Aspiring lifters from all parts of the world constantly email me to ask….
“Is joining a gym mandatory for building a strong, muscular body? "
The answer? No! If you want to start building muscle at home you can do it with the right planning and equipment.
My first 2 years of bodybuilding were spent building muscle at home with basic equipment in my basement, and I ended up getting top-notch results.
Not everyone can afford a gym membership.
Maybe building muscle at home is more convenient because of your busy lifestyle.
If your body isn’t where you want it yet, maybe you're too embarrassed or uncomfortable to train in a regular gym.
Don't worry, if you want to train at home, go right ahead!
The time that I spent building muscle at home was fantastic, and even though I currently workout at a gym with my training partner, I definitely enjoyed those years.
Travel to and from was never an issue. Whenever I wanted, I could slip downstairs into my basement for my workouts and start building muscle at home.
The music could be as loud as I wanted it to be, without having to worry about those around me.
I could grunt, yelp and scream through my sets if I was in the mood without disturbing anyone (hey, squatting to failure isn't easy okay? ) or train shirtless if I felt like it.
At the end, I could sprawl out on the floor in exhaustion, content in the knowledge that my post workout shakes were only a few steps away, and I wouldn't have to waste any time driving home.
It was a great experience.
The only downside of building muscle at home is that your exercise selection will not be as varied since you most likely won't have access to things like a leg press or calf machine. If you have the money to spend and plan on building muscle at home long term, you can stock up on some workout equipment, but for most people this simply won't be possible.
The great part is that you honestly don’t need any fancy equipment to start building muscle at home, and most machine exercises have appropriate freeweight substitutions anyway.
Some basic equipment is all that you need for building muscle at home:.
A cast iron set with enough weights so that you can continually progress from week to week is the best buy.
Don’t purchase an entire set of dumbbells because the adjustable kind are much more efficient and cost-effective. When you buy the barbell and dumbbells, choose ones that come together in a single set.
You need a sturdy bench for doing bench presses and other seated movements. Whenever possible, purchase a bench that can be inclined and remember to get one with safety catches if you want to train on your own.
You can get these for 15-20 dollars or so, and place them in the frame of your door.
A full squat rack can be pricey, so it’s typically the trickiest piece of equipment to purchase. Squats are a major component of any solid workout, especially if you don’t have a leg press machine handy.
If you really can't afford a squat rack then some creativity may do the trick. For safety, when building muscle at home it’s critical to have some sort of apparatus that enables you to unrack a loaded bar and drop it safely if your strength gives out during the lift.
You should not be squatting if you don’t have a place where you can safely drop the bar while building muscle at home! As many full squat racks provide a chin-up bar on top, it’s easy to kill two birds with one stone if you invest in one of these essential equipments.
These are the five basic pieces of equipment that you’ll need for your home gym. With these tools in your arsenal, it’s a breeze to perform an effective workout from the comfort of your home.