Friday, March 10, 2023

Curating a Home Gym ... Museum of Physical Culture

While I am a lifter first, I am a sucker for collecting and respect all aspects of Physical Culture.  I started my journey as a bodybuilder and only began to appreciate physical culture in general when I joined a CrossFit gym.  The mentality being to steal best practices from gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, endurance sports, strongman and to learn and play new sports.

My first home gym was a Diversified Products bench and 110# weight set.

My adult home gym started with a bench, barbell and bumper plates.  I then built it out for CrossFit.  Then I started adding Strongman equipment.  Most recently I have been adding grip implements.

In terms of Physical Culture, I have opportunistically grabbed interesting equipment for lack of a better word.  I was bit by the Vintage bug in 2022 and have been scouring the secondary markets for vintage plates, barbells and dumbbells.

Home Gym

Flooring -  I need some stall mats, I have those, plus tiles, gymnastics mat and fitness mat

Barbell -  I need one, I have (10) including (4) 20kg bars, (1) 15kg bar, (1) 15# bar, Multi-Grip Specialty Bar, Bandbell Specialty Bar, EZ Curl Bar, Standard EZ Curl Bar

Plates - I need 350# to accommodate all of my needs with (4) 45s, (4) 25s, (4) 10s, (4) 5s and (4) 2.5s.  I have nearly 2500# of plates in a mix of bumpers and iron.

Dumbbells - I like having 20's, 27.5's, 35's and 50's.  I have nearly 2000# of dumbbells from 1# to 100# in a mix of rubber encased and iron.

Collars - I need standard and axle collars.  I have (6) pairs of standard collars and (2) pairs of axle collars

Benches - I need a flat bench.  I have two flat benches, one adjustable bench and an abdominal bench.  I may still buy a utility bench.

Rack - I need a squat rack.  I have a squat stands and a yoke and am even considering another rack?

Cardio Equipment - It would be nice to have a treadmill, bike erg, row erg, ski erg and fan bike.  Fortunately, I only have a row erg.

CrossFit - It is nice to have abmats, jump ropes, kettlebells, parallettes, jump boxes, rings, climbing rope, wall balls, pull-up bar, weighted vest and slam balls.  My quantities are pushing what is reasonable.

Strongman -  I love having Atlas stones, sandbags, axle bar and farmer's carry handles.  I do not need any of this.

Martial Arts - It has been fun to play with the steel mace, battle rope and Bulgarian Bags.

Misc - This innocuous category has gone a little nutty.  I think everybody should have a clock, decorations and bands.  I have pushed boundaries with some unitaskers and flexible items.  

Storage - Another place where one could go nuts.  I would argue that a basic mass storage system would meet everybody's needs


My Vintage Iron is consists of Olympic weight plates (2" hole), Standard weight plates (1" hole) and Dumbbells.  Olympic plates are represented by York, Billard, Universal, Schisler, International, and Bell Foundry Plates.  Standard plates are represented by Iron Man, York, Hollywood Healthways and Rocky Mountain Foundry.  My dumbbells are limited to York roundhead dumbbells.

If I came across them, I would not hesitate to purchase most vintage plates manufactured in the USA and around the world.  I would find room for them, if I came across Zuvers, Jackson, Eleiko, Berg, Paramount, Thor, Lou Ferrigno, Viking, Cougar, Ivanko chrome, Troy and others.  I am not looking to expand my standard weight plate collection unless I found something particularly interesting.  I would like to have York Bun and any manufacturer of globe dumbbells, but those are increasingly difficult to come by.  In the modern era, I like Iron Grip and Pro-Style dumbbells.

Sorinex, Stark Center and some private collections are very impressive.  I would have to add anvils and other implements like shot loaded dumbbells and barbells.  Until I get a 10,000 square foot space, that is an impossibility.

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