With the increase in many club membership fees, more and more people are considering building their own home gym, complete with cardio and weight lifting equipment, exercise mats, and even full-size wall mirrors.
And it’s true: Having your own gym at home gives you enormous flexibility, especially in times of social distance. But is it also a practical solution for you? Read on to learn some things you should consider before making this transition.
Why a home gym gives you flexibility
Flexibility is an advantage that can strongly influence our lives. Having your gym at home will make it easier for you to maintain your commitment to fitness. With a home gym, you can train at any time. You will also have less time pressure to skip training. Even on weekends, a home gym will save you time. You can devote only half an hour of your schedule to weight lifting and spend the rest of the time with your family.
A perfect example of home gym flexibility is when you experience unexpected changes in your schedule. If you wake up late and miss the opportunity to go to your gym, you can still quickly work out at home before you go to work. You could even take advantage of this at night.
Your home gym gives you a maximum of privacy
Another advantage is privacy. You can exercise all by yourself in the comfort of your own home. No one is watching while you tense your gluteal muscles. No one will laugh at you if you take the time to finish your cycling routine.
Instead, you can concentrate on your routine and really get into your workout. Plus, you can watch or listen to whatever you want during your workout.
You are not dependent on a membership
Finally, the best thing about exercising in a gym at home is that you are in control. A gym membership is an expense. If for whatever reason, it becomes necessary for you to cancel your membership, your health isn’t compromised as you can train comfortably in your home gym.
What are the downsides of a home gym?
One disadvantage of a home gym is that the equipment can be expensive. Therefore, it is crucial to make the right choices when it comes to creating your home gym. You do not have to buy expensive equipment if you do not want to. You could start by purchasing simple weights and a bench and then buy more stuff if your financial situation allows.
Things to consider before creating your home gym
Although it may sound tempting now, there are some practical questions you need to ask yourself before investing in your gym at home. For example, in terms of space, what kind of dimensions do you work with? And is the structure of the potential gym space durable enough for the weight of the equipment you want to set up?
Are you motivated to get the kind of training you need? Some people feel uncomfortable exercising in public places, but the advantage is that you are expected to work out in the gym. It can take a lot of discipline to get out of bed (or off the comfy sofa) and exercise in your gym at home, especially if you live alone. On the other hand, inviting a friend for a home workout at your home can give your routine a boost.
Do you live in an apartment? If so, would using your home gym disturb your neighbors? Would using a gym conflict with your lease?
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to put you off. But these are all crucial questions you need to ask yourself before making a decision about creating your home gym.
What are the costs of setting up a home gym?
Of course, most of us would like to convert a free room into a home gym but that is not always possible. Although prices vary (the cost of a home gym can range from $200 to well over $3,000 – just for starters), you should consider your specific needs.
You might ask yourself: Is the cost of the equipment worth the time I can spare for training? Does the brand of the equipment matter, or can I get the same kind of training with a less well-known brand? Am I satisfied with buying used equipment or do I need new equipment?
Look out for yard or garage sales, property auctions, and department stores to save on home fitness equipment purchases.
Don’t forget the warranty and return policies
Make sure that you receive a more than sufficient warranty together with your purchase. A simple one-night guarantee may be fine for the purchase of a TV remote control. But given the enormous financial burden of equipping a gym and the strenuous use of the equipment, you should make sure that you get a proper long-term warranty and a decent return policy.
See your doctor before you convert the back room into a gym
Before you decide on these and other factors for converting this back room into an exercise area, you should consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program. This is not only sensible but also important to get the maximum benefit from your routine.
While you may imagine pushing 250 pounds on the bench, your doctor may not agree with you given your history of a bad back. Also, your doctor probably knows your physical condition better than you do, so make sure that he or she is well aware of what items you want to buy for your exercise program.
If you have health concerns, your doctor may suggest that you train in a supervised facility where your progress and activity are monitored.
Gain clarity about your requirements
When you are ready to buy a home gym, make sure it is one that will grow with you. Avoid buying expensive pieces of equipment that will grow over your head in a few months.
It is a good idea to start with the basics. If you are new to fitness, buy an exercise bike or treadmill to get in shape. An inexpensive exercise machine is another option. These are available on Amazon and at most department stores and fitness centers. Look in your local newspaper, because often you can find exercise equipment that is listed in the classified ads.
Finally, your lifestyle must be taken into account when making your purchase decision. If your life is already hectic, don’t delude yourself that you will have time to exercise on a huge system. You might be better off with a bicycle for the way to work and a set of personal dumbbells to keep at your desk in the office.
Set yourself realistic goals
Do not be fooled by exercise equipment that looks too good to be true. Achieving personal fitness goals takes time, dedication, and hard work, and no fitness equipment will do the job for you.
Check your goals before you go shopping. It’s tempting to create your home gym with several different machines. While this may be an option for serious trainers, you may find that you have more equipment that you will ever use. Home gym equipment is not cheap, so it is possible to ease your budget with just a few simple pieces of equipment.
Determine your budget and stick to it. Buy the equipment you need at a price you can afford. Even if you start with a few simple dumbbells and a floor mat, it is possible to have an affordable home studio.
Finally, think carefully about the space you have available. Don’t bring a bench press, sparring bags, treadmill, and spinning bike home if your workout space is limited to an 8×8 foot space. Be realistic and get equipment that can be folded and stored away whenever necessary.
In other words, set your physical goals, determine your budget, measure your space, then go shopping. Don’t just design a training area. Plan a home gym that works for you.
What purchase options do you have for a home gym?
Having considered these and other questions, it is now time to actually buy your equipment.
Are you familiar with all the options available to you? Are you familiar with the hundreds of brands on the market? If not, you might want to consider doing background checks on various consumer websites. Get a fitness magazine, do some research on the Internet, or get advice from a fitness equipment store or gym.
The simple fact is that you’re the only one who can decide what kind of gym you want to use at home. Look around to find the best equipment available to help you reach the body you want to see in the mirror every day.
Which fitness equipment works best?
The most common gym equipment is multigyms, treadmills, swiss balls, dumbbells, barbells, rowing machines, exercise bicycles, balance boards, abdomen exercisers resistance bands and punching bags.
Presses and weights, mats and benches take up a lot of space, and not every home has room to store, let alone use, these things. There are home gym systems that can be folded up and moved out of the way, but many are stationary monsters. It is essential to know what you are getting before you buy it.
When buying home exercise equipment, look for the equipment that will help you achieve your personal goals. You may only need equipment that targets one or two specific areas of your body. Or are you looking for a complete home gym system, which offers you the opportunity to perform a variety of exercises without having to reset the equipment?
There are many different types of complete home gyms, ranging from inexpensive department store systems to high-quality bow flex systems. If a simple set-up is all you need, do a little research and be sure it is what you need to get results. There’s no point in making the investment and dragging the equipment home if it won’t do the job for you.
If you are thinking about buying fitness equipment for your home instead of going to the gym, weights are probably the best you can get because they are versatile and compact.
Machines like treadmills and exercise bikes are sometimes ten times the size of a set of weights, not to mention ten times the price. However, treadmills are great exercise machines that offer alternatives for losing weight, warming up, and so much more. The newer treadmills will give you the distance, heart rate, and even calorie count you need to know how much fat and calories you are burning while working.
Dumbbells are inexpensive gymnastics equipment that will help you lose weight and tone on a large scale. You can buy dumbbells cheaply, get them in many sizes to train your upper arms, and build strength. Dumbbells help you build a stronger and fitter body from the comfort of your own home. They are also easy to store and take up almost no space.
What are the best home gym exercises?
Exercising at home need not be less effective than training in a gym, provided you follow certain basic principles. It is unlikely that a home gym will have the same professional equipment as a commercial gym, so some adjustments will be necessary. Below is an explanation of how to get the best results from a home workout at a gym.
Training at the gym often begins with either running or exercises on a treadmill or elliptical trainer. If your home gym is particularly well equipped, you may want to start in the same way. Most people won’t be so lucky and need a different type of exercise to warm up. You could just go running outside, or you could use something like a small trampoline to get your blood moving.
A weight bench is also ideal for chest training. Use bench presses, either with dumbbells or barbells. Dumbbells give you more freedom to develop your body evenly. If you do not have a weight bench, you will have to improvise. Try some rejected push-ups. They are hard work, but if you feel you are not getting the workload you need, try lifting your feet. This will be much harder, but if you need even more, try it with one hand.
The legs are not the easiest part of the body to build up with home exercise, but with a little creativity, a lot can be achieved. With a bench, it is, of course, easier. You can then use basic leg curls. Try squats with weights, as they are very effective in developing the thighs. Calves might be a bit more challenging, but if you stand on your bottom step with one foot, without your heel touching the step, then you can raise yourself using that one foot. I know, it’s a very physically demanding exercise but it produces excellent results.
The arms are quite easy to make part of a home workout. Although professional fitness equipment is always a help, you actually only need one set of dumbbells to develop your arms. Perform basic curls to train your biceps effectively, and work your triceps by doing easy seated triceps extensions. Also, use the dumbbell kickback, as this is a proven workout for beginners.
What other exercises can you do at home?
Aerobics is fun when you have a friend over. Laugh a little when you both learn the new steps of aerobic exercises. Learn to do aerobics and increase your heart rate by getting an old CD or display from your local second-hand shop or look for it on Youtube. Have fun and enjoy aerobics in your living room right in front of the TV.
Older exercises, such as exercises where you lean back on the floor and performance sit-ups, push-ups, etc. are easier if you have equipment at home. You can watch sports programs on TV and enjoy great exercise shows that help you create your own routines that work for you. Turn on the TV and lie flat on the floor to train with the trainer. This is a very cheap way to live healthier, and all you need is a bottle of water to cool off!
Hopefully, this guide has illustrated what you can do with a home gym and that you can achieve many results.
If you’re still determined to have that home gym, then grab a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Perfect Home Gym. It covers all – really all – you need to know to create your own home gym whether you’re a beginner or a pro, including
- in-depth advice on what exact equipment to buy without spending a fortune
- expert tips to simple but effective exercises to get the results you deserve
- guidance on how to maintain your home gym routine and how to stay motivated.