There are three peices of fitness equipment you can get fdor your home gym that will do all you'll ever need.

There are three peices of fitness equipment you can get fdor your home gym that will do all you'll ever need.

Let’s face it, not everyone wants to or can afford to work out at a club. For a number of reasons many people want or need to work out at home. If you want to get in a great workout at home, you’re going to need some gear. Here is the best home fitness equipment, so you can start losing that layer of fat and adding muscle in all the right places.

One of the secrets to dropping fat is that you have to add muscle. Muscle is like the key to fat loss. It literally forces your body to burn more calories, so everything else being equal, the more muscle you have packed onto your frame, the higher your metabolic rate will be. That is a great thing, because the higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you are going to burn 24/7.

Losing fat is a numbers game. Burn more calories than you eat, and the weight will come off. Actually, it is more than fat coming off that you should be concerned about. You can be 6′ tall and 225 lbs and look great like a linebacker or look like the Michelin man. It is your body composition that you have to worry about.

If you are going to be trying to get on the good side of the body composition equation while working out at home the big thing most people have against them is the relative lack of space. Even if you dedicate an entire spare bedroom to build your home gym, that is a tiny fraction of the space at even the most modest health club. It is even small by the standards of the personalized health studios.

The lack of space means that you’ll have to make the most efficient use of what you have. To do that you’ll have to look at two factors; what is the most effective workout, and what fitness equipment do you need to do it in the space you’ve allocated to your home gym.

For fat loss and muscle gain, the most effective exercises for the time spent are typically heavy, compound movements, such as the bench press, squat, and dead lift. You may not have the space or finances to dedicate to a full sized squat rack, so thankfully there is a way around it. Even if you do the big three compound exercises, you’ll probably also want to do some additional exercises.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that you want to get complete, symmetrical development by training all your muscles and not letting any one muscle group out pace the others. The other reason is that it has been demonstrated that it is more effective to change up the exercises in your workout every so often. This keeps you muscles guessing so that they have to constantly adapt.

Hypertrophy, the fancy name for muscle growth is your body’s adaptive response to stimulus, in this case resistance training. The more you keep it guessing about what is coming next the more it has to adapt and keep adapting in order to be ready for whatever lies ahead. The way it does this in a training situation is by increasing the size and strength of your skeletal muscles.

Every extra pound of muscle you get not only makes you stronger and look better (to a point), it burns another 5 – 15 calories per day, some studies place the number even high, as far as 50 calories per day. What ever the true number, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that building muscle keeps the body’s metabolism elevated to a greater degree, as measured by excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

EPOC, as the name suggests is a measurement of the amount of oxygen your body consumes after your exercise session has ended. The increased oxygen consumption indicates that  your body’s metabolism is elevated and your body is working on replenishing what was lost, damaged, and destroyed during your workout. In addition to this repair procedure, which can take several days, your body has to do several things in order to recover from an intense exercise session. It must reoxygenate your blood, restore your circulatory hormones, replenish your energy resources, and return your body temperature, respiration, and heart rate to normal. The energy it expends to do these things accounts for EPOC. The larger the measured EPOC response, the larger the metabolic increase.

Studies that investigated EPOC have concluded that high intensity interval training has the largest effect on EPOC (1999 study by Haltom et al.), and that resistance training will give a larger EPOC response that aerobic training (1998 study by Burleson et al.). A 2000 study by Osterberg and Melby on women that performed 10 different weight training exercises including the bench press, bent over row, and leg extensions, showed that the test subjects resting metabolic rate was still 4.2% higher 16 hours after the end of the training session than its’ level before.

You need to do a high intensity, high volume, medium repetition, high weight, training session to get the maximum benefit. Can you do this at home on home fitness equipment? Of course, but you are going to need quite an array of it in order to do everything.

Here is my pick for the best home fitness equipment to accomplish your goals. It was evaluated for versatility, value, volume and effectiveness. The VVVE parameters, as it were. The top 3 pieces of home fitness equipment for your home gym are:

Here are the 5 - 45;b variation of the Power Block adjustable dumbbells

Here are the 5 - 45 lb variation of the Power Block adjustable dumbbells

1)    Adjustable dumbbells – I have posted about these versatile gym wonders before. They can virtually hide in a corner, yet they can let you do almost any conceivable exercise, when coupled with an incline bench, which a few of the adjustable dumbbell sets include as part of the package. They are great for two reasons; they fit a whole dumbbell series into the corner of your room, and they are far less expensive than buying an entire series. I have had my 5 – 90lb PowerBlocks for years and they haven’t let me down yet. Different variations of adjustable dumbbells are also made/marketed by IronMaster, Weider, Reebok, Lifesmart, and Bayou.

2)    Fitness ball – Once again, it is the same criteria that pushes the fitness ball to the front of the pack. They let you do any number of exercises, and if you saw my post on the best ab exercises a few weeks ago, you know that crunches on a fitness ball are one of the most effective ab exercises. You can also use them for all manner of other exercises and even as a makeshift bench for presses, but be very careful. You can really hurt yourself if you try to use heavy weights with a ball in this manner, because they are an unstable base.
3)    Treadmill – Cardio may not be my favorite fat burning methodology, but it sure has it’s place for increasing your endurance, and improving your cardio vascular health, plus it does burn fat. I would have put an elliptical trainer on this list, but although they are more effective than a treadmill, they tend to run about twice the price of a decent treadmill, so I went that direction instead. Why even have a piece of cardio equipment on here at all? After all, the road is free, and you can go running any time for nothing.

In some places, running or doing any exercise outside is just not a very real option. Tried running outside in Phoenix, Tucson, or Las Vegas from June through September? How about Calgary, Minneapolis, or Fairbanks in December, Jamuary, or Feburary? Seattle, during the rainy months? Exactly! Many people will need to have some cardio option on a climate controlled environment, plus you can crank the tunes or watch TV while you do your cardio that way.

That round out my list for the best home fitness equipment to put in your home gym. They will help you add that all important muscle, and burn fat so everyone can see it.

Here are some great resources where you can save money on equipment for your home gym:
(if you buy anything there, I’ll get a few bucks to help keep the blog going)

Amazon.com
Deep Discounts on Home Fitness Equipment

Smooth Fitness
Up to 45% off treadmills with a lifetime warranty

BigFitness.com
Wholesale Fitness Equipment