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What Is The Best Home Gym Workout?

What is the best home gym workout? Follow these innovative ideas of what equipment would be best, cost, sample workouts that really work ... Learn from the following pros and cons and start making amazing gains at home today!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Home Gym Workout?

The Question:

Sometimes a home gym is all you need for your fitness goals. Some free weights and basic workout equipment can be enough for amazing results.

What is the best home gym workout? Be specific.

Do you think one would achieve better results from using equipment at home or at the gym?

What are some accessories and/or pieces of workout equipment that are often overlooked when setting up a home gym?

How much can a person expect to spend on a functional home gym?

Bonus Question: If you could only have 1 piece of workout equipment (not including free weights, bench, etc.) what would it be? Why?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - Opiewags99
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Sometimes a home gym is all you need for your fitness goals. Some free weights and basic workout equipment can be enough for amazing results.

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Workout
What Is The Best Home Gym Workout? Be Specific.
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There are two major parts to a good workout:

  1. Aerobic Training - requires an elevation of the heart-rate for an extended period of time (aids in the reduction of body fat)
  2. Strength Training - requires the use of weights or one's own body weight to apply stress on the muscles for eventual muscle growth and strength gains

The "At Home Workout" incorporates these two together for a high calorie consumption (for losing that little gut), and for monumental increases in strength while requiring almost no equipment!

A key point to make is that if your home gym looks anything like mine ... meaning you have nothing more than a pull-up bar, some dumbbells and a bit of floor space, this is definitely the workout for you! You'll get an excellent burn; give it a try!

RELATED ARTICLE
Training At Home Alone: Can It Work For You?
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Training At Home Alone: Can It Work For You?
My years of weight training have been in the basement of my parent's home and now at my own home gym studio where I do personal training.
Author:
Joe Franco

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At Home Workout
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Rule #1 about this workout - Keep in mind the muscle you are focusing on. This will allow you to achieve a much greater contraction and will thus be getting more muscle breakdown for eventual muscle growth.

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arrow Warm-Up:
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arrow Workout:
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  • Pushups:
    • Requirement: none

      • 2x15 reps (Neutral/ shoulder width apart hand position)
      • 1x15 reps (Wide hand position)
      • 1x15 reps (Close together hand position)

      Focus muscle: Pectorals

        If you are a beginner, there is no shame in doing push-ups with your knees on the ground rather than your feet. All that really matters is that you're feeling the burn.

  • Air Bike:
    • Requirement: A small weight plate or medicine ball (bowling ball or a small child will suffice too)

      • 3x15 reps

      Focus muscle: Abs and obliques

  • Cross Body Hammer Curls:
    • Requirement: dumbbells

      • 3x10 reps

      Focus muscle: biceps

      • I like this exercise because it doubles for a forearm workout as well.

  • Pull-ups:
    • Requirement: A pull-up bar or something to hang from (deck, basement support, etc.)

      • 2x10 reps

      Focus muscle: Lats (back)

  • Bench Dips:
    • Requirement: Two benches or two chairs

      • 2x15 reps

      Focus muscle: Triceps

      • Depending on the condition of your triceps from the push-ups, the legs can be used to aid more or less to complete the sets.

  • Dumbbell Squats:
    • Requirement: dumbbells

      • 3x20 reps
      • Try to create the maximum amount of contraction in the legs as possible

      Focus muscle: Quads and calves

  • Flutter Kicks:
    • Requirement: a floor (can be also done on a bench or bed)

      • 3x15 reps

      Focus muscle: Hamstrings and Glutes

  • Dumbbell Calf Raises:
    • Requirement: dumbbells

      • 3x20 reps

      Focus Muscle: Calves

  • Crunches:
    • Requirement: none (or a medicine ball for weighted crunches)

      • 3x15 reps

      Focus Muscle: Abs

  • Chin-Ups:
    • Requirement: A pull-up bar

      • 2x10 reps

      Focus Muscle: Biceps

  • Dumbbell Lunges:
    • Requirement: dumbbells

      • 3x10 reps

      Focus muscle: Hamstrings and Quads

  • Cool Down:
    • Low to moderate intensity cardio (Depending on your fitness level, the duration of this can vary). Remember that this is the ideal time for fat-burning, so do at least 15 minutes if possible.
    • The order of these exercises is specifically set up to allow low rest intervals between sets. The exercises that use the same muscle groups are spaced for that reason.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Home Workout.

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Equipment
Do You Think One Would Achieve Better Results From Using Equipment At Home Or At The Gym?
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Overall it is hard to achieve the same results from using the equipment at home, especially if you have a limited amount of equipment lying around. The gym definitely has a wide the variety of pieces of equipment that would definitely not be found in most homes.

The gym also has so many separate pieces of equipment that can isolate different muscles and even specific parts of those muscles. For example look at the cable machines, there are literally hundreds of exercises that can be done using those that couldn't possibly be mimicked at home.


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KiotiHulk's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

That isn't to say that an excellent workout isn't possible at home, because it is. This is obvious because one is shown above. But if that workout is the only one you do, you could be lacking strength and conditioning in other body parts that are hard to isolate at home.

Overall, it is possible to get an excellent workout at home on occasion but there is no replacement for a good old fashioned gym in the quest for an awesome body.

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Accessories
What Are Some Accessories And/Or Pieces Of Workout Equipment That Are Often Overlooked When Setting Up A Home Gym?
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One of the most versatile pieces of equipment that is often overlooked when making a home gym would be a nice upright abs rack. It seems odd that you can ask any guy what body part they would most like to have completely ripped and muscular and they will say abs, but when you look at their home gym all they have is a barbell set.

Now sure they can get an excellent set of legs, pecs, arms and back with that, but what they really want is ABS! That being said ... if you want to have that ripped set of abs, don't overlook the pieces of equipment that are actually going to set you in the right direction of your actual goals! (Upright abs rack and ankle weights should do the trick!)

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Expense
How Much Can A Person Expect To Spend On A Functional Home Gym?
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To get a nice barbell set, a bench/rack combo, a set of medicine balls and you can expect to be spending 500-600 dollars. Depending on your budget, it can be expanded from there to approach the variability that a traditional gym has (including dumbbells, a smith machine, rowing machine, etc.) An upright abs rack will set you back 200-300 dollars as well. Since I live in an apartment this just isn't possible for me though!

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Bonus Question
If You Could Only Have One Piece Of Workout Equipment (Not Including Free Weights, Bench, Etc.) What Would It Be? Why?
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If I could have one piece of workout equipment I would pick a pull-up, dips, leg raise combo piece. The variations of exercises that can be done on this piece are virtually endless. It's almost a full-body workout in itself on one machine. That is definitely the next thing on my "To Buy" list. If only I had the space for it ...

bodybuilding.com
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Opiewags99.

Thanks a lot for reading and trying my workout!

-K

Reference:

  1. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm


2nd Place - theoriginal
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

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Workout
What Is The Best Home Gym Workout? Be Specific.
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The best home gym workout is one that is able to incorporate the equipment you have, however limited, in a way that allows you to get a workout comparable to those who train in gyms. It's basically a matter of making the most of what you have.

Now, we will take each muscle group one by one and lay out a variety of exercises you can do at home which will allow for the best home gym workouts without the worry of requiring equipment that could only be found in large gyms.


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rungrl's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

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arrow Legs:
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    Squats are probably the best exercise you can do for the quads, but if you're working out at home then you will find it difficult to do this exercise. As I mentioned above, it is not advisable to hoist a bar over your head and start squatting. This is an easy way to incur a serious injury.

    Lunges provide the best alternative to squats as they can safely and effectively stimulate the quads as well as the hamstrings secondarily. When working out at home, they should always be done with dumbbells and not a barbell.

    There are two options for performing lunges, both of which are greatly effective. In the space where you have your home gym set up you can simply perform stationary lunges, either working one leg at a time or alternating legs between each lunge.

    The second option will require that you have some extra space such as a driveway or a backyard with level ground. Here you can do the walking lunge, alternating each leg and moving forward down the driveway or through the backyard. This lunging method is particularly effective, and if done properly, will leave your legs burning as much as heavy squatting.

    When it comes to the hamstrings, you have at your disposal a effective exercise that requires the minimum amount of equipment: the stiff-legged deadlift (SLDL).

    All that is required is a pair of dumbbells and just a small area to work with. Don't use too much weight with this exercise. If it is done improperly it can result in injury to the lower back. Choose a weight that you can complete for at least 12 reps.

    In order to put more focus on the hamstring and reduce lower back involvement, do not lock your knees. Despite the name, there should be a slight bend in the knees. As you lower the weight slowly down below your knees, keep your glutes tense. Lift the weight up slowly and do not lock out at the top of the movement.


+ Click To Enlarge.
finalazy's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

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arrow Calves:
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    Without the equipment you find in gyms, working the calves can be slightly more difficult than most other muscle groups. The calves can often be worked with a heavy load because they are used so frequently in daily activities such as walking.

    Since you likely don't have a machine and hundreds of pounds of weight you will need to improvise in order to get an effective calf workout.

    The best way to do this is to perform one-legged calf raises with heavy dumbbells. You may need to lean against a wall to keep from losing your balance. Standing on one leg and lifting up on your toes with heavy dumbbells can be tricky. The support of a wall can help you keep your balance while handling an intense work load.

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arrow Chest:
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    If you do not have a spotter on hand, I recommend you forego barbell bench presses and use heavy dumbbells for presses. This way if the weight becomes too heavy you can drop the dumbbells to the side. If a barbell becomes too heavy, it is a much greater problem.

    With dumbbells and a bench you can perform heavy presses as well as flyes, which serve as a great finishing movement for the chest. Another chest exercise that many people have unfortunately disregarded is the basic push-up. As simple as it is, this is a great exercise to follow up with after presses. Do one set to failure after presses in order to make sure you have fully stimulated the chest.


+ Click To Enlarge.
HardKnockNES's Home Gym.
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arrow Biceps:
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arrow Triceps:
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    Although there may not be as many exercises available to the home trainer as biceps, there is still a sufficient number of tricep exercises to keep this muscle group stimulated.

    Lying tricep extensions, also known as skull crushers, can be done with a barbell and a bench. However, whenever you are lying on a bench with a barbell, you should make sure you use a weight that is completely controllable.

    Don't try to go too heavy on these or you risk the chance of reaching failure and being unable to get the barbell under control. A great alternative is to use two dumbbells instead of a barbell.

    In addition to lying triceps extensions, you can perform triceps kickbacks and overhead triceps extensions with dumbbells. If you work triceps with chest then close-grip pushups are a great alternative to close-grip bench presses which are not recommended for anyone training at home without a spotter.

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    Shoulders are another exercise that can be worked with minimal equipment. Like biceps, practically everything you need can be found in your home gym. Arnold presses, barbell military presses (with a controllable weight), and side lateral raises are some of the most effective shoulder exercises which can all be done at home.

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Equipment
Do You Think One Would Achieve Better Results From Using Equipment At Home Or At The Gym?
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In terms of equipment, there is no doubt that what you find in a gym will be vastly superior to what you likely have at home. Most people who workout at home are on a budget in terms of what types of equipment they can purchase. In addition, they probably have a limited amount of space to keep that equipment.

RELATED ARTICLE
Which Is More Beneficial: Training At Home Or Training In The Gym? Training At Home Or Training In The Gym?
Many people enjoy the privacy of training in their own home gym. There is no wait to use a machine and they can play whatever music they want- and it's open 24/7.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

That said, there are numerous benefits from home training that may make it more effective in the gym. There are few if any distractions in your own home gym. No one is hogging the equipment you want to use and forcing you to wait or pass up on an exercise you need to finish your workout.

There are no members of the opposite sex who might lead you to show off and do more than you should be doing. You can train without a shirt on ... or h#ll, you can even train without your pants on if you want. Training can take place at your convenience and not be dependent on the operating hours of the gym. I'm sure you can think of many more positive reasons for training at home. For me, at least, this makes home training far more effective than going to the gym.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Shredded_Wheat's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

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Accessories
What Are Some Accessories And/Or Pieces Of Workout Equipment That Are Often Overlooked When Setting Up A Home Gym?
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It is usually the basic home gym necessities that are overlooked because so many people. Most people will hopefully realize that a bench and free weights are absolute requirements for any home gym setup.

I believe it is a good idea to purchase a relatively inexpensive "home gym" such as the ones you can find in department stores for $100-200. These will give you extra options like leg extensions, pull-downs with a pulley attachment and press-downs for the triceps. You can then add attachments as you see fit and/or as you can afford to purchase them.

Here are a few pieces of equipment that are often overlooked but can be beneficial to the home gym experience:

  • E-Z Bar - these can be found for less than $30 in many stores. An E-Z bar will allow you to add new exercises as well as enhance the ones you do. Lying tricep extensions, for example, work much better with an E-Z bar than a standard bar. Barbell curls can also be alternated with E-Z bar curls for hitting the biceps from a different angle.
  • Rope attachment - if you have a "Home Gym" with cable pulley, then a rope attachment is a great addition. Triceps pressdowns are best performed with a rope attachment as opposed to a lat bar that is usually standard issue with the average "Home Gym."
  • Extra Weight Plates - there will come a time when the weights you currently have are not enough to stimulate your muscles. At this point it is a good idea to purchase additional plates. Many stores sell these at relatively inexpensive prices. However, another way you may be able to get them for even less is to check local garage sales. People are frequently selling weight sets, so you may be able to get a lot of weight for little cash.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Stecman's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

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Expense
How Much Can A Person Expect To Spend On A Functional Home Gym?
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In the beginning one should expect to invest between $100-200 for the minimal amount of equipment needed to get an effective home workout program started. After this you can choose to invest in new equipment based on your needs, wants and finances.

Every once in a while when I have the money to spare I will go out and purchase some new equipment. It may be some extra weight plates, a jump rope, a new pulley attachment, an exercise ball or something else. Since I already have a foundation to work with, I can increase the equipment I have based on what I can afford to spend at any given time.

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Bonus Question
If You Could Only Have One Piece Of Workout Equipment (Not Including Free Weights, Bench, Etc.) What Would It Be? Why?
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My one piece of workout equipment would have to be the EZ curl bar. It's not only great for variation on curls, but it also can be used for developing the forearms, for lying triceps extensions and for reverse curls.


+ Click To Enlarge.
EZ Curl Bar.
Video: Windows Media - Real Player


3rd Place - EAGLES56
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Sometimes a home gym is all you need for your fitness goals. Some free weights and basic workout equipment can be enough for amazing results.

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Workout
What Is The Best Home Gym Workout? Be Specific.
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Assuming that the standard home gym consists of the basic flat bench, squat rack, dumbbells and barbells, the best home gym workout is composed of the tried and true compound lifts. A home gym is usually capable of any form of workout, however, I've included a basic German Volume Training workout program that I've used in the past which delivers results.

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arrow Day 1 [Chest + Back]:
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arrow Day 2 [Legs + Abs]:
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arrow Day 3 [Off]
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arrow Day 4 [Shoulders + Arms]:
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arrow Day 5 [Off]:
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Repeat.

*Perform sets A1 and A2 back to back with 90-120 seconds of rest in between each exercise. Follow the same protocol for B1 and B2 supplementary exercises with 60 seconds of rest. Example: A1- Bench Press, 90 seconds rest, A2- Deadlift, 90 seconds rest, Bench Press ...

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Equipment
Do You Think One Would Achieve Better Results From Using Equipment At Home Or At The Gym?
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Whether one would achieve better results from equipment at home or at the gym depends on different aspects which should be evaluated.

The gym should be in (functional) order. If one's gym is in a cool, damp, cramped and dust covered basement, it'll pose a challenge when working out. When working out becomes a nuisance, few will stick to it and results will be far and in between. The gym should have enough room for overhead pressing, and multiple weight stations which are not crammed into a small space.

Cost is almost always an issue. A gym membership could cut down on monthly grocery funds.

Time may also be the deciding factor. A home gym cuts down on the commute and allows for increased flexibility. The additional 15-20 minutes could be used for meal preparation.

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The atmosphere is the main reason why I'm still loyal to my gym. The gym is a place dedicated to training. When I'm at the gym, I'm ready to hit the weights. A garage gym might be distracting and rest times may get exaggerated after finding an old unfinished hobby project.

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Accessories
What Are Some Accessories And/Or Pieces Of Workout Equipment That Are Often Overlooked When Setting Up A Home Gym?
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The most overlooked accessories and/or pieces of workout equipment are usually a squat rack, chin/pull-up bar and parallel (dip) bars. These are what I consider necessities when it comes to training.

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Expense
How Much Can A Person Expect To Spend On A Functional Home Gym?
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How much one expects to spend on a functional home gym depends on how "functional" and luxurious that one wants their personal gym. By incorporating some innovative thinking and seeking out the best value, a functional home gym can cost as little as a few hundred dollars.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Bosko's Home Gym.
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To save a lot of cash, build any required equipment aside from dumbbells and barbells. A squat rack can be constructed from wood and double as a flat bench rack with some creativity. Make sure that safety isn't sacrificed to save a couple bucks.

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Bonus Question
If You Could Only Have One Piece Of Workout Equipment (Not Including Free Weights, Bench, Etc.) What Would It Be? Why?
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I'm going to include a squat rack with the basics above and say that my preferred piece of workout equipment aside from the basics would have to be a cable machine. Although they are not a necessity, a cable machine is versatile. Cable machines are great when it comes to applying continuous tension on muscles throughout the movement.

EAGLES56


3rd Place - malibuilder
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

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Workout
What Is The Best Home Gym Workout? Be Specific.
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When I think about the home gym workout; I think two sets of dumbbells, barbell and cement blocks on each side of it

Seriously, I think you do not need anything too fancy to get in great shape and stay healthy for a lifetime.

Many people forget how much can a good session of push-ups and crunches do for your body health. When I give advice on this question to people just starting out with training I usually give them a basic plan to work at home with the least amount of equipment, and still get a good results.


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Groundhog's Home Gym.
View More Gym's Here.

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Workout
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Here is a sample plan anyone starting out in a home gym environment can follow:

The workout is split in three non-consecutive days, working the whole body on each workout.

  • Arnold press - 3 sets, 15 reps/set
    Equipment required: two dumbbells.
    • *this must be the greatest exercises for shoulders. Every movement using a lot of twist is working a full range for that muscle group and this is the exercise to do for your front and side delts.

  • Push-ups - 3 sets, 15 reps/set
    Equipment required: floor, or a bed and two chairs.
    • *Nothing but your body weight, smooth constant moves, not too slow, not too fast. Intensity of the exercise can be increased by elevating the legs on a chair or sofa, or by placing hands on two chairs and allowing your torso to dip lower between chairs.

      It's great for chest, shoulders, triceps and the whole body! Instead of holding your weight on your toes, you can lower the intensity by resting it on your knees.

  • Chair dips - 3 sets, 15 reps/set
    Equipment required: Two chairs and a bed.
    • *Instead of using the bench, you can use the chair and lift your legs on another chair or a sofa and pump the triceps. This is excellent exercise for triceps, shoulders and chest. Just the thing you need to fully finish those parts of your body after push-ups. By straightening/bending the knees you can increase the intensity of the exercise. This can also be done by taking narrower/ wider grip.

  • Alternate dumbbell curls - 3 sets, 15 reps/set
    Equipment required: A chair and a set of dumbbells.
    • *Also should done by twisting the forehand; it's a great workout for biceps and forearm.

  • Wide-grip pull-ups - 3 sets, 5-15 reps/set
    Equipment required: Pull-up rack, or just something you can grab on and pull yourself up.
    • *Why I give such a wide range of reps. Simply because not everyone can actually do so many reps. I believe everyone should start with wide-grip, even assisted if needed. This is the numero uno exercise for your lats.

  • Squats - 3 sets, 30reps/set
    Equipment required: Floor or barbell/dumbbells.
    • *Yes, squats! Probably the best exercise for your body ever. Even if it is done with bodyweight only it can be a killer exercise. Just use smooth medium speed motion and go down deep enough for quads to become parallel to the floor. Why so many reps? Well I believe you should use more repetitions for the squats because of the size of this muscle.

      The whole idea behind muscle building and toning is blood flow. More repetitions more blood flow, and legs can receive a lot of blood flow. For added intensity you can lift yourself on toes after each squat to work on those stubborn calf muscles.

  • Lunge - 3 sets, 15 reps/set
    Equipment required: Floor, backyard or dumbbells.
    • *Really great workout for hamstrings and glutes. Executed with body weight or with dumbbells for added intensity. Another interesting version of this exercise can be done in your backyard, "giant steps" just do the same lunge movement but walk the desired distance. Neighborhood will probably laugh in the beginning, but not for long!

  • Crunches - 3 sets, 20-30 reps/set
    Equipment required: Floor pad, or just floor.
    • *The very basic exercise for upper abdominal region, and one of them most effective ones.

  • Lying leg raises - 3 sets, 20-30 reps/set
    Equipment required: Floor pad and or someone to push your legs.
    • *Great exercise for working the lower abs, you can add intensity by having someone push your legs, or by holding a dumbbell between your feet.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Home Gym Workout.

That's it for the exercise plan. I also advise increasing repetitions over the time, speed of the movement and or weight as working out progresses.

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Equipment
Do You Think One Would Achieve Better Results From Using Equipment At Home Or At The Gym?

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Every aspect of it has it's own advantages or disadvantages. Working in your home gym means you have to spend less time traveling to and from the gym. Means you do not have to pay for the membership, and you never have to wait in the line to do the exercise. No one is there to bother you and you can play your own music. But you are alone.

While bodybuilding is an individualistic sport, a good training partner can go a long way. Also you have a better choice of exercises and equipment to choose from in the actual gym. The other thing is you meet like-minded people. They are all trying to do the same thing as you, and there can be a lot of competitive spirit going on in the gym that can push you to the limits.

By my opinion it doesn't really matter where you workout. It is how hard you workout and how persistent and consistent you are. Results will come regardless of the gym. Through all my competition days I was working out at my home gym, and I still won second place in a state championship.

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Accessories
What Are Some Accessories And/Or Pieces Of Workout Equipment That Are Often Overlooked When Setting Up A Home Gym?
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Most overlooked ones are already over there. When people start thinking about exercising and working out, they immediately think about fancy machines and cable rows. But as you can see in my sample plan you need two chairs, a sofa, few private square yards and thick walls, so no one would hear you screaming doing squats (LOL!).

Floor mats are mostly forgotten until you need to work abs and end up doing it on a cold floor. Everyone just thinks about the weights.

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Expense
How Much Can A Person Expect To Spend On A Functional Home Gym?
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This entirely depends on your specific needs. If you wish to recreate a couple times per week, then all you need is few sets of dumbbells, say: 10, 15 and 20 kg. Bench and barbell with about 100 kg of various plates like: 2x20 kg, 4x10 kg and 4x5 kg. I believe you can get this between $200-to-500 for all your basic recreation needs.

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Bonus Question
If You Could Only Have One Piece Of Workout Equipment (Not Including Free Weights, Bench, Etc.) What Would It Be? Why?
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I'd say this is a good multipurpose pull-up/dips/abs rack, here is the link.

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The multi gripping access of the chin-up section is great for training the back and biceps, while the dipping and push-up station will work the chest, deltoids and triceps.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

It gives you wide choice of exercises and it is essential for any gym, not just home gyms. I could never consider my workouts full without these exercises.

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~malibuilder


What Is The Best Home Gym Workout?

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Do we do this everyday ?

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