What equipment is needed for bodybuilding?
When someone is interested in knowing what equipment is required for bodybuilding then there are two assumptions, which come with that question. The first assumption is that your specific objective when training with weights is to gain muscle and the second assumption is that you will be training at home.
If the objective is muscle gain then you need to stay away from the fancy machines that you can purchase online. No matter how good the machine is you will never get the same results that you will get from training with free weights and there is a good reason for that.
The supporting muscles that are trained when you work with free weights using the basic compound movements will allow you to produce the most human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone when compared to machines. The second reason is that the training in a groove that you get when working with a machine is too specific and the results are limited.
If you want results when training at home you need the basics to help you when you do the compound lifts. Such equipment is the power rack or squat rack which will help you to squat bigger and increase your core strength so that you can gain more muscle mass.
The second piece of equipment needed when you are going to train at home using free weights is a pull-up bar or a chinning bar. These can be purchased online or can be found second hand on Craigslist or your local garage sale. The bar can be placed in a doorway or mounted on a wall in your training area.
The third piece of equipment needed is adjustable dumbbells so that you can use dumbbells for a number of different movements and be able to increase the weight as you get stronger and start gaining more muscle. If you are limited in the amount of weight that you purchase because of your budget then there are many other alternatives movements that can be done if are not able to make-up a heavy dumbbell using the adjustable set.
The difference between rubber coated weights and plastic filled weights or cast iron weights pales into insignificance when compared to Olympic weights. Although rubber coated weights and plastic filled weights will protect your floor from becoming damaged any Olympic barbell and bench that you purchase for around $150 for the set will last a lifetime.
Finally the last piece of equipment that you will need to get results from training at home is a cable/pulley system for both triceps as well as back and other movements. If you are limited with your ability to spend on such luxuries in your home gym you can easily train around the shortage of a cable pulley system.
However if you have an unlimited budget and you really want to set up your home gym to be the best that it can be, then you should invest in the following pieces of equipment:
Seated Calf Machine
Preacher Curl Bench
Hyper Extension Bench