Some beginners opt for a squat rack, which is basically a baby power rack. It’s like a power rack but it comes with safeties built in which can prevent new guys from hurting themselves. I actually don’t recommend this if you have a long term fitness goal in mind as they are expensive and you’ll need to replace them with a power rack for ultimate benefits.
I would rather that you stick with free weights, Olympic barbells to be exact than purchase something that will not add value to your home gym in the long run. Barbells are great learning tools and can teach you a lot about the right form. The key is not to be too aggressive with loading weights on them.
Smith your body:
If you are just getting into home gym and fitness, then you should opt for a smith machine. To put it simply, it’s a power rack but it has a safety system setup in place which can protect you. I wouldn’t recommend sticking with this for any extended periods of time as it provides very little benefits and a power rack is definitely the better alternative.
Barbell your limits:
If a smith machine is out of your spending budget, you might do well to look at Olympic sized barbells that can give you the requisite training. As long as you keep weights within manageable limits, you shouldn’t face any problems with them. Also, it’s very important to maintain proper form, and you need to check online or with other people to determine what the best method to do so would likely be.
Dumbbells are great:
I hear several people asking me if they should buy both dumbbells and barbells for their garage gym. My answer to that would be: if you can, definitely. Barbells and dumbbells perform different functions when it comes to how they build muscle. A barbell is something I would use for more total-strength related movements squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. For more information check out our article on the benefits of incline and decline bench press.