• Herbert Schmidt

Complete guide for your HOME-GYM 2019

Aktualisiert: 13. Apr 2020

Hier klicken für die deutsche Version.

If you want to know how to set up a small powerhouse at home without paying huge sums of money, then you should read this article!

A brief summary of the most important points


The advantages of a HOME-GYM are that you save time and money because you don't have to drive to the gym.


With very little equipment you can do a very good and effective training at home. Powerrack, barbell, weight plates, pull-up bar, adjustable bench, dumbbells, weight lifting belt and a mat.


If you have enough space, you can also buy a platform for crucifix lifting, a dip station, a Glute-Ham-Raise device and a cardio device.

Training at home, what is the most important thing?

The most effective training programs, whether for the professional or for the beginner, include a training with free weights (as the everyday loads also occur), so-called "compound exercises" or in German compound exercises. In these exercises, the large muscle groups of the body work together and generate strength against external resistance. For an effective training the load or the weight must be so high that you can't do more than 5 - max. 12 repetitions. This is one of the biggest mistakes beginners make when training, especially women, low weight and many repetitions. This does not bring the desired results such as muscle building and figure improvement.

In these exercises several joints are always loaded at the same time (in a positive sense) and you therefore profit most from these exercises.

These main exercises are squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses and chin-ups, all other exercises are additional exercises that can be done as needed. An effective training is designed around these 5 main exercises.

Training with your own body weight "Bodyweight-Training" is not an optimal alternative for very advanced athletes, but for beginners or not so well trained it is anything but effective, on the contrary. The big disadvantage here is that you cannot increase the load progressively (continuously slowly increasing) and also the choice of exercises is very limited. This leads in the long run to stagnation or in the worst case to an overload damage. For example, hand stance supports quickly lead to wrist problems and/or shoulder pain in beginners. But this would go too far here to go into more detail, please read the corresponding article which will follow shortly.


  • Save yourself many hours of driving to and from the Gym

  • Save yourself hundreds of euros each year in membership fees

  • Use all devices whenever you want, you never have to wait to use them again.

  • Always listen to the music you want to hear

  • Set up your studio the way you want.

But you don't know what you should buy because there are so many things on the fitness market that you've lost track of them?

Then hopefully this article will help you to decide what things you will put in your personal GYM and what money you will get thrown out.

But the devil is in the details, you need to know what your goal is, what your budget is and how much space you have available.

But before we go into the details, you should also consider the negative sides of a home gym.


  • You must first make a larger investment of several hundred if not thousands of Euros.

  • You are limited in your choice of exercises because you have less equipment available than a commercial studio.

  • You may not be so motivated in the long run if you always train alone.

  • You have to repair, maintain and possibly even replace and buy new equipment if it breaks down.

Personally, I have set up a small "emergency gym" at home where I can at least do the most important exercises and train at any time when I don't have the time to go to the gym. But I also train in a normal gym, because I have more choice there and can go to my limit with the knee bends, because there is a safety rack, I should not be able to do a hard repetition.

The best and most important things for your HOME-GYM

A major problem for most people is the incredible variety on the market, medicine balls, TRX trainers, treadmills, Kettlebell, Strong-Man equipment and many other "trendie" things more. Much of it is not necessary at all when it comes to building muscles, improving your figure and getting more powerful.

You only need a few things to get a well-trained body and to do your training accordingly.

I will make a list below from which you can individually decide what you think is necessary and what is suitable for your requirements and possibilities.

Listing of the equipment for a very good HOME-GYM

  1. Barbell rack or Power Rack

  2. barbell

  3. Weight plates for the barbell

  4. Adjustable dumbbells

  5. Adjustable bench

  6. pull-up bar

  7. weight lifting belt

  8. yoga mat

With these 8 things you are already suuuuper set up! Nothing would stand in the way of an effective training! In addition there are the following devices which you could buy in addition, but these would be considered a luxury, but of course TOP!

Further equipment, which would be super in addition


  1. Dip belt for attaching additional weights to weigh down the weight

  2. cable pull

  3. ergometers

  4. "Glute-Ham-Raise" machine, great for the back extensors and leg flexors

  5. "Fractional-Plates" weight plates in very small increments from 0.25 - 1.0 kg

  6. wall mirrors

  7. Wireless speakers for music

List of the equipment

without any particular order

(depends individually on place, budget and goal)

Adjustable dumbbells

The minimum requirements for fitness at home are definitely a good set of dumbbells, if there is no room else, that must be at home. In former times it was always a problem to have a dumbbell set with 2 dumbbells of 5kg - 40kg quickly available. Either you had to spend a lot of money and have a lot of space to buy 2 dumbbells of each weight or you screwed around like a dumbbell and changed the weight plates accordingly.

Fortunately, there are now high quality adjustable dumbbell systems that fit perfectly for the apartment. They take up little space and are really quick and easy to adjust. I bought the Powerblock for my home and am fully satisfied. But there are also other systems on the market.

adjustable bench

What you also need is an adjustable bench, which you can also find in the gyms, which you can adjust individually, from very flat to vertical. The gradual gradations of the angles should not be too big and should preferably allow 4 or 5 different angles.

Also, it is not worth saving, because the cheap banks are not exactly stable and do not last so long, you would have no joy with it.

pull up bar

Also the pull-up bar should not be missing in any HOME-GYM. Here there are various possibilities, for the door frame, for the wall for mounting etc. Finally it should be stable and suitable for the execution of pull-ups.

Do-it-yourselfers can of course also make one themselves from steel tubes and mount it on the wall.

Here are some possibilities I can recommend:

This model is for wall mounting.

barbell rack or "Power Rack"

So if you have enough space (e.g. in your basement or in the garage) then there is the possibility of a "Power Rack" (also Squat-Rack) in which you can safely place the barbell and perform squats with a safety rack. You can also press the barbell upside down, bench press and pull-ups.

Or as a variant if you have less space at home, then the barbell racks come into question. The disadvantage is that you don't have a safety rack and they are a bit more unstable, but you can also do the above mentioned exercises.

20kg - barbell

Investing your money in a good barbell is certainly worth it, because you will need it for a lot of exercises. So saving here would be the wrong decision.

The barbell should be corrugated where you grip it during the exercises and the manufacturer should give a lifelong guarantee on it if possible.

The below would be a great starter set barbell and weight plates up to 100kg.

plates for barbell

You can get the most for your money here for starter sets. For beginners 2 x 5 kg, 2 x 10 kg, 2 x 15 kg and 2 x 20 kg would be optimal and if you are already more advanced you can buy more or if you get stronger you can buy more.

The discs should of course have a round shape and if you train in an apartment then you should buy the more expensive rubber discs "Bumper Plates", the floor and your neighbour below you will thank you ;-)!

Mats to protect the floor

Floor protection mats are offered on the Internet many different, for example, puzzle mats, are relatively cheap, but I would not recommend, because these are not suitable for high loads as in the deadlifts. In this case you should use thicker mats which are especially vibration absorbing.

For example, washing machine mats are suitable here. These are made of crushed rubber and you can get them relatively cheap in any DIY store or even at Amazon.

And those who have the space and the necessary small change can of course buy the professional version.


Anyone who wants to train seriously and long-term with weights is well advised to buy a suitable weight lifting belt. It serves for an additional protection of the lumbar spine by an increase of the abdominal cavity internal pressure with high loads like with the Kreuzheben and the knee bends. Nevertheless, the technique must of course be mastered during the exercises, otherwise in the long run this will lead to injuries or overloading despite the weight lifting belt.


A yoga mat should also be bought by those who do not practice yoga, because everyone does warm-up exercises, stretching exercises or mobilization exercises and this is exactly what the yoga mat is meant for. It is not the huge investment, but it is very practical and should not be missing in a good HOME-GYM.

So with the things just described you can already cover a large part of the exercises and possibilities of training.

In addition, depending on space, budget and objective, equipment is recommended for a very well equipped HOME-GYM.

cable pull

The cable pull is a very versatile training device that can be used for a variety of so-called secondary exercises. Of course, there is also a huge amount of equipment on the market for different demands.

I will only recommend two possible variants, the smaller one I bought myself and I am very satisfied with it. It needs little space, works perfectly and looks good as well.

The assembly is relatively simple and even for a craftsman not so talented to create!

The costs are of course relatively high, but the purchase is worthwhile for the ambitious athlete in any case.

The second one down here is for those who have more room.

"Glute-Ham-Raise" machine

Nowadays a huge problem are the many sedentary activities which lead to the classical folk diseases. One of these common diseases is back pain, which affects everyone at least once in their life and many people very often. By far the best prophylaxis for this is intensive strength training with heavy weights, yes, you should be right with heavy weights and not with Thera bands or your own body weight. So crucifixion and knee bends. But I can only recommend one exercise to everyone and that is the "Glute-Ham-Raise" machine, with this exercise the entire rear muscle chain can be trained without provoking overload damage. Calves, flexors, buttocks and the complete back extensors up to the cervical spine are trained together. Unfortunately it is relatively expensive and takes up a lot of space, but it is definitely worth it.

cardio device

Whether for warming up, warming down or for cardiovascular training in general, you can buy an ergometer if you have enough space. There are rower ergometers, cross walkers, steppers, bicycle ergometers, etc. I would recommend a cross walker or a bicycle ergometer, because they have the least impact on the strength training, because there are fewer shocks such as when running. With the rower ergometer you have to pay attention to the execution, in order not to strain the back unnecessarily, I speak from experience ;-)!

I hope that this article has given you a good overview of how to set up your own gym and that I have been able to help you with your decision?!

If you have any further questions, I would be happy if you could contact me at

info@smiss-training.com, I will be happy to help you with your questions.

Note: All my recommendations or blog content are carefully considered and reviewed and are intended for healthy adults over the age of 18. None of my articles can be a substitute for competent medical advice. Please consult a physician before starting any exercise, nutrition or dietary supplement program. Especially if you have had any medical problems in the past. By clicking on links to products I recommend, you are helping to keep this blog alive. Some links are so-called referral links. You do not pay anything extra. But if you buy something, I get a commission. I only recommend products that I myself use, love and am convinced of.

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