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Getting Strong with a Home Gym

A significant chunk of my lifting career has been spent lifting in my home gym (thanks, COVID). I’m fortunate to have enough space in my basement for a squat rack and a few essentials. I’ve also worked with a lot of clients who have trained at home, so I’ve gotten a bit familiar with the different types of equipment that is available for home gyms. For most people, the considerations in outfitting a home gym are space, price, and practicality of the equipment. I’m going to give some recommendations for equipment that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I’m not going to talk about racks or bars today. Today, we’re going to focus on bands, dumbbells, and kettlebells, as these are items that are small enough to fit in most spaces, and are accessible to most people.


For a home gym, I suggest adjustable dumbbells. It’s super annoying to have to keep buying the next heavier dumbbell and eventually there’s nowhere to store them (ask me how I know this). There are several good options for adjustable dumbbells depending on your price point and how heavy you want them. CAP brand has adjustable dumbbells that go from 5-25 lbs that many of my clients have had good success with. Pay attention that they’re sold as singles, so most of the time, you want a pair, not just one. 

If you want something heavier, it used to be that Bowflex SelectTechs were your best option, but now there’s a number of different similar options available. These dumbbells enable you to hit heavier weights without needing a full wall of dumbbells. Garage Gym Reviews has a really great and thorough review on different brands of adjustable dumbbells and their overall pros and cons.


Moving on to kettlebells, while adjustable options are available, I’d recommend going for traditional ones for simplicity and durability. Kettlebells are excellent for functional workouts, and having a few different weights can add variety to your routine. Brands like Rogue Fitness and Kettlebell Kings are known for their quality and durability, ensuring that your investment lasts through countless swings and snatches. While I do not prefer adjustable kettlebells, I will note that Coach Aaron thinks they can be a good option for home workouts, and I have a client who has been doing great work with an adjustable kettlebell, so please take my opinion with a grain of salt!


Bands are a fantastic addition to a home gym, offering a different type of resistance that complements free weights. They’re super compact and you can just fold them up and stash them wherever. Fabric loop bands, in particular, are my top pick for several reasons. They’re durable, providing consistent resistance over time, and are less likely to snap or roll up during exercises. Additionally, fabric loop bands are versatile and can be used for various exercises targeting different muscle groups.

When it comes to brands, I recommend checking out GymShark for quality fabric loop bands. Investing in these bands not only adds variety to your workout but also contributes to the overall affordability and space-saving aspects of your home gym setup.

Long loop bands can also be used for a bunch of different movements, and can even be added to your dumbbell or kettlebell movements for a different kind of challenge. There are a lot of options out there for long loop bands, but we like EliteFTS at the gym.
There are lots of reasons you might want to workout at home, ranging from childcare, gym anxiety, or scheduling concerns. You can create a well rounded routine without sacrificing half your house using dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands offer. Consider your goals, preferences, and budget, and choose the equipment that fits your unique home gym needs. If you need help figuring out how to build a program using your home gym equipment, we offer personalized programming and can build you a program using just whatever equipment you have access to. You can schedule a free no-sweat intro with us to learn more!

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