Home Gym Equipment Buying Guide

Selecting the right gym equipment is important as it is a big investment. If you make the right decision you will get years of enjoyable training with great results, all in the convenience and comfort of your own home. Make the wrong decision and you will end up with an expensive clothes hanger.

The following factors need to be taken into consideration when buying a gym:

1) Functionality – does it offer quality exercises that deliver results? 2) Quality – will it stand up to years of hard training? 3) Space – you are better off with getting a smaller gym if you have a small space. Are you weight training or practicing to become a contortionist? 4) Budget

Functionality for Home Gym Equipment.

In my opinion the most important aspect of buying a gym is that if you train hard on it, plus eat well and look after yourself, you will get results. If you can’t do quality compound exercises like squats, bench press, lat pulldowns, rows etc then you are not only wasting your money you are also wasting your time. You can train really hard doing isolation exercises but unless you are doing compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, you simply won’t achieve the same level of progress.

The next choice you will need to make is whether to go for a free weight eg power rack, dumbbells and bench, or some form of home gym. Home gyms have changed radically in design but the two that will be discussed are cable or leverage gyms.

To make the correct decision in purchasing gym equipment it is really important to work out what your weight training goals are. If you just want to be fit and healthy and are not too concerned with greatly improving your size and strength a home gym will be the best option. If on the other hand you want build strength or bulk up then a power rack will be ideal.

Powertec Power Rack System

Training with cables is great for certain exercises, provided they are good quality and properly designed. Many of the cheaper cable home gyms that have flooded the market are often re produced from photographs and the people in the factories have little knowledge of weight training. The end result is something that looks like a gym but that is where the comparisons end. They have poor range of motion, the resistance varies during the range of motion and don’t stand up too well to hard training.

Good quality cable gyms are restricted to the weight that comes with the gym. Some gyms only have 200lb or 90kg stacks. Many gyms have a mechanical advantage – the arrangement of the pulleys mean that you can lift 90kgs of weight with only 60kg of effort. That might impress your mates when you show them how strong you are but sooner or later you will get on some proper gym equipment and look like a prize goose!

Another issue with good quality cable gyms is that they often don’t have good quality compound exercises. In particular a flat bench press or squat. Upright presses, pec decs, leg extensions and leg curls are good but are no substitute for bench press and squats. They are great for convenience, just put the pin in the weight stack and away you go. You need to work out whether you want to do weight training or not.

Home Gym Quality

Gym equipment needs to be robust. If you are a committed weight trainer you will be training up to 5 times a week and lifting heavy weight. Your gym equipment needs to reflect your commitment. A cheap home gym simply does not have the feel and quality required for serious weight training.

I have seen it so many times; people try and cut corners when buying gym equipment and the following happens:

1) You lose interest in weight training because it does not have the feel and function of quality gym equipment. 2) They neglect key body parts like legs because they do not have adequate exercises to work those muscle groups effectively. 3) The gym breaks and is used as a piece of contemporary art in the spare room. 4) They end up upgrading to a quality piece of home gym equipment – wasting training time and money in the process.

Although it sounds cliched, buying a home gym is an investment. If you buy some decent gym equipment you will get a return on your investment – not just financially from saving gym fees but from your improved strength and fitness.

A good quality Leverage gym like the Powertec LeverGym or Powertec Multi System allow you to perform multiple exercises safely like cable home gyms. Unlike cable home gyms, the Powertec Leverage Gyms are not restricted by weight stacks – they are plate loaded and have high load capacities so you are not going to outgrow these gyms.

Powertec Multi Gym


This is an issue for most people. There are two factors that you need to consider when selecting your gym equipment.

Firstly you have to work out how much space you are willing to devote to your home gym. Once again you will have to determine how dedicated you are to your training. Remember that you will be training regularly so it might worth sacrificing your collection of crap in your garage/spare room that has not been touched in years.

You might also consider parking the car on the street instead of the garage.

But in reality for most the amount of space will be determined by the wife.

Once you have determined how much space you will have for your home gym you will need to work out what gym equipment you are going to purchase. The biggest mistake people make here is that they try and cram too much in and the weight training workout soon becomes an obstacle course.

I always recommend that you go with a little less than try and fit too much in your home gym. Remember that you need to focus on your compound movements to get results and Sam’s Fitness has several different pieces of gym equipment that can achieve this result without taking up much space at all. Ironmaster fitness equipment is specifically designed to pack as many features in with a minimum of space.


I touched on the investment aspect of buying a home gym. I hate using terms like that because everyone seems to use it these days. But as I have said many times before if you train with weights consistently you will get benefits. Training at home is much more convenient for most people so it will help with your consistency.

You need to factor in how much you will be spending on gym memberships over the future years.

As above you will most probably need approval from the wife or girlfriend – good luck.