Home Workout Equipment

Home Workout Equipment

To work out at home you will need some minimal equipment. Your first purchase should be a used dumbbell set. If you have room, a used adjustable bench is a good addition. Don’t buy any of these items new, you can get them for pennies on the dollar buy buying them at garage sales or online at a place like craigslist. Many people just want these type of items out of their garage and they don’t care how much they get as long as you haul them out of the way for them!

If you buy any of the products thru the below links you will help support my fitness outreach work at scoobysworkshop as I get a small sales commission from Amazon.com. If you find a cheaper place to buy these products (total price including shipping and tax) then please let me know. I want to make sure YOU get the lowest prices!

Essential Equipment

doorway mount pullup bar

Essential, A pull-up bar. All the time I get emails from people without pullup bars asking for an exercise they can substitute for pullups – there are none! Pullups are an essential upper body exercise and you must have a pullup barif you are serious about bodybuilding and want to work out at home. If you “dont have anywhere to do pullups”, then checkout 100 places to do pullups. If you are handy, you can build your own ceiling retractible pullup bar or you can buy a no-mar, doorway mount pullup bar. You can get doorway mount pullup bars at big box stores or online thru the above link for less than $25 with free shipping.

weight set

weight set

Essential, Used dumbbell set. Dumbbells are the ultimate in versatility and convenience, they can be used to exercise every single body part and they can be stored in a small corner of your closet – try that with a rowflexx! Get these used at a garage sale, no need to buy them new – you should be able to find a used set really cheap. Use craigslist.org to locate them, a good price is $0.10/lb to $0.50/lb – that is, a 310lb olympic set should sell for $31 – $155. Best are solid metal plates (not sand or concrete filled) and handles that allow quick plate removal. An excellent price for a new weight set would be $1.00/lb, if you pay more than $1.25/lb you are paying too much. Big box stores like Walmart sell weight plates for about $1/lb and you can also get weight plates online too for about $1/lb, look carefully and choose ones that have free shipping.



Essential, cardio equipment. If you want to jog for cardio get a good pair of running shoes. If you want to bike then get an inexpensive used bike. Don’t get anything with gears, we don’t want maintenance problems here as we are trying to save time not add more complications to our life and besides, the idea is to get more exercise and you get more on a one speed bike than a 21speed! Make sure you get one that will let you raise the seat to the proper height. Many have blown out their knees riding on a bike with the seat too low. A jump rope is a good cardio option for those who don’t live in a place where its possible to run or bike during the winter. Get these at a sporting goods store for about $15 or buy a jump rope online at about the same price, make sure to get one with free shipping.


Essential, Cushion. A good cushion is needed to protect your knees while doing dumbbell rows and other exercises.

kitchen scale

Essential, kitchen scale. For losing bodyfat you need to use portion control and a digitial scale like this makes it a snap. About $30 at big box stores or buy a digital kitchen scale online for $20, make sure to choose one with free shipping.

Optional Equipment

lifting straps

Optional, Lifting straps. Good if your wrists give out before your back does when you are doing pull-ups. Also useful if you are doing lunges with a heavy weight. You can buy inexpensive wrist straps for $3-$7, skip the expensive padded ones. If you cant get lifting straps at your local big box sporting goods store you can order them here online, again make sure to find one with free shipping.


Optional, Footstool for lunges and calf raises, optional. I made this one in 7th grade shop class, make sure yours is very sturdy.

pushup stand

Optional, Push-up stand. Pushup stands are great for allowing you to do pushups without damaging your wrists or hands. You can also use a set of octagonal dumbbells. Personally I don’t use either, I do them on my fists (with padding). You can get pushup stands online here for about $10

weight bench

Optional, Bench. These are handy but take up lots of space. I bought mine used for $60 and it included 120lbs of weights! I use it for doing inclines, preacher curls, leg curls and leg extensions. Flat bench press and flat dumbbell press I still do by laying on the ground directly. Again, you don’t really need one of these and I would advise against buying one but if you must have one you can buy one used for pennies on the dollar. Weight is a good indication of quality. If you can pick it up with one hand, its probably not going to safely support your weight :)  I wont give you a link to buy these because I dont want you to!!!  If you must buy one of these dust-catchers, buy a used one :)

tape measure

skinfold calipers

Optional, Progress Measurement Devices. A flexible tape measure is a cheap, simple and accurate way of measuring progress. A skinfold caliper is also a vital tool in gauging progress, a $15 is fine, dont go overboard with a professional one.  If you cant find one locally, you can get a skinfold caliper for $15 with free shipping from Amazon.  A body tape measure is about $10, if you cant find one locally you can get a body tape measure online for about $10, again, make sure to choose one with free shipping.

hanging ab straps

Optional, hanging ab straps. I use them a fair amount to exercise my lats when my elbow tendonitis is flaring up (see the injuries section). These hook onto your pull-up bar and can be used for ab exercises and for lats exercises when you have an injured elbow or hand. Get them at your local sporting good store, they often come as a package with a doorway mount pullup bar.

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