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Garage Gainz: Make a Home Gym for Under $200


Want to work out but too busy to go to the gym?

 

Maybe being creeped on by gym bros is not your thing.  (You get used to it btw.)

 

Maybe you aren’t a fan of wearing pants while working out.

 

Whatever the casemay be, don’t give up hope on working out yet.

 

In my eyes, we have two possibilities.

 

Working out in a park.

 

Rain, cold and a lack of parks with suitable equipment in our town is a major downside.  I for one WILL NOT workout outside when it’s 13 degrees.  I can’t think of a better way to get me to quit.

 

The other possibility is we setup our own Iron Paradise, as the Rock would say, in our house.

 

But there are some concerns surrounding that…

 

Oh a home gym is expensive.

 

I don’t have the space for that.

 

What the hell would I even do in my own gym?

 

In the article I’m going to show you how you can fit a home gym under your bed for under $200.  On top of that I’ll also give you a workout so you can get in shape in the comfort of your own home.  Pants optional.

 

THE $197 HOME GYM

 

Setting yourself up doesn’t need to be expensive.  If you aren’t looking to get pro bodybuilder huge then a surplus of 45’s and different barbells would be a waste of money and space.  This includes ditching the expensive and clunky exercise machines.

 

Excuse me, where do you want this ginormous leg press?

 

To 80:20 your fitness you need to look at your end game first.  In other words, what’s your goal.  For 99.99% of us it’s to lose weight and look better naked.  The other 0.01% either want to look like Ronnie Coleman or get ridiculously strong.

 

With that in mind we can strip out all exercise machines, barbells, squat racks and the thousands of pounds of dumbbells and plates.  That just saved us close to 10 grand.

 

To get the home gym off the ground and to make it actually worth it, we only need a few things.  No need to get caught up in buying fancy name brand stuff either.  You’ll just be paying for the name unless you go really high level.  Keep it simple and cheap.

 

SUSPENSION STRAPS

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The first thing you want to buy is Suspension Straps ($60 affiliate link).  You could opt for the TRX brand but that would eat $150 into our budget.  These are a third of the price for 100% of the usefulness.

 

Suspension straps are probably the best way to use our bodyweight to our advantage.  Hang these bad boys from a door or from a beam in the ceiling and you can hit a full body workout without taking your hands off the handles.

 

These are extremely space saving so you won’t have a bench doubling as a clothes rack.

 

Honestly, I was always against these things because I thought they were another fitness scam.  Within the last couple of months, I have started dabbling with these and curse myself for writing them off before I tried them.  These are as effective as they are simplistic.

 

ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS

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The most expensive piece of equipment we need is Adjustable Dumbbells ($100 affiliate link).  If you have Rockefeller money, then you’ll have no problem dropping $250+ for the Bowflex version.  For us common folk, cast iron plates on a chrome handle will suffice our needs just fine.

 

For our propose, go with the 105 pound variety.  This will give us enough weight variation to progress up in weight to build muscle and burn the fat.

 

PULLUP BAR

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The golden ratio of aesthetics is the ratio of your shoulder width to your waist.  In other words, the V-taper or the wide shoulders to the small waist ratio. The best way to get this V-taper is with a  Pullup Bar ($27 affiliate link).

 

Hang this in a doorway and hit pullups, hanging leg raises, chin-ups or the ever infamous Rocky One Arm Chinups.

 

If you’ve never done a pullup before, check this out before you write this pullup bar off.

 

AB ROLLER 

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Hitting abs with crunches or sit-ups after a back injury can prove problematic.  I learned this the hard way with the 30 Day Ab challenge.  Three days in my lower back swelled up and I was pretty much useless for a week.

 

Ab Roller ($10 affiliate link) to the rescue.  This is a great exercise to strengthen the core, develop abs and tests shoulder strength for the cost of lunch at Five Guys.

 

Go for the basic one that doesn’t recoil.  The benefit comes when you have to pull yourself back and if the wheel recoils for you you might as well not do them.

 

JUMP ROPE

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Elliptical and treadmills are expensive and take up a lot of space.  Instead channel your inner boxer and invest in a Jump Rope ($10 affiliate link).

 

This little $10 piece of equipment can increase your cardio, burn fat, jack up your legs and that’s even if you suck at it like I do.  Once you develop the coordination, start throwing variations with speed and technique which currently is way beyond my skill set.

 

The jump rope can also be used to stretch.  Fold it in half, grab the ends and use the full range of motion of your shoulders before working out the chest, back and…shoulders.  This makes lifting a lot easier.

 

There you have it and there it is, a whole gym for less than your car payment.  You can also keep all this stuff under your bed so it’s not taking up valuable real estate in your house.

 

So we have all this equipment – now what?

 

THE AESTHETIC PHYSIQUES HOME GYM WORKOUT

 

Time is always an issue.  With that in mind we need a quick workout to 1) help us burn fat, 2) make gainz and 3) make other aspects of our lives easier.

 

To check all the boxes, we need to a workout paradigm that makes me happy in the pants – density training.

 

Density training is a basically a circuit workout using relatively challenging weights.  Circuit workouts you find in magazines are usually bodyweight exercises, where density training aims at building muscle and cardio rather than just straight cardio.  Think crossfit but less cult-like.

 

Oh yea it’s that awesome.

 

This is going to be a full body workout to be performed 3x a week.  No bro-splits here.

 

Set your timer for 25 minutes.  Perform one set of 12 reps for each exercise and go immediately onto the next one.  Once you finish all the exercises rinse and repeat until the time is up.

 

WORKOUT 1

 

Jump Squats

Suspension Strap Row

Jump Rope

Standing Shoulder Press

Pullups

Pushups

 

Once you can perform 8 full rounds go onto the progressions.

Progression 1:  Up the weight by 5 pounds on the shoulder press and elevate your feet for the row.

 

Progression 2: Keeping the weight from Progression 1, add a 2 second pause at the top of the row and pullup.

 

WORKOUT 2

 

Walking Lunge

Suspension Strap Chest Press

Ab Roller

Overhead Squat

Dumbbell Row

Chinups

 

Progression 1: Up the weight in the dumbbell row (5 pounds) and add weight to the overhead squat.

 

Progression 2: Keeping the weight from Progression 1, add a 2 second pause at the bottom of the chest press and hold the bottom position of the overhead squat for 3 seconds.

 

WORKOUT 3

 

Dumbbell Front Squats

Diamond Pushups

Dumbbell Lat Raise

Jump Lunges

Suspension Strap Curl

Suspension Strap Leg Curl

 

Progression 1:  Add 2.5 pounds to the lat raise and front squat.

 

Progression 2: Keeping the same weight from Progression 1, pause at the bottom of the front squat for 3 seconds and hold the top position of the lat raise for 1 second.

 

Right now if you have $200, you can buy yourself a great setup for a home gym, a full workout for the next 6-8 weeks and the best part of all…you have all the tools to workout in your underwear and no one can say anything about it.

 

YOUR TURN

 

What does your home gym look like?  Stop over to the community page and show us a pic.

 

Dave

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