Home Gym Start-Up Kit

When you're setting up a home workout space, it can be a bit overwhelming. You'll naturally want to make it awesome, but you may also be restricted by space and/or budget.

The purpose of this guide is to lay out the equipment "must haves" and give you space and budget friendly options with their alternatives.

Not all exercises need fancy equipment, and I stand by the fact that most of the workouts here can be modified to using just 1 or 2 Kettlebells, but this guide will offer suggestions beyond just the bare minimum.


​Kinda-Must-Haves

Even though it says "must-haves", the first 3 are most important. But even still, don't let the perfect stand in the way of the good 🙂

  • ​1 moderate Kettlebell or Dumbbell (that you can press overhead 8-12 times)
  • ​1 heavier Kettlebell or Dumbbell (that you can squat or swing 8-12 times) 
  • ​An Interval Timer (I use a Classic Gymboss Interval Timer, but you can get free ones on apps)
  • ​Step (I love my Reebok Deck, which is the perfect height for hip thrusts, side to side step overs, and step-ups) or you can work with a step with different risers (these are cheaper, but less stable) or a standard Reebok Step (good for low step-ups as it only goes up to a height of 10 inches). However, if you don't have the space or budget for the step yet, just do the suggested alternative exercises on your Workout PDF.
  • Bands: a thin 41 inch loop band or mini bands (for X-band Walks and other accessory excerises)
  • Roll-up/yoga Mat (here's a link to the 6ft x 6ft yoga mat I have) or Foam Jigsaw Mat or Rubber Mats. The foam mats are good for price and easy storage (and if you have laminate floors), but the rubber mats are more durable, better on any floor, and if you intend to keep them in place.

​Nice-to-Haves

​These are things to consider adding to your home gym over time. No need to rush out and get them right away.​

  • ​More load options​ (heavy KBs for example)
  • ​​Plyo Box with options higher than 16 inches (I have the Rep 3-in-1 Wooden Plyo with dimensions of 16/20/24). Alternatively, you can use a standard kitchen chair
  • ​Suspension Trainer like TRX or Jungle Gym XT (my favourite) or Dip Station (link goes to the one I have) for Inverted Rows
  • Swiss Ball or Valslides (we use Furniture Sliderswhich are unbranded) for certain ab exercises (equipment-free alternatives are available for exercises that use these)
  • ​A Pull-Up Bar (I have THIS doorway bar which is good enough for underhand and neutral grip, but a little more annoying for overhand grip). THIS doorway bar looks better. ​My preference is a for wall-mounted bar (like THIS) or a stand-alone apparatus that is part of a squat rack (like THIS) or maybe dip station combo (like THIS). I'm not a fan of THIS kind of doorway bar, simply because I just can't get over my fear that it would fall!!
  • ​Pull-up assistance bands (HERE'S a pack of 4)
  • Ab Wheel (although you can also do walk-outs or hollows for a similar effect)
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