The majority of gym memberships in America are $20 or – more likely – higher.

Add in the initiation fee, and you’re looking at over $300 for the year. Every year.

Wouldn’t it be much nicer to spend $300 total and have a gym that not only satisfies all of your muscle-building, fat-burning needs but was also completely private?

How is this possible? Weighted plates and dumbbells cost hundreds of dollars each! There’s no way you can build muscle on a budget.

Enter calisthenics…

Using your own bodyweight as the load, you can create an unbelievable physique or you can use a vest to add extra weight.

This limits the amount and types of equipment you need for a home gym. Basically, you’ll require systems that help you use your body as the weight.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you how to build a kickass at-home gym for calisthenics, as well as why each specific piece of equipment is on our comprehensive list.

Here is the full list:

Now, let’s get into it!

 

What Are The Benefits of Your Own Calisthenics Gym?

Is there really a point of creating your own at-home workout zone?

The answer is HELL YES!

Limitless benefits await you when you construct your personal calisthenics gym:

  • It’s cheaper. The long haul is something we rarely think about, but when it comes to home gym vs. professional gym, the long haul is important. Like we mentioned before, it costs roughly $300 for the average American to have a yearly gym membership. An at-home gym costs about the same. The difference is, you don’t have to pay for it year after year – you already have the equipment.
  • It’s private. Save for your latchkey cat, your personal gym will be empty. No more waiting for that piece of equipment. No more people “curling in the squat rack.” No more Top 100 Pop Music. Blast the tunes you want and have absolute freedom!
  • It maintains better. What I mean by this is you will most likely take care of your home gym better than the employees at the actual gym take care of their equipment. You won’t have to sit on a bench pockmarked by uncleaned sweat over the years. You won’t grab bars and handles riddled with neglect. Your equipment will last longer and be in better shape.
  • It’s built with your goals in mind. Do you do circuits? Never do ab wheel rollouts? Like to end things with an assault bike finisher? You can create your personal gym based on the lifts you enjoy doing. The layout, the type of equipment, all of this matters when you’re working out. Make it simple and easy; build a home calisthenics gym and crush your goals with ease.
  • It’s your space. Slam equipment around. Blast music. Tack things to the wall. This is your temple of gains. Do whatever you want. No one can tell you otherwise.

These are just a few of the amazing attributes a home calisthenics gym can give you.

The ones listed above should be enough to convince any serious calisthenics athlete to look into building a bodyweight playground in their backyard, spare bedroom, or garage.

Here are the top pieces of calisthenics equipment you should add to your home gym!

Power Tower

stamina power tower

The best calisthenics piece in the arsenal.

A power tower is a wonderful piece of equipment. It doesn’t take up much space, it allows you to do multiple calisthenics exercises on one piece, and it’s affordable.

True, it might be spendier than the other pieces on this list, but it’s well worth the expense; a power tower gives you incredible value for a one-time payment, unlike using a power tower at a gym.

When it comes to which power tower to get, I’d recommend the one we link to.

It has been engineered to withstand outdoor elements, has various bars at different levels to up the number of movements you can do with it, and it’s made of solid steel for structural support.

If you were to only get one thing for your home gym, a power tower has to be the go-to.

Stamina 65-1460 Outdoor Fitness Power Tower
36 Reviews
Stamina 65-1460 Outdoor Fitness Power Tower
  • Specially designed hardware engineered to withstand outdoor elements
  • Weather-resistant, paint-chip and corrosion resistant with UV protection to maintain vibrant color
  • Bars for push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups with multiple grip positions, tricep dips, and vertical knee raises
  • Steel frame construction for solid support
  • Assembled size: 49" L x 50" w x 81" T

Last update on 2018-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Pull-up Bar

pull up bar

If you were to only get two things, make that second piece of equipment a pull-up bar.

Pull-up bars are classic for a reason. They not only allow you to perform any and all calisthenic back movements, they also give you a fantastic way to build your core through hanging ab exercises.

The ideal type of pull-up bar is an Iron Gym total workout bar or one that detaches from a doorway and therefore can be used on the ground.

This gives you a freestanding bar that you can use as a grip for push-ups, handstands, dips, and more.

This specific pull-up bar is really affordable, can fit any doorway, and has multiple grip positions for different kinds of pulls.

It utilizes leverage on the doorway, so you don’t have to screw or nail this pull-up bar into position. This allows you to put it on the ground for push work too, as previously stated.

Any great calisthenics home gym begins and ends with a quality pull-up bar.

Sale
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
4,413 Reviews
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
  • Turns any doorway into a personal gym; installs in seconds. Fits up to 35.4 inch wide door frames
  • Ideal for pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, crunches, and more. Fits up to 35.4 inch wide door frames
  • Three grip positions, narrow, wide, and neutral. Foam grips
  • Uses leverage to hold against the doorway so there are no screws and no damage to door.
  • The door way needs to be 24 - 32 inches wide to accommodate the bar

Last update on 2018-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Weight Vest

weighted vest

Before you claim this as cheating, hear me out.

You could be unbelievably jacked, mastering most of the calisthenics movements and looking for both a challenge and a way to build more muscle faster.

Weighted vests are something worth getting when you’re at this point.

So, weight vests are basically adding bodyweight to your bodyweight exercises

The top weight vest out there is the RUNFast/Max weight vest.

This is a cool piece of equipment because you can add or drop the weight attached to the vest.

So, if you progressively overload your lifts – which you definitely should – this is perfect for incrementally bumping up the load.

This vest ranges from 12 lbs all the way up to 140 lbs (if you get that version).

It’s one size fits most, can come with shoulder pads for extra comfort and has pockets for your bottle and headphones.

Do you want to upgrade your calisthenics workouts? Grab a weight vest and see how many gains you can get!

RUNFast rm40p RUNmax 12lb-140lb Weighted Vest (with Shoulder Pads, 40lb)
323 Reviews
RUNFast rm40p RUNmax 12lb-140lb Weighted Vest (with Shoulder Pads, 40lb)
  • Every items comes with weights included
  • Weights can be removed in all models
  • One size fits most, manufacture warranty included
  • Shoulder pads options also available

Last update on 2018-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Dip Bars

dip bars

If you don’t want to get the Power Tower that includes just about everything, then you’ll want a set of parallel bars, or dip bars.

Don’t be fooled by the name: These are more than simply bars you do dips on. These parallel bars open up a world of exercises unto themselves.

Specifically, Lebert Equalizer bars are fantastic for anything you’d need parallel bars for.

Dips, handstand practice, handstand push-ups, elevated push-ups, L-sits…you name it, these bars can provide. Or, use a single bar for Australian pulls or single-bar dips. The possibilities are endless.

They are easily portable, diverse, and simple to stack and store to the side of your home gym. Lebert Equalizer bars weigh a meager eight pounds but can support 400.

Plus, they give you some goodies along with the bars: An instructional DVD and exercise poster.

For a multipurpose, small piece of equipment, Equalizer dip bars are a linchpin for any calisthenics gym, home or otherwise.

Lebert Fitness EQualizer Bars Total Body Strengthener, Yellow
133 Reviews
Lebert Fitness EQualizer Bars Total Body Strengthener, Yellow
  • BODYWEIGHT STRENGTH TRAINING: Simple, portable, yet multi-purpose bodyweight strength training equipment offers endless exercise options helping to strengthen your core, build lean muscle and burn fat
  • FULL BODY WORKOUT: This high-quality functional fitness dip stand station with stabilizing challenger bars is perfect for full body bodyweight resistance exercises such as dips, push and pull ups, L-sits, knee and leg raises, stretches and more
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & STABLE: Extremely versatile, stable, lightweight, portable and easy to assemble, stack and store - 28.5"H x 25"W
  • DURABLE FOAM GRIPS: Each stainless steel bar features a durable solid foam grip to increase friction and minimize hand and arm fatigue for a superior grip and weighs 8 pounds each and supports up to 400 pounds
  • INCLUDES: (2) Yellow EQualizer bars plus an instructional DVD to get you started

Last update on 2018-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gymnastic Rings

gymnastic rings

Continuing the theme of versatility, gymnastic rings definitely have a place in your calisthenics home gym.

The movements you can do with these are limitless, so I won’t even list them out. Basically, you can do most of what you can do on the bars with rings.

The difference is…rings are tougher. WAY tougher.

If you’re at the point in your training where exercises are getting easy for you, grab a set of gymnastics rings and prepare to be humbled.

These wood rings with cam buckle straps are perfect for your gym room. They are heavy duty, as well as thicker in the rings for a more comfortable grip.

You can strap them to your pull-up bar for a bit of irony, or any high horizontal bar will do.

Another super portable, ultra-durable piece of equipment, gymnastics rings are how you can gain crazy balance and crazy strength from the comfort of your own garage.

Titan Fitness 8' Diameter Wood Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps
598 Reviews
Titan Fitness 8" Diameter Wood Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps
  • Heavy duty solid wood wings - Extra wide for comfortable grip
  • Straps and buckles included - Hook up in seconds
  • Diameter: 9.25" - Inside diameter: 6.75"
  • Ring thickness: 1.25" - Strap length: 15ft
  • Strap Width: 1.5" - Weight: 4 lbs - Capacity: 600 lbs

Last update on 2018-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Fat Gripz

fat gripz pullupA really cool way to upgrade your workouts, Fat Gripz are unique pieces that deserves a spot in your gym.

Essentially, Fat Grips slip over any and all bars, widening the diameter and therefore forcing you to grip harder.

According to Fat Gripz themselves, “using a thicker diameter bar causes much greater muscle activation in the arms which leads to incredible size and strength gains.”

The cool thing with these grips is they fit over almost every other piece of equipment.

Pull-up bars, parallel bars, any part of a Power Tower…Fat Gripz can make any area of your home calisthenics gym tougher to grip.

So, if you want to give yourself a challenge on those classic exercises like pull-ups, dips, Australian pulls, and other calisthenics movements, Fat Gripz are the way to go.



Resistance Bands

resistance bands

Incredibly important for progressions, resistance bands are a necessary addition to the arsenal.

These resistance bands are great for two reasons: One, they help you with new movements until you build the strength to do them freely; and two, they can actually make movements harder if you use them as resistance.

For example, if you’re doing dips, you can graduate from having the bands underfoot (to take weight off), to doing them normally, to putting the bands over your shoulders and neck for additional weight.

WODFitters brings a quality resistance band to the market, offering various sizes, support, and materials.

For a full array of weight and resistance, it’s ideal to get a couple different bands.

Resistance bands should be present in all calisthenics home gyms, especially if you want to progress with any fluidity.



Jump Rope

jump rope

It can’t be a complete calisthenics gym without a cardio element. Enter the jump rope.

Pound for pound the fastest calorie burner on the planet (save for boxing), jumping rope is amazing for your overall health.

Single unders, double unders, criss-cross, backwards, you name it; a fun piece of equipment that burns efficiently.

Whether you use it as a warm-up or a finishing move, you need to ensure your jump rope is high quality.

Synergee Speed Rope provides quality in a comfortable fashion. Adjustable handles, steel bearings for lightning fast swivel, and a multitude of colors to customize your calisthenics zone.

A fairly inexpensive addition to your home gym, Synergee’s speed jump rope is where it’s at when it comes to cardio conditioning.



Ab Wheel

To round out your kickass calisthenics gym, you need something abdominal-centric. The ab wheel is perfect for this task.

An ab wheel is tremendous for targeting all abdominal muscles.

At the end of a workout, the last thing you want to do is to tax your midsection even more, which makes this the absolute best movement you can do. (You shouldn’t listen to your brain when fatigued.)

Fitnessery has an ab wheel worthy of your home gym. It comes equipped with a heavy duty PVC wheel, comfy performance grips, and fluid movement with a non-slip rubber wheel.

Easy to disassemble and pack around, you can take your favorite piece of equipment anywhere you want.

For the ultimate core killer, putting an ab wheel in the corner of your calisthenics playground might just do the trick.

One Last Thing…

There’s one more amazing benefit to having your own calisthenics equipment:

You can workout anywhere you go!

This is especially true for gear like gymnastics rings, jump ropes, resistance bands, and ab wheels.

You might have to find a horizontal bar somewhere, but if you do and you have your easily portable equipment packed with you, you’re five minutes away from a soul-crushing workout!

If you wanted to not bring any clothes or trinkets and just wanted to pack workout equipment for your vacation, you could go hard and bring your parallel bars and pull-up bar too.

The point is this: You can bring some of your calisthenics help with you.

No matter what pinch you may find yourself in, you’ll never have the excuse that you didn’t have the equipment for a gruelling workout.

Conclusion

Building your own calisthenics gym is not only smart – it’s insanely awesome!

No more speed-walking to claim a bench or bar. No more sweat marks from other people. No more lame-ass music.

It’s your space, your dojo. You get to set the rules, and set up the equipment you need for your fitness goals.

Peruse the list we’ve provided and create your own list of things you want. Then go out and actually get them! The benefits severely outweigh the costs, so you have nothing to lose.

Best of luck with building your home calisthenic gym!