If you’re looking to build muscles, you’ll also want a set of weights to complete your workout space. Some trainers swear by dumbbells, others by kettlebells or barbells, but it comes down to personal preference and lifting experience. Dumbbells are standard home-gym fare and a beginner’s set typically includes 5 pounds, 8 pounds and 12 pounds. Use them for common exercises such as dead lifts, curls and chest presses. Russo points her clients to this set that comes with a stand.
Kettlebells can be a bit more affordable — and compact. With just one kettlebell, you can hit multiple levels of strength and conditioning, and most cost under $30. “You could have an entire program with like three days or five days a week, and each time — using the same kettlebells — do something different,” says Loper.
Though kettlebells are great for basic exercises such as dead lifts and lunges, experienced users can move into “ballistic skills” — which require an advanced level of control for fast-paced movements called the swing, the clean and the snatch.