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Gear for Medium-sized Home Gyms

Medium-sized rooms give you considerably more space to work with, and allow for some large equipment, such as a treadmill and a power rack. Shelves for storage make everything neat and tidy, and having a weight tree helps keeps the plate stack in check.

Treadmill

Treadmills are my favourite cardio machine, but the do take up quite a bit of space. If you have room for one, I highly recommend getting one. Like everything, quality matters. Don't try to save money on these high-speed devices (unless a great sale is to be had). 

My favourite treadmill brand is Precor, which is a large commercial fitness equipment manufacturer. Their stuff is top-notch and usually bullet-proof (along with a price to match). The 223 is a great mix of features and price.

Other reliable brands are NordicTrack, Sole and Horizon. Sole in particular has an excellent warranty and powerful motors that are likely to last forever.

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Barbell and Plates for the Rack

A power rack would be pretty useless without a bar and weights. Bars come in a huge variety of quality and cost. Like with most things, a middle-quality option is perfectly fine, like this $300 Olympic standard model from CoreFX.ca. If you want to do some Olympic weightlifting and have the floor to handle it, you can upgrade to a competition-level bar from Roguecanada.ca, but this would be overkill for most home gyms.

Plates complete your collection, and you have two general choices: standard or bumper. Bumper plates are rubber-coated and specifically designed to be dropped to the ground from a height, as in Olympic weightlifting. They can be more expensive, although pricing for plates right now is all over the place. This set from Rogue will be a great start for a very reasonable price (still $900, but good luck finding it anywhere for less). Rogue, Fitness Depot, and most other retails sell regular steel plates, so look around for best pricing.

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Power Half-rack

A power rack is standard for any serious strength athlete, and anyone who wants to build muscle will benefit from having one. Full-size racks are rather large, but fortunately half-racks are available and do the job just as well. 

What's the difference, you ask? A full rack has four legs and lots of weight storage, while a half rack usually only has two legs, and saves a lot of space at the expense of less storage. 

Fortunately, well-designed half-racks allow you to store at least some of your weights, such as this Altas Strength rack. It also comes with a pullup bar, dip attachment, and the usual half bar for supporting a weight (when you do something silly and need to drop it ASAP). 

A new concept in racks is going wall-mounted for maximum space savings. Gorilla Fitness makes a whole line of them in all shapes and sizes.  Check them out if you need the smallest rack possible.

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Storage

As your gear starts to accumulate, having compact, efficient storage is important to save space. A multi-tier shelf system works great for your collection of dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls, and a wall-mounted rack will help keep bands, loops, skipping ropes and other loose bits out of the way. 

 

A three-tier rack like this one from Northern Lights is a great choice. Notice it has a front lip: essential for keeping round objects from rolling off (most regular dumbbell racks don't have this).

If you have weight plates you also need to store, this combo rack from CoreFX.ca is a super-compact, efficient option. 

For wall-mounts, something simple and cheap like this StoreYourBoard option from Amazon will work well. It comes in different sizes, so make sure it fits your space and needs.

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