This is your Home Gym Buyers Guide. The information that will set you up with the right at home gym for you if you need just a few pieces of equipment or the full gamut.
It’s come to my attention that my original AllAroundJoe podcast, What You Need for Your Ultimate Home Gym needed a refresher. What I thought was the cats pajamas then has since been updated, revised, and all around improved.
This is all based on my running a CrossFit gym, building my own home gym, helping friends build home gyms, and building a gym out of our Sprinter van, this can get you started or gain you a lifetime of fitness without having to leave the house.
In this post you’ll learn the 3 phases that you should buy your equipment in based on your budget and getting the most bang for your buck.
Home Gym Buyers Guide Phase 1
Cost $297 – $572+ (not including tax or shipping)
You can get great rubber hex dumbbells at amazon.com with free Prime shipping, and we haven’t noticed that they are any better or worse than Rogue Fitness rubber dumbbells.
We aren’t opposed to getting the Rogue dumbbells, you just have to pay so much in shipping. If you could find a way to get free shipping, you could bundle the Rogue dumbbells with your order, and that would be cool.
When picking your dumbbell weights, you’ll want to go with whatever you’ll use most in fast moving metcons. Think about what weights would you use for a dumbbell version of Fran or in the CrossFit Open workouts.
So far, all of the RX CrossFit Open workouts have used dumbbell weights of 35 pounds for women, and 50 pounds for men. If you’ve been doing those workouts RX, that’s what I’d go with.
We have Rogue kettlebells, and they’ve been great! If you’re used to training with a specific kettlebell weight, then you can probably be ok with just one kettlebell.
Just like with the dumbbells, you’ll want to pick the weight that you’ll use most in a fast moving metcon.
Right now, Emily and I each only have one kettlebell. A 53 and a 70, and we are very comfortable with those weights for most kettlebell movements.
But, if you aren’t as sure about weight… you might want to get two different weights (per person). Then, further down the road you’ll want at lease two kettlebells at each size for movements that require a kettlebell for each hand.
Although there are a lot of different kettlebell brands we like the Rogue because they are the most likely to be used in competitions or at other gyms. You could go with another brand, but I’d recommend getting kettlebells with the same handle dimensions as the Rogue kettlebells.
Rogue Kettlebells $40-90 (each)
We love RPM jump ropes! And having tried a number of other ropes, the RPM spins the best, and causes the least amount of forearm pump. Which equals more double unders, faster!
However, there is a downside to the RPM ropes. The cables will break from time to time. It’s just the nature of their ropes, and because of this, you should buy a few extra cables (they are only a few bucks).
Having tried a number of different brands of rings, and would recommend going with the Rogue Wood Rings. They are the rings that you’re the most likely to see at other gyms (or competitions), and they are very durable and have never needed to be replaced.
The cool thing about having some rings is, they aren’t very expensive, you can hang them all over the place (trees, playgrounds, etc.), and you can do ring rows, pull-ups, muscle ups, and more with them.
Rogue Wood Rings $72
Always pay more for a high quality wall ball! Trust me! I’ve seen so many discount wall balls that are lopsided or fall apart quickly. And there is nothing more frustrating than using a lopsided wall ball during a tough workout.
I would stick with Rogue or Dynamax wall balls, and have had great experience with both of these balls ;-).
And just like the dumbbells, you’ll want to get the weight that you’ll use in most of your fast moving metcons. You can get heavier walls balls later.
Home Gym Buyers Guide Phase 2
Cost $930 – $1500+ (not including tax or shipping)
These are one of our favorite tools, and in some cases could be pushed up into Phase 1. Picking up a heavy, odd object is so functional that it’s silly to not use these regularly.
We love using sandbags (or D-Balls) for cleans, front squats, carries, holds, deadlifts, and more. And would buy them before barbells because they are less expensive and take up less space.
NOTE: when you buy sandbags from Rogue the filler is NOT INCLUDED. Buyer beware!
Rogue Strongman Sandbags $160 (100lbs) – $203 (150lbs) including filler
These are very similar to the Sandbags, and you probably only need one or the other. I would pick a sandbag over a D-Ball, but you might have another opinion that makes more sense for you.
Rogue MK D-Ball $180 (70lbs) – $400 (150lbs)
Go find yourself a nice Rogue barbell that you’ll have for life.
If you’re not sure which to pick… get yourself an Ohio Bar (men) or Bella Bar (women). They are great bars that will last you forever, and reasonably priced.
Later on, if you get into some high level Olympic lifting… you can get yourself one of the higher priced lifting bars.
With bumper plates you have a couple things to consider… do you want to go with the lowest price (which will be a very good product), or go with something a little fancier.
If you’re VERY strong, the fancier option (below) will be thinner, and allow you to load more on the bar for a deadlift or back squat (500lbs +). Where you might run out of space with the Hi-Temp’s. #StrongPersonProblems
We have been abusing the heck out of the Training 2.0 plates for over a year, and they’ve held up great! We went with these to save on space.
Collars (to keep weights on the bar)
Just save your money and frustration by buying OSO Barbell Collars. They are a little more money, but they work really, really well! And in many years, I’ve only had to replace one of them (that bent by dropping a weight on it).
And they come in lots of fun colors!
Home Gym Buyers Guide Phase 3
Cost $2800 – much, much more depending on rig/rack size (not including tax or shipping)
When you’re ready to step it up, get yourself a nice wall mounted or freestanding Rogue system. I like the Infinity Wallmounts with 1-2 Speal bars. Speal bars are the best that I’ve used for pull-ups and muscle ups.
The rig/rack system you’ll have to setup based on your gym size and setup you’re looking for, but if you need any advice, just hit me up. This is fun stuff!
Also, any of the Rogue systems will be great if you decide on one of their other rigs/racks.
A rig/rack system will allow you to do pull-ups, bar muscle ups, squats (from a rack), and any other thing that could benefit from a barbell rack. Not to mention all of the accessories that Rogue offers (dips, ring muscle ups, wall ball targets, etc.).
This is probably the most effective cardio tool that you can buy. But you want to get either a Rogue Echo Bike or an Assault Airbike. The other brands will not do you justice.
If I had to buy one of these bikes right now… I would buy the Rogue Echo Bike. I actually like the Assault Airbike better, but I think that CrossFit competitions might be leaning toward using the Rogue Echo Bike more. And, the Echo bike is harder and feels like it’s built better. Oh, and it’s less money.
By the time you have a rower and air bike, you have a super legit gym setup. Good work! We will only buy newer Concept 2 rowers. These are fantastic machines that will be great for many years.
If you can find a deal on one of these lightly used after a CrossFit competition… you are a rock star! If this deal comes available, don’t wait, buy! They will sell out soon!
Concept 2 Rower $900
If you have 12-20 feet for a climbing rope… get one! This is some serious functional fitness right here, and fun for all ages!
Climbing rope $77-132
These seem to be really popular right now, and although they are cool, I think that unless you’re a competitor… they are probably a waste of space and you’re fine with a rower and/or air bike.
Concept 2 SkiErg $950
I find that I very rarely use an abmat, but if you run into doing a workout with 100+ sit-ups or v-ups… this will help (not prevent) you from getting a raspberry on your bum.
Personally, I would just rather do a workout without these movements and avoid stinging showers and looking weird naked.
But, you might want to use one for your knees during stretching or something…
A GHD is a great piece of equipment, but you need some training to use it correctly, and it takes up a large amount of space. So, I would only recommend getting a GHD if you are an advanced athlete with a lot of gym space.
Rogue Abram GHD 2.0 $695
Buy Extras of everything!!!! – at this point you will have everything you need for almost any workout that a good program could throw at you. But you might want to workout with friends, or have a few extra weights for getting really strong. ?
This is a template to get your started (and finished) on your journey of having an AWESOME at home gym!
Everyone’s needs are going to be different… you might be super strong and need more weights, or you might be buying for two people that want to workout at the same time…
And with enough money you can make all of your at home gym dreams come true!
Also, I’m here for any and all questions. Just let me know what you need.