Working out at home can be the ultimate luxury. There's no commute time, no waiting for someone to get off the machine you want to use and no anxiety or unnecessary pressure from grunting gym dudes (you know the ones). And while having a home gym used to mean a large room dedicated to housing bulky fitness equipment and racks of weights, such is not the case these days.
Thankfully, some of the best options now are compact enough to be easily stored out of the way and quickly set up so you can get a full workout in any room of your home. Plus, they're good looking enough to not stand out. When they're not being used, they look more like furniture or sculpture. After all, when you give it some thought and concentrate on the design, you make it a place where you’ll enjoy spending time. And that’s got to have a pay off when it comes to your results, right?
Of course, when you’re building your own fitness space from scratch, there’s gonna be different strokes for different folks in terms of needs. If you’re planning a space for cardio workouts only, you don't need larger strength equipment, like a bench, but you will want to invest your money in an excellent treadmill or high-quality exercise bike. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up your upper body, build up cardio endurance, or all of the above, here are the eight essentials of the stylish man's home gym—pieces that are both hard-wearing and an absolute pleasure to use.
SlimBeam Cable Machine
If you could only get one piece of equipment from this group, this is likely the item you want. Nohrd's Slimbeam offers up all the benefits of cable training in a sleek stand that sticks out less than a foot and a half from the wall. Inside its award-winning wood design, there are 14 weight plates that let you adjust between 11 and 165 pounds of resistance—each rubberized to prevent unnecessary noise. They're controlled by synthetically coated cables that run smoothly via an adjustable butterfly mechanism which allows you to work both sides of your body at once.
$2,249 by NOHrD
This wall-mounted bar gym is an old school piece of equipment that's versatile, simple and stylishly understated. Known as stall bars, they can be used for plenty of core, grip and strength-building workouts. Its time-tested design is made to strengthen the entire upper body, while building powerful shoulders, arms, chest and back .Plus, the top folds down for a handy pull-up bar.
$1,099 by ARTIMEX
No aesthete's home gym would be complete without this streamlined, internet-connected, stationary cycling bike. The cult-favorite bike is made from carbon steel and aluminum with a weighted flywheel in the front that determines the level of resistance while you're riding. And of course, it has a built-in 22" sweat-proof screen that pipes in virtual rides, on-demand lessons and daily live classes from Peloton’s NYC studio directly into your home.
From $1,145 by Peloton
A Serious Jump Rope
This is not your ordinary jump rope. From its precision machined aluminum handles (complete with etched diamond grip) to an internal anti-friction system for a smooth spin and maximum power transfer, these are all but guaranteed to increase your output. And if not, they'll look damn good hanging from a wall-mounted hook.
$65 by RPM Training
The reason why we're seeing battle ropes more and more these days is because when it comes to burning fat and building muscle, they can be a hell of a lot more effective than lifting weights and hitting the treadmill. This rope is more of a classic rope but comes in a range of lengths and is finished with heat-shrunk rubberized caps on the end for a better grip and to protect your hands.
From $38 by BalanceFrom
ViPR Full-Body Tool
A favorite of the personal trainers at Equinox, the ViPR is a versatile (and underrated) alternative to dumbbells and its unique pipe-like design makes it easy to press overhead, move from hand to hand and roll on the floor—motions that work the shoulders, back, chest and arms. When not in use, it can easily stand on its own and the minimalist style makes it more like a sculptural art piece than gym equipment.
From $210 by ViPR
You don’t need a full weight rack and bench. A smarter option is to combine that whole rack into one set. Because while you can get far with bodyweight exercises and bands, when it comes to building a bigger chest and broader back, there's no beating dumbbells. This wide-ranging set delivers the same value as three dozen individual dumbbells, allowing you to replace an entire weight rack with one ergonomic pair. Each weight can move from 5 to 55 pounds in two and five-pound increments, making it easy to customize your workout and build strength at your own pace. A soft-grip handle ensures a comfortable and secure grasp while lifting.
$498 by NonZero
Reversible Yoga Mat
Wall-to-wall gym flooring or interlocking rubber-tiles could be nice, but it’s not necessary. Lululemon makes some seriously high quality yoga mats. And this one is generously sized and features a non-slip surface and an antimicrobial treatment to keep it smelling and feeling fresh. Plus, it’s so durable, this will likely be the last one you ever have to buy.
$78 by Lululemon