What You Need To Get Lean At Home
This page will walk you through the equipment you need to build an amazing home gym, get lean and build muscle.
[This info is taken from my book Getting Lean - so when you read me reference the "previous chapter" - that's why.]
Use my free home workout programs with the equipment on this page for the best results.
I’ll start with the basics - this is the stuff that you absolutely NEED for a basic workout program.
Then, I’ll get into the additional stuff that’s nice to have.
It’s best if you can get all this stuff.
But, it’s perfectly fine to start with the basics and upgrade over time - that’s exactly how I built my home gym.
I’m providing links to the equipment I’m currently using, but if you’re in another country or you wanna find a different version - do what you need to do.
A bench is an essential staple of any home gym.
You can use a floor instead but that severely restricts your range of motion and won’t build muscle efficiently.
A flat bench is nice, but an adjustable bench is best.
With an adjustable bench, you can do many more exercises and target your muscles in more ways.
An adjustable bench is more than worth the extra cost.
It’s also essential to get a bench that comes with a holder for your barbell.
If your bench does NOT come with a holder for your barbell - you’ll be limited to using dumbbells.
Or you’ll be limited to awkwardly getting yourself in position with a barbell while using a much lower weight than you can lift.
The link below is not a bench I’m using right now, because the bench I’m using right now also comes with a squat rack and I’ll be linking that in the advanced section.
But, I’m leaving a link to the bench I’d buy if I had to get a new one today.
I'm also leaving a link to a budget bench without holders - get this if you only have dumbbells and you're on a tight budget.
Barbells can be used in countless exercises.
The barbell is the KEY to building your dream body at home.
The barbell allows you to lift much more weight than dumbbells.
The barbell is the backbone of any home gym.
Whether you get a standard barbell or an olympic barbell is up to you.
But, once you pick one, you gotta stick with it because all your weights will only fit the barbell you’ve chosen.
Olympic barbells have a higher weight capacity, but that’s not gonna matter to you for years.
We’re talking about 350kg to 750kg. You don’t need to lift nearly that amount of weight to build an impressive body.
The standard bar is much cheaper, but it weighs 8.5kg while the olympic bar weighs 15kg.
That’s not worth paying double the price to me, but that decision is up to you. I’ll leave a link to both the standard and olympic 6ft bars below.
Note: If you use the links below, these barbells do not come with collars or clasps. So don’t forget to buy those too.
Dumbells are great for starting out.
In fact, my initial home gym setup was only a bench and 2 dumbbells.
The only downside is you can’t add much weight to dumbbells. Eventually, you’ll hit a limit because the dumbells aren’t big enough.
I can currently get 53kg total on my dumbbells and that’s pretty much it. I’ll need to look for bigger dumbbells eventually.
But when you’re starting out, a set of dumbbells that weigh 20kg is more than enough.
You can buy more weight plates when you need them but, you can always add more reps or slow down your reps instead of adding more weight.
Pull Up Bar / Power Tower
You could argue that this power tower (a combination of dip station, pull up bar and hanging leg raise station) isn’t necessary for a basic home gym setup.
Truth is, you could find a cheap pull up bar and use that instead. If you’re on a budget then maybe that’s the better option for you.
But, this power tower gives you access to 3 amazing exercises: dips, pull ups and the hanging leg raise.
The big reason I prefer this tower over a pull up bar is because I’m 6ft tall.
When I use a pull up bar on my doorway, my legs touch the ground. This makes pull ups uncomfortable for me.
If you’re a short king or queen, you probably don’t have this problem.
But, having the dip station and the ability to do hanging leg raises (my favourite ab exercise) is something you should consider.
Also, being able to hang from the pull up bar is an incredible stretch that’s great for your back. If you have back issues like me, then being able to freely hang is a major selling point.
The first link below goes to the power tower I've got.
The second link below goes to a power tower I've found that costs less and has added cables.
A barbell or dumbbell without any weight plates isn’t gonna get you very far.
The dumbbell set linked above comes with 20kg of weight plates but eventually you’ll need to upgrade.
The barbell comes with 0kg, so you definitely need to get weight plates for that.
I’ll be using kg as a measurement, 1kg is 2.2lbs.
These are examples of the weight plates you should get:
10kg - buy these 2 at a time. 10kg is a good weight interval to have available. You’ll keep buying these as you gain strength.
5kg - Buy 4 of these to start. Get very thin 5kg plates so you can use them for your dumbbells when you need em. 4 is the exact number you need for your dumbbells. You can buy extra if you need them later. These can also be added to your barbells so it’s a win/win.
You can also get 2 thicker 5kg plates for using in a weight belt when you need them.
1.5kg - Get 2 of these. These are perfect for adding a bit more weight to the bar when you’re comfortable with the weight you’re at and you want to progressively overload.
2.5kg - Buy 2 of these. The dumbbell set above already comes with four 2.5kg weights so these aren’t essential, but an extra 2 is nice to have.
20kg - once you’ve bought four 10kg plates, it makes sense to buy two 20kg plates. These plates free up space on the bar and are a great option to have.
Walking is an amazing form of cardio.
In previous chapter I already explained why so I wont belabour the point here.
Linked below isn’t the exact treadmill I’ve got in my home gym but it’s the same brand and type of treadmill - it also comes with a tablet holder so you can watch your favourite shows and play your favourite games.
However, it seems that the treadmill I’ve got and the other treadmills in the same family are either out of stock already or only available for collection. So, I’ll include a link to a whole page of folding treadmills for you to choose from.
I suggest getting a folding treadmill instead of a standard one because it takes up less space when you’re not using it.
My under-desk treadmill has changed my life.
Again, I already preached about it in the previous chapter so I won’t waste your time here.
Basically - get it ASAP.
I would 100% recommend getting an under-desk treadmill instead of a fully fledged treadmill that can incline.
With the full treadmill, I put a lot of effort and time into burning 350 calories.
With the under-desk treadmill, I burn 500 - 1000+ calories a day while getting work done and avoiding the suffering of cardio.
It’s not even a fair competition.
The UD treadmill I have is fine, but it’s clearly something that was slapped together in china.
It works great but you can likely find a UD treadmill with better build quality if you search.
I’ll link the one I’m using below, and you can decide if you wanna get the same one I’m using or try to find a better one.
Either way, get an UD treadmill ASAP.
It’ll make the fat loss process so much easier.
In fact, i’m leaner now than I was when I was aggressively cutting calories.
Because I’m eating more calories but, I’m burning more calories than ever before.
I recently bought this quat rack and bench kit and I’ve fallen in love with it.
Before buying this set I had to be very careful while bench pressing because I’ve got no spotters at home and I didn’t wanna get into a sticky situation.
So I needed to be very careful with the amount of weight I used and I needed to be careful when cranking out the last few reps in the tank.
However, this squat rack comes with an adjustable spotter - which means I can crank out difficult reps to my heart’s content without worrying about decapitating myself and dying an embarrasing death.
This squat rack also gives me the ability to do squats at home.
Which is now my favourite exercise ever.
This is the perfect set to get when you’re ready to upgrade from your first bench, or if you have a larger budget and wanna jump straight to the goods.
The trap bar is great for doing deadlifts while protecting your shins.
It’s also good for doing shrugs. That’s pretty much all I use it for.
If you have no issues with scraping your shins while doing deadlifts with the normal barbell…
And if you have no issues doing shrugs at that weird angle you’re forced to use with the normal barbell…
Then you don’t really need this. That being said - it does make the deadlift and shrug easier to perform and makes them more fun to do in my opinion.
Note: If you decided to go with the olympic barbell, make sure you get the olympic versions of the bars linked below too. If you got the standard barbell, get the standard versions below too.
Ez Curl Bar
The EZ curl bar makes bicep curls easier to perform because you’re able to use a more natural grip.
Using a normal barbell for bicep curls often causes pain in my forearms, so I decided to grab the EZ curl bar. You can also use this bar for skull crushers.
This isn’t essential but it’s nice to have.
This will protect your floor. I’ve used yoga mats and other mats made of fabrics before, but those mats end up ripping and spreading it’s fabric all over the gaff.
The rubber mat is much better.
Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links that let you help support me at no extra cost to you, in fact, many links may give you a discount!