A. Resistance Training Options
I believe resistance training is the foundation for all health programs, especially when aiming for a physical transformation. Luckily there are many great options available for home gyms, running the gamut from cheap and space saving to expensive and expansive. Just remember that while it is great to have complex machinery on hand, some of the world’s best bodies have been built with little more than a few dumbbells and a barbell. Here are some options for resistance training you can have in your home.
Tier 1 – Home Gym Systems
If you have the space and budget for a complete home gym system, like those sold by companies such as Bowflex, Body-Solid, and Marcy Pro, then I highly recommend them for more serious fitness fanatics. Cost will range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, but they include stations to train every muscle group on the body. Their ease, look, and convenience make these resistance-training machines hard to resist for some.
Tier 2 – Weights
Like I mentioned, some incredible physiques have been created for decades through the use of nothing more than barbells and dumbbells. In fact, in many ways, these simple objects will outperform expensive machinery when it comes to building more muscle and true strength. If you have the room for a rack of DBs, this is far more convenient than using the adjustable types. However, if you are decently strong, you may find it less than cost effective (as heavier weights can become expensive). If this is the case, the manually adjusted free weights work just fine, especially if you can spend some extra cash on PowerBlock or Bowflex quick-adjust systems. To augment the dumbbells, it is worth it to also purchase a barbell with various weight plates if you want more variety in your program. Additionally, a bench that inclines and has a leg extension or curl attachment doesn’t take up too much room and is affordable.
Tier 3 – Budget Resistance Trainers
When looking to spend no more money on workout equipment than you would on a nice steak dinner for two, I highly recommend looking into simple items such as resistance bands, pushup handles, a pullup bar, suspension trainers, and perhaps moderately weighted kettlebells. With some creativity, consistency, and intensity you can manage some great training sessions and manifest real results.