Setting up a home gym on a budget

Wanted to get your advice everyone. I am setting up a home gym finally and am going to drop the gym membership. Having trouble deciding between getting a squat rack and getting a nicer bar with the weights or a cheap bar and a power cage. I will be working out alone most of the time so I thought about the cage for the safety catches, but is it worth the extra money? Whats more important to spend on, a better bar or a better rack?

Replies

  • wiigelec
    wiigelec Posts: 503 Member
    If you want to bench alone you need safety catches...
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,183 Member
    The consensus I see among homegym owners is that the bar is the most important piece of equipment you buy. Personally, I'm of the opinion that so long as it's sufficient for safety and your lifting style (powerlifting bar vs. olympic bar in terms of spin and whip) you don't need to break the bank on a high end bar, certainly not at the expense of other equipment that keeps you safer. Now, you can get safety arms for a squat rack that effectively function the same as safety pins or straps in a full cage, but you lose the functionality on storage and other attachment points at not all that much of a cost savings (IMO). Personally, I opted for a 3x3 cage and comparably "bargain" barbells, all from Titan Fitness. For me the 750 lb rating on those bars are sufficient for my needs and the user experience isn't so different from say a Rogue OPB to justify the 3x cost difference in my eyes. I've also gone to a SSB for squating due to a shoulder mobility issue and have never been one to drop deadlifts so I'm not concerned about that sort of heavy wear and tear.

    I've seen enough gymfail videos of bars missing, bouncing off or rolling off safety arms I was happy to pay a little extra for my full rack and the extra peace of mind it affords as I also lift alone pretty exclusively.

    The wiki over at r/Homegym and GarageGymReviews.com are both really good resources for getting things together. I'd also encourage you to check the used market locally, value can be frequently found if you have some patience and/or a willingness to drive a little bit to get some steals on FB marketplace, Craigslist, Letgo, etc.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,620 Member
    edited August 2019
    IMO, buy the rack/cage first. bars, plates etc are all easy to add/upgrade down the road with minimal loss.
  • cfgreear
    cfgreear Posts: 185 Member
    I appreciate all of you and your answers. Just ordered the stuff, it makes sense to me now to get the better rack first cause smaller stuff is easier to replace later.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,183 Member
    cfgreear wrote: »
    I appreciate all of you and your answers. Just ordered the stuff, it makes sense to me now to get the better rack first cause smaller stuff is easier to replace later.

    TBH, weight is weight for the most part. You can really get some steals on old rusty cast iron plates that are really easy to refurb with a vinegar bath and some spray paint. Bumpers, milled steel, and competition plates are a different story.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,969 Member
    Need to know:

    What's your budget and how much space WxDxH (in feet or meters) do you have available?
  • glovepuppet
    glovepuppet Posts: 1,714 Member
    You don't ever want to be in a position to regret not getting the safety catches.
  • MikeRobi81
    MikeRobi81 Posts: 15 Member
    Depends on your budget and what you can lift. A pair of 90lbs adjustable dumbbells would give you up to 180lbs, add a bench and your set to do almost everything.
  • cfgreear
    cfgreear Posts: 185 Member
    v4k4wdvcqnuc.jpg

    So here is the home gym so far, got the power rack, barbell and weights next. I have bowflex dumbbells in the meantime. Thanks for your advice everyone.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,469 Member
    A yoga mat and a body weight exercise book/site.
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
    giantrobot_powerlifting Posts: 2,600 Member
    edited August 2019
    cfgreear wrote: »
    v4k4wdvcqnuc.jpg

    So here is the home gym so far, got the power rack, barbell and weights next. I have bowflex dumbbells in the meantime. Thanks for your advice everyone.

    Looks awesome!

    Having a gym in basement has also been a nice hobby and side business. I’m continually upgrading and reselling off pieces I no longer need, or have bought in surplus. I’ve also met other awesome people who own home gyms in my local area and we trade and talk shop and occasionally train together when we can.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,620 Member
    Good start. If it were me, I would add gymnastics rings or TRX or similar and a foam roller.
  • phoenix1974
    phoenix1974 Posts: 21 Member
    Home gym is looking good!
  • cfgreear
    cfgreear Posts: 185 Member
    Got my speed bag set up and managed to make my armwrestling table top to fit on my power cage. Also got my bar and weights. Home gym is pretty much complete for my purposes now.
    3qa42pbe6lf7.jpg