Building a home gym takes a lot of time and money. The biggest problem I see is people forgoing the most important and versatile pieces of equipment and instead going after what’s glistening to the eye. 

Here’s what you need to understand as you build a home gym: Despite all the pieces of home gym equipment you may end up buying, you’ll likely only use a few pieces for 90% of your training. So, I suggest starting with the basics here in my best home gym equipment list, and buy quality equipment from the start. I recommend building your home gym on essentials that you can use often and for a large variety of movements.

To be completely honest, you could get by with just a couple of items. Actually, now that I’ve typed that and thought about it, you would be fine with a single item if you were creative enough and didn’t get bored easily. However, that is the crux of the issue–the amount of gym equipment you own will depend on how easily you get tired of doing the same movements in your training. For this reason, we recommend building your home gym on essentials that you can use often and for a large variety of movements.

Best Olympic Barbells

Squat it, snatch it, deadlift it, press it

What to Consider:

  • Do you want aggressive or passive knurling?
  • How much spin or whip do you want?
  • Do you need a specific type of coating?
  • Men typically use a 20kg bar, women typically use a 15 kg bar

The barbell (along with weight plates that will be discussed later) is the most important piece of equipment because it is the cornerstone for doing the majority of strength training exercises,  including but not limited to the squat, bench press, power clean, deadlift, military press and curls. I like the barbell so much that I wrote why I think the barbell is king on Starting Strength.

You’ll want an Olympic-size barbell of high quality that will last. Lower quality barbells will chip and crack, tear up your hands, and even bend or completely fall apart even with limited use. There are likely more barbells available for sale than just about any other training equipment category, which is why I narrowed down the best Olympic barbells to six key products. 

If you are just starting out on your weightlifting journey, you probably will not notice the specs mentioned in a barbell review. It’s kind of like a novice golfer using their grandfather’s clubs from the 1960s or a brand new set of Nike irons. The truth is they are going to shoot 120 regardless. But the better you get, the more you notice the minutiae, and it’s the same way with the barbell. If you don’t know anything about the knurl or how the sleeves will affect the spin, then just make sure you get an Olympic bar that weighs 45 pounds and has at least a 150K PSI tensile strength steel shaft.

Check out my full and in-depth barbell reviews below:

Here are my top picks for the best barbells:

Best Value Barbell
Rogue Bar 2.0
(6 ratings & reviews)
This is the next generation of the 28.5MM Olympic bar that helped launch the revolution. Now fully machined and assembled at the Rogue factory in Columbus, Ohio, the Rogue Bar 2.0 represents the highest level of precision engineering with a wide range of new features—including stronger 190 PSI steel, durable composite bushings, and CNC-machined groove sleeves with customizable color bands, available here Like the original flagship Rogue Bar, Version 2.0 still offers convenient dual knurl marks for both Olympic and powerlifting, with a black zinc coated shaft and bright zinc sleeves. The addition of a groove in the sleeve enables athletes and coaches to more easily identify and differentiate bars by changing out the bands. The bar comes standard with Rogue-branded bands, but you can swap them out with any of the additional color options available, or even use any custom, personalized band that matches the dimensions. The Rogue Bar 2.0 is among the first in our arsenal to use composite bushings—a self-lubricating material often found in hi-tech aerospace equipment and military vehicles. For intense, high-rep training, these bushings dramatically minimize friction to both provide a reliable spin and help extend the shelf life of the bar itself. The Rogue Bar helped us cement our reputation at the CrossFit Games and beyond, and we believe the Rogue Bar 2.0 is a worthy successor to that mantle.
Best Budget Barbell
FringeSport Wonder Bar V2 20KG Barbell
(10 ratings & reviews)
The Wonder Bar reigns as the nucleus of the barbell universe here at Fringe. We set out on a noble quest to design and build the best bar suited for commercial gyms, and make it available to you at a home gym price. We completed our hero’s journey and now offering our reward to you delights us. This versatile bar will serve almost everyone well. You can set world records on this bar, and use it for most training. If you're a seasoned athlete or an affiliate owner, consider stepping up to the Bomba Bar V2 (made in America) or even our Fringe Sport Weightlifting Barbell. Here are a couple of Wonder Bar features to be aware of:The 28mm shaft diameter is great for Olympic movements.The needle bearing cartridges provide great spin, but may require oiling in time.If you’re new to lifting or building a home gym and need more info to learn what type of barbell works best for you, here’s a helpful guide.We have an informal state motto here in Texas- “come and take it.” Not only do we want you to do this with the Wonder Bar V2, but we’d like to put our own spin on it. Fringe it, or forget it. WONDER BAR V2 SPECS:The Wonder Bar V2 comes in a bushing version or bearing cartridges version. Except for that, the specs for both are the same.Bushing rotation or bearing collarKiller all-black Zinc finishTensile strength: 205,000 PSIYield strength: 160,000 PSIWeight capacity: 1,600 lbWeight: 20kilograms / ~44 poundsCollars: Bushing (Yellow "W") Bronze Oil Lite Bushing Rotation or Bearing (Green "W") 4 Needle Bearing Cartridges Per CollarWhip: StiffSpin: Moderate (Bushing) or Fast (Bearing)Best Use: Garage Gym or WODing. Read below for Bushing vs. Bearing differences.Material: Alloy Steel, Black ZincPlatedLength: 86 inchesSleeve Specs:16 inches Length and 2" diameterShaft Specs: true28mm diameterKnurl: Dual Knurling - Double Ring IWF + IPF Knurling (No Center Knurl)Smooth knurl depth- neither a cheese grater nor too softWarranty: Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer's defects.
Best Olympic Weightlifting Bar
American Barbell Performance Bearing Bar
(6 ratings & reviews)
American Barbell's Performance Bearing Bar incorporates a host of proprietary features unlike any other on the market. It's with this technology our bars spin smoother as the weight gets heavier on the bar. The bar shaft is made from precision ground alloy steel with a hard chrome coating. The strength of the shaft is tested with every shipment of raw material to ensure we have a consistent 190,000 PSI tensile strength. This attention to detail also allows for an excellent whip and long-term performance of our bars. The bar sleeves are precision welded to eliminate failure. The weld is semi-concealed to not interfere with plates resting flush against the sleeve collar. Each sleeve is finished with a hard chrome coating for protection against dropping.  It also contains American Barbell’s proprietary concealed bearing system with higher load ratings than any bar available. A dust and chalk seal is also installed to protect and maintain longer bearing life. Read more about our bearing bar technology here:  Understanding the Olympic Needle Bearing Bar and its FunctionIWF SpecificationMade in USAIncorporates American Barbell’s proprietary bearing technologyHigher load capacity and smoother rotation with heavier weightsHard chrome coated sleeves to protect against droppingModerate corrosion resistanceFeatures a protective ring on inner collar side to keep chalk and dust from penetrating bearingsPatent No:  US D795,971 SWarranty: Limited Lifetime
Best Powerlifting Bar
Rogue Ohio Power Bar
(20 ratings & reviews)
Fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, the 29MM Rogue Ohio Power Bar features a 205,000 PSI steel shaft (200,000 PSI for Stainless), single powerlifting knurl marks, and center knurling. The bar’s knurl pattern is deep and coarse without being sharp or abrasive, and the 29MM shaft diameter and high tensile strength result in little to no flex or whip. This makes the Ohio Power Bar a perfectly honed workhorse for the bench, squat, and deadlift. The 45LB Ohio Power Bar includes bronze bushings, a snap ring design, and 16.25" of loadable sleeve length. When ordering, you can select from three finish options: Black Zinc shaft with Bright Zinc sleeves Stainless Steel shaft with Chrome sleeves Bare Steel Rogue also manufactures a 20KG Ohio Power Bar, with friction-welded sleeves and 16.25" loadable sleeve space. The Ohio Power Bar’s 29MM diameter steel shaft boasts a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI (200,000 PSI for Stainless), delivering superior rigidity and virtually zero whip/flex. Machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, the bar also features a snap-ring design and quality bronze bushings for a smooth, consistent feel. The bar includes single powerlifting marks and a center knurl, each featuring a deep, coarse pattern that produces a reliable grip / stick without being sharp or abrasive. Perfecting this knurl pattern is both a science and an art. Every bar shaft is machined in Columbus on new Haas machines (built in the USA) and fine-tuned and personally tested by the Rogue team. Depending on the look and feel you prefer, there is a version of the Ohio Power Bar right in your wheelhouse. The Zinc option (black shaft, bright sleeves) provides excellent corrosion resistance, the Bare Steel creates a classic look and natural feel, and the new Stainless Steel variation (with Chrome sleeves) strikes a balance between the two. The Ohio Power Bar’s quality construction is backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty against bending. This is a barbell equipped for high intensity, everyday use. Please Note: The warranty does not cover damage due to negligent or faulty use, alteration, maintenance, storage or handling by the user, i.e., dropping the bar on a box, bench, spotter arms or pins in a power rack, excessive dropping with insufficient or damaged bumpers, or excessive dropping with iron plates, and similar usage. Any specific issues regarding a Rogue product with which a customer is not satisfied will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Best Squat Racks (Preferably a Power Rack)

A big investment for a big return

What to Consider: 

  • Space limitations, as these can be big
  • Budget: They range from under $100 to in the thousands
  • Safety requirements 
  • Weight capacity
  • Additional accessories

The squat rack will likely be your biggest investment when putting together a home gym, and as such the purchase should be researched thoroughly. Not only will your squat rack take the most money of anything you buy, but it will also take up the most amount of space in your gym.

RELATED: Best home gyms

When trying to choose a squat rack, you need to know your space limitations, price limitations, safety requirements, and which accessories you find important for your workouts. Because this is your biggest home gym investment, it should also be the one that you spend the most time understanding so you don’t make a mistake.

For most people, the best squat rack is a power rack because it is the safest type of squat rack. It allows you to train inside a cage with safety bars on either side. You can set up the spotter arms at whatever height you’d like to prevent injury or damage to your floor. In addition, power racks will, 99% of the time, have pull-up bars at the top and are often modular so you can build your rack over time to whatever size and capabilities you’d like.

My top picks for the best squat racks and in-depth reviews:

Best Power Rack
Rep PR-4000 Power Rack
(8 ratings & reviews)
The PR-4000 is a heavy-duty, 1,000 lb rated commercial-grade power rack featuring 3x3” 11 gauge steel with 1” hole spacing through the bench zone and 5/8” pin holes. If you're looking for a "never need to upgrade" home gym power rack, or a centerpiece for your commercial facility weight room, this is it. The PR-4000 re-defines customizability: You're no longer stuck with a pre-configured power rack and overpaying for options. Choose the components you want from our large selection of stock inventory, and have them delivered to your door in about a week or less! Multiple color, height, and depth options combine with an ever-expanding list of accessories and attachments to create the only power rack system you'll ever need. Every rack comes with our top rear logo cross-member which serves as a convenient anchor point for future attachments you may want to add, and from there the rest of the rack is up to you. Our new painting process specially prepares your rack with the most high-end surface prep and care possible, including sandblasting to ensure superior paint adhesion, and a baked on powder coating that will last for years. 47" outside-to-outside width allows plenty of room to rack the bar without plates hitting the sides of the uprights, which is a common problem on competitors' 3x3" racks. This color is achieved by using a specially prepared steel combined with a metal grinder and a clear powder coat to give it a raw brushed steel look, while maintaining the rust-resistance of a powdercoat. In addition, the rack shows less wear over time due to the finish and clearcoat making it difficult to notice any imperfections. Standard 3x3" uprights with 5/8" holes ensures compatibility with REP attachments as well as most others on the market. 1" hole spacing through bench zone, and 2" spacing everywhere else. Front Foot extension for working outside the rack without bolting down. Allows you to add spotter arms off the front of the rack and have dedicated setups for benching and squatting without changing j-cup or safety height. Uniquely shaped base stabilizer removes the need to bolt down a 48" depth rack, and also serves as an anchor point for the pulley system and low row foot plate.
Best Half Rack
Rogue HR-2 Half Rack
(11 ratings & reviews)
Manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, the HR-2 features the same 2x3" 11-gauge steel base and 48" x 49" footprint as the SML-2, but incorporates an additional pair of 3x3” 11-gauge steel uprights and 17” crossmembers in the back of the unit. This gives the rack a huge amount of additional storage capacity and almost a foot and a half of inside depth for benching, rack pulls, and more. The Half Rack also offers a range of customizable options to best suit your needs—including the optional plate storage and pin/pipe safety sets, and a selection of different heights for the uprights themselves (90” or 108” for the front; 70” or 90” for the back). IMPORTANT: If you already own a Rogue Monster Lite Squat Stand (SML-1, SML-2, or SML-3) and wish to convert it to an HR-2, we offer a Half Rack Conversion Kit that would include all the components and hardware you’ll need. Specifications: Made in the USA Steel Notes: 3x3" 11-gauge uprights, 2x3" 11-gauge base Footprint: 48" x 49" (1) Monster Lite J-Cup Pair included standard (1) 43” Single Skinny Pull-Up Bar Back Upright Height Options: 70", 90" – Front Upright Height Options: 90", 108" Optional Add-Ons: 16" Pin/Pipe Safety Set; Plate Storage Pairs Unit does not need to be bolted to the floor.
Best Squat Stand
Rogue SML-2C Squat Stand
(5 ratings & reviews)
Now available in a wide spectrum of custom colors, the SML-2C Monster Lite Squat Stand delivers much of the strength and versatility of a power rack in an efficient, compact frame. Featuring 3x3" 11-gauge steel uprights, an adjustable fat/skinny pull-up bar, and 0.625" holes in the Westside spacing pattern, it’s an affordable hybrid of Rogue’s S-2 and Monster SM-2 squat stands.The American-made SML-2C is equally equipped for squats, bench, pull-ups, clean pulls, floor press, and more, with a bolt-together, triangle-plate base designed for maximum stability. For these exclusive colorized racks, we’ve also introduced a new MG Satin Black finish on the base, along with black zinc hardware throughout.

Best Weight Plates

Literally add more oomph to your training with lots and lots of plates

What to Consider:

  • Get Olympic-sized plates that match your barbell
  • Choose from iron, rubber bumpers and urethane bumpers
  • Opt for plates in kilograms or pounds

Along with the barbell, weight plates are important because they affect almost every lift that you’ll perform. The bottom line is that without a barbell, your squat rack and weight plates are useless; but without your weight plates, your barbell and squat rack are useless. I could keep going, but you get the point.

Just like when you purchase a barbell, it’s important that you stay away from the older standard size and focus on Olympic size barbells, the same holds true for weight plates. The standard size is a 1-inch diameter hole that only standard-size barbells can accommodate. The Olympic size option opens up many additional features, not to mention they are easier to use and oftentimes sturdier.

When it comes to what your plates are made of, there are iron plates, rubber bumper plates, or urethane bumper plates. The iron plates have been used from the beginning, but they don’t look as good to some people (personally I love the look and feel of iron) and they can cause more damage to the floor of your gym. 

The best bumper plates are usually quieter, not as destructive, and do not lose their aesthetic qualities as easily. Iron is almost always cheaper, and the rubber will often have an odor accompanying it. You can’t go wrong with either, the old axiom that “weight is weight” is somewhat true. If you plan on dropping the bar, you should avoid iron.

Remember that every plate will allow you to perform the exercises that you want so there shouldn’t be any overthinking on this purchase. At the same time, the quiet, non-destructive function of bumper plates might be exactly what your space needs, and it’s important to know that going in. 

My top picks for quality bumper plates are: 

My Top Pick
FringeSport Black Bumper Plates
(9 ratings & reviews)
You’ll love our bumper plates because they’re going to make you suffer like you never have before. Fringe Sport bumper plates make Sisyphus blush. Like eternally rolling a boulder uphill, our bumper plates will outlast you, laboring for a lifetime. They’re durable, so they’ll absorb all the punishment you dish out, thin so you can add bigger loads to the bar and super weight accurate. Better yet, unlearn everything you’ve ever learned about 10 lb bumpers, and drop these at will. Yes, you read that right. Drop the 10s. They won’t crumble. After the boulder rolled downhill, did Sisyphus ever find it broken? Think about epic heroes like Luke Skywalker or the Karate Kid. You too are called to training that will involve pain and suffering. We’re here to be your Yoda. We invite you to embark your hero’s journey. Accept the challenge, and our bumper plates will be the burden that makes you a champion. Step Up to the Plate Here's why Fringe Sport bumpers will lift you up:Steel Insert- Outperforms most bumpers with a higher threshold for abuse without malformation, while machined to exact tolerances to fit all high-quality Olympic bars.Low Bounce with High Durability- Careful rubber formulation softens bounce making for safe use in tight spaces and prevents chipping and falling apart due to brittleness. Boasts years of use in a garage or affiliate.Stability- 10 and 15 lb bumpers feature expertly designed "hooked" steel insert, that remains firmly seated. Offers high durability, making them more stable than most that suffer from fragility and thinness.Thinner- Virgin rubber and higher density slims the plate so you can load more weight on your bar!Standard diameter- Universal matching diameter so you can mix and match to load your bar.  
Best Competition Bumper Plates
Rogue KG Black Training Bumper Plates
(8 ratings & reviews)
Manufactured to the same high standard as our Rogue Competition Plates, these KG bumpers feature an all-black, gloss-matte-gloss finish and a unique, color-coded rubber stripe that wraps around the full perimeter of each plate. That stripe, along with raised, color-coded lettering on the face of the plate, allows for quick visual weight identification from any direction or distance. Rogue Black Training KG Bumper Plates are available to order in pairs or as full sets up to 140KG. They're an IWF standard 450MM in diameter, with chrome-plated steel disc inserts and a 50.40MM collar opening for a firm, stable hold. Raised rubber flanges are included to help prevent friction and scuffing, and lipped edges make the bumpers easier to pick up off the floor or off a rack. Tested on a Shore A Durometer scale, the Black Training KG Bumpers score an average measurement of 94. That means you get a consistent dead blow on the drop, on par with some of the top high-end Olympic bumper plates in the industry. Specifications:Plate Diameter: 450MMPlate Widths: (see chart below)Collar Opening: 50.40MMInsert Type: Steel Disc, Chrome PlatedShore A Durometer: 94Weight tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weightFinish: Gloss-Matte-Gloss in All BlackRaised lettering (Rogue logo and weight measurement) in IWF standard color coding – Green/Yellow/Blue/RedPlate Thickness Chart:10KG (Green Lettering): 29MM (1.15”)15KG (Yellow Lettering): 42MM (1.65”)20KG (Blue Lettering): 55MM (2.15”)25KG (Red Lettering): 66MM (2.50”)
Best Budget Bumper Plates
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
(9 ratings & reviews)
Rogue Echo Bumper Plates have an IWF standard 450MM diameter (10LB Plate is 446MM), minimal surface imperfections, and a weight within 1% of its target. Combined with stainless steel inserts and quality virgin rubber, the Echos offer a dead bounce and durability rarely seen in an economical plate. Echo Bumpers are available in pairs or as sets. Fully equip a new garage gym or save money supplying a school weight room or large training facility. If you’re looking for plates that will be reliable workhorses at a reasonable price, the Echos will not disappoint. Specifications: Diameter: 450MM (+/- 3MM) / 17.72" (IWF Standard). 10LB Plate is 446MM Collar Opening: 50.40MM / 1.98". Stainless Steel Inserts Weight Tolerance: +/- 1% of claimed weight Minimal Bounce Imported from China

Best Weight Benches

Incline or flat, a weight bench is an essential piece of home workout equipment

What to Consider: 

  • Flat or adjustable
  • Does it fit with your squat rack?
  • Weight capacity
  • Quality and thickness of the pad

The weight bench may not be the most essential piece of home gym equipment, but it will end up being used a lot. If you purchase the right one, you can use it for a large percentage of the exercises you will perform either by lying on it (bench), sitting on it (shoulder work, curls, etc.), or using it to prop yourself up (rows, triceps, etc.). You may even use it to reach greater depth in some of your leg work and ab exercises. 

The bottom line is that it will get used daily and it’s important to make the right purchase that gives you the ability to do all of the above exercises and more. When it comes to finding the best weight benches, you have two basic options to choose from: a flat utility bench, or an adjustable bench.

The flat utility bench is the standard for most garage gyms and heavy powerlifters. In general, the flat bench is sturdier, has a more comfortable pad, can often hold more weight than its adjustable counterpart. Most importantly for those reading this–is much cheaper. For powerlifters, those are the most important features that a weight bench could have and so it’s what is usually purchased.

The adjustable bench has one major advantage over the flat bench: versatility. In general, the adjustable benches offer more variety of exercises, greater portability, and numerous incline and decline positions oftentimes from 90 degrees all the way down to well below 180. 

The other things that you have to look for when purchasing your weight bench is the quality of the steel and construction, the maximum weight it can hold, and the quality and thickness of the pad. Look for at least 11-gauge steel and a high enough weight limit that you and the weight you are lifting will fit easily.

My favorite weight benches include:

My Top Pick for Flat Bench
Rep FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
(9 ratings & reviews)
The Rep Fitness Competition Flat Bench is designed to handle the heaviest weights, and has compatibility with the Rep Fitness Wide Pad or the Thompson Fat Pad (with 4-bolt mounting pattern, please check yours) for those seeking an extra-wide pad. A heavy-duty bench for big lifts. Why a 3-Post Flat Bench? Nothing in the way of your feet, at powerlifting competition spec height, and rated to 1,000 lbs at an incredible price. Dims: 17" high (top of pad), 48" long (pad), 12" wide (pad), 62 lbs. 4" thick pad. Designed to meet IPF specs of height, width, and length Heavy-duty 3x3" 11 gauge steel frame with even thicker connecting plates. Durable vinyl upholstery with 4" thick pad with plywood base. Connects with 4 bolts. 2 extra bolt holes on frame for future pad compatibility. 17" height from floor to top of pad. Our bench height allows athletes to use proper positioning of the feet, and arch the back to push up serious weight with proper form. Height stays the same when using the Rep Fitness Wide Pad. If swapping our pad for the Thompson pad (must be 4-bolt mount pattern), total bench height will increase 1/2 inch, and you will need to purchase (4) 3/8"(dia)x1"(length) bolts. 3-foot design for ease of leveling, and to ensure front support does not get in the way of foot positioning. *Please note* Front foot DOES NOT need to be perfectly flat in order to be stable while you're laying down on the bench. Similar to a tripod--lay down and let all 3 points support you, not just the front foot. Welded metal endcaps Handle and wheels for easy transport. Easy assembly, 15 minutes with a wrench.
My Top Pick for Adjustable Bench
Rep AB-5200 FI Adjustable Bench
(2 ratings & reviews)
Our beefiest adjustable bench ever made, and chock-full of design details that improve typical limitations found on other benches. When it comes to durability and portability, this utility bench offers comfort under any load. The AB-5200 is our heaviest-duty ladder-back designed bench. Made with 11 & 7 gauge steel, this bench weighs in at 125lbs, but is still maneuverable in any space with 2” wheels and an intelligently positioned stainless steel horizontal pull handle for easy mobility. If you’re tight on space, the AB-5200 was engineered with you in mind! It’s uniquely designed to allow vertical storage, shrinking its footprint to 2.8 square feet when stowed away. The AB-5200's features our well-reviewed and sought after grippier pad for no-slip performance while lifting any weight. Finally, we've closed the pad gap to about 1.8" (at flat) while keeping the hinge well below pad level. This ensures your tailbone doesn't rest on a high rising hinge like other competitor's benches. REP is known for having some of the best flat and adjustable benches available in the world. The AB-5200 continues to push the envelope - an adjustable bench we are sure you'll love. SPECS: 11-7 gauge steel throughout 2x3" steel frame with a 1,000 lb capacity. 7 back pad adjustments with laser cut degree markings in 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 85 degrees. 3 seat pad adjustments to find the perfect angle. High-grip pad material with ultra-dense foam core, backed by 3/4" plywood. Ladder back design with cage. Nylon cover over bolts to protect paint on the ladders. Urethane-covered back pad handles. Oversize stainless-steel handle and wheels with a low lift-off point for easy maneuverability. Thick steel wheel guards to protect the wheels when being maneuvered, and to lessen tripping hazard. Space-saving design allows bench to be stored in upright position. Stainless logo plates. 17.75″ to top of pad in flat position. 12" back pad width. 1.8" pad gap in flat position. 125 pounds. Total pad length is 55", width at base is 20.5". >>Simple 20-minute assembly with a wrench and allen key (provided). Four(4) bolts attaching the base to frame, and eight (8) bolts attaching pads to frame.
Best Budget Flat Bench
Titan Flat Bench
(9 ratings & reviews)
The Flat Bench by Titan Fitness is designed with enough integrity to handle your massive gains. Built at the perfect height for bench pressing and padded for long lasting comfort. Complete your home gym and your exercise routine!Features:- Meets requirements for Competition Bench- Rigid Steel Base- Comfortable Padding- Sleek Leather Finish- Wheels for Quick Workout Changes
Best Budget Adjustable Bench
Ironmaster Super Bench
(9 ratings & reviews)
Super Strong, Super Versatile, Flat, Incline, Decline, Upright, 11 Angle Bench! 11 lock out angles: Inclines, Declines, Flat and Upright. 0, 5,10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80 and 85 degrees. Powder coated grey metallic frame with chrome components. 44"x 10" x 3" heavy duty pad and stitched vinyl upholstery. Very comfortable. 20" flat bench height. 17" x 41" footprint. The 3 position incline seat fits users of different heights. 1000 lb rated, 11 & 12 gauge super strong steel frame. (600 lb rated for incline/upright positions.) Unique adjustment ring with foot lever adjust operates from both sides and locks up tight! Patented design. Incline seat follows backrest pad at any angle so it will always be perpendicular unlike other benches where the seat can have a shallow angle allowing the user to slide off. Ultra stable strong platform in aII positions yet is easy to lift and move. Does not need wheels. Bench weighs 65 lbs. Accepts a growing list of optional attachments like the Crunch Situp, Dip Bar Handles and Chin Up Bar. Ships pre-assembled except for feet so you can start lifting in just a few minutes. SUPER STRONG 1000 LB RATED. Heavy duty, stable bench platform, but still easy to pick up and move, very space efficient design. QUICKLY ADJUSTS TO 11 ANGLES WITH PATENTED FOOT LEVER. Quickly adjusts from decline to upright from either side of the bench. MULTI FUNCTIONAL, PROVEN DESIGN. Ideal for dumbbell training, barbell, machine or cage work. Perfect for use with dumbbells, smith machines, cages or racks. Check out all the amazing attachments available - more than any other bench in the world! SUPER STRONG 1000 LB RATED. Heavy duty, stable bench platform, but still easy to pick up and move, very space efficient design. SOLID WARRANTY AND SUPPORT WITH OVER 35 YEARS OF PROOF. 10 year structural warranty and 1 year on upholstery. Ironmaster is always at the ready to help if needed.

Best Dumbbells

Curl ‘em, press ‘em, squat ‘em, love ‘em

What to Consider: 

  • Adjustable dumbbells give you more options for less money
  • Durability, as rubber coated dumbbells tend to last longer
  • Space considerations when weighting adjustable vs. fixed set

Adding dumbbells, or free weights, into the mix can bring in a huge amount of versatility to your workout. Your dumbbell decision should be similar to your weight plate decision because a 35-pound dumbbell weighs 35 pounds no matter where you buy it or who makes it.

When looking for the best adjustable dumbbells, you could purchase a complete set of fixed dumbbells going from 10 pounds to whatever your max may be in 5-pound intervals. Often, dumbbells will come in sets from 10 to 50 pounds and then supplemental sets above the 50-pound mark until you reach your desired upper weight increments. If you are buying new, you should purchase rubber coated dumbbells because they are generally not much more expensive and can improve the life of the dumbbell along with the life of your gym floor.

The next option would be to purchase a plate-loaded, adjustable dumbbell set. For the plate loaded option, you would have to choose between standard and Olympic sizing, but since you have already purchased Olympic sized weight plates for your Olympic size barbell, the choice is obvious. 

The bottom line for purchasing a plate-loaded dumbbell set is that it will save you money – a lot of money. Not only will you save on price, but you will save on space as well. Rather than purchasing 40 individual dumbbells, you can purchase just two dumbbell handles (or potentially four if you purchase two different sizes) and they will take up very little space. The downside, of course, is the ease of transitioning from one weight to the next and the work and energy used to do that. Rather than just picking up the next set of dumbbells, you have to take the time changing and racking the weight, and that can kill momentum in your lifting.

The third option, an adjustable dumbbell set, combines the best features of the first two, but with one major flaw: quality. If you are planning on lifting heavy and need the weights to last for a long time even if handled roughly, then an adjustable dumbbell set isn’t always the best idea (unless you like Powerblocks). 

My favorite dumbbells:

Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Ironmaster Quick-Lok Adjustable Dumbbells
(13 ratings & reviews)
Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbell system is the latest generation of our adjustable dumbbells. You can quickly adjust each dumbbell from 5-75 lbs with our patented quick lock design in under 15 seconds! The set includes the Stand at no extra charge. Now you can have a complete set of free weight dumbbells at home that feel just like traditional dumbbells with no restrictions, rattling or safety concerns!  Set includes two handles with four locking screws, 24 ea. 5 lb plates and 4 ea. 2.5 lb plates and dumbbell stand. Handles weigh 5 lbs empty and each locking screw weighs 2.5 lbs so the starting weight is 10 lbs each dumbbell before plates are added. 65 lbs of plates can be put loaded on each handle. Add-on kit available to go up to 120 lbs each dumbbell. Dimensions are just 6.5" x 6.5" x 14.5" at the 75lb size. Heavy Duty - go ahead and drop them. No plastic or fragile parts!Quick-Lock design adjusts from 5-75 lbs in 2 1/2 lb increments in just seconds!Super heavy duty construction with welded steel, chrome plated handles.System includes two adjustable dumbbells at 75 lbs each (150 lbs total) and Dumbbell Stand.Super space efficient design. Takes up less than 2 square feet.Limited lifetime warranty.
Best Powerblock Dumbbells
PowerBlock Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
PowerBlock was an innovator in this category and has been making adjustable dumbbells since 1991. This means they have had over 25 years of production and refinement to create the ultimately adjustable dumbbells set, and they truly have. The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are one of the highest-rated and best-selling sets of all time. This is one of the last adjustable dumbbells sets to still be made in the USA, and PowerBlock uses only premium-quality materials. Thanks to their smart and economical design, the PowerBlocks are extremely tough and can withstand all sorts of regular gym abuse.Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and increments- 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 pounds per handIs expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds per hand.Made in USA10 year home use warrantyReplaces 16 pairs of dumbbells in the space of 1
Best Budget Dumbbells
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
(9 ratings & reviews)
These adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights. Weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments up to the first 25 lbs. Easy-to-use selection dials for adjusting weights. They are sold as a pair. Easily switch from one exercise to next and with the turn of a dial you can change your resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength. Versatile workout for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders and arms. Compatible with the free Bowflex SelectTech® training App for iOS and Android.No more picking up 30 different dumbbells to give you the results you want!Say goodbye to 15 sets of dumbbells cluttering your workout space.With weight that adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., you'll continue to see results as your fitness level improves.Durable molding around metal plates provides for a smooth lift-off and quieter workouts...no clanging metal plates!With the wider weight range you can do heavy exercises such as shrugs and lunges as well as lighter exercises such as curls and raises.

Best Kettlebells

Great for swings, farmer carries and more

What to Consider: 

  • Style, like cast iron, plate-loaded and adjustable
  • Space considerations 

Kettlebells provide great supplemental, different exercises to a program, but similar to your dumbbell purchase, you should spend less time on your decision here compared to your decision for the big three (squat rack, barbell, weight plates). There are plenty of options available from the traditional cast iron kettlebell, to your competition-style kettlebell set, to your plate-loadable kettlebell swing, all the way to your adjustable competition style kettlebell.

Any of your loadable swings or adjustable kettlebells are great for garage gyms in that they take up very little space when not in use and they’re cheaper overall. There are downsides to both of these options as the adjustable option is expensive and the plate loadable option is somewhat awkward and slow when loading/unloading the plates.

The more common choice is the cast iron or competition-style kettlebell set. The downside of this option is that more pieces take up more space and cost more money. To fix this issue, decide what weights you actually need before purchasing a set. You may only do a few exercises with a specific weight each time, thus limiting the number of pieces that need to be purchased. 

If you use kettlebells extensively, then an adjustable set is probably for you. If you are more selective and specific in your kettlebell needs, purchase the cast iron kettlebells in just the size and numbers that you need and stay away from the prearranged sets.

The best kettlebells are, in my opinion:

My Top Pick
Rogue E-Coat Kettlebells
(2 ratings & reviews)
Cast in northern Michigan by Cadillac Casting, Inc., these ductile iron Rogue Kettlebells represent our new, exclusive line-up of American-made KBs. The series is currently available in 12 weight increments, from 9 LB to 88 LB, and features a black E-Coat finish. Debossed weight indications are marked on one side (in both LB and KG), with Rogue branding on the other. What Sets the New Rogue Kettlebells Apart: Material Ductile Iron Significantly more durable than traditional gray iron with a higher tensile strength and yield strength + greater corrosion resistance. Finish E-Coat Known for its excellent adhesion, even coverage and toughness, our E-coat finish is applied in a thin durable layer that allows the texture of the casting to be felt while still being easy to clean. Gloss ~22 GU Rating These KBs have a higher gloss appearance (approx 22 gloss units, or “semi gloss”) than our powder coat KBs [0.5 to 1.5 GU, or “low gloss”).
Best Value Kettlebell
Vulcan Absolute Competition Kettlebells
(4 ratings & reviews)
The patented design of the Vulcan® Absolute™ Competition Kettlebells represents the experience that comes from years of coaching, training, and competing in the sport of Kettlebell Lifting. The patented design of the Vulcan Absolute Kettlebell is unique in many ways and ergonomically designed to increase performance as well as lower the incidence of injury to the wrists and forearms that is common with other Competition Kettlebell designs. Performance and Safety: The design of the Vulcan Absolute Kettlebell allows the handle of the kettlebell to sit further down on the lifters forearm, bringing the majority of the weight proximal to the lifters body . All other designs of competition kettlebell handles fit higher up on the lifters wrist displacing the majority of the weight to a more distal position away from the lifters body. To explain this in mechanical terms: The kettlebell is the load and the elbow of the lifter is the fulcrum point. The further the load is situated from the fulcrum point, the more increased effort is required to move the load, or in the case of the rack position; more work is required to stabilize the load. All of other designs of kettlebells place the load of the kettlebell on the weakest part of the forearm bones structure which is more susceptible to injury. The Vulcan Absolute Kettlebell not only places the load of the kettlebell further down the forearm at a stronger point but distributes more of the weight onto the body of the lifter for increased comfort, control, and safety.  Constructed of Steel with Unpainted Steel handle 35 mm Handle diameter at top dead center of handle Height: 280 mm Diameter: 210 mm International weights (16 kg, 24 kg, and 32 kg) are within 100 grams of advertised weight. All other weights used for training or local, regional, and national competition are within 1% of advertised weight Construction and Finishing Methods: Vulcan Absolute Kettlebells are constructed of high quality steel. They are guaranteed for life from denting or cracking. There is no filler used to make the weight of Vulcan Absolute Kettlebells. The Vulcan Absolute Kettlebells are constructed with solid steel handles. No toxic heavy metals are used within Vulcan Absolute Kettlebells to create heavier competition kettlebells. The surface of the Absolute Kettlebell is blasted with micro glass beads to create a uniform texture that aids in gripping the handle of the Kettlebell. Absolute Kettlebells easily accept chalk or can be used without chalk. 
Best Adjustable Kettlebell
Bowflex SelectTech 840 Adjustable Kettlebell
Diversify your workouts with the Bowflex® SelectTech 840 Kettlebell. Combining 6 weights in one, the 840 Kettlebell allows you to increase or decrease your resistance at the turn of a dial.

Best Gymnastic Rings

Add versatility and build muscle with just your bodyweight

What to Consider:

  • Ceiling height
  • Ease of installation
  • Materials and durability
  • Space considerations

Depending on the space in your garage gym, the best idea would be to purchase both gymnastic rings and a pull-up bar. In fact, the squat rack you purchase may very well have a pull-up bar already. If this is the case, and you have room for gymnastic rings, buy them. They are inexpensive, take up very little room, and can add a lot to your training regimen. 

If you’re not purchasing a power rack with a pull-up bar on it, then your pull-up bar is more important than the gymnastic rings or a TRX setup as long as you are not designing a garage gym to do predominantly bodyweight movements. 

I typically don’t recommend a door-mounted pull-up bar because they hold less weight and can be dangerous if not installed and used properly. Instead, go with the stud-mounted system that can either be installed into studs in your ceiling or your wall. While this is usually a little more expensive, it will be a lot safer and look a lot better. If you are purchasing gymnastic rings as well, we suggest wood over nylon, unless left outdoors.

RELATED: Best gymnastic grips

Best Pull-Up Bar
Rogue P-3 Pull-up System
(5 ratings & reviews)
Manufactured in Ohio using the same 11-Gauge Steel as our full-scale rigs and racks, the versatile Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System is a single, compact unit designed for ceiling mounts (for a ceiling height of 8 to 9’6”) or wall mounts.* Once anchored securely to concrete or wood studs, the P-3 gives you the option of a bar position at either 14” or 22” from the wall/ceiling.The complete P-3 Pull-Up System comes standard with a 52” Pull-Up Bar, and can serve as a dependable rings station, as well. If you want to expand the set-up for more athletes, you can daisy-chain additional brackets together by spacing them out 3-4 feet apart, then running a single 1” steel tube/1.25” OD pipe through all of the brackets (4 brackets, for example, would create a 12' pull-up bar). In most cases, this type of pipe can be purchased at your local hardware store.*To allow for more space for kipping pull-ups, the larger P-4 Pull-Up System may work better for wall-mounting, as well as for ceiling-mounts in garage gyms with ceilings higher than 9’6”.Specifications:11-Gauge SteelDepth: 14" or 22" from wall/ceilingWidth: Can be set on 16" Stud Centers or custom width up to 48" between bracketsTotal Length: You can add brackets for miles by putting brackets in a row. 1"/1.25" Pipe can be purchased from local tube supplier in 24' lengthsOrientation: This unit can be setup vertically or horizontally, our unique support arm will keep this rig sturdy!Mounting Hardware NOT includedRecommended Setups:Distance between brackets: Concrete – 36", Wood Studs – 32" or 48"Height: 7' 6" - 8' on center of bar but this can be adjusted based on ceiling height or athlete height
Best Gymnastics Rings
Vulcan Elite Wood Gymnastics Rings
(8 ratings & reviews)
Wood gymnastics rings are normally manufactured by cutting a ring out of a sheet of plywood, then sanding the ring for smoothness. Although Plywood is fairly cheap, easily available, and easy to work with, it is not an optimal choice for gymnastics rings. Vulcan Elite gymnastics rings are manufactured from Hard Birch Wood. Birch wood provides a much harder wood ring that has a much better surface and grip than other woods. Specifications: 1.25" Diameter Wood Ring Smooth but tactile surface that holds chalk well or works well without chalk 19 feet of strap each ring 1.5" super wide straps for more comfort and durability Straps have numbers and graduated marks for easy and accurate height adjustment 2" super wide heavy duty cam buckles
Best for Suspension Training
TRX Home Suspension Trainer
(6 ratings & reviews)
Originally developed by U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick as a portable training solution for his team, the TRX® Suspension Trainer gives anyone instant access to over 300 effective bodyweight exercises—all adjustable to your body type and evolving goals. The system can be set up in less than a minute using any sturdy door or anchor point—be it at home, the office, a hotel, or an outdoor park—and everything you need fits into the included mesh carry bag. The TRX Home Suspension Trainer is a full body workout tool that can improve core strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability, while burning away fat and toning lean muscle. The entire kit weighs less than 2 lbs and includes: Durable Nylon Webbing Straps with loop-and-barrel locking adjusters and a carabiner tested at 1,300 LBS. Padded Block Door Anchor connects to Suspension Trainer for use in any room with a solid, sturdy door. Suspension Anchor for hanging straps off stabilized bars, branches, poles, hooks, etc. Official TRX® App with 4 total-body workouts, 6 modular TRX® HOME workouts and more. Instructional Guide for setting up and planning out your bodyweight training regimen. Mesh Carrying Bag

Best Conditioning Equipment

Exercise your heart and muscle groups with a cardio workout

What to Consider:

  • Space for the best exercise bike, rowing machine or sled
  • Cost, as jump ropes are cheaper than a stationary bike
  • Specific needs for a full-body workout or low impact exercise 

Look, it’s easy to go run outside or do burpees on your floor...I get it. However, owning cardio-related exercise equipment gives you options. The cheapest piece of cardio equipment I’d recommend is a jump rope, but there are also bigger items like the best rowing machines, stationary bikes (no, you don’t have to get a Peloton), and even the best treadmills

It really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of adding to your fitness goals. People who do CrossFit might be drawn to the best air bike or a rower because those are often used in programming. Also consider that something like a rower gives you an upper body workout, while something like a treadmill is mostly lower body.

Best Jump Rope
Rogue SR-2S Speed Rope 2.0
(9 ratings & reviews)
The Rogue SR-2S Speed Rope 2.0 features the same ultra-durable aircraft grade aluminum, omni-directional bearing swivel, and 3/32" red-coated speed cable as our standard SR-2 Ballistic Rope 2.0 —but with shorter, 5.25" tapered handles. Trusted by CrossFitters and demanding athletes, trainers, and gym owners from all disciplines, this high-performance jump rope has few rivals when it comes to quality construction, blazing speed, and a smooth spin. Get your double unders up, hit new PRs, then come back and do it again tomorrow. Version 2.0 of the SR-2S Short Handle Rope adds the improved swivel component and updates the handles themselves with a new sandblast texture spindle, a fine knurl-textured grip, and etched Rogue branding.
Best Exercise Bike
Rogue Echo Bike
(12 ratings & reviews)
The Rogue Echo Bike combines heavy-duty steel, precision engineering, and convenient customization to forge a stronger, sturdier fan bike. Overbuilt for a Smoother Ride This overbuilt 127LB, 350LB weight limit unit provides a rock solid foundation for max output bursts, while still offering easy portability around the gym via a set of 1" polyurethane front wheels. A quiet, belt-driven steel fan blade produces a smooth, consistent ride, while a high-contrast, battery-powered LCD console allows athletes to track intervals, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. Rogue Fitness (Rogue) warrants that the ECHO Bike (Product) shall be free from defect in material and workmanship for a period of two years from the date of purchase when the product is used under normal uses and conditions and as recommended in the User Guide. Weighing in at 127LB, 350LB weight limit, the Echo Bike is not the wobbling breed of exercise bike. Its reinforced steel construction gives it the rigidity and balance to help eliminate sways and bumps during even max output bursts, and the fan’s steady response delivers a uniquely consistent, smooth riding experience. For added stability, we’ve included rubber leveling feet under each base tube. These feet adapt to your flooring and provide added “stick,” helping to level the bike even if it’s not on a level surface. The mounted LCD console measures 6.375" x 6.375" and features a crystal clear, high contrast display. Athletes can select or create a wide range of modes, including Intervals (20/10, 10/20 or a custom Work/Rest interval), Target (choose a goal Time, Distance or Calories and the console will count down based on your selection), and Heart Rate Tracking (please note that a heart rate transmitter is required to send data, but is not included). The console runs on two AA batteries, which are included. The Echo Bike is built with a range of durable steel tubing (2x3", 1.25x3", and 1.625x3.125" steel finished in a texture black powdercoat. The adjustable padded seat locks into 8 different height settings and 5 front-to-back settings, and the 1.5” diameter rubber grip handles are welded directly to the bike’s arms for added rigidity. A steel step plate is provided along with knurled 4.5" long rotating foot pegs and rubber-tread pedals. The fan itself is a belt-driven, precision steel blade. Assembly is required to set-up the Echo Bike, but all necessary tools and black hardware are included standard with your order, along with easy step-by-step guidelines. While the fully constructed bike is a beast, we’ve included a set of 1" wide polyurethane wheels at the front of the unit, allowing it to be rolled around the gym or stored out of the way with ease. Additional Specifications: Patent Pending Design Quality Steel Construction for Dependable Stability Height: 52.75" (to top of handles) Length: 58.875" (overall with seat in position furthest from fan cage) Width: 29.875" (at handles - widest point) Footprint: 44.5" x 23.75" LCD Console Display (Batteries Included) with customizable modes Belt Driven Steel Fan Adjustable Seat with 8 height and 5 front/back settings 1.5” diameter rubber grip handles Rubber-tread Pedals Texture Black powdercoat finish Rubber Leveling Feet All Hardware & Assembly Tools Included Weight: 127LB, 350LB weight limit
Best Rowing Machine
Concept 2 Model D Rower
(11 ratings & reviews)
Features an advanced PM5 Performance Monitor, improved ergonomically designed handles, adjustable foot-rests, and a flywheel designed for smooth movement with minimal noise. The Model D has a comfortable 14" (seat) height with an aluminum I-beam monorail and stainless steel track for a consistent back-and-forth slide. When done training, you can quickly break down the rower into two segments for storage or use the included caster wheels for easy transport. Rogue offers an optional space saving wall hanger. The Concept 2 Rower provides one of the more comprehensive, full-body workouts of any fitness machine. Engineered to last a lifetime, it's low impact enough for use in physical rehabilitation centers, and intensive enough to be used by the world's fittest athletes. The Concept 2 uses air resistance generated by the fanned flywheel. To adjust how much air enters the flywheel housing on each stroke, the Model D Rower includes a unique spiral damper adjustable from a setting of 1 to 10. This functions much like the gears on a bike, affecting how much energy will be needed to accelerate from one stroke to the next. 10 allows in the most air for more wind resistance. For most people the recommended settings is from 3-5. The PM5 is another leap forward in what a performance monitor can do. Track distance, speed, pace, calories burned, and watts—all presented on a clear, backlit display. Connects to wireless heart rate monitors and via bluetooth to the optional ErgData app to track detailed workout data. The monitor itself can be custom positioned using the adjustable monitor arm. USB flash drive compatible and built for machine-to-machine racing. Designed to last, the Concept 2 rowing machines offer a comprehensive fully transferable warranty. From home gyms, to Olympic training centers, to major professional sports teams, Concept 2 has been put to the test time and again. The Concept 2 Rower includes everything you need for a quick set-up. The front legs are installed using 8 screws, and clear, concise instructions are included. Your machine will be up and ready to use within 20-30 minutes of opening the box. Includes PM5 Performance Monitor** Flywheel design for smooth feel, minimal noise Spiral Damper with adjustable 1-10 settings Ergonomic handle promotes natural arm and hand position. 14" (seat) moves smoothly on aluminum rail / stainless steel track Adjustable monitor arm and simple two-part separation for compact storage Flexfoot footrests adjust for quick and easy sizing Easy assembly with tools and illustrated instructions included Caster wheels for mobility
Best Treadmill
TrueForm Trainer
(4 ratings & reviews)
TRUEFORM Trainer is lighter weight and easier to use. The Trainer is an affordable, rugged, quality built solution for any commercial training facility or home gym. The included display keeps you informed on your pace, speed, distance, time. The display is compatible with Polar heart rate monitors. An optional Bluetooth display is available. TRUEFORM is the industry leading curved non-motorized treadmill. It's the least steep curve on the market, which promotes good form and allows you to easily control your speed. TRUEFORM is the most natural running surface when compared to running outdoors.  The proprietary Responsive Belt Technology (RBT), reacts to every subtly in your movement;  balance, posture, hip position, foot strike and more. The TRUEFORM requires no power. All the power comes from you, responding to your pace allowing you to go from a walk to a jog, to a sprint, to a stop. Instantly. You will feel when your body is not in the optimal position for running or walking. Long term use of the TRUEFORM will promote better movement patters improving overall health and wellness. TRUEFORM is proven to reduce impact stress which reduces the risk of injury. The simple design of this unique, non-motorized treadmill is also what makes it one of the most effective devices for developing proper running technique. Unlike standard electric treadmills, the TrueForm Runner from features an innovative curved deck that is controlled 100% by the movements and force of the user. There are no on/off switches or complex buttons and settings to worry about. It’s a manually operated treadmill that helps train and reward technically-sound posture, balance, and cadence. Set your own limits or push right past them.

Best Home Gym Flooring

The foundation of your home gym, and also what protects your actual foundation

What to Consider:

  • The activity you do, such as heavy weight vs. floor exercises (or both)
  • Cost, as there is variance per square foot
  • The kind of material you want (rubber, turf, rolls, tiles)
  • How easy or hard it is to install

The foundation of your training is your flooring and how to get the best home gym flooring possible for your needs. There are a myriad of options available to fill your gym with for your feet to grip, press, and pull against. For most home gyms, and most training styles, rubber flooring is your best bet. It’s usually affordable, it’s heavy duty, it protects your floors, and it’s easy to clean. 

However, rubber flooring, like horse stall mats, sometimes smell. And they can be heavy and harder to move. Consider tiles, or even roll-out options. If you’re an athlete looking for a shock-absorbing material, you may want a strip of turf for your home fitness. Also consider where your home gym is. If it’s in your living room, you could opt for something that looks a little nicer but still withstands exercise, like vinyl planks. 

We suggest avoiding EVA foam tiles and going with rubber instead. Foam will compress over time, decrease your stability, collect moisture, and not last nearly as long. You can go with rubber rolls, but for most people, the best value exercise mats are rubber stall mats from your local farm and feed store like Tractor Supply.

Best Rubber Mats
Tractor Supply 3/4
(10 ratings & reviews)
This Rubber Mat is ideal for agricultural, commercial and sporting uses. The anti-skid surface is safe and comfortable. Mats can be cut or interlocked, glued or fastened to any surface. An ideal rubber mat for horse stalls, barn flooring, gyms, garages, maintenance areas, workstations, or arena flooring. 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3/4 in. Heavy-duty 100% recycled rubber Insulating properties Noise and vibration absorbent Surface pattern may vary by location May be used as gym mats 5 year limited warranty
Best Rubber Rolls
Rubber Flooring Inc Performance Turf Rolls
ake your workout to the next level with our Performance Turf Rolls in your gym. These turf rolls are perfect for pushing and pulling sleds, CrossFit, and high-impact workouts and come in cushioned and non-cushioned versions. Since these gym turf rolls are made with polyethylene, they are softer than standard nylon turf rolls allowing you to do floor exercises without being injured. These turf rolls are also UV stable, and the non-cushioned version features perforations for proper drainage when placed outdoors. A 5-year warranty backs our Performance Turf Rolls.
Best Turf
Rubber Flooring Inc Performance Turf Rolls
ake your workout to the next level with our Performance Turf Rolls in your gym. These turf rolls are perfect for pushing and pulling sleds, CrossFit, and high-impact workouts and come in cushioned and non-cushioned versions. Since these gym turf rolls are made with polyethylene, they are softer than standard nylon turf rolls allowing you to do floor exercises without being injured. These turf rolls are also UV stable, and the non-cushioned version features perforations for proper drainage when placed outdoors. A 5-year warranty backs our Performance Turf Rolls.

Best Leaf Blowers (Not Kidding)

This one may seem silly, but I’m not joking, a leaf blower is an absolute essential to a garage gym. Either listen to me now before you start or just remember to get one after a couple training sessions and getting annoyed by chalk, leaves, and dust cluttering your floor.

Additional Home Gym Equipment You May Want

Look, you can trick out your gym with every piece of equipment available if you want to, especially if you have a lot of space. The above list is the bare-bones basics of what I think you should include. Depending on what your warmups or exercise routines are, you might also consider the following:

How to Choose Your Home Gym Equipment

Building out a gym in your own home is a fun experience, but it’s labor- and cost-intensive. You invest thousands of dollars in your health, so make sure you’re making the right decisions! Finding the best home gym equipment should factor in the following:

Type of Training

What type of training do you do? CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting, HIIT workouts? All of the above? This will be your starting place, because you can list out everything you could need or want to complement your training style (don’t worry, you can narrow down the list later). 

Also, what kind of help do you need? If you have a coach or personal trainer already, then you likely have a program to follow. If not, you can look up programs online or subscribe to apps like NordicTrack’s iFit or Apple Fit for workout ideas (though these are usually light weight or bodyweight workouts). 

Space

Fitness equipment takes up space. But I have seen some of the best budget home gym setups. Consider how big a power rack is just by itself. If you’re working with small spaces, then finding compact equipment is a must. Just let go of that idea of getting a large elliptical, and look instead for a space-saving design on a rowing machine or exercise bike. 

It’s a good idea to actually sketch your workout space and look up equipment specs. That way, before you start spending, you know what you can fit and what is simply too big. 

Budget

If money is no issue for you, keep scrolling. For most of us, one of the biggest constraints in buying fitness gear is money. I have put together a list of the best budget home gym equipment to help you save a few bucks while still getting quality products. I also have a guide for building a budget home gym on Amazon.

Just like you would with any other big purchase, figure out what you have to spend and what your priorities are. I suggest not going too cheap, because you want your equipment to last. 

Health and Safety

You obviously care about your health if you’re looking at building a home gym. Lifting weights alone in the garage is great, but it can also be dangerous. That’s why I recommend products like a power rack with safety bars in case you have to bail. Also, consider a heart rate monitor if you have cardiovascular problems. Certain fitness trackers also come with built-in devices that tell you if your heart rate is spiking too much. 

FAQs About Home Gym Equipment

What is the best equipment for a home gym?

The best home gym is an all-in-one spot that you’ll actually use. Take into account the type of training you do and what you most often use. If you’re a weightlifter, then investing in a treadmill over some of the best squat racks clearly wouldn’t make sense. 

I typically recommend weights of some sort, starting with a barbell and plates, or at the very least, dumbbells. Having some type of cardio equipment is an added bonus in case you can’t go outside for a run or you hate burpees. 

Where can I buy home gym equipment online?

One outcome of the recent pandemic is that so much fitness equipment is now available online. I like Rogue, Titan Fitness, and REP Fitness, but you can find a lot of great stuff on Amazon as well. 

How do I build a cheap home gym?

You have to be careful, because cheap home gym equipment can easily break. However, you can find affordable, quality home fitness equipment if you know where to look. Check out my guides on the best budget home gym equipment as well as how to build a budget home gym on Amazon.

Further reading

2016 Olympic Barbell Guide Cover Image

2016 Olympic Barbell Guide

The Olympic Barbell is the most used piece of equipment in nearly everyone's garage gym. Here is our guide on the best barbells for CrossFit, Weightlifting, and Powerlifting for 2016. Read More

Benefits of a Home Gym for Families Cover Image

Benefits of a Home Gym for Families

Although a home gym is great for reaching your mental and physical goals, they're also great for parents and families to grow closer to one another. Will McNeely describes how his home gym has helped him grow closer to his family and become a better father through the usage of his garage gym. Read More

A Look at Mat Fraser's Home Gym (World's Fittest Man) Cover Image

A Look at Mat Fraser's Home Gym (World's Fittest Man)

Mat Fraser is the World's Fittest Man. He also has one sweet home gym setup in the basement of his parent's house. For the size, it's EPIC! Read More

Drug Testing at the CrossFit Games Cover Image

Drug Testing at the CrossFit Games

CrossFit Athletes have been accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs for some time. Despite these accusations, the CrossFit Games has a protocol for testing athletes. Read More