You don’t need a big space to build an epic home gym. As Louie Simmons put it, “Big isn’t strong. Strong is strong.” If you can clear out the corner of your garage, basement, or even a bedroom, you can get in a killer workout from home.
And we’re not talking about bodyweight exercises with a few bands (not that there’s anything wrong with that). We’re talking full-on strength-training with weights, cables, cardio, the whole shebang. All you need is the right gear. Here’s how to do it.
PR-4100 Folding Squat Rack
The center of your small home gym is this compact but incredibly sturdy squat rack. It comes in two sizes, but the shallowest is 21.5” deep. This wall-mounted rack folds in on itself, so when it’s stored away it only takes up 6” of extra space from the wall. No floor space required.
Don’t let the small footprint fool you, though. The PR-4100 is as sturdy as heck, with 3x3” 11-gauge steel uprights and the ability to handle a half a ton in weight. And when you’re done, it’s easy to fold up. Bonus: It’s compatible with a bunch of optional attachments, like a landmine press, spotter arms, and a dip attachment.
AB-4100 Adjustable Weight Bench
The second must-have for any home gym is an adjustable weight bench, and the AB-4100 offers the most options in the smallest package. An adjustable bench offers more workout variations than a standard flat bench, and when space is tight, it’s all about multi-purpose use.
This super compact bench takes up only 7.2SQFT of working space and weighs only 85lbs, so it’s easy to wheel around. Choose between seven different back positions (0 to 85 degrees) and three seat positions (flat, 10, and 20 degrees). When you’re done, store it up and out of the way, thanks to a built-in storage post with rubber coating (for stability and to protect your floor).
If you’re working with limited real estate, you definitely don’t have space for a full rack of dumbbells. So, go with an adjustable dumbbell instead. It’s easy to change the weight on these, so it’s like having multiple dumbbells in one.
The 40lb set comes with two handles, four 5lbs plates, and four 2.5lb plates (plus collars to secure everything in place). If you need more weight, you can buy additional 10lb plates for the 40lb set. Or go with the 52.5lb dumbbell (with eight 5lb plates, two 2.5s, and two 1.25s).
A barbell is an incredible versatile piece of equipment, and the Sabre can do it all at an affordable price. This bar is mixed-use, meaning it’s built for powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and cross-training/HIIT-style workouts. It features medium-depth knurling for good grip when you need it, but it won’t demolish your hands when you need to do high-rep speed work.
Equalizer Iron Olympic Plate Set
For a set of plates, go with Equalizers. Bumpers may be quiet, but they take up more space. Equalizers are thinner, high quality, and the larger plates feature symmetrical grip holes that add versatility. In addition to loading the plates on your barbell, you can also grip the holes for front plate raises, makeshift farmer carries, and other exercises, in lieu of more dumbbells or other equipment.
Wall-Mounted Plate Storage
Store your weight plates up and off the floor with a wall-mounted storage rack. Opt for the double weight horn for extra storage. Just mount this unit on your wall and keep your plates organized and out of the way. This rack is made from solid steel, so it’s tough and aesthetic.
Multi-Use Wall Hanger
Get the rest of your goodies off the floor with a Multi-Use Wall Hanger. This gorgeous, wall-mounted organization system can hold up to six barbells, or other gear, like jump ropes, weight belts, chains, and bands. Paired with the weight storage unit, and you’ve got a zero-footprint equipment solution.
Speed Cable Jump Rope
Of course, you can get in cardio with no equipment (burpees, run, jump), but if you want to add some structure to your cardio, a jump rope takes up pretty much no space. This speed rope is adjustable and swift enough for double-unders and crossovers.
If you need a low-impact cardio option, the Ski-Row Dual Function Ski and Rowing Erg is an impressively compact piece of high-quality equipment that’s two machines in one. Use it for both rowing and skiing workouts.
Finally, top off your tiny home gym with some simple Pull-Up Bands. These small, lightweight bands can add a ton of options to your workout. Use them for warming up, recovery, to train pull-ups, and to provide extra challenges on compound lifts. These come in seven different sizes of varying widths and colors. A super inexpensive and easy way to round out your gym.
Other add-ons to consider:
If you want cables in your life and have the space for a power rack that doesn’t fold up, get the PR-4000 and add on the 80” Ares Cable Attachment (4-post series). The Ares is a fully integrated, functional trainer and lat pull down/low row attachment that attaches to a PR-4000 or PR-5000 power rack. It brings cable exercises inside the rack, while preserving nearly all the original functionality.
If you prefer kettlebells to dumbbells, go with an Adjustable Kettlebell. Choose between three different sized kettlebells, each covering five different weight settings. It’s quick and easy to adjust your weight. Just push down, twist, and go.
If you want a mobility tool, the Peanut Roller is only 5” long. Use it to improve mobility and reduce soreness pre- and post-workout. The peanut-like shape reaches areas around your spine, hips, hamstrings, quads, and more – spots that other foam rollers can’t really hit.
Need boxes for plyo jumps, step-ups, and box squats? Instead of getting multiple boxes, the 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box is (you guessed it) three boxes in one, depending on which side you place it on. These boxes come in three different sizes, too.
Finish off your gym (and protect your floors and equipment) with Rubber Floor Tiles. These tiles are lightweight (only 8lbs per tile), and each tile has a small footprint (5.6 SQFT per tile). The puzzle border makes it easy to add more tiles as your gym grows.