 pounds ankle weight set that I am very happy with.

Finally, I’m a big fan of Kettlebells. With a Kettlebell you can do certain exercises that you cant do with dumbbells, for example the Kettlebell swing which work many different muscles.

I like the Kettlebells from a company called CAP. You can find them here.

Option 2: Cardio

You don’t need to own an expensive treadmill to do great cardio at home. With just a few affordable items you can burn fat and keep your cardiovascular system in good health.

One of the best home cardio equipment is a simple jump rope. Not only will it burn fat but will also help with coordination and balance. Don’t worry if you don’t know any fancy tricks. Just get a rope and get started. I like this brand of jump ropes.

A bit more expensive but still affordable is a compact rowing machine. I personally prefer a rowing machine over a treadmill or stairmaster. A rowing machine can easily be stored away at home. I recommend the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine. It only weighs 37 pounds, is very durable and can easily be folded up. Highly recommended!

Option 3: Suspension Training

Suspension training is a type of resistance training where you use your own body weight as resistance. One of the benefits is that you’ll receive a compound workout in a multi-planar environment. The most famous brand of suspension trainers is called TRX.

Suspension training is a bit more advanced, and I recommend it for people that have previous experience with fitness. Especially strong joints and core is recommended.

I own this TRX Suspension Set that I highly recommend.