How to Set Up Your Very Own (Affordable!) Home Gym
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with some extra space at home, a great way to fill it is to create a home gym. We all know how important it is to maintain fitness, but with everyday time constraints, finding time for a good workout can be challenging. By creating a home gym, not only do you save time on travel and money on memberships, you can conveniently jump into your workout as soon as motivation hits.
For many people that work 9-5, going to their local gym before or after work can be an ordeal. Gyms at peak times can be painfully slow, and your motivation will quickly slip away after waiting 10 minutes for a machine. Imagine having your very own gym where you can train at your own pace, listen to whatever music you want, or even watch your favourite TV program as you work out!
How to set up your home gym
Step 1: Choose a good space
Ideally, you want your gym to be set up in an area that’s pleasant to spend time in. If you set up shop in a dirty basement that smells and gets too hot or cold, you won’t want to visit it very often. Finding a space that offers a fresh breeze, a good view, or access to your workout videos will be much more beneficial. If this happens to be the living room, look for ways to conceal your equipment when not in use.
Step 2: Set a budget
Knowing your goal and how much you’re willing to spend on equipment is important. Once you have this in place, you can start doing your research into how much things cost and what different pieces of equipment do. Try not to double up on any equipment and look for multi-purpose pieces. Careful planning means you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
Step 3: Figure out your style
While some gym-goers love to lift weights, others may prefer the cardio side of things. Or it may be that your exercise routine consists of yoga or pilates, so take this into consideration when setting up your space. If it’s weight-lifting you’re doing, you want an area that encourages you to go hard. If it’s yoga you’re loving, you’ll need a space that supports peace and serenity.
Step 4: Create a schedule
It’s all very well designing a great home gym, but if you don’t use it often enough you won’t see positive results. Build your workouts around times when you have little distractions, as this is when you will be most productive. Don’t plan to work out while the kids are getting ready for school, or when the phone is at its busiest.
Step 5: Get comfortable
You need to enjoy the time you spend in the gym and a good way to do this is to ensure your comfort. Creating a great playlist of music will make your workout more fun and a mat on the floor will provide cushioning for floor exercises. You can also play around with the temperature.
Step 6: Realise that small can be big
You don’t have to go all out to see a difference in your fitness levels, and even the smallest of routines can impact your energy, body weight, and mind. If you can only afford one-star investment piece, make it something like a cross-trainer that gives you an all-over workout.
Step 7: Invest in a mirror
A full-length mirror will allow you to watch your technique and ensure you are doing your exercises right. Incorrect posture can result in injury. A mirror will also keep you motivated and spur you to go harder.
Step 8: Don’t forget floor space
Floor space is extremely important and very versatile in terms of the exercises you can perform. Specialised gym matting can make floor time more enjoyable, can protect floors from heavy weights or sudden impact, and can also act as insulation for cold floors in winter. Gym flooring is also great because it can sound-proof your home gym - just make sure you check you're buying on with that function!
Step 9: Consider second-hand
If you want to get more bang for your buck, look for pre-owned exercise equipment that can save you hundreds. Many people make the mistake of buying equipment that doesn’t fit in with their lifestyle, so make the most of their mistake and grab yourself a bargain.
Step 10: Understand the basics
If you really want to see a difference in your body courtesy of your home gym, you need to implement dynamic training (resistance training based on intensity, duration and frequency), as well as eat a clean diet. To begin dynamic training, you will need:
- a variety of dumbbells and weights
- a bench or fitness ball
- a cardio option such as a cross trainer, spin bike or skipping rope
- rubber gym mats for flooring