The following info is provided by myself having been in the fitness industry now over 22 years and one of the 'Top Strongest Men in Ireland over the past 15 years and I still poses as much passion for training as I did the first day that I trained my calves for the first time on that standing calf machine in 'The Riverside Health and Fitness Club in New Ross Co Wexford in Sept 1993.
'Strength Training at Home' really can make a difference to you whether your an amateur, semi pro athlete, a fan of keeping healthy, your plan is to get well and improve your lifestyle or your just one of the masses out there today who visit the gym 3 or 4 times per week and your working long hours and its not always easy to juggle family life and get home to the house eat food and head back on the road again to your local gym with the day not providing enough time. Male or female here are some basics when your gym set up is mainly focused on muscle size and strength gains.
1/ The first most important piece of equipment in our opinion is a Power Rack or Power Cage. Rigs have their place however if safety is a factor for you, Power Racks, Power Racks, Power Racks all the way, you might just avoid a serious injury along the way with that piece of advice. Power Racks contain safety bars as a main feature that will keep you progressing in depth's of movement and prevent a failed concentric movement from an eccentric or downward movement.
2/ The second item that is essential is the adjustable bench. Watch out for poor quality home made bench's that wobble and the foam in the upholstery is soft and really hurt the shoulder blades if you are really into bench press, flat, incline, decline, narrow bench press, tricep extensions, dumbbell flys and more. A cheap bench is no more than a stool and it may lead to injury, save your money and buy smart.
3/ Thirdly we are looking to buy the weight set which should include a good strong olympic bar. Be careful here as alot of weight set have an olympic bar that is worth no more than €50.. Dead lifting with this type of bar will cost you again soon so save your money and buy smart. Try buying a bar that has a max load of over 250kg, if it bends get a refund. Many people selling equipment will know how a bar bends so not all those will issue a refund if they train regularly themselves if you have dropped your bar on safety bars in your rack with 300 kg overload on it. The bar is the most important part in this part of the pack, small diameter plates is not really that important unless your a Power Lifter. In this instance the plates should be 45 to 50 cm on the outside measurement. We can talk more on this subject at another time.
4/ Finally, flooring can be essential if your an olympic lifter, strongman, power lifter or an athlete with certain movements with your weight set for your sport. Platforms measuring 6ft x 8ft or 8ft x 8ft or indeed a matted area with a thickness of as little as 12mm or 18mm and up to 32mm and over which is the suggested thickness by the Pro Fitness Supplies website are the basis of a good 'Strength Training at Home package.' We will mention Dumbbells in a blog at a later stage when discussing more essentials for 'Strength Training at Home'