Strength training is essential if you want to want to build muscle. While some people like to perform cardio to lose weight, and then start a strength training regime, it’s best to combine the two for the most effective and fastest results. However, strength training isn’t all about building muscle, as it can also significantly improve your flexibility.
There are several factors to keep in mind when thinking about purchasing your first home gym, many of which are related to your short term and long term fitness goals.
You must first decide on what your goals are. If you want to add muscle and get bigger and stronger, a home gym that comes with weights is essential. On the other hand, if you are more focused on losing weight, a set of kettlebells (smaller, lighter weights) is the better option. If you want to work out your arms and shoulders, then you should look into purchasing a home gym that comes with a lat bar and pulley. A home gym with a leg extension is best to build up leg strength, and so on. Sometimes, though, you can get the best of both worlds; take the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE or Bowflex Blaze Home Gym, for example, although you’re going to have to pay for the privilege.
There are 3 different types of resistance: cables and pulleys (weight stacks are attached to the cables and pulleys), elastic bands (numerous elastic bands provide various levels of resistance), and free weights (used for major strength training and toning).
Amount of Weight
The heavier the weights the more you’re looking to build up strength and muscle is fairly self-explanatory, we think. However, an often overlooked aspect is the weight stack. If you’re not the only one who is going to be using the home gym at the same time, then you definitely want to invest in a home gym with at least two weight stacks.
Number of Stations
Just like two or more weight stacks are needed, if two people are working out simultaneously, the same applies for the number of stations. So while a single station gym will suffice, if you’re planning on working out by yourself, a home gym with multiple stations and/or dual stacks is a good idea, if the home gym will be used by multiple users.
Most of the time your living conditions will determine how big your home gym can be. Clearly, the more stations and exercise options, the bigger the home gym is, and vice versa. However, even if you don’t have much space for a home gym, look into a folding model, such as the Bowflex PR1000, to get the best of both worlds.
As adjustable dumbbells are the the most popular dumbbells among strength training enthusiasts, we’re only going to cover them. There are a number of reasons for their popularity, including their compactness, durability, ease of use, and of course, their ability to be adjusted. More importantly, there are a number of things to look out for, before you purchase your first set.
Adjustable dumbbells are available from a number of manufacturers; however, there tends to be one company that are head and shoulders above the rest, in terms of quality. This manufacturer is Bowflex; take the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 and Bowflex SelectTech 552, for example.
Men Vs Women
Excuse me if I generalize here, but most men want to bulk up and most women want to tone. Therefore, it’s clear that men choose opt for dumbbells which have a greater amount of resistance, and vice versa, for women.
Dumbbells come in two different shapes. There are square-shaped and round-shaped ones. While the ones you decide upon will largely depend on your personal preferences, you should keep in mind that some people find the square-shaped ones to be hard to grip at first.
Ease of Use
Due to their design adjustable dumbbells are usually easy to use. However, you should definitely factor in the ease at which you’re able to change the weights, into your decision buying process. For example, if you have to manually change the plates, then this will obviously take a bit of time, and could get annoying after a while (particularly if you’re planning on using them every day.)
While this website is focused on strength training equipment, we thought that it would be a good idea to point in the direction of a few cardio equipment reviews:
Click here for treadmills
Dozens of rowing machine reviews can be found by clicking this link.
Go to this website to read up on plenty of elliptical trainer reviews.
We’ve also found Amazon tend to have the cheapest prices