So, you’ve decided to build your own home gym! You may be too busy to spend those 30 minutes on a car ride just to get to your „regular“ gym; or you may have always wanted to have a home gym and now can finally build it, or… Whatever the reason may be, it is a great decision that will reap benefits for you, years down the line. Awesome!
But, first, there are decisions to be made. Namely: what should you start out with in your home gym? You need to pick your equipment carefully – luckily, Jocko Willink himself has a few words of advice!
FIRST PIECES OF EQUIPMENT: PULL-UP BAR AND DIP STATION!
The absolute first things you need to start out with, in Jocko’s opinion, is the equipment which will enable you to do pull-ups and dips. These two exercises are fantastic for strength building, and the equipment – a pull-up bar and a dip station – which’ll make it possible for you to do them is more than necessary.
Jocko advises carefulness when choosing a pull-up bar, however. He explains that you shouldn’t „cut corners“ when picking one to do your pull-ups from; as it’s really not a good idea to do them on a wobbly and unsafe setup. So, pick something sturdy! He says that you can even take a regular two-inch pipe from a place such as the Home Depot (something which Jocko has done himself), bolt it to a wall (or to a squat rack, like Jocko) and do your pull-ups from there!
On the flip side, Jocko points out that it is not necessary to pick the dip station with the same sort of diligence; just be sure to have a trusting and solid pull-up bar.
And if you want to have a „two in one“ piece of equipment, then Jocko has a great piece of advice for that as well! Go for the gymnastic rings. You can do both pull-ups and dips on them; just adjust their height and you have an immensely functional home gym from the get-go!
UPGRADE YOUR HOME GYM
Once the dips and pull-up equipment have been acquired, Jocko says that you need to invest in a squat rack; as well as into an Olympic Lifting Bar and a set of bumper plates. When you add these into your home gym, you’ll have a whole new world at your feet! Really, at your feet: you’ll be able to do Squats, Deadlifts, Cleans, Clean and Jerks and many other substantial strength and explosive training exercises that will make you grow.
After that, Jocko says that he would go for the kettlebells. They’ve long been proven as a trusted and effective workout tool; you can do swings, farmers’ walks, snatches, Turkish get-ups… In a word, Jocko explains that there are a ton of exercises that one can do with kettlebells. Plus, they can be used very efficiently as a metabolic conditioning tool as well!
He says that a rower would be a great addition to your home gym as well; it provides a chance for quick, effective and brutal workouts. Assault AirBikes, even though he said that he doesn’t have them for now, are yet another fantastic choice in Jocko’s view.
He finishes off by mentioning jump rope as a great piece of equipment for ramping up your conditioning, as well as medicine balls. Everything else that you choose to add – after these essentials have found a place in your home gym – are just additions that can make you progress further.
Watch Jocko explain what your home gym needs on the video below:
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