Cheap & Effective Exercise Equipment

I’m a home gym guy.  I like the home gym because it’s easily accessible, and I’m never lacking for motivation.

Scratch that, I’m always lacking motivation…to get in a car and drive somewhere that is.  To step in my garage and stick a barbell in my hands or on my back I am rarely lacking motivation however.  It’s challenging, and makes me feel like I accomplished something that day.

So, here are my recommendations for some starting equipment for the home gym.  I didn’t buy these because they were the absolute best quality, I bought them because they were cheap, and effective.

  • Cap Barbell Dumbbell Set - 40lbs is a good amount of starting weight, and these are adjustable.  It takes a bit of time to adjust them, so that’s why I have 3 sets of these dumbbells
  • Body Solid Standard Iron Weight Plates - A good way to add weight to #1
  • Kettlebells, various sizes - These are great kettlebells.  Cheap, quality, free shipping, who could ask for more?
  • Rogue Fitness Mobility Packs - Great for mobilizing and stretching.  A rumble roller + lacrosse balls + stretch bands are extremely helpful when trying to become more mobile.  Featured on
  • Valeo Ab-Wheel - While doing ab-exercises is a poor way to achieve “abs”, core strength is good to have for injury prevention.  I was impressed by the quality of this wheel and it’s ability to destroy my core.
  • Chin Up Bar – I don’t have a link here, because I built my own.  You’re on your own here.
  • Barbells – Picking the right barbell is important, and don’t skimp on cost.  I say that but that’s exactly what I did and my barbell is still working for me.  I’ve heard good things about the Texas Power Bar (~$300).  This bar has good reviews, though I can’t personally speak to it’s quality.
  • Olympic Weights - These are pretty crazy cheap, and walmart’s shipping wins out on this one.  I have a bunch of these for bulk weight for when I need extra weight, but I primarily use this Pendlay Economy Set, and I have one pair of 45lb Rubber coated olympic plates that are pretty good quality, same diameter as the bumper plates but smaller thickness.
  • Squat Stand / Power Cage – This is the one I use, though safety bars would be nice…. I just use a couple of saw horses.  Probably not the safest but it works best for my space constraints.  If you have the space, get a power rack

That’s the bulk of my fitness equipment, though you can easily just start out with a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells for really cheap (under $100).

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