Building an Awesome & Affordable Home Bodyweight Gym

By on November 13, 2018

As most of you know by now, my wife and I are currently expecting our first child. In fact, she was due in several days ago, so she could arrive at literally any moment now. Exciting stuff!

home bodyweight gym

Also scary though. And one of my more selfish concerns, is that I’m not going to have as much time for working out/training.

This is why I have recently gone about creating a second home gym – a home bodyweight gym. This one is outdoors and is focused almost entirely on bodyweight training. I actually think it’s going to give me more opportunity to train hard and see progress in my physique than any previous set up. It was affordable too – requiring just a few new items and a couple I already had.

Being an outdoors home bodyweight gym allows me to train in a much more explosive manner with no concern for breaking anything (the BioLab upstairs has creaky floorboards). It means I can perform pull ups without being hindered by hitting the ceiling. It’s like having a playground in the garden and I can never wait to get out there and get climbing and jumping all over it. Plus it means I can get all the additional benefits from being outside that I’ve detailed in my previous posts on the Wim Hof Method and Spartan Training. I’ve talked in the past about how our indoor lifestyles have domesticated us. Training outside not only makes you feel like a badass when it’s raining, it also improves your sleep/wake cycle, helps you get more vitamin D to improve your immune system, boosts your thermal regulation… the list goes on.

Outdoor training

In short, I highly recommend creating a home bodyweight gym like this to anyone wanting to get into shape – and especially anyone who wants to increase their mobility and performance. So here is the equipment that I’m currently using…

(Note: I’ve provided affiliate links and yes they help me out if you buy using them, but none of these are sponsored and I selected all the items simply because I thought they were awesome! Of course there are plenty of variations on all these things around, so shop about and see what works for your set up.)

Home Bodyweight Training Equipment

Outdoor home gym

Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar

A wall mounted pull up bar lets you perform chin ups and pull ups explosively, and to launch yourself up in the air for dips, handstand push ups, muscle ups, and more. Not only that, but the one I chose came with eyelets – which allows me to attach other stuff to it as well. You can even do dips from the neutral grip bars on my one, making it pretty much an all-in-one home bodyweight gym. Of course if you don’t have the luxury of being able to drill into a wall, then a bar that fits into a doorway is the next best thing.

But if you do have the outside option… I highly recommend it!

Amazon US Link

Amazon UK Link

Rope

A simple piece of rope is one of the most affordable and versatile pieces of training equipment going. I got some rope from eBay with a loop in the end, which I can then hook through a carabiner and use for rope climbs, bodyweight tricep extensions, rope pulls ups, bodyweight rows, and more.

You can also use the rope for punching and kicking, as a way to train accuracy and speed as a martial artist. Just make sure not to lock out your joints and injure them.

Finally, a rope can also be used to steady yourself when performing pistol squats and the like. And if you don’t want to use it in your home bodyweight gym, then you can always take it with you to your local gym, use it down the park, or even attach it to a tree.

Gymnastics Rings

gymnastic strength training outdoors

These shouldn’t really live outside, but keep them by the door and they’re good to go whenever you are. They’ll then loop over the neutral grip bars of the pull up bar, so that you can do ring dips, RTO push ups, ring chin ups etc.

These are 100% better value than crappy TRX and let you do a whole lot more with them.

Amazon US Link

Amazon UK Link

Parallettes

parallettes for home gym

Seeing as we can perform dips on the pull up bars (and most dipping stations aren’t suitable for being stored outdoors), parallettes are a great option for all the pec work. You can use these for extended range of motion push ups, but also for planche training, handstand press ups, frog stands, and any other kind of hand balancing. If you only get two items for a home bodyweight gym, I recommend the pull up bar and the parallettes.

Amazono US Link

Amazon UK Link

Kettlebell

This isn’t a bodyweight tool but it’s a great inclusion that makes it easier to train the legs and to get some resistance cardio in with kettlebell swings, goblet squats, goblet pistol squats etc. I bought one massive 36kg kettlebell and it’s a very versatile tool that can almost replace a barbell. Mine lives outside and there have been no issues with that so far.

Pistol squats

I’m looking to add an Indian club/Clubbell as well for similar functional/versatile strength building.

Amazon US Link

Amazon UK Link

Battleropes

Battleropes are surprisingly affordable if you avoid any big brands and an excellent option for resistance cardio. As long as you have something to loop them over and a long enough garden, you can use them anywhere.

Amazon US Link

Amazon UK Link

Barbell

While the kettlebell is my go-to for a lot of leg moves and weighted bodyweight stuff, I do also use a barbell for a bunch of stuff too. I keep it fairly light at about 30-40kg, but I up the difficulty by using more challenging moves – like the old-time strongman squat press.

Bent Piece of Metal

I also use a bent piece of metal… This can be hooked over a pull up bar to change up your grip, or it can be squeezed as a form of overcoming isometrics.

Future Additions to the Home Bodyweight Gym

So that’s my home bodyweight gym, which thanks to a suggestion from @b0yw0nd3r7 on Instagram, I’m going to be calling the Bio-Arena (thanks to @B0yw0nd3r7 for the suggestion!). Let me know what you guys use for bodyweight training, what I’ve missed, and what you think of this set-up. I’ve got plenty I plan on adding myself, from some clubbells, to a punch bag, to a weighted vest – but this alone is more than enough for a huge range of challenging workouts. Let me know what you use for a home bodyweight gym!

Home gym

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

One Comment

  1. Benson says:

    Awesome stuff mate, I also have young kids so am looking to make a similar set up in my garden.

    Can I ask how well that pullup bar has fared living outside? Has it been affected by the elements at all?

    Thanks for all your work, I’m learning loads!

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