Weight and Resistance Training - Advice on picking a home gym?

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03-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Hi there! I recently got a personal trainer and since I don't do the gym thing, she trains me at her house since she has a HUGE home gym! Like, the size of my house! lol. Anyways, i got a pilates machine (Stamina 4500) that she is going to use with me so I can do it at home as well and I have a tredmill with a deep incline for cardio. I'm looking into adding to my collection, but with so many PRICEY home gyms, I'm kinda intimidated. My husband wants a bowflex but I dont know if I want to spend that kinda money on it when you can buy a regular home gym for like $400 on amazon. I dont want something that has every single bell and whistle on it, since I can always add to it later... just something that will work the main areas and will work for both my hubby and me. If I have to spend $1000, then I guess I have to , but the more I can save the better. Just curious as to what you guys have or finds works the best. Thanks!

03-24-2008, 07:54 PM
I would get a bench, a stability ball, and a set of adjustable dumbbells for starters. Then a power cage, an olympic bar, and weight plates.

IMO, forget the $400 home gyms. They aren't well made, and they have all the inherent problems of training on nothing but machines...and a poorly built one, at that.


03-24-2008, 09:11 PM
Mel knows her stuff :)

I had thought about things like Bowflex and what not for years but really I think that simple is best to start out with. Free weights will take you far and if you want something to expand your workout, then a power cage (maybe one with pulleys).

I also recommend kettlebells because well they are pretty awesome and offer a full body workout with cardio benefits.

03-24-2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the advice! I have the a couple stability balls, some dumbells (gonna get the adjustables this weekend) and working on getting the bench. I gotta say, I've never heard of a power cage before, but after looking them up I was like, "Oh! So thats what those things are called!" lol. Do you or anyone have a preference as to which ones are better. I thought this one looking interesting since it had a lot to it and was priced right.http://http://www.amazon.com/Apex-AX-PWR7-Cage-System/dp/B000CSJZWY/ref=pd_bbs_11?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1206403770&sr=8-11

03-24-2008, 09:21 PM
Tiffy - that link didn't work. But when I looked for an Apex cage on Amazon, what came up is not what I call a power cage. this (http://www.amazon.com/Powerline-PPR200X-PowerLine-Power-Rack/dp/B000VLRVSC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1206404265&sr=8-4) is what I think of as a power cage. It helps you deal with heavy weights safely.

03-24-2008, 09:36 PM
Yeah I think if you search for 'power rack' on amazon, you will see quite a few of them. Some are called power cages, others called power racks. Also some come with additional pulley attachments which is a nice feature.

I had a bit of frustration in that stores generally don't sell power cages/racks so I couldn't see one in person. It would be nice to at least see an example of what you are buying.

03-24-2008, 10:22 PM
Tiffany, I can't see your link either. Cages are pretty simple.
If you were willing to spend in the bowflex range , I'd suggest this very versatile adjustable double pulley functional trainer (http://www.bigfitness.com/bosofutrce.html)and a bench instead. We have one at home that I use occasionally and my husband uses a lot.


03-24-2008, 10:59 PM
A few years ago, I picked up a Powertec Workbench (http://www.bigfitness.com/leveragesystem.html). I really like it-- it's very well constructed (doesn't wobble or creak or anything like your average cheesy home gyms).

Even the leg attachments are decent (although I usually skip machine-based leg workouts in favor of freeweight squats and deadlifts).

03-25-2008, 12:51 AM
OOOO!!! I really like the look of the Powertec WB-LS Erinyess74! I'm just a bit scared of the power cage... i mean, it looks huge! My trainer has all that kinda stuff and wants to start me out with squats in one soon, so I'm sure it would be good to have one. You really get results with something like that?

Would you think the powertec is better to get then the power cage? It looks like with the power cage you gotta buy all the attachments and what not sepreatly... the powertec has all the goodies already there.

The body solid functional trainer looks great too, but it is way to high priced for what I'd like to spend right now. Just don't have the money at the moment.

03-25-2008, 10:44 AM
You can look at the Powertec systems at Dicks sporting goods if you'd like to try them out before hand.

It really depends what you are looking for and why you want a home gym. For most things, you really don't need a home gym. Dumbbells of various weights, a ball and a bench would get you most of the capabilities of most home gyms without the cost or the space. The power rack/cage comes from the progression of using free weights. Hopefully if you are working with a personal trainer, they are working with you on free weights and your form.

03-25-2008, 11:17 AM
Yeah, she is working with me on form quite a bit and shes really nice cuz she trains me on the equipment that I have at home when I'm at her house, so everything she does with me, I can do at home. Yeah, so far its been free weights, resistence bands (which I have as well) stability ball, kick boxing, and working on a pilates machine (which i ordered on amazon and should be here soon! YAY!). I really want to body build, not for competition, but so I can get a hard body. My P. Trainer is also a nutritionist and has me on 1800 cal a day diet with 75 grams a day of protein, so I have to work my muscels alot...lol.

03-25-2008, 01:42 PM



these are three cage systems I was looking at and wanted to know what you guys thought...

03-25-2008, 02:14 PM
I know Mel has done more research into it but unless you want to spend a lot of money, Smith machines are really not the way to go. I know part of the problem is that they require your body to move in track faction, which is not how your body is designed. You also won't engage other supportive muscles.

I used to use smith machines at a gym and I used to love them but that was because I didn't have to use my core muscles to have to stabilize the weight. Sadly, I never tried to use the power cages or what not at the gym utilizing a barbell. Now I have a system where my barbell moves freely, it is much more challenging to work out and many more muscles are worked.

03-25-2008, 08:31 PM
Ok, I took your guys advice. I didnt get a power cage, but I did get a really nice free weight set up. its a golds gym (from wal-mart...lame I know, but it looked to cool not to get!). Come with adjustable weight bench, leg thinging attachment, squat bar, and other goodies... I'm really well corrdinated, so I think the power cage might have been too much...plus I got a hubby to spot me as well. It called an olympian something.. .heres the link. http://www.goldsgear.com/cgi-bin/frontrunner.cgi?ri=111&rc=GGYM&rs=T&ro=T&pln=HE&pid=HEEQ&pm=&sid=GGBE1486&whs=ALL&os=NEXTAG

I think to get me started along with all the other stuff I have, it'll get me in the shape I want. Hopefully... lol. I also got about 100 lbs of plates to get me started on it as well... I figure I can increase once I build strength. Any suggestion on programs to get me going?

03-25-2008, 08:47 PM
You can do a lot with that :)

As for a program, if you are already working with a personal trainer, I think she is the one to ask.


03-25-2008, 09:11 PM
I think you can definitely do a lot with that. I think another member posted recently that they had that setup or a similar one.