What should I have in my home gym UK?


What should I have in my home gym UK

What equipment should I have in my home gym UK? The essentials

Start with the essentials and see what else you can fit in. If strength training is your preference, make room for a squat rack, if you are a bodybuilder seeking hypertrophy, you will want dumbbells and a cable machine, for functional fitness, you will probably need a plyo-box and suspension straps. 

Think about what your goals are. Make a list of the equipment required to reach those goals starting with the most essential and build your UK home gym around that. 

Can a home bodybuilding gym be as good as a commercial gym in the UK?

This is going to depend on your workout split and your goals. For hypertrophy, it is easier to use a commercial gym with a range of fixed cable machines. 

Let's take the seated calf press for example. Not many home gyms will have one of these leaving calf exercises restricted to standing press. 

The same for hip abductor machines and hack squat machines. Bodybuilding is absolutely possible in a home gym but you may have to adjust the way that you train!

What should I have in my home gym UK

Strength trainers will find it much easier to make gains in a home gym. The equipment required is far more limited therefore requiring less space. 

As long as you have a good quality squat rack, a heavy-duty bench that you can use with the rack, a decent Olympic bar and a good selection of Olympic plates, you are set. 

You may want to do accessory work but this is easily achievable with dumbbells, a cable pulley and resistance bands. 

What are the benefits of bodybuilding at home in the UK?

Bodybuilders and strength trainers in the UK can all benefit from setting up a home gym, even if it is just for occasional use. 

Sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to go to the gym, especially if you know it is going to be busy. Standing around, waiting for machines to be free and making small talk with strangers can be a chore. It s far easier to walk to your garage, put some music on and get on with it. 

Having the convenience of a home gym is also great if you like to split up your workout. If you are doing a super-accumulation workout split, for example, it is a lot easier than going to the gym twice per day. You can fit short workouts in around work commitments, child care and school runs. 

One other huge benefit is that you can personalise your gym space. All of the machines can be set up to your preference with bars already loaded and seats already adjusted. 

No more waiting for somebody else to finish on a machine and having to wipe their sweat off of it. You can add artwork, mirrors, a drinks fridge, speakers, whatever you want to make it your personal space.

How much space do I need for a home bodybuilding gym?

In general, garages in the UK tend to be smaller than a typical garage in the US. If you have a single car garage, you are going to have to think hard about the equipment that you can fit in and probably make some sacrifices. 

If you are lucky enough to have a double garage or large space, you will probably be able to fit in everything that you need. 

It is worthwhile designing your gym on 3d modelling software before ordering any equipment, You may be surprised at what you can fit in by playing around with the layout. 

Design a home gym UK

Below are some examples of equipment that you should consider for your UK home gym. All of this equipment comes from UK suppliers so should be available by clicking through the link. 

Remember to measure up, make sure that your gym space is watertight, insulated, has electrics (if needed) and that you have suitable flooring before receiving any gym equipment. 

Take a few days to paint the walls, lay down some rubber flooring and add electricity for your heating, fan, music etc... Making the gym a comfortable place to be will make it much more likely to be used. 

Building a home bodybuilding gym

Half rack - This is going to be the central focus of the majority of home gyms. Place it on good quality rubber matting and use the space for squats, rack pulls and deadlifts. 

You can slide a bench in and use the rack as a support for your barbell when bench pressing. This particular model has safety arms making it ideal for training without a spotter. 

There are cheaper options available but this one is strong and sturdy. Essential when you need it for the support! You can view more details or purchase this rack by clicking this link.

Half squat rack for UK home gym

Adjustable bench - This is going to be used with your rack for bench pressing and as a dumbbell bench for pressing and flyes. We have chosen a bench below that is strong, sturdy and easily adjustable. 

Cheap benches have a tendency to break under heavy loads. Don't skimp on your bench for your own safety! 

To view more details or buy our recommended bench, click here!
Adjustable weights bench home gym UK

Barbell bar - Choose a bar that suits you. If you train with heavy loads, go for a 20kg bar, if you train with a lighter load, go for a lighter bar or a ladies bar. It is worth spending the extra on a 2" bar. 

It will last a lot longer and will not bend as easily. 1" bars are very weak and you will probably find yourself upgrading within weeks. You can view our recommended Olympic bar by clicking this link!
Olympic bar for home gym

Weight plates - A good set of plates is not cheap. If you go for Olympic standard bumpers, you can literally spend thousands. 

For a home gym, Olympic standard plates are a bit overkill. The bumper plates we have listed below are reasonably priced and rubber-coated making them ideal for a garage gym.  

See the best value plates available right here!

Olympic weight plates for a garage gym UK

Plate tree - You may not think that this is important but plates scattered on the ground will quickly become annoying. 

If you have strong enough walls, you can mount a wall rack, if you just have single skin brick or stud walls, you are going to need a free-standing weight tree. 

They are fairly cheap and will keep everything organised. See our suggested option for a plate tree by clicking this link.

Home gym equipment

Dumbbell set - This is going to be the major expense with a home gym. A good dumbbell rack with a wide enough range of weights is going to cost a good four figures. 

Go for rubber-coated dumbbells as iron ones tend to rust in a garage environment. Avoid adjustable dumbbells if you can. 

They are a lot cheaper but when you select a heavier load, the dumbbells are very wide making them impossible to curl or balance easily. 

You can buy our recommended dumbbell set on this link!

Dumbbell rack for a home gym

Cable pulley - A good cable pulley system is a bit of a luxury in a home gym. If you have the space, try to fit one in, even if it is a single pulley. these are great for tricep work and other accessory exercises. 

If you have the space, fit in a double pulley so that you can perform flyes and stirrup shrugs. Buy our suggested cable pulley system on this link!

Cable machine for uk gym

Dip/leg raise station - A good dip/leg raise station will tuck away against a wall in your UK home gym. They are great for bodyweight exercises such as dips, pull-ups and hanging leg raises. 

For the price (usually under £100) they are a lot of kit for the money. Just make sure you have the ceiling height! You can see more details and purchase our suggested station on this link.

UK bodybuilding at home

Preacher bench - A preacher bench is another luxury but a great addition if you can fit it in. Nothing isolates the biceps like a preacher curl so having a dedicated station is great. 

You can also double it up as a hyperextension bench! You can buy our recommended preacher bench by clicking on this link.

UK gym equipment

EZ bar - If you're going to have a preacher bench, you are going to need an EZ bar to sit on it. Opt for a 2" bar so that you can add your Olympic plates on. 

You can buy the EZ bar that we recommend by clicking here.
EZ bar for home

Sissy squat bench - This is a great addition to a UK home gym. If you want to really work the hamstrings and glutes, the sissy squat bench is ideal. 

Sissy squat benches are cheap, small and can be folded away when not in use. View more details of our recommended sissy squat bench on this link
Squats in home gym


We have not included cardio equipment in this list as it is going to be very dependent on your budget, space available and preference. Cardio equipment should be a consideration when designing your home gym even if it is just used for warming up. 

There are plenty of places to purchase home gym equipment in the UK. Just take your time, do some research and check reviews. 

Make sure that anything that you buy is reasonably priced, well constructed, sturdy, durable and suitable for your needs. You do not need to buy Olympic standard, calibrated equipment but do not go for the cheapest. 

I hope we have answered the question 'What should I have in my home gym UK?

The options above meet all of the criteria for a great, UK home gym at a reasonable price.

Show us pictures of your home gym in the comments section below.

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