QUESTION: What equipment do you recommend for a home gym? - @JOEBARLIA
ANSWER: I’ve seen some insane home gyms. Arnold has enough machines to make you believe he really is the Terminator. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has a weight room and a full basketball court. And Mark Wahlberg has a gym that could rival a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility. But as much as you may want to build your own mecca of bodybuilding in your garage, you don’t need much to get in great shape at home. I like to build home gyms by thinking of how each piece of equipment will play a role in the method the user has chosen to reach his goals.
You need SUSPENSION TRAINER
A TRX, or other suspension trainer, can be used to make any body-weight exercise more challenging, particularly for the core, and lets you work one arm or leg at a time. The shorter you adjust the straps, the easier the exercise.
You need; ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS, and ADJUSTABLE BENCH
Selectorized dumbbells, such as the kind PowerBlock and Bowflex make, save space and money. A bench that inclines and declines increases your options and frees you from doing all your lifts standing.
SERIOUS STRENGTH TRAINING
You need: POWER RACK, OLYMPIC BAR and PLATES
When you have more space and more money, or your goal is to set PRs on barbell lifts, you need a power rack and an Olympic bar that Olympic plates will fit on. The rack—get one with spotter bars—will protect you if a rep goes awry.
You need: KETTLEBELLS and JUMP ROPE
One or two 16kg and 36kg kettlebells will allow you to do swings, cleans and presses, and getups for conditioning. A jump rope eliminates the need for a treadmill or other cardio equipment at a fraction of the cost.
Jump Rope Tip: The ends of the jump rope should reach your armpits when you stand on the middle of it.
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ADAM BORNSTEIN is a trainer and co-author of Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha. bornfitness.com