How to Build a Home Gym Featuring the Hydra

how to build a home gym with Hydra 4 post rack featuring person doing pull ups

Setting up a home gym is a significant investment that's worth the long-term returns.

Owning a personal lifting paradise is ideal for working around busy schedules, staying consistent with kids at home, and eliminating the need for a lifelong gym membership.

You also have complete control over the space. You can pick whatever music you want and don't have to worry about your training schedule lining up with the weird guy that's always kicking the climbing rope (seriously, why?).

When designing a home gym, the top considerations include the available space, budget, and equipment selection. It's also beneficial to have sufficient storage and to create an atmosphere that energizes you.

In this article, we'll look at the step-by-step process of how to build a home gym and discuss why the Hydra rack is an excellent choice.Crunching the numbers for your home gym is a necessary evil. Being realistic and covering your bases will help you from side-eyeing your retirement fund or causing any marital disputes.

Do some research and prioritize your needs based on their importance. Categorize your wish list under necessary items (like a rack and bench), nice-to-have items, and dream items.

While you still have your research cap on, look up the prices of the items you want and need, and check out some customer reviews — both good and bad for perspective.

Two important caveats when creating your budget:

Always leave buffer room for shipping, taxes, and the inevitable chaos that keeps life interesting. Giving yourself about 10% in wiggle room should help if anything comes up.

Next, understand the difference between cost and value. The most expensive equipment isn't always better, and while the cheapest option may work for a while, it's cheap for a reason. Think midline, babyyy.Finding the space for a gym is also tough. Do you really need a dining table? Isn't your eight-year-old ready to get a job and move out?

Do NOT make the tragic mistake of ordering equipment before taking detailed measurements. Get out that trusty measuring tape and a notepad, and channel your inner Tim the Toolman Taylor (plus the grunting, minus the bumbling errors... maybe channel Al). Try an app like RoomSketcher to create a scaled floor plan to suit your space.

Remember to leave room for the important things, like storage, moving around, conditioning exercises, and your dining table or eight-year-old's bed.Once you have a budget, a prioritized wishlist, and a space, it's time to choose your equipment.

Take it slow and cover all the necessities before getting distracted by shiny objects. Some home gym must-haves include:

  • The rack
  • A sturdy bench (adjustable or flat)
  • A barbell
  • Weight plates
  • Dumbbells or kettlebells (or both)
  • J-hooks
  • Safeties
  • Storage racks or pegs

Start with the essentials, then add attachments you know you'll use. It's better to wait on something and get it later if you have doubts. The home gym outfitting process is not the time to be impulsive. That's how you end up with a thousand-dollar dust collector.Flooring is often overlooked when planning a gym. Yet, it plays an important role in protecting that other big investment in your life: your home.

Consider investing in some rubber flooring to pad the ground against accidental weight drops and what we're sure is a super intimidating deadlift (bumper plates are a lifesaver, by the way).

Adding a bit of cushioning will also help protect your joints during explosive conditioning movements, especially if you're in a basement or garage with concrete. As mentioned before, storage and organization are a must for a home gym. Not only do weight trees, dumbbell racks, and plate pegs optimize your limited space, but they also prevent accidents and maintain your equipment for the long haul.

Yes, it can feel like a downer to allocate a part of your budget to cleaning up your toys gear storage, but it's worth it.

You should also invest in some cleaning materials for your gym equipment to help prevent abrasions and rust over time. Get a few microfiber towels, a bristle brush, and lubricant spray for your barbells and dumbbells. Keep racks, benches, and other equipment clean with a damp microfiber cloth.

If your gym tends to get dusty, adding a few drop cloths or protective covers can also help keep your gear pristine.When your home gym equipment arrives, you'll experience a roller coaster of emotions. You'll be excited to get started. You'll dread the assembly process. You'll curse the day you decided to get a home gym after you start building your rack.

Take a breath.

Don't let your excitement or frustration deter you from prioritizing safety. Ensure everything is mounted and bolted properly for security and stability. Do not use your equipment until you've triple-checked everything.This is your space! Your music, no rope guy, just you and your goals — so make it yours!

Add whatever you need to blast the tunes, track your progress (PR board, anyone?), or add personality and style. We're quite partial to the Bells of Steel Flag. All the cool kids have it.

Now that you know how to plan and build your perfect home or garage gym, let's dive into why the Hydra Rack and Attachments are worthy of consideration. Only the best for you, pal! The Hydra rack comes in a variety of styles, heights, and footprints, so you can customize the perfect solution for your space. We have everything from a wall-mounted folding half rack to a beefy, burly, six-post rack with plate storage.

The attachments are also customizable. Choose your pull-up bar, J-cups, safeties, and more. Need a Y dip attachment in your life? Add it. Have no use for a seal row pad? Leave it. We're all about the "choose your own adventure" genre here.You get a rack, and then you find out you're moving to a smaller space. Or maybe your eight-year-old has decided to take that job and move out of their room— now what?

No worries, amigo!

The Hydra racks are modular with interchangeable parts, so you can scale down or expand your rack if you move or aren't in love with your initial choice. No need to buy a new rack... basically ever.This baby is built to last. While we stand by our original rack line for quality and functionality, the Hydra reigns supreme. Yes, it costs a bit more upfront, but the difference pays for itself in lifespan and compatibility (more on that later).

The Hydra is a hefty, heavy-duty rack. The 1,000lb capacity makes it a must for those considering competitive lifting. If hitting the powerlifting platform or trying Strongman/Strongwoman has crossed your mind, the Hydra is a must. Buying a home gym shouldn't be a lifelong commitment to one brand. The Hydra is built with true 3" x 3" tubing with 5/8" holes, making it compatible with other big brand rack attachments — you know the ones.

So if we don't have the attachment you want, no sweat; just head over to our American-made competitors and hook up one of theirs. If you already have some of their products, pop on our attachments for the ultimate mix-and-match win. We love designing innovative home gym attachments and accessories. The Hydra has over 15 attachments to choose from, so you get the full commercial gym experience without the cost.

The Hydra also has cable attachments, so you're not relegated to throwing around a barbell all the time. Our Hydra owners are particularly fond of the Lat Pulldown and Sliding Lever Arms.

We've also got some new attachments in production, including a leg curl and extension, a Smith machine, and a belt squat attachment. Don't see what you want? Let us know, and we'll add it to the list. When you have a home gym customized to your training needs, you don't have to worry about terrible (Canadian) weather, commuting, forgetting gym gear, or childcare. Hopefully, we'll never get stuck at home for months again, but if we do, you're all set.

Take your time when mapping out your home or garage gym. Stick to that budget, plan the space, explore your options, and make it yours.

Ready to start planning? Click the button below to start planning your Hydra setup.