How To Combine Strength Training & Cardio Into One Amazing Home Gym
This can be one of the most fun gyms to create as your options are practically limitless. Call this the “I want to get big and lean group” or the “I like muscles and cardio so much, I can’t decide.” This combo is a tough one to prescribe, not because there is a lack of equipment but, more because there are so many possible combinations and choices. Trust me, this is not a bad thing. This is great as you could really go a number of different ways and still build an amazing home gym. Even though this is no easy task, I still believe there are essentials everyone should consider when building their dream strength training & cardio fitness space. So, what I believe is a good starting approach is to combine the bodybuilding essentials & then add the cardio essentials. Put this all together and then add whatever other fitness equipment you want. This is exactly what I did for many years and if you really like lifting weights and performing cardio exercises, you should have no problem making your space exactly the way you want it.
What Makes This Combination Unique
What may be the best feature of this combo is a few unique things. First, you can keep things changing in each of your exercise bouts by doing different versions of both. Not mandatory of course but many people like doing both. If you prefer some lifting and cardio variety, you can definitely have it, and I can help you. I do however recommend either splitting your strength training and cardio out on separate days or giving ample time in between these bouts as this helps mitigate concurrent training, if you are at all concerned about this. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22002517/.
There are also benefits to giving your body a different stimulus; you can do more of what you enjoy, and you might be able to appeal to more family members to exercise since there is a greater variety. If your kids want you to play sports with them you can and not be winded.
One thing I think is not touched upon much often enough when you read up on this topic is that when you are feeling burnt out on either weight lifting or cardio, you can take a break from one and focus on doing the other. Breaks are important and getting refreshed usually helps with motivation and gives your body the recovery it needs. There is no harm in this and with the right goals in place, this may be perfect for you.
Before We Get To The Actual Equipment
I want to add one quick note caveat on cardio essential equipment. While I would put a treadmill at the bottom of the list for cardio essentials, I did not do this. The main reason I would list it low is the fact that the majority of us have the capability to run outdoors so why not spend the money elsewhere. If it is more difficult for you to get outdoors year-round or you hate running in the cold, this may not apply to you. Again, this is my opinion but since we are talking about a weightlifting & cardio package, I recognize that if you really like cardio, you likely want one of these in your space. If you only run outside, take the treadmill off your list and focus on all the other great options like a Peloton, Assault bike, or a rower. I would also note that your big-ticket items on cost are going to be a Treadmill or Peloton so factor this in accordingly when you are budgeting for your combo gym. If you would appreciate some expert help in navigating this or get help from an expert, then Renegade can help you. I have done this myself when I created my packages and I believe they do a good job of getting the best of both worlds, even at low price points.
Bare Essentials For A Bodybuilders Home Gym
- A barbell
- Plates or bumpers
- A rack or squat stand
- An adjustable bench
- Dumbbells – either pair that would cover the weight ranges for most major dumbbell exercises or an adjustable set (this is the cheaper route)
- Barbell Collars
These are the bare essentials to start getting some major muscle size & definition.
Bare Essentials For Cardio
- Assault Bike
If you want to get your sweat on, start with these and no one is saying you need them all at the start either.
Here Is What To Consider After The Bare Essentials
- Resistance bands (these are also great for assisting in typical extensive cardio injuries or nags)
- A landmine setup
- More Cardio equipment – anything you did not already buy from above; Rower, Assault Bike, or Stationary Bike and a treadmill
As you can see, there are a number of options, especially when you get beyond the essentials. You can also consider different machines as there are literally hundreds of them to choose from. While this article and my free guides can help you, your specific needs would all be based on what your preferences are or what you feel you are lacking in development for specific muscle groups. You can go anywhere from a Leg Press to a Chest Press and a crossover or universal machine. Your options are endless.
So get building and have your dream weightlifting and cardio home gym tomorrow!
You can also check out what our sister company has to offer over at Exponent Edge.