My Home Gym Wish List

I continued training throughout the pandemic. At first, it was mostly bodyweight stuff, with some long sets using the sparse lower-weight dumbbells I’d accrued over the years. I also had some resistance bands I’d purchased the previous year to train while healing from my hysterectomy. It was fine. I kept a lot of my strength, and I even put on some mass since working from home meant I was eating a little extra and moving a bit less.

Six months or so into the pandemic, my dad found his old iron weight set in the garage. Suddenly, I had a rusty but serviceable bar and plates, some old-school adjustable dumbbells, and a dream to be able to use them properly. It would take several months longer to get a cheap but in-stock flat bench and to install a folding squat rack in the garage.

And that’s the equipment I’ve been training with for much of the last year. And part of me is really proud of myself for continuing to do the thing, even with subpar equipment. And part of me is ready to upgrade some things so I can feel a little less limited in my programming options.

So, I’m making a list and sending it to Santa. My family is Danish-American, and I grew up with presents after dinner on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning, which seems to be the more common present-opening time here in the United States. But, that’s never stopped me from hoping Santa Claus would leave me a few goodies under the tree!

Here’s my essentials wish list:

  • Some smaller-increment plates (instead of the ankle weights I’ve been using)
  • Some clipping-style clamp collars so I never have to use the sketchy metal spring ones again!
  • A powerlifting bar with proper knurling
Photo description: Ankle weights wrapped around a bar with plates on it in preparation for some deadlifts. Some fractional plates would be nice to have someday.

These would be nice to have:

  • An incline bench (although I’d settle for an adjustable step bench to set my flat bench upon instead of the pile of scrap wood I’ve been using)
  • Some kind of pully system so I can do cable exercises and retire the resistance bands
  • Some bumper plates to soften the landing when I’m deadlifting. Iron on concrete sets my fingers jangling, no matter how much I try to control the descent!
Image description: A close-up of a mostly black, iron 35-pound plate. Rust is visible in several places.

Magic dreamer wish-list:

  • Less time commuting in my car each day so I can spend more time resting or working out

That’s not too greedy, is it? I know I can keep lifting and making progress with what I have now, and I don’t like the idea of participating in the “never enough” consumerism of our times. AND I know adding some of these things would make the work more enjoyable and help me progress. Hopefully Santa will see it that way, too.

What’s on your list? What do you consider essential? What would be nice to have? And what’s your magic dreamer option? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below or find and follow Progressive Strength on Facebook to join the conversation over there.

Feature photo credit: Kari Shea via Unsplash

Photo description: My current garage gym, with PRx folding squat rack, a cheap flat bench and Dad’s old iron plates mounted on either side.

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