- Nothing Necessary!
- (For the optional Upper Body Zero on Tuesdays/Thursdays: Rings and Band are all it takes!)
- (For the ROKP Warm-Up: a Cheap Sled works great!)
- Step-Up Board
- The Tib Bar
- Nordic Bench (learn the exercise so you know you can use a partner or even weightlifting belt)
- Thick Gymnastic Mat
- (The Seated Calf Machine I bought is out of stock. Two good things to know are: 1) $200 for a Seated Calf Machine is CHEAP and it works great [we only train one side at a time, so it happens to require less heavy loads], thus indicating other cheap brands should work too, and b) most commercial gyms already have a Seated Calf.)
ZERO requires… NOTHING! :)
In DENSE STRENGTH we progressively add load and equipment…
The VMO Squat can be done without a Slantboard, but I like using one since it allows me to stay more focused on the movement. I simply get much better knee and leg gains when I use a Slantboard, than when I don’t.
Additionally, a Slantboard can add additional gains to your Reverse Step Up by allowing you to more smoothly perform the Poliquin Step Up.
I use the Slantboard from Slantboardguy.com because it has the optimal angle and grip, while being lightweight. I also love the customized aspect because little pieces of motivation make a real difference to me when I’m training.
If you need to take your Slantboard with you to and from the gym, Mr1nf1n1ty.com sells a thinner, foldable Slantboard.
There is no right or wrong answer: only what suits your lifestyle. And I have ZERO financial ties to either of the above Slantboards or any other product in this article. I even insist on paying full-price, going behind their backs and paying without any discount. This ensures I live 100% honestly. As soon as money enters the equation, so too can BIAS. Keeping in this policy prevents any breaches of integrity on my part, and the best possible gains for YOU.
The next most important item on my list: The Tib Bar!
Click here to see it in action! I was among the first customers and ordered quite a few of them actually, for my ATG staff and for my friends here in LA. I’ll be a repeat buyer, because there’s no better gift I can give people than the gift of health and prevention of costly surgeries. Same goes for the Slantboard above. I ordered a bunch of ’em for the ATG staff and for my friends and I’ll never stop! Other people can buy you an Xbox. I’ll buy my friends the gift of bulletproofing.
Knee Ability ZERO prepares you for the Nordic, as shown in this video. Nordic progression is then begun on Mondays in DENSE STRENGTH :)
Now throughout your ATG training journey, there is the matter of training your hip-flexors. This video shows how we train them, and you’ll notice a unique yet simple and affordable development: MonkeyFeet! These finally provide an affordable way of loading your hip-flexors with measurable accuracy, and the user-friendliness and portability is unparalleled!
Again, there is no right or wrong answer in terms of what you should spend your money on: only what suits YOU and your life. Keep in mind that the fitness equipment industry is an EXPENSIVE one, and everything I have presented so far in this article actually saves you tremendous amounts of money compared to what I originally spent as a gym owner.
A single new treadmill costs more than my entire home gym.
In fact, the ENTIRE ATG system can be done entirely from home with a very affordable gym even by HOME GYM standards!
So yes, I will be using my Slantboard, Tib Bar, and MonkeyFeet, but if you watch each of their exercise tutorials, you will see that I show equipmentless options for each one! I am here to SERVE, not to push my own profits. That’s why my equipment guides are unique, because I can’t be bought, and because I have zero fitness sources of income whatsoever outside of my ATG membership.
It’s incredible how much can be done with just what’s listed above, if you already have basic gym equipment…
But if you’re like me and you want to build out your own home gym, I can highly recommend LuXiaojunBarbell.com. I like the fact that Lu is the greatest Olympic weightlifter of all time, and has VMOs the size of footballs! As someone who had no visible VMO naturally, this gives me a little extra motivation. Legend has it, he rubs each purchase with his VMOs for good luck (at least that’s what I’m believing).
I bought my rack, barbells (male and female versions), plates, and dip attachment from them (the rack already has a chin-up attachment overhead). Dip and Chin are not needed in Dense Strength but come into play in Standards for upper body development to stay up to par with lower body development. Everything shipped fast, but they were backordered on bumper plates, which are back in stock and arrive any day now.
As for dumbbells, I got mine from watsongymequipment.com.
In general, I am not a materially-driven person. I split an $8000 Jeep with my wife, which we share. I don’t wear a watch. I don’t drink wine or have any other expensive habits. In fact, when we moved across the country earlier this year I only packed 5 pairs of clothes, a toothbrush, and my computer — that’s it! Starting over has never scared me, and I don’t need material things to be happy.
But I LOVE what training has done for me, and I love making videos to help others. I’ve done almost 3000 videos since I launched atgonlinecoaching.com less than 3 years ago. By nature I’m not into aesthetics, but I do recognize that it matters to those watching. And, my gosh, are the Watson dumbbells AESTHETIC!!!
I drew a logo by hand, had it made, and now it’s my favorite material item, ever.
The final item that can assist in Dense Strength is a bench. I finally found one that’s affordable, STRONG, ships fast… AND ARRIVES ALREADY-BUILT — just fold out! Click here to go right to it.
The main piece you need in STANDARDS that you don’t in DENSE STRENGTH is a Back Extension, which is used in reaching both the Single-Leg Back Extension Standard and the Quadratus Lumborum Standard.
The most bang-for-your-buck brand is probably Valor Fitness, in terms of a Back Extension that I know for a fact is durable and tougher than appears, but still affordable. I have used many different brands in my time as a gym owner, and Valor’s is the most bang-for-your-buck.
To reach the optional Dip/Chin Standards (I haven’t worked my upper body in years, but am shooting for the 50% BW Full-Range Dips and Chins x 6 reps this year), I got the D-Moose Dip/Chin Belt.
I hope this guide helps!
Yours in Solutions, Ben
For my route which has produced over 2000 knee success stories and requires ZERO equipment for your first 12 weeks (but you are free to progress at ANY time), check out atgonlinecoaching.com and use code FRESHSTART2021 for my lowest price ever!