Have you ever thought about having a gym located within the comforts of your own home?
Reasons for creating a home gym are many. To some, the thought of going to a commercial gym evokes feelings of apprehension or intimidation. For others, having a home gym would mean being able to get a workout in while staying with the kids. Perhaps the price of a gym membership and the transportation time and costs are too much for you.
Having a home gym will give you the opportunity to maximize your workout potential, and we’ve got some tips to help you get started building yours today.
Find the Room
Depending on the size of your humble abode, you may or may not have a lot of spare room to devote into becoming a gym.
See if you can free up some space by clearing out your garage, guest bedroom, or even the corner of your living room. You’ll want to make sure that the space has sufficient lighting, electrical outlets (if necessary), and appropriate flooring. Having speakers for music and at least one full-length mirror are smart ideas, and if you’ll be doing cardio or watching instructional DVDs, make room for a TV in your gym.
Plan Space Strategically
The Precor website has a great Space Planner tool that allows you to play with and strategically design the layout of your future gym. You can use a gym template or create your own gym space using your room’s unique dimensions.
We love this idea: how about replacing your couch with an elliptical, treadmill, bike, or AMT®? They practically take up the same amount of space as a couch, and this way, you can burn some serious calories while you watch all your favorite shows or movies.
What to Have
Fill your home gym with the equipment that you know and love – cardio machines, stability balls, free weights, mats for yoga and Pilates, and whatever else your heart (and muscles) desire. Factor ease-of-use into your exercise equipment choices, and choose items that are durable and long-lasting. Make sure that you are properly trained in how to use the equipment in your home gym, because the last thing you want is an injury or to damage part of your house.
Make Smart Investments
Avoid sending your wallet into cardiac arrest by planning your gym investments wisely.
Take time to think about what you would actually use in your own home gym. (Is a set of dumbbells and a workout bench realistic to meet your at-home strength training needs? Or do you need more equipment?) Being practical about your home gym needs will allow you to make the most of your space and save money.
If money is tight and you are sticking to a strict budget, sparkly new equipment may be out of the question.
Don’t be afraid to look into buying used equipment. Often times, gyms and hotels will put their equipment up for sale if they are upgrading. Sites like Craigslist, Amazon, and eBay also offer individuals the opportunity to sell exercise equipment that they don’t use anymore.
When buying used equipment, be cautious – make sure to find out why the seller is selling their equipment. It may have technical problems or be in need of repairs. When possible, try out the used equipment to make sure it functions properly. Also consider whether the equipment comes with a warranty; this could prevent a headache months or years down the road.
Here’s the bottom line: strategic planning is the key to optimizing your home gym. Be smart about the layout, the equipment you utilize, and the money you shell out for it. Pay attention to these factors, and pretty soon you’ll find your neighbors asking how you got in such amazing shape.
Do you have a gym or workout space in your home? Have any advice for people thinking about building their own home gym? Please share in the comments!