Start a Home Gym
It is the time of year where people have put on their holiday weight and are looking for a way to burn off all those casseroles. The new year always seems like the ideal time to turn over a new leaf and get healthy. Many people flock to fitness centers and sign up for annual gym memberships complete with trainers and one more thing to add in to their hectic schedules.
There are a select few, who opt to spend the money they would put towards a gym membership into starting a home gym. Note that I said “start”. A true home gym is never really finished. As you progress and your needs / interests change, there are always new machines or accessories to add.
Home Gym 101
There are literally thousands of articles on this subject, and every person you talk to will have their opinion. By you, my little snowflake, are unique and have your own needs. First off, figure out what space you are going to use. Don’t fool yourself and say you don’t have any room to workout at home. There is always room.
Once you determine the space you are going to use, then you should set your goals. Are you simply looking to shed holiday weight and tone up a little bit or are you going to be training for something in particular. Setting your goals will help you work backwards towards the equipment you will need to achieve them. Of course, goal setting is also a major factor in driving your success.
Let’s say you want to run a marathon this year. You should definitely not get a gym membership if this is the case. Why waste the time driving to the gym when you can just go outside and run? Most marathons are run outside after all. Not to mention you have to get acclimated to different weather conditions, hills, wind, etc. Plus it is just prettier to run outside.
There are times, however, that training indoors is necessary. I would suggest buying a treadmill for these times. You can look for a cheap treadmill on craigslist, ebay, or Bidfta. Heck, you may even have a friend who no longer uses theirs and will give it to you as long as you come get it. You can also buy a new one. Your budget will dictate what you get.
Now that you have your main piece of equipment, you need to also consider the accessory work that you should do to be a better runner. This generally requires less equipment than you would think. Some simple dumbells might be all you need to add weight to lunges, work on rows, and do some swimmers presses. A yoga mat to lie on while you do your core work (and yoga on active recovery days) rounds out the basic equipment for training. Of course you will also want a foam roller and some lacrosse balls for recovery.
I am sure you are going to want headphones, the latest running shoes, fancy pants, a bright colored array of shirts, etc. Just remember, those are not necessary and only needed if they fit in your budget. Save buying those items as rewards for training hard and when you sign up for your race(s).
Not-so-pro Tip: I enjoy running or biking indoors while I am watching TV. I figure I am going to be sitting there, I might as well do something. In fact, I replaced a chair in my living room with an exercise bike so I could easily ride and watch all the time.
Maybe a marathon is not your thing. Perhaps you want to look like one of these folks.
Ok, maybe not this guy.
More weights might require a little more space and investment, but the payoff can also be huge. Forget the looks, the inner feeling of being in tip top shape far outweighs the outer appearance. Of course there are lots of ways to get there, but building muscle is best done using a barbell.
This equipment requires more space and is ideal in a basement or garage. Not only do those areas tend to have the most unused space, but they also have hard floors to support the heavier equipment involved. Plus, you feel more powerful when you can drop the heavy weight once you have lifted it, right?
Again, goals will dictate what you get here, but a power rack, barbell, plates, and a bench are a good jumping off point. These can take up more space than other types of equipment, but it is one of the best types of exercise programs out there. I recommend getting the basic items first and buy accessories as your budget and space allows. You can make significant progress doing the big 4 exercises (and their variants) before you need a bunch of other stuff.
Obviously this post does not even scratch the surface of all the different types of home gyms and ways to use them. There are hundreds of how to articles and Pinterest boards for building home gyms, garage gyms, and the like. My hope is that you make the most use of the biggest asset you have.
Also consider this when budgeting. If there are two people in the house that will be using the equipment you buy, then your costs can be divided by two. It is not to say you have to split the cost for the items, but it sure beats getting two gym memberships.
We wish you the best if you are one of the millions who want to take better care of themselves this year. If you truly find yourself without the space you want for your home gym, maybe it is time for a home upgrade.
Need More Space for Your Home Gym?
If it is time to upgrade to a home with more space for you activities, contact us and we will help you find what you are looking for.