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Jim's Bodybuilding Guide - Intro
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Home Gym Exercise Equipment

Choosing a Home Gym Guide - 1
Choosing a Home Gym Guide - 2
Choosing a Home Gym Guide - 3
Choosing a Home Gym Guide - 4
Total Gym Review
Total Gym Models Compared
Power Rack Review
Power Rack Exercises

Home Workout Equipment Guide

Part 3: Choosing The Right Home Workout Equipment

Let's continue with the other factors to consider when shopping for the suitable home workout equipment. If you missed parts 1 and 2, here they are:

Part 1: Personal Home Gym Guide
Part 2: Choosing A Home Exercise Equipment

3) What's your budget for the workout equipment in your home gym

When I set out to shop for some workout equipment for my home gym, I initially planned for about $800 bucks, and maybe up to $1000 if there's something I really liked. I didn't want to go all out and spend over $2000 bucks for a fully loaded workout station, since I was going to the gym regularly anyways.

My main reason for shopping around for some home exercise equipment is that I'm too busy sometimes to get to the gym, and I don't want to miss a workout. So I needed something convenient (like in my home), and which allowed me to do exercises that doesn't need a spotter.

Again, the power rack was my "workout equipment of choice" for the versatility it offered, and the safety bars on it sealed the deal. :) With it, I can do some pretty basic power exercises like squat, bench, etc... even without a spotter. Of course, the range of movement is a little limited because of the safety bars. :) Still, I ended up not getting the power rack, because I first need to shop around for a bigger place. Haha... :-)

If it's mass and strength you're after, I think the power rack is one of the better choices for home workout equipment, even though it is quite large. Read this article about power racks.

Sorry, back to the main topic, :) Figure out how much you're willing to spend for your home workout equipment. There's really no point looking at a $2500 machine when you only plan to spend $1000, or plan to spend $2000 when all you need is a set of barbells and dumbbells to get started. In short, think about what you want to accomplish, what workout equipment is required to accomplish that goal, can you stick to a regular exercise schedule, and keep in mind the factors to consider that we have listed in Part 2: Choosing A Home Exercise Equipment.

4) What workout equipment should you choose: free weights vs. machines

I'll be straightforward on this, if you're after muscle, muscle, and more muscles, then go with free weights. Machines are great, no doubt, but nothing compares to what free weights can do for your strength and muscle gains. But then everyone has different set of goals, so it's very much dependent on that.

For someone who's more after overall fitness and toning, I would think perhaps machines will provide a better and fuller set of exercises and workouts than free weights. One of the major benefits of workout stations is the numerous exercises that can be done with them. You can pretty much workout your whole body.

Having free weights is slightly more troublesome as you have to keep on adding and removing the plates from the bar. That's a good reason to join a local gym. :) Wondering why free weights will do you good more than machines? Here's simple example:

Let's take bench press (on a machine) compared to dumbbell press for example, done with 2 dumbbells. Even though I've always made dumbbell press a regular part of my workout schedule, I never focused on it much - until 2nd year university when I had a new workout partner. At that time, my bench seem to have plateau ed at around 180 (I weigh around 135 to 150), and I decided to focus more on dumbbell presses. For about 6 weeks, I banged away with dumbbells, starting of with only 40's. Near the end, I was up to 100 pounders, which is 200 total. I was very excited needless to say. Then I tried for a 1 rep max bench, and did 225! A 45lb increase. :-) (I think creatine and whey protein helped, even though I've always cycled creatine)

So why the dramatic increase? Really, I'm not 100% for sure, but I know doing all those dumbbell presses helped a lot. One of the major reason (at least from what I speculate), is that when you're doing a bench press rep, your arms and shoulders stabilize against each other, because it's just 1 bar involved. So when you have a "weak spot" somewhere in your upper body, (ie. shoulders, chest, or tris), this weakness is compensated by the stabilization effect created by using a single bar.

This is even further heightened through the use of a machine, when you're not only stabilizing against yourself, you're now also stabilizing against the concrete solid steel machine. Also, the range of motion is limited by what the machine is capable of.

But with dumbbells, you no longer have the stabilization effect, and each side is left to fend for itself. (This is one of the major reasons why most people have a weaker dumbbells press.) This is also where you find your weak spot. With dumbbells, you can effectively work it to strengthen your weak spot.

Ok, I went a little over-board with that example, but it gives you a good idea of what you can achieve with free weights that you can't with machines. Just something to consider.

We'll continue with the final 2 points in part 4: choosing the best exercise equipment for you home gym.

If you don't wanna do all the reading, and are eager to find workout equipment best for your home gym, take a look at bigfitness clicking on the link below. They offer free shipping within the U.S. and monthly payment plans are available with them.

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