Before you start scanning reviews of bodybuilding equipment online or buying workout programs, it’s important to build your base. The foundation of your bodybuilding success is going to rely on how much prep work you put in. Here are six things to consider before you start creating a bodybuilding home gym. It all starts with your goals.
1. What Are Your Fitness Goals?
What exactly do you want to achieve with these bodybuilding workouts? It’s not enough to say you want more muscle. You must be specific:
- How much more muscle than what you have now?
- Do you want functional muscle growth like what a CrossFitter would develop?
- Do you want to hit the bodybuilding stage in a year and compete?
It’s also important to write establish your why for chasing these goals. Bodybuilding is no small feat, so what is motivating you to go after this goal? Recognizing your motivation will help you keep going when times get tough.
Check out our article on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This article will walk you through in-depth questions to help you establish concrete and realistic bodybuilding goals.
2. What Are Your Weak Points?
Once you’ve written down your bodybuilding goals, you’ll have a destination that you need to work towards. Now, it’s time to build the path to get there.
Despite what seems to be the norm, bodybuilding workouts that are available online are not universal. This means what worked for Arnold in 1970 probably won’t work for you today. Why? Every body is different.
This is why personal trainers create custom workouts for clients based on an in-depth consultation. They need to learn the weak points, medical history, fitness experience, and medical conditions of their clients, then build a program that will strengthen the weak points and help them improve.
The best way to establish your weak points and current abilities is with fitness tests.
3. Do You Have a Bodybuilding Workout?
You know where you want to go and what to work on, now it’s time to build a workout that meets both of those objectives.
If you have no experience with fitness, exercise, or the variables of bodybuilding, we highly recommend hiring a personal trainer for a month or two.
If you’re opposed to a personal trainer, hear us out: Consider what your time is worth. Let’s say your time is worth $50 per hour. Now consider how long it will take you to research everything you need to know to learn how to perform bodybuilding exercises. Think about the number of hours it will take you to perform these movements until you perfect them.
For the sake of argument, let’s say it takes you 20 hours to do all of your research and execution. Given what your time is worth, you’re spending $1,000 just to get started with the learning process.
Hiring a trainer will fast track this process and you’ll be spending literally a fraction of that. Best of all, what you’ll learn from a personal trainer will last you a lifetime and you’ll be able to help family and friends with their own fitness goals.
If you have over a year of experience with exercise, here are some bodybuilding workouts to give you some ideas of where to get started. Take into consideration the results from your fitness tests and what you need to work on.
4. Is Your Diet Primed for Muscle Growth?
Even with the best bodybuilding equipment and workout, you’ll never see optimal results without a healthy diet that is focused on recovery and muscle growth.
A bodybuilding diet is heavy on protein, healthy fats, and strategic carbohydrates. However, if you have food sensitivities or allergies, it’ll be important to have a custom dietary plan made for you.
Nutrition is tough and pinpointing an ideal nutrition plan for your specific needs is even tougher. Like the recommendation above, if you have no experience with proper nutrition, spend an hour with a nutritionist or registered dietician.
A nutritionist can create a custom meal plan just for you that takes into consideration your fitness goals, food sensitivities, and medical history. The result of just one session with a nutritionist is a literal food map to muscle growth.
In the meantime, you can check out the best foods for recovery and results to see if any align with what you’re eating now.
5. What Bodybuilding Equipment Do You Need?
Now comes the fun part: buying the tools that will help you sculpt your physique.
Not all bodybuilding equipment is created equal. If you’ll be spending at least an hour exercising, up to five or six days per week, you want equipment that can take a beating and last for years to come.
A squat rack, bench, and barbell are a given, but there’s a lot more to consider based on your budget and how much room you have to spare in your home. Check out our in-depth article on the best bodybuilding equipment.
6. Do You Have Bodybuilding Gear to Help You Succeed?
Bodybuilding success goes beyond big weights. Often, it’s the little things that make a huge difference in your workouts. For example, a pair of weightlifting straps can save your hands from harsh calluses.
Another great example is a weightlifting belt that gives your abdominals a wall for bracing support during heavy lifting days with squats and deadlifts.
Here’s a rundown of bodybuilding gear to consider:
- Squat pad
- Knee sleeves
- Alpha grips (for thick grip training)
- Blood flow restriction bands (proven to increase muscle growth)
- Lifting strap combo
What Did You Have in Mind for Your Bodybuilding Home Gym?
Already know how you’ll design and create your home gym? Have you already started building it? Tag us on Instagram so we can check it out and share!