How To Setup a Minimalist Home Gym

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This is a guest post by Paul Vernon of

We are constantly bombarded by infomercials showcasing the latest and greatest gadgets which promise 6 pack abs in 3 weeks.

That’s not all, how can one forget about those 10-in-one machines which can do bench presses, chest presses, bicep curls, abdominal workouts and the like.

If you buy all of these things, then you will get the body that you’ve always wanted!

The problem with most of these machines and contraptions is that most of them do not work as advertised. Most of the models that they use are fitness models and bodybuilders.

Those people have already paid their dues and have probably never even used the product they’re endorsing to look like that themselves. Although, we must admit, when they use the product, it looks absolutely believable that the thing works.

However, you do not need all of those things. In all likelihood, those gadgets will probably just sit around in your house and collect dust. So many people are guilty of this. They have so much fitness equipment at home that it can actually fit in a room.

The complexity and ineffectiveness of these gadgets actually does not help you at all. You don’t need a separate machine for each muscle group!

Why Less is Better

The better alternative is becoming a minimalist when it comes to setting up your home gym. You really only need a few things to get started. These things won’t even clutter up your room. That’s not all, with a minimalist mindset to home-based workouts you will:

  • Be able to focus energy on a few workouts that will really bring out the results
  • Do not clutter your room and will rarely collect dust because you get to use all of them
  • Save money. The equipment/stuff you need won’t cost as much as a $1000++ dollar Life Fitness machine
  • Be more creative with your workouts, not be bored with silly machines. Utilize and maximize your own biomechanical advantage
  • Love the outdoors (for outdoor workouts)

Things you need for a Minimalist Workout

The goal of the minimalist home gym is to be able maximize your bodyweight and supplement it with a few cost-efficient equipment/stuff that will help you workout. At the same time, we don’t want to clutter your room or basement with so much useless stuff:

Here’s the stuff you really need to get started:

  • Door pull up bar / Pull up station – The door pull up bars are actually very convenient. You just need to follow the instructions to be able to attach it to the door. If you’re not using it right away you can just unbolt it and tuck it away to a corner or something.
  • Kettle bells – You can do so many workouts with these things. They are wonderful! You can use these as strength training equipment or for aerobic/cardio. Some of the exercises you can do with these are kettle bell swings, snatches, etc.
  • Jump Rope – You live in a condominium/apartment? No treadmill? NO PROBLEM! The jump rope is the most underrated piece of cardio equipment ever. And it’s not even expensive! The jump rope is being used by professional fighters as part of their conditioning workouts and as a supplement to their cardiovascular activities such as the sprints/run
  • Resistance bands – Another underrated piece of equipment. You can use these to make workouts such as push ups more challenging. You can also use resistance bands to help you progress towards doing your own pull ups.You can do bicep curls using resistance bands and the nice thing about this piece of equipment is that the resistance goes all the way throughout 100% of the range of movement. Celebrities use this a lot especially when they’re out on set filming for a movie, such example is Taylor Lautner.
  • Gymboss – I really love the Gymboss. This little thing is the key to intense cardio workouts and the key to manage your time. Too many people take more time than what is needed to rest in between sets. This will tell you that the time is up, and you need to crank out that next step.
  • Medicine Balls – These are excellent pieces of cardio equipment. Try slamming them for 1 minute straight (my personal favorite). Let’s see if you’re not sweating buckets. You can also use these for oblique ab training, power-overs (push up variation), and the like. A 5kg to 8kg medicine ball will do for a start, but you can opt to use a lighter medicine ball.

Bio: Paul Vernon lost 29 lbs in 7 months by following a sensible eating plan and a home-based workout. You can download his free 30-day Cubicle Warrior program at his blog:

Related posts:

  1. Gym In a Bag Review (Minimalist Home Gym)
  2. Going To A Virtual Gym Can Help With Weight Loss
  3. LA Fitness Gym Fail Video & Competition
  4. The Outdoor Gym the Natural Way To Get Fit
  5. The Outdoor Gym a New Concept in Exercise
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Comments Closed

  • Barryjmcdonald

    I think minimalist training has become more popular due to people now having less money to spend on fancy gadgets and exercise equipment. As you’ve shown in your blog post you can get a great workout with just a pair of kettlebells and a skipping rope.

  • Anonymous

    Going to a gym is a bit of a luxury for some people I dare say but these days, there are more pieces of equipment you can buy that will help get in shape without spending a fortune.

  • Troy Pesola

    You just described my garage gym. Well close. I have one resistance band, but don’t use it much. I use a Tabata timer app on my iPhone instead of the GymBoss. Then I’ve also added Plyometric boxes for jump training, a Bulgarian training bag for kill core-cardio exercises, and a set of gymnastics rings.

    It doesn’t take much – minimalistic is perfect.

  • Anonymous

    No it doesn’t all you need to know is what to do and you can workout with a bare minimum it is possible and you don’t need to spend a fortune.

  • Jason CSCS

     You are right less is better.  I think I would skip on the kettlebells.  For the money I think a person is better served by powerblocks because the price is so much better and you can do so much more with them.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason we all have different needs I guess but I’m game for trying different methods equipment thanks for the input.