Weightlifting Equipment Shopping Guide For 2021 (Perfect For Home Gyms


Weightlifting Equipment Shopping Guide For 2021 (Perfect For Home Gyms) New year, new you… and new weightlifting equipment.

Are you ready to achieve your fitness goals this year? Well, we can help to make sure you get the fitness equipment you need to make it happen.

Let’s take a look at the best weightlifting equipment to chase after those goals of swole and slim.

It’s important to note that we’ll be covering weightlifting equipment. So, if you’re not too familiar with pumping iron, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.


No matter what your goal is, there are essential pieces of weightlifting equipment you’ll need to get started in your commercial or home gym.


What’s a gym without dumbbells? (We don’t wanna know.)

This gym staple allows you to perform a variety of exercises and they are ideal for building a fitness foundation. Your neuromuscular system really likes dumbbells because they don’t allow for overcompensation.


Right up there with dumbbells, barbells are an essential fitness tool that should be in every commercial and home gym (provided there’s space).

Barbells are ideal for explosive and power-driven exercises. They are also a must for performing the top three exercises in the fitness world: the bench press, squat, and deadlift.

Weight Plates

This goes without saying but you can’t have a barbell without weight plates. How else would you crush those PRs?

Weight plates are also useful on their own. You can use them in place of dumbbells for many exercises such as bicep curls and lunges.

Barbell Accessories

There’s nothing wrong with having a standard Olympic barbell, some weight plates, and a collar. But if you’re ready to splurge a bit, here are some barbell accessories to consider.

Squat Pad: This is going to save your neck… literally. A squat pad cushions the back of your neck and traps from the barbell during the squat exercise. You can also use the squat pad during hip extensions.

Alpha Grips: Why not strengthen your grip while you are using a barbell? Alpha Grips simulate thick-bar training and they have been shown to dramatically increase grip strength. This is FAR cheaper than buying an actual thick bar barbell.

Iron Wedge: This is useful when you have to be extra careful about the space you’re lifting in. An iron wedge allows you to safely load and unload weight plates on to a barbell. No more worrying about dropping plates or a runaway barbell.


Where are you going to put that barbell of yours? On a rack, of course.

You have plenty to choose from but whether you go with a rack or rig, you’ll be happy you did.

A squat rack, for example, allows you to store your barbell and then offer a liftoff point during your workout.

Could you perform a snatch from the ground, push the barbell overhead, and then try to carefully lower it on to your traps without dropping it on yourself? Yeah, you could do that but why would you? Just get a rack and save yourself the hospital bill.

Want some help putting everything together at home? Check out our article on how to build a home gym.


With the fundamentals under your belt, we can start to get into more niche pieces of weightlifting equipment. Here are some tools to consider based on specific goals or sports.


A barbell, weight plates, and chalk are going to be a powerlifter’s best friend but here are some extras that can really make the difference during your meets:

Powerlifting Belt: This isn’t your typical weightlifting belt; a powerlifting belt is uniquely designed for the supersized weights that powerlifters move. They tend to be more durable and utilize a lever or double loop system for security.

Knee Wraps: As the name implies, knee wraps are wrapped around your knees in a way that stores energy, allowing you to spring up from the bottom of a movement. A squat is a great example of this spring in action. Learn more about the differences between knee wraps vs. knee sleeves.


The goal of bodybuilding is to maximize hypertrophy or muscle growth and weightlifting equipment such as dumbbells is only one part of that. Here are more tools that can help you:

Blood Flow Restriction Bands: As the name implies, these bands offer a safe level of blood flow restriction. Studies show that when used properly, these bands trigger a higher level of muscle growth without the need for heavy weight.

Elbow Sleeves: One of the most common injuries in bodybuilding is tendonitis, which is a repetition injury. One way to reduce the risk of tendonitis is to use a compression sleeve.

Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll need the right combination of a low-calorie diet and a proper exercise program.

More often than not, weight loss workout routines focus heavily on calisthenics or bodyweight exercises. For example, a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout is usually all bodyweight movements.

With that said, here are a few pieces of fitness equipment you can use during your weight loss journey.

Speed Rope: Unlike your school yard jump rope, a speed rope is designed to eliminate drag and wipe around fast. This one will keep you on your toes… literally.

Abdominal Mat: No one likes doing sit-ups on a hard floor. An abdominal mat will protect your lower back while offering an extra level of extension, which will benefit you when it comes to results.


Whether you’re training for the CrossFit Games or you just want to improve your PRs, here are some pieces of CrossFit training equipment that can come in handy.

Rings: Love them or hate them, rings ensure you’re going to get one hell of a workout. We prefer wooden rings but if your home gym is outside, opt for plastic to protect them from the seasonal weather changes that are less than pleasant.

Knee Sleeves: Just like elbow sleeves, knee sleeves are a type of compression material that will help to reduce your risk of injury while promoting blood flow during a workout.


Strongman training has exploded in popularity over the last decade with more and more commercial gyms offering different pieces of training equipment like the giant tire and Atlas stones. Here’s some more Strongman-focused equipment:

Power Training Sled: This little sled packs a huge punch during your workout. Load up the sled with weight plates and get to work. It’s perfect for building up raw power and strength.

Lifting Straps: When you train like a Strongman, you’re going to be throwing around a lot of heavy weight. Sometimes, your grip will fail long before your muscles do. That’s where lifting straps come in. They help you to reach your goals for the workout long after your grip says it’s finished.


You can have the best exercise program and diet plan in the world but if you don’t have high quality weightlifting equipment, you’re going to fall short in your results.

At the very least, you should have the fundamentals of fitness including dumbbells, barbells, and a rack. Moving into the niche equipment is worth it if you’re serious about pursing that goal or sport.

Take a look at our home gym equipment

Weightlifting Equipment Shopping Guide For 2021 (Perfect For Home Gyms is written by Cindy Pelletier for ironbullstrength.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here