How to Build a Home Gym
For years, people have understood the benefits of working out. Gym memberships often spike at the beginning of the year as people try to fulfill resolutions and become more healthy. Now, with the rise of remote work, an increase in on-demand fitness classes and other remote workout programs, and the availability of wearable devices to track fitness progress, home gyms have become more appealing to fitness beginners and fanatics alike.
Home gyms offer an array of benefits, including:
- Less peer pressure
- No travel time
- No need for gym bags
- A customized gym experience
- Increased dedication
Fitness is an important aspect of everyday life, and while commercial gyms come with their own unique benefits, home gyms can create a more personalized and stress-free environment for you to work out in. Though everyone has different fitness goals, there are some general best practices and basic equipment that everyone can use when creating their home gym.
Home Gym Starter Kit
One benefit of having a home gym is that you can customize it to your needs. While a hardcore gym enthusiast might want professional-grade equipment, beginners should consider starting with equipment that’s easier to handle. However, there is basic equipment every gym needs:
- A yoga mat for stretching and laying on
- Resistance bands for strength training
- A jump rope for cardio
- Kettlebells or dumbbells for weight training
These gym essentials are used in most workouts and can help customize exercises to fit your needs. While workout machines are handy to have in a home gym, the basic equipment listed above can help add variety to your workouts so you won’t run the risk of becoming bored.
Home Gym Setup
Before buying any gym equipment, you’ll first want to decide where to put it. The home gym you create will depend on your workout style and the space that you have available.
Find a Dedicated Space
Creating a dedicated space for your workouts helps increase commitment and maximizes your time. If you don’t have a designated spot, you could waste time trying to decide where to workout. Having a spot reserved for exercise will help you get into the right mindset and allow you to focus on your workout.
Depending on the type of exercise you do, you won’t necessarily require a huge amount of space for your home gym. Often, people choose their garage or basement to house gym equipment. However, if you choose a workout that requires minimal space, a home gym could easily fit into a spare room or a shared space, like a living room. If you feel like you don’t have enough space to create a suitable gym, consider placing unused personal items in a secure storage unit to make more space and keep your valuables safe.
With whatever space you choose, you’ll want to make sure it is light and airy to help boost your energy levels. If you don’t have an option for natural light, instead choose bulbs that provide soft white light. Adding mirrors can also give the illusion of a brighter, more open space.
Organizing Your Gym
A disorganized gym can make you feel lost and stressed during your workout. By organizing your equipment, you can create more efficient workouts. First, you’ll want to clear your gym of any distractions, including papers, electronics, and other items that can take your attention away from a workout. Any items you don’t need for your gym can be packed away into boxes or moved to another place in the house.
When it comes to organizing your equipment, you’ll want to make sure the ones you use the most are ready and available. For instance, if you have a favorite machine or resistance band that you use every day, store them so they are ready to use. This will discourage you from rationalizing any excuses associated with having to set up your equipment.
If possible, invest in some shelving or clear totes to store equipment. There are many ways to organize a garage, basement, or spare room to fit your home gym needs. Keep in mind that your gym should be clean, clutter-free, and balanced to create a stress-free environment.
Tips to Build a Gym on a Budget
Price is often the main concern when building a home gym. Investing in long-lasting equipment can take time and money, which can seriously discourage fitness motivation. Luckily, there are ways to build a home gym on a budget.
Browse Thrift Stores
While thrift stores can be hit or miss, finding gym equipment there is usually a good bargain. Typically thrift stores will have days with specific deals, which you can use to your advantage. By keeping track of these deals, you can pay an even better price for fitness equipment. Additionally, if you want to become more efficient with your shopping time, you can call ahead to discover if the store has the item you want.
Buy Second Hand
Now with social media and mobile apps, people can buy second-hand fitness equipment quite easily. There are many ways to buy second-hand fitness equipment online, including:
With these apps and online tools, you can refine your searches by distance, type of equipment, and seller reviews. Before you start buying fitness equipment off the internet, however, there are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Use exact-phrase queries. This way, you can improve your search efficiency and spend less time browsing through unrelated results.
- Read seller reviews to ensure it’s not a scam.
- Try to negotiate the price before you buy the item. Often sellers will want to sell the item as quickly as possible and expect a price negotiation.
- Meet the seller in public to ensure your safety.
- Do not give the seller money before seeing the product. This will discourage scams.
Furthermore, you can leverage these selling tools for your gain. By selling your unwanted items online, you can make extra money to spend on more equipment or amenities for your gym.
Use Household Items
Many fitness experts are using furniture or household items they already have to get the most out of their workout. For example, your couch can serve as a bench for tricep dips or elevate your legs for an ab workout. Dining room chairs can be used for balance or to suspend your leg during lunges. Even a wall can be used for timed wall sits. With a little creativity, you can create an efficient workout routine with little to no money.
Use Bodyweight Resistance
Using your natural body weight for resistance or strength training is convenient, as you can do the exercises anyplace and at any time. You also don’t need any equipment whatsoever. Bodyweight exercises include:
While these are only a few of the basic moves, these exercises can create a well-rounded workout that will work your total body.
No matter what your fitness objectives are, home gyms are a convenient way to get in shape. By finding a dedicated space and investing in basic equipment, you can create a home gym that fits your needs and motivates you to reach your goals.