Planning to create a home gym? I’m jealous. The only extra room in my house that could have been used for the pursuit of exercise and fitness is a playroom, covered in tea sets and Monster High dolls (what happened to Barbie?) and posters of Justin Bieber that I find emotionally conflicting. So you see, a home gym is a luxury that should never be taken for granted. In fact, I will live vicariously through you and help you plan your own home gym. Make sure you have these essentials:
• Space. You don’t need an entire basement or a huge addition in order to make room for your home gym. A small room will suffice, unless you want to cram in all of the exercise equipment you normally use at the gym. That’s not necessary. Just find a part of the house that can be used for your fitness goals. It might be a spare bedroom, a section of the basement or even a garage. On my morning walks, I see one of my neighbors working out in his garage every day.
• Equipment. The essential gym equipment will depend on your workout style and your goals. If you want to increase strength and build muscle, you will probably need some weights and it might make sense to invest in a machine that provides lots of opportunities to workout different muscle groups. Everyone knows about the Bowflex line of gym equipment. You can also check out Powerline, Gold’s Gym, Marcy Smith and Raptor lines of home gym products. If your needs are a little less complicated, get a few yoga mats, maybe an exercise ball, some floor weights and some of your favorite exercise videos. If cardio is your main fitness goal, move in a treadmill or an exercise bike.
• Accessories. I like for a room to have a mood, and your home gym should reflect its purpose and your fitness goals. Have some water available – maybe a small fridge like we used in our college dorms stocked with water and protein shakes. Keep some clean towels at the ready so you don’t have to run through the house all sweaty and dripping after a workout. Anything else you need should also be kept in your home gym, such as lifting gloves and belts or running shoes. Get some music going, too. Everyone needs a workout playlist.
Your home gym essentials will depend on the type of workouts you do and the space you have. If I was designing the perfect home gym, it would have mirrors on the walls, a great sound system, padded floors for yoga and Pilates and a treadmill in the corner for when rain and oppressive heat keeps me from getting my exercise outdoors. You might want something a bit more competitive or complex. Before you design your gym, get some dedicated space, think about the equipment you need and start gathering the things that will make your gym special. Soon, you’ll have no excuse not to workout.