1. First Things First
You’ve finally come around to setting up a little gym in your home and you’re wondering where to begin. First things first, you will need to find a space where you can set up a workout area. Ideally, you’ll need enough room to move your arms and legs freely in both a standing position and lying position. Try to select a place that has lots of natural light to keep your mind positive and your work energized. Creating a great atmosphere will go a long way to sticking to an exercise program.
Once you have your spot picked out, look at picking up the following pieces of equipment;
3 sizes of dumbbell pairs (three pairs is the minimum; you can add more as your strength increases).
- Get some smaller weights for working the finer muscles like the rotator cuff. Usually 1-3 lbs. depending on your starting strength.
- You’ll need some medium weights for the slightly larger muscles like biceps and triceps. It’s a good idea to try them out before taking them home. A good weight is one that allows you to perform 8-10 reps of bicep curls, fatiguing on the 11th rep.
- To work the big muscles, like the legs, chest and back, you’ll also need heavy weights. You can usually double the heaviness of the medium weights.
Note: always purchase dumbbells in pairs (same weight).
If finances allow, a set of stackable dumbbells like the Powerblocks (http://www.powerblock.com) can be a great option for space saving.
If you’re completely new to training, you’ll need to know what you are doing. A book on how to use dumbbells and how to set up your own routine will go a long way to smoothing out the rough edges of working with free weights. Do some online research and get some fitness posters for easy reference (fitness posters are a great idea for different exercise options at your fingertips). Using reference materials is a must for knowledgeably working your whole body, as well as getting the most value out of your dumbbell purchase. There more exercises you can do with the same equipment, the greater the value of that equipment. That is all you need to get started.
4. Add-on Equipment
To improve the quality of your workouts you can also add;
- a bench for better range of motion; preferably a flat to incline bench so you can lie on it as well set it to a chair position for back support.
- a mirror to check your form (compare to images in posters*).
- gloves to protest your hands (dumbbells are almost entirely held in the hands and gloves will help dissipate the pulling stress on your wrist and finger joints).
5. In Conclusion
You have now carved out your own little gym, safe in the knowledge that dumbbells are one of the most cost-prudent fitness tools , while still being the most beneficial in terms of exercise quality and effectiveness. Creating this space of your own will go a long way to staying motivated on the quest of health, strength and fitness.