I know a lot of people are building home gyms right now, especially with COVID and so I thought this would be a really fun episode to record just talk about how my husband and I built our home gym over the years, some of the brands that we use, how we found a space, you know, and then how you can take this information and start to build something that's going to work for your lifestyle. Some of the things that we talked about aren't gonna work for you. So rather than thinking you have to do it the way that we've done it, what I want you to do is take some of the ideas that we give and figure out creative ways to make it work for you and your space, and your lifestyle and what your goals are because that's really what the most important thing is.


  • Good to invest in yourself (3:21)
  • Space (10:35, 30:13)
  • Rack (8:10, 8:48)
  • Barbell (12:12, 14:35, 15:40)
  • Plates (16:50, 35:44)
  • Invest in your safety  (19:59, 21:13, 22:28)
  • Dumbbells vs. barbell (21:20, 30:32)
  • Row (23:47)
  • Get into fun things (25:15, 27:17, 28:52)
  • Equipment/ Accessories (32:52, 33:51, 34;09, 34:20, 36:48)


I really hope that you enjoyed this episode as you listened to Taylor and me about how we set our home gym. We also did the gym tour and if you want to see it, you may check it out on my Instagram. My IGTV will link it to my stories. So if you want to know the brands that we use or the things that you know, we have tried and true for us, we will link that in the show notes so that you can go and build your home gym. 

biceps after babies


Rouge Crash Pads

Rouge B&R Bar 2.0

Titan T-3 Series Power Rack

Wrist Wraps


Liquid Chalk

Fractional Plates

Rouge Bench

Rouge Bumper Plates

Concept 2 Rower

Lifting Straps

Nike Romaleos

Do-Win Lifting Shoes


You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 109.

Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four.  Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.


Amber B  0:48  

Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And today I am accompanied by my better half. Dr. Taylor Brueseke.


Taylor  1:00  

I feel so nice to be accompanied, I like that.


Amber B  1:03  

So we've recorded a couple of podcasts, my husband and I together, Episode Number 37, where we talk about the awkward truth about your pelvic floor. That's been a really hot episode. A lot of people have messaged me about enjoying that episode.


Taylor  1:19  

Yeah, these are common problems. About one in three women have one or more pelvic floor disorders. So


Amber B  1:24  

okay, but that's not what we're here to talk about. If you want to hear that, go back to Episode 37. And then we also did a bonus episode after that, because more people have more questions about it. So that was a great episode. And then also Episode 40. Do you remember that we did ask us anything? 


Taylor  1:40  

How many takes did it take us to answer all those questions? 


Amber B  1:43  

That was when we started and we got into a fight and then we restarted. That's real life. 


Taylor  1:48  

I forgot about that. 


Amber B  1:48  

Yeah. So we've recorded a couple of podcasts together. But this time, I thought it would be fun to bring my husband back because I wanted to talk about building a home gym. And many of you know that we have built a home gym over the years. And by we, I mean I use it, and he thinks about it and does it. That's kind of how it works. Right.


Taylor  2:09  

Sounds about right. 


Amber B  2:10  

Yeah, this is all a lot of 


Taylor  2:11  

you accompany me


Amber B  2:12  

I company you. Yes. Ah, just as a side note in our marriage, um, a lot of times they talk about like having a saver and a spender in a marriage. Dave Ramsey talks about that a lot. If we're looking at our relationship, I am definitely the saver and he's definitely the spender. And I think both of us have come more towards a middle ground over the 15 years that we've been married, right? Like we started way further apart. And we've, I've migrated towards spending more, you've migrated towards saving more. So we've kind of been in like a nice, happy medium. But, um, he's definitely the one who comes up with ideas of like, ways to spend money or like things he wants to buy.


Taylor  2:51  

You know it would be awesome.


Amber B  2:52  

That's how it starts. You know it'd be awesome if we had a TV in the gym. You know it'd be awesome, we bought some crash pads. And then he asked to proceed to like, this is the way our relationship works 


Taylor  3:06  

Convinced you that it's worth it.


Amber B  3:07  

Yes, but you don't so much convince me as you just continue to bring it up. So like, you just keep talking about it. Until eventually it's just like a given that we're gonna get it and then you do. 


Taylor  3:18 

We say don't do anything fast. You know, take time. 


Amber B  3:21  

That's true. And if you're going to spend money, I guess spending money on a gym is not the worst thing in the world. But anyway,


Taylor  3:26  

good to invest in yourself.


Amber B  3:28  

Excellent. That's a quotable quote right there.. So, um, we have built a gym, we mean mostly my husband, which is why I'm bringing my husband on to talk about our gym. Now I know a lot of people are building home gyms right now, especially with COVID. I know you can't like finding dumbbells are impossible, barbells are months out like you can't find a rack. Right? Because so many people are building home gyms right now, because you're recognizing that, hey, I don't know when I can go back to the gym, because of COVID. And so I thought this would be a really fun episode to record together and just talk about how we built our gym, some of the brands that we use, how we found a space, you know, and then how you can take this information and start to build something that's going to work for your lifestyle. Because, frankly, like some of the things that we talked about aren't gonna work for you. Not everybody has a shed out in their backyard that they can convert into a gym. So rather than thinking you have to do it the way that we've done it, what I want you to do is take some of the ideas that we give and figure out creative ways to make it work for you and your space, and your lifestyle and what your goals are because that's really what the most important thing is.


Taylor  4:40  

Sounds great. Let's do it.


Amber B  4:41  

Okay. So before we dive into specifics, we did just before sitting down to hit record, we went out to our gym and I recorded a video tour of our gym, and I'm gonna go ahead and post that on Instagram on my Instagram stories. We'll also put it on my Instagram TV so that it will last. And we also will put it in my Instagram Stories highlights. So we'll have a link to that gym home tour. So we're going to talk about equipment, we're going to talk about things that are in our gym. But if you really want to get a visual look for what it actually looks like in our gym, and kind of how we have things set up, then you can go to biceps after babies on Instagram, and go watch that IGTV where I give you a tour of our home gym. Okay, ready? 


Taylor  5:26  



Amber B  5:27  

Okay, so why don't you start with where we started? Like, where did we start in terms of building our own gym?


Taylor  5:33  

We've just been putting our gym together slowly over time. You know, it's just kind of one piece after another. I think a lot of people have this kind of misconception that they need to go out and spend a bunch of money or that they have to go and buy fancy stuff. We definitely did not start there. We started with a quick trip on Craigslist because that was actually still kind of the place to buy stuff back then. I feel like that's not a thing anymore like


Amber B  5:58  

It feels like the Facebook marketplace is kind of taken over.


Taylor  6:00  

Yeah, there's like all these other ones up it, sell it. I don't know. I'm getting old, I guess. And we found a really simple combination rack, barbell bench plates.


Amber B  6:14  

Yeah, someone was selling like all their stuff,


Taylor  6:16  

Which is common, right? Like a lot of times you like, like how much does exercise equipment usually gets used? And then like people just sit someplace so they sell it cheap, though, at least that was pre COVID I don't know what it's like now. But we did. We found all that stuff on Craigslist. And 


Amber B  6:30  

It was like one person that we did. I do it like what bought it all together. Yeah,


Taylor  6:33  

It was like one set and it was like 200 bucks.


Amber B  6:35  

I think it was like 300 but it had like 300 pounds of plates as well. 


Taylor  6:39  

Yeah and usually that's like $1 a pound for a plate. So we got a great deal on that. 


Amber B  6:44  

But it was a crappy rack. It was our barbell, but we ended up learning it was not a 40-pound barbell. So the standard weight for a barbell is 45 pounds for a male bar 35 for women. And so we just assumed that this was a 45-pound bar because it was the diameter of a 45-pound bar. We hit PRs with it. We got all excited. I don't even know like one day why don't we weigh it?


Taylor  7:08  

Ah, it was when Nikki came over?  I feel like Nikki came over and he picked it up and was like this feels funny. 


Amber B  7:15  

Yeah. Nikki was our weightlifting coach. And yeah, so anyway, we weighed it and it was freakin 40 pounds, not 45.


Taylor  7:24  

45 pounds weaker than we thought we were, life ended that day.


Amber B  7:28  

All of our PRs down by five pounds. That's depressing. So anyway, it was kind of a crappy bar. But it worked. Right? It was like we got started with it.


Taylor  7:36  

And we used it for a long time, six months to a year. Something like that.


Amber B  7:39  

Like it was to our powerlifting meet. We might have even used it before a powerlifting meet. We just like to adjust it.


Taylor  7:45  

When we weighed it, it was when we were like, you know we were getting ready for the meet,


Amber B  7:48  

we're like, oh, you know, my actual max was 5 pounds less, and we just kind of knew that going forward. 


Taylor  7:53  

That's right. 


Amber B  7:54  

So anyway, we use that for several years.


Taylor  7:56  

Long time. So and then it was just I mean, I don't know, it was just like one thing after another. It was like, Okay, well, we can't use a 40-pound bar forever. Let's get a 45-pound bar


Amber B  8:06  

One thing, we got the rack first. I think the rack was one of the first purchases that we did.


Taylor  8:10  

You're right. Well, and that's for safety, right? Like you know, you're gonna be a lot safer squatting and bench pressing in a rack. And it makes it a lot easier to be able to pick up the barbell when you want to do deadlifts so you can like put the plates on and you know not to hold things in your hands. So we did, that's true. We got the rack first.


Amber B  8:26  

And we decided we looked at options and Rogue is a very well known manufacturer. We look at the rogue option. Yeah, that's not what we end up going with.


Taylor  8:36  

Yeah, Rose gear is awesome. Titan actually makes a lot of Rogue style things and markets them at significantly cheaper prices and most of them are high enough quality that you know, it's great stuff.


Amber B  8:48  

Yeah, so we ended up going with Titan because that saved us some money. And it's been great. We've loved our rack. It's warm. It's warm really well and we haven't had any complaints about it. We did get a shorty rack like a shorty style because our shed which we actually haven't talked about yet, but our shed ceiling is low. And so in order to fit the rack in we couldn't get a full-size rack we have to get a shorty rack.


Taylor  9:10  

Yep, so the T3 I think is our rack. Oh yeah,


Amber B  9:13  

Right, T3. Do you wanna talk a little bit about our space?


Taylor  9:16  

Well, the gym is actually just our shed that's in the backyard. In our house, it was already there. I think that the owners that had this place before just put their surfboards there and I don't know if they got BMX bike stuff stickers on the wall. So I'm sure that they were into that stuff. So it's just a shed, which is why it's short. It's only like eight feet tall I think. And it's just wide enough for our platform and our rower on the side and some plates on the other side. It's outdoors. It is definitely not sealed. Nor is it air-conditioned or heated.


Amber B  9:48  

We do have the benefit of living in Southern California. So while we like to say it gets really hot in the summer and it gets really cold in the winter. When we mean really cold we're like sometimes it's 50 degrees outside when you go out there in the morning. Anybody say really hot, like sometimes it's like 90, right? So it is relative, we do have a fan out there, we do have a heater out there to make it a little bit more comfortable


Taylor  10:10  

Now those things are key. 


Amber B  10:11  

So um, but the shed has been,


Taylor  10:14  

but it is just a shed. So it does get dirty in there, the wind blows in there. The dust comes in there, the leaves come in, they're like, you know, every now and then you got to go. It's like cleaning up the shed day. So that's the space. The other thing that kind of stinks about it is that it's not waterproof. The flowing water leaks in like the floors.  Some days need to be fixed


Amber B  10:33  

Again, we're living in Southern California, it doesn't rain a whole lot here. 


Taylor  10:35  

Yeah, so anyway, I guess one of the points I was trying to make is that it's a space, it's a place, it's someplace that can be our place to go to, to work out. And I think it's really important, you know, when you're building your gym, it's like, it doesn't have to be a fancy spot, it just needs to be someplace that you recognize as being that spot you go to. Maybe it's even just a corner of your living room where you keep your, you know, weights or whatever they are, but like you need to kind of, for me, at least I think it's helpful if you have that physical location where you say, this is my workout place. And you can go to that place when you're getting ready to exercise.


Amber B  11:10  

Yeah. So we have, you know, started out small, started out with just a couple pieces of equipment, and have slowly added things over time. So we bought a rack, we bought a barbell, eventually after we bought that crappy for the number


Taylor  11:21  

Yeah, that's something that I think it's worth a little bit of money to invest in, you know, I think the barbell that we bought was $300 or so it's a B&R 2.0 bar. It's a great kind of hybrid bar for powerlifting and weightlifting. You know, it's not like the world's perfect bar for either of those things but it really does cross a nice threshold of just being a great all-around bar, as good knurling feels nice and good. 


Amber B  11:43  

Okay, let's tell you what knurling is because a lot of people don't know. 


Taylor  11:46  

Oh, yeah, knurling is the grippiness. It's like the little bumps that are on the bar, the texture that's on the bar. Some bars, particularly ones that tend to be like chrome-plated, and like super shiny, they have these like it's like you can't get the chrome in like a like if the peaks and valleys of the little bumpiness are like too close together like the chrome this ends up flattening that out. And so then you don't actually get any grip on the bar.


Amber B  12:12  

And then conversely, some bars have very aggressive knurling and they tear up your hand. It's really sharp. So you know, you start to learn about bars, you recognize that like there are lots of variations when it comes to bars, weights, different styles of a bar, you can have a deadlift bar, you can have like bars that are good for powerlifting. Like there's just lots of different things when it comes to bars. And so if you're, if someone's listening to this, and they're just like a general lifter, and they're just looking to like start to build their home gym, what would you say in terms of what they should be looking for in a bar?


Taylor  12:43  

Well, I mean, I really like I mean, I think, like most things I shop for you. I'm a middle of the road kind of guy like I don't buy the cheapest of anything, I don't buy the most expensive of anything. What's the best value? That's where I'm shopping for and I just I think to be and I actually really like to be in our 2.0 bar, you can get on Rogue, you might be a little backed out right now from you know, COVID delays and things like that, but you can just help my friend buy, you know, his whole setup or whatever. And I kept telling him, I'm like, hey, if you just, you know, put in your order now. And wait, it'll come. And he didn't want to do that. He's impatient. And so he kept shopping on Craigslist, and shopping and shopping and shopping and waiting and waiting and waiting, and it never came. And by the time he finally found what he wanted, it was way past the time where it would have come in to just bought it. But you know, when we started talking about it. So anyway, I really liked that part…


Amber B  13:34  

We will link everything that we're talking about, we'll link it in the show notes. Because if you want to go look at the bar that we purchased, we'll link it in the show notes, the rack, anything that we have that we can talk about, 


Taylor  13:42  

And we're not getting anything from Rogue, like this is just the stuff that we use, maybe we should email them, let's say to sponsor or something. 


Amber B  13:48  

Do you get affiliates with Rogue? I don't know, 


Taylor  13:50  

Probably not. But since I know most of your audience are women, it is important to go back to something that you said earlier is that they do make women's bars


Amber B  13:59  

Yes, and I highly suggest that. I actually started with just lifting with a 45-pound bar because that's what we had. And that's just kind of what I knew. And that's actually what most powerlifters live with. Like when you go to a powerlifting meet like the women deadlift with a 45-pound bar. Like I don't know why that is. I think it's kind of dumb. And when I finally learned that there were 35-pound bars out there that like for example, at CrossFit, women use 35-pound bars. Olympic lifters often use 35-pound bars. I don't know why powerlifters haven't got that memo. But when I found the 35-pound bar, I was like this is amazing. It fits my hands much better. 


Taylor  14:35  

Yeah, and that's really the key, right? I mean, you don't need the 10-pound difference. It is nice when you're beginning probably to have a light bar so that you can bench press without as much struggle and all that kind of stuff. But after a little while lifting, you'll overcome the weight difference. It's the diameter of the bar that makes a difference in your hands. How does the thing feel when you pick it up? So you know if it's hard since most of the time it's not like you can go to your target and pick out which bar you want to grab. But like, you know, when you're shopping around if you have smaller hands or natural normal size women's hands, a women's bar is going to have at least three or four millimeters smaller diameter, which is going to make it a lot easier for you to deadlift, particularly. But then for everything else, the bar in your hand should feel like a shoe on your foot. You know, it should be comfortable, but I'm just full of quotes today. Good thing this is like a podcast, and there's no picture of me. So it turned into a meme. But, it should be comfortable, you know, and if it feels uncomfortable, then knurlings are too aggressive, the bars too thick, or there's, you know something else about it. 


Taylor  15:40 

The other thing that you should look for when you're shopping for a bar is it should have two-inch sleeves. The sleeve is the part of the bar where the plates go on. Like where it slides on and off on the sides. The one-inch sleeves are for the cement weights and the things that you know, people you get when from Target and Walmart, and places like that. And I mean, hey, more power to you, right? If you're going to lift something and get strong, and whatever it marks, you know, any way you want to do it is fine. But if you're shopping and you're going to spend a little bit of money, you'll get a lot more mileage out of a standard two-inch Olympic sleeve. Because the plates are so much more widely known and they last forever. 


Amber B  16:14  

There's nothing wrong with one inch. Like if you have one inch, it's no big deal. Like you can still use it and get strong. But if, but we're kind of talking if you're planning ahead and you're thinking what way whatever it is to buy, then yeah, definitely go for a two-inch so that you can have regular standard plates. Which brings us to I think the next thing that's really important to talk about is plates. So what do we want to share about plates


Taylor  16:34  

Well, I mean, your big choices are like steel or bumper plates, right. And


Amber B  16:39  

so bumper plates for those of you who don't know what bumper plates are, they are typically a little bit larger and made out of I don't know, like 


Taylor  16:46  

maybe like a heavy rubber or some kind of rubberized compound. I don't actually know either.


Amber B  16:50  

Yeah. So they bounce more. So you'll see them with like a lot of Olympic lifting, it's a plate that has more bounce to it. They're typically thicker in measurement versus an iron plate that's a lot thinner. Because iron is a lot denser of a substance. And so we started out with a lot of iron plates. And you know, just had those because that's what we got on Craigslist. And we ended up investing in some bumpers, some Rogue bumpers a little bit.


Taylor  17:15  

And we just bought one set of bumpers. So it's like 145 pounds, a pair of 45 pounders, a pair of 25 pounders and a pair of 10 pounders. And then when you want heavier weights, like the bumpers are usually a little thicker, a little taller than the other plates. And so you don't need all bumpers, and it's okay, if they're just you know, especially if you're piecemealing your collection together, it's totally fine to have like one set of plates, that's one size and another set of plates that are the other size.


Amber B  17:42  

Yeah, yeah. And the other thing about bumpers is that they're all the same diameter. So if you think about the size of a regular size plate, that's like a 45-pound plate. When it's a bumper, it's a 10-pound plate, and it's the same size. Yeah, it's just not as wide. And so bumpers are all like the same diameter, which allows you to be able to stack your plates and have them all be the same width, especially for like when you're deadlifting or whatever. Having them all be that same diameter size. So that's another benefit of the bumper plates, but you know, weights a weight, and, you know,


Taylor  18:14  

yeah, and you can get, you know, I mean, if you just want a deadlift, and you want to like a deadlift, from that whatever it is 22 inches off the ground or whatever that a normal, you know, plate sets, like, you can use a regular old any 10 pound or 25-pound plate and then put it underneath some boxes or stacks. 


Amber B  18:29  

That's a box underneath. 


Taylor  18:30  

Yeah. Or, you know, wood planks or, you know, I mean, you can get it up there. So there are lots of ways to do it. But I do think a pair of bumpers is nice if you have the money.


Amber B  18:39  

Yeah. And you'll be surprised how expensive weights are. Like you look at it, you're like, why am I spending so much money on weights. So a good standard rule of thumb that we'd like to use when we're looking at Craigslist is about $1 a pound. So that's for used weights, right is about $1 a pound. So if you're buying a 45-pound plate, a plate, or 245 


Taylor  18:59  

And that's fair enough, and that's an iron plate, you know, bumpers are oftentimes even priced like that.


Amber B  19:04  

Yeah. So you know, 245-pound plates, we're looking at 100 plus dollars. On average, I don't even know what it is during COVID. But just you have an understanding of like, what is to be expected when you're looking at a price range. And then if you're buying them new, you're going to spend, how much should we spend on our set of 45s, 25s, and 10s? Remember?


Taylor  19:25  

I don't know if I can look it up and put it in the show notes. But you know, probably 


Amber B  19:29  

several hundred dollars. 


Taylor  19:30  

Yeah, probably 295 is coming to mind. I don't know if that's true. But yeah, something like that.


Amber B  19:35  

So weights are expensive, but they're important, and they last forever. 


Taylor  19:41  

Iron is really good at being heavy for a long time. 


Amber B  19:44  

Just sits there and is heavy. That's its purpose. It does really, really well with that. And so then I would say the last piece that maybe you want to talk about in terms of just like our basic setup is our platform. And that was all you, I didn't do anything with that. 


Taylor  19:59  

Yeah, again one of the things that are really nice, right, so I've helped like three or four friends to put together their gyms and one has a platform and the other two don't, that I can think of off the top my head, and it's so you don't absolutely need it. But it makes it really nice. Like, it's just nice to have a stable, solid platform to stand on. You can bolt your rack to it


Amber B  20:21  

What do you mean when you say a platform for someone who doesn't know what that is?


Taylor  20:23  

It's really simple. It's just plywood that is stacked on top of each other. And then there's some horse stall mat, which is like a rubber mat, which I had never even seen before I built this thing, but you know, YouTube's great, and they tell you all sorts of important things.


Amber B  20:37  

And I show you this on the gym tour that I give. So if you want to see what a platform looks like, you can go watch that gym tour. But it essentially means that you're not lifting up on the floor.


Taylor  20:49  

Right. Like, and then when you drop the weights like they fall on to like something that's you know, not the concrete doesn't crack your floor or you know, stuff like that. Take some of the sounds out of it.


Amber B  20:59  

Yeah. So he built out our platform with plywood and horse stall mats. And then we now can bolt our rack to that platform, which makes them


Taylor  21:09  

secure from slipping and sliding around.


Amber B  21:11  

Yeah, really secure, stable.


Taylor  21:13  

Yeah. And then we talked about safety already. I mean, it's obviously just so important to you know, invest in your safety and make sure that you're taking good care of yourself.


Amber B  21:20  

Yeah, so I really, you know, for somebody who is moving on into, you know, I think there's kind of stages that a lot of people go through. Right, it's like, when you first get into lifting most people start with dumbbells, which is great, you know, they're lighter weight, they're easier to maneuver. You know, you can do a lot of things with dumbbells, you can do great progressive, or like, there's a lot of benefits to dumbbells. But some of the drawbacks to dumbbells are less stability, less ability to move as much weight, right, you're never going to be able to deadlift, dumbbells, as heavy as you'll be able to deadlift a barbell. And so when we start talking about wanting to get strong, and really wanting to put on more muscle, being able to progressive overload with something like a barbell becomes really important. So a lot of people start with dumbbells, and then they end up you know, moving on to barbells. So if you're at that point where you're starting to move on to a barbell, you're starting to think about investing in a rack, that it's such an important investment because of the safety element of making sure that when you're squatting that if you miss a rep that you're not going to fall 


Taylor  22:19  

I'm not, I'm never afraid of missing a rep. I mean, it sucks when it happens, right? Like, 


Amber B  22:23  

we've all we've missed reps like I've missed reps on my bench where you fail a rep, I've missed it on my squat.


Taylor  22:28  

And it just like takes the fear when the fear goes away, then like, all of a sudden, you're like, empowered to do more than you thought you could


Amber B  22:34  

Yeah. So you're like, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to get this rep but I can go for it. Because I know if I fail it like I just set the bar down and the cage catches it, and it's no big deal. So that's a really important aspect. It drives me, it makes my heart palpitate for people who squat outside of a cage. I don't like it.


Taylor  22:52  

Yeah, so we have the T3 rack that we got from Titan. Squat stands are worth making people aware of, they are a little cheaper, they occupy less space, you can actually get squat stands that mount up to the wall. On the wall, so you can fold them even like up against the garage wall if you don't have space. Like I mean, talk about a great way to you know, if you do live in tight quarters. So those are called a squat stance and


Amber B  23:17  

making sure that they have arms.


Taylor  23:18  

Yes, yeah. In squat stance, they have arms as opposed to squat. Where they call those things where they're just like the squat.


Amber B  23:24  

Oh, I don't know, uprights? But having arms that hole come out so that again, they're that place for you to set the bar down if you miss the rep. That's what's really important about that.  Okay, so in other big parts of our gym, another addition was our concept two, our row. Do you wanna tell our story about a rower? This is a fun story. 


Taylor  23:47  

So I mean, we were just, I wanted a rower just so that we could have something to do some cardio with every now and then. And I just was shopping around on Craigslist. And I found this one that a guy was selling. I was like, gosh, this just seems cheap and must be something wrong with it. And so I went and checked it out. And the guy was like, yeah, the computer doesn't say two. He was selling two 


Amber B  24:06

He was selling one that was more expensive. And this one was like half the cost.


Taylor  24:09  

Yeah. And he was like, the computer works, but it doesn't hold like as soon as you like, stop rowing, it turns off, and I was like, well, that's okay. 


Amber B  24:20  

I'll take the cheaper one. 


Taylor  24:21  

I just need to row. I mean, I'm just gonna go and then I'm gonna, you know, turn it off and whatever. I got home. We're taking a look at it. And I'm looking at the back of the computer and I'm like, hmm, there's a battery door on the back of this thing. Could it really be that simple? 2D batteries later 


Amber B  24:37  

and it worked 


Taylor  24:38  

and it was perfect. 


Amber B  24:40  

Yeah, so I mean, we say like it was a couple of hundred dollars. 


Taylor  24:42  

I think they a lot of times they go for eight or 900 bucks I think and new and we paid I thought 400 


Amber B  24:49  

Yeah, I don't know. I think it might have been even less than that. But we but it was like a while this one was a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the other one that he was selling because the other one like, “held a charge” but this one just needed batteries. So that was a really sweet deal that we snagged on Craigslist. And concept two has been a good addition to our gym.  Um, okay, so what about our newest addition to the gym? The crash pads, the crash pads.


Taylor  25:15  

Oh, those are fun. So the crash pads we did buy those from Rogue. I shopped around for a little while trying to find them. There are other manufacturers of crash pads. I think a crash pad is actually a brand in and of itself that you can buy. Titan had theirs. I found a few. 


Amber B  25:29  

Why did you go with rogue? 


Taylor  25:30  

I like rogue stuff and it wasn't that much more expensive. And I just, you know, knew it would be good and so that I was okay. I think they were about $300, this seems to be the going price for stuff that rogue apparently. Yeah, it's like the unit.


Amber B  25:44  

And this is like we're starting to get into fun things right? We're starting to get into like, not just like the basics of like things you need to get started but things that we'd like, Oh, this would be really fun to be able to like do some Olympic lifting together. 


Taylor  25:55  

Yeah, cuz I wanted to be able to snatch


Amber B  25:57  

Wait, what is a crash pad?


Taylor  25:59  

It's like a five-inch thick piece of foam. Yeah, and it's covered in vinyl. So it doesn't fall apart when you drop stuff on it.


Amber B  26:09  

Yeah, so it's, it's just like a pad that protects your floor. So when you do a snatch, and then drop the bar,


Taylor  26:17  

it crushes onto the pad crush on the pad and it doesn't make an enormously loud noise that would bother all your neighbors and doesn't crack your concrete. And even with the bumpers, as you know, you need something, you need something for that to land on. If we had a big tall gym, and we could drop our plates onto the platform, you could probably get away with that if you had bumpers. But the nice part about the crash pads is they let you drop whatever you want to.


Amber B  26:42  

Yeah, so we've been wanting to do it, I've been doing Olympic lifting more in CrossFit. And TJ has been wanting to add that to his lifting routine as well. So he's been wanting to do more cleans, we've been doing snatches together. And so that crash pad has been really key in helping us to be able to jerk outside, snatch outside. 


Taylor  27:01  

And it's fun too because like now we can like you know what, it was a Saturday, this Saturday. We're like, hey, let's look I want to go do some snatches. You want to come outside. And


Amber B  27:09  

so we go out and practice not just together. 


Taylor  27:11  

And it's fun. 


Amber B  27:12  

Yeah. Other highlights for the gym. Oh, we got to talk about your system.


Taylor  27:17  

The sound system? Yeah. All right. Well, I'm just an audio file, like I like, you know, good music and sound and stuff. 


Amber B  27:23  

P.S. I don't care at all


Taylor  27:25  

And she really doesn't at all, it's really discouraging, sometimes.


Amber B  27:28  

I know, he gets really excited about putting music in every room. And I'm just like, turn it off. It's too loud.


Taylor  27:35  

So, you know, I've just, I mean, you kind of get the impression that like, everything in our gym is just kind of cobbled together from like, you know, years of use and stuff. And that's exactly what my sound system is like, I got the amplifier from my buddy more than 10 years ago, I think maybe even 15 years ago, I got that amplifier, the speakers from another friend, also five to 10 years ago. And, you know, then it's just wire and plugs, and we connect it to Alexa so that you can like, you know, tell her to turn the music on and tell her what you want to listen to, which is really nice. And it just makes it inviting, you know, comfortable and like fun out there so that you're not just going out there and lifting on your own by it, you know, totally on your lonesome. At least that's how it feels for me. Yeah. You can totally do headphones too. If you wanted to do that or whatever, but 


Amber B  28:22  

He likes the sound system. It's not anything I would have ever put in. But he enjoys it. And I enjoy it now when I go out there.


Taylor  28:29  

It was like 95% of the things I buy. That's, it's literally. Why would we need that? We don't need that. That's so dumb. Why would we do that? Oh, I think you might like it. Okay, well, we'll see. Oh, this is really nice. 


Amber B  28:41  

That has happened more times than I carry through in our marriage. And then a year ago, we bought a new TV after like, we've had the same TV since we got married. 


Taylor  28:50  

When a couple of years after we got married


Amber B  28:52  

After 12 years, we have the same TV and for Black Friday. Last year, we bought a new TV and so the old TV,


Taylor  28:59  

went to the gym 


Amber B  29:00  

got to go out into the gym. 


Taylor  29:01  

Yeah, that's for the cardio.


Amber B  29:02  

So now when you're rowing or doing cardio, you can be watching a movie as well.  So that's kind of been a fun addition. Uh, one thing I realized we forgot to talk about was the bench. So the bench was also something we started out with a crappy bench on that set that we bought, and that we started with. And I think we only got a new bench maybe eight months ago, a year ago now. And so we ended up getting a Rogue bench. 


Taylor  29:31  

It's a rogue flat bench. It wasn't $300, it was probably $200- $250. I should probably have looked at all the prices of everything before we get this but… It's again, it's like everything we've been talking about, like, you know, the other one worked. This one's just more comfortable, it's sturdier. It has a flatter platform that just gives you


Amber B  29:51  

more stable, is what I feel. 


Taylor  29:53  

It just feels nice. You know, it's like you go out there and you lay on it and you. It feels good. And I guess that's probably like another you know, takeaway point for me, it's like you want that space to be yours, you know, put up a poster, get something you like. 


Amber B  30:07  

We didn't show any of like, he has posters and things that he's put up all over the gym. We didn't really show those in the video


Taylor  30:11  

Something that inspires you, you know, 


Amber B  30:13  

he's like Arnold Schwarzenegger on the wall, 


Taylor  30:16  

and some Mark Rippetoe quotes and an American flag. And yes, just to kind of make the space which you want to make it, you know, something that gets you excited, or, you know, that you enjoy, it's your space. You know, that's the nice part about having a home gym. It's like, what do you want your gym to look like? Yeah, it's yours.


Amber B  30:32  

Yeah. And then another addition, I would say in the last six months has been dumbbells. One of our friends comes over and lifts with TJ in the morning. And he had some dumbbells laying around that he said, Hey, we'll just bring him in


Taylor  30:44  

Gym dues.


Amber B  30:46  

Gym dues? He doesn't pay dues. So he brings in, contributes to the gym in other ways. 


Taylor  30:52  

He bought the posters too. 


Amber B  30:53  

Buy the posters, get the dumbbells, dumbbells in. And that's also a fun thing. Like we have our friends come over and lift. We've invited couples over and they've come and lifted with us. We've invited the young men, young women from our church over to come to lift with us. So you know, it's been 


Taylor  31:12  

It's obviously something that we enjoy right and we share with other people, right?


Amber B  31:16  

We do the virtual lifting, we've done virtual lifting sessions with some of our friends. 


Taylor  31:19  

And like routine sessions, 


Amber B  31:21  

yeah, like TJ said, like he has helped some of his friends, like build their home gyms and build their platforms and get their racks and things. So, you know, it's something that we enjoy, and we like to share with other people and get people excited about lifting because it's been such a big transformation. Maybe that would be a good podcast for talking about your transformation in terms of not exercising, and then getting into lifting that would be. That'd be an interesting story to share. But I, you know, just alluded to the fact that like, it kind of changed TJ in a lot of ways when he started to lift weights. And he likes to share that kind of stuff like when it means something to him, he likes to share that with other people and with other friends.


Taylor  32:03  

It's true. Everything's I'm way better looking now.


Amber B  32:08  

That's true.


Taylor  32:10  

Something about my back pain really stronger so 


Amber B  32:12  

Oh, my gosh, like when he started lifting and he had like, I just remember a couple of times, and I like turned around and looked at your back. And I was like, where did this back come from? It's like this big V back. 


Taylor  32:25  

I was working on my guns, my presses for the dresses. She was like, looking at my back.


Amber B  32:32  

Anyway. Okay, so if we're wrapping this up, and is there anything else you want to say about building space, building our gym? Anything that you wish that we would have thought about ahead of time?


Taylor  32:43  

No, I don't think so. We didn't talk about shoes


Amber B  32:46  

Oh, like lifting equipment? Yeah, equipment really quick. That can be a quick thing. Yeah, we'll link these in the show notes too.


Taylor  32:52  

So I just think you need shoes for sports specific, they're like any shoe You know, he knows tennis to tennis shoes. And for lifting, you should get lifting shoes, kind depends on what you want to do. Like if you want to do squats, like getting a pair of lifters, I have the Do-wins because they were cheap. But other people like the Adidas power lift. And there are other Romaleos from Nike, you know, those are kind of great, all around squat shoes. But if you're not doing so much squat, and you don't need quite so much stability, the cross trainers and things are


Amber B  33:23  

Yeah, really good. So I would say if you're wanting to train for strength, getting a set of lifters is a good idea. If you're just wanting to like to lift and kind of build some muscle and do more bodybuilding, I don't necessarily think lifters are an unnecessary expense. But if you are wanting to get into powerlifting, or you are really wanting to build your deadlift and your squad and like those things, your snatch, then investing in some lifters is a good next step. 


Taylor  33:51  

Other random pieces of equipment, we have barbell lifting straps, to just help you with your deadlift when those days when you need a little bit more risk, you know, grip strength or whatever. Those are cheap. Wrist wraps, for overhead presses. 


Amber B  34:06  

Those are nice wrists straight. Yeah, support your wrists. 


Taylor  34:09  

Give you a little bit of extra support. Knees sleeves,


Amber B  34:10  

 Knee sleeves are really good for squatting. 


Taylor  34:12  

Really nice for squat. So just keep your knees warm. And like a little bit of comfort really sometimes helps you deal with aches and pains that you get sometimes


Amber B  34:20  

A belt is an important investment. 


Taylor  34:22  

That's a necessity. 


Amber B  34:23  

Yeah, if you're wanting to do any sort of heavy lifting with barbells. You know, people are like, well, at what point do I need a belt. And my response to that is whenever you think that you want to lift weights, like whenever you're really serious about it, if you're just dabbling in it fine, whatever. But if you're really serious about it, and you're really trying to progress your weights, you might as well get it now because you are going to want it and need it.


Taylor  34:48  

Yeah, we could probably do a whole show on like, just a quick, you know, like, accessories, I guess if you want to call it that because there's a lot to be said about different things too, but I think we're getting to be a long podcast.


Amber B  34:58  

Okay. Well, I will just say, in terms of a weightlifting belt, I really recommend and I wish someone would have told me this earlier for a female to get a three-inch belt. I bought a four-inch belt and I have a four-inch belt now and it was too big for my torso. I used it for a while, but I got a three-inch belt and I much prefer that. And so just like the 35 inches or the 35-pound barbell, I would say for a female, I would really recommend a three-inch and you're wanting to get a leather belt.


Taylor  35:26  

Yeah, three-inch leather belt, 10 millimeters thick, single problem. Yeah, you should just do it. You should buy shoes, you should buy a belt. And, you know, presumably, you should buy a rack and a barbell and some plates, and you know, you have those things, and you have tons of potential.


Amber B  35:44  

Yeah. Fractional plates can be really helpful, especially if you're doing strength training. And like really trying to push your weights up. Fractional plates are little plates that are less than five pounds. And so it allows you to make more incremental jumps in some of your lifts. And anything else? Those are our big, like our big ones. So


Taylor  36:07  

send us your questions.


Amber B  36:08  

You want them to send us the questions, where are they sending them to me?


Taylor  36:11  

Yeah, send us your questions to Amber.


Amber B  36:17  

Um, all right. Well, I think that is a wrap. I think that wraps up a little bit about our space. Again, if you want to see, I know like, it's one thing to like, talk about space on a podcast. It's another thing to visually see it. And so that's why we did the gym tour and you can just go to my Instagram. My IGTV will link it in my bio or not my bio in my stories. That'll be kind of a tour of the gym. We'll put it in the show notes as well. And we'll link everything that we talked about here in the show notes.


Taylor  36:44  

Oh, we didn't talk about chalk.  Sorry, very quickly. You should have some chalk. 


Amber B  36:48  

You should have some chalk 


Taylor  36:49  

Place it in a plastic bag. It's cheap. 


Amber B  36:51  

It's very cheap. Yeah. You can also if you want to be a little cleaner, you can lose liquid chalk, but I really like just regular old chalk.


Amber B  37:01 

Okay, that was a good last edition. And like I said, we'll link that all in the show notes. So if you want to know the brands that we use or the things that you know, we have tried and true for us, we will link that in the show notes so that you can go and build your home gym. Last parting words?


Taylor  37:17  

 It's gonna be awesome.


Amber B  37:19  

That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything.



Hold up, sister friend. Do you love Biceps after Babies radio? If so, the best way to say thank you is to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes. I know, every podcaster wants you to leave a review, but it's because those reviews help the podcast to reach more people. And I do truly want to know what you think. If this particular episode resonated with you, will you also please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps after Babies radio.




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