Are you looking to get a workout in while your local gym is inaccessible? Maybe the gyms in your city are closed, or maybe you feel unsafe going even if they’ve opened back up to the public.
Maybe the gym just makes you feel self-conscious so you’d rather work alone, or you have an unconventional schedule that leaves the gym as a less convenient option.
Setting up a home gym might be exactly what you need to do to get into shape. But how do you go about setting up home gyms?
We want to give you some tips to help you out. As long as you have a spare room, an empty garage, or even some covered outdoor space, a home gym could be in your future.
Keep reading to learn how to make the home gym of your dreams!
Assess Your Space
The idea of a home gym might be nice, but you need to decide whether or not you have room for it. If you’re in a one-bedroom or studio living space you might not have enough room for a full home gym.
You’re going to want enough room for the equipment that you want to use. You can substitute some things for smaller items, but you won’t be able to have a dedicated home gym space.
If you’re limited, instead of making a home gym just buy a few weights that have interchangeable parts so that you can make the exercises harder as you get stronger. This isn’t a permanent fix, but you’ll be able to improve until you get strong enough that a “real gym” is necessary or until you’re able to move to a larger space.
You can also invest in something that’s easy to store away, like an exercise bike. Consider biking or running outside for your cardio needs.
If you have a large enough space, measure it out so that you don’t end up purchasing things that don’t fit. Garages and outdoor spaces are great because you’ll generally have more room.
Bonus: Consider The Noise Problem
If you’re in an apartment or the space that you want to use is in an upstairs room consider how noise is going to travel to your apartment neighbors or housemates. Some apartment buildings won’t allow heavy equipment unless you’re on the ground floor. You’re going to need to plan accordingly if this applies to you.
Make a List
You won’t be able to fit everything into your home gym. You need to have room for exercising and a fully-packed space isn’t conducive to that.
Make a list of “must-haves” and “would be nice to have” to help you figure out your priorities. When you measure out the space required for the “must-haves” you can begin making room for the things that you would like to have.
This will help you stay focused when it’s time to start buying things.
Set a Budget
When you’re a fitness fanatic it’s easy to go overboard with your home gym purchases. You want the biggest weights, the best cardio machines, and all of the extra supplies that you’re going to need!
These things aren’t cheap. A home gym is an investment and you might end up saving more money over time due to not having a gym membership, but it will take a while for the costs to even out.
Some people pay upwards of $100 per month on a gym membership, especially if they take classes or work with a trainer. A home gym can run you $1000 or more but your membership could cost as much as half of that, if not over $1200. A home gym is also a permanent investment so you don’t have to make those yearly payments.
If you have a limited budget make sure that you can afford the things that you want.
There are a few ways to make your money go farther.
Look For Used Items
There are plenty of used home gym necessities on sites like eBay and even craigslist. The items might be outdated, but they’ll work just as well in a pinch as any new items.
Some people will list things that are only a year or so old because they keep up with the newest and best versions of everything. Let their trash be your treasure.
Make sure to visit yard sales, estate sales, and your local Facebook marketplace. Also, check your local thrift store. Don’t limit yourself to buying new products if you have a limited budget.
Start With Necessary Things First
Instead of buying everything for your home gym at once (even if it’s tempting) try only getting your favorite or most useful things first.
If you’re into strength training, getting a weight bench or dumbbell set before you focus on things that you’ll use left often is a good choice. If you love cardio you should invest in a stationary bike or treadmill first.
As referenced by many of the health blogs on Blogging.org, you can always do no-equipment workouts as a temporary replacement for the other equipment that you don’t yet have.
Wait For Sales
So let’s say you want a specific item that’s unlikely to show up as a used item anytime soon. You can pay full-price if it fits your budget, but consider waiting for potential sales or discounts.
Many online shops have sales and discount codes that they’ll mention on their social media or email newsletters. Following these things might get you the equipment that you have your eye on at a fraction of the price.
Also, consider waiting for popular sale days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Give yourself the things that you need for a full-body workout.
Some of us fixate on a specific group of exercises or a specific body part. It’s easy to have a one-track mind when it comes to your routine.
It’s important to have some variety in your training so that you can keep your body guessing. You can’t have leg day every day, so make sure that you have things that suit your other exercise needs as well.
It’s helpful to include space for things like yoga, pilates, and short no-equipment HIIT workouts and this space can be as wide as a yoga mat.
Remember that your needs may change over time and you don’t want to have a home gym that won’t be useful during a time where you’re nursing an injury or lacking the motivation for your normal routine.
Purchasing basics in every “category” of exercise is the way to go. You’ll be surprised at the workout you can get with a barbell, a bench, a treadmill, and a yoga mat.
In other words, give yourself options so you can get the best results.
Start Based On Your Fitness and Budget
There are different fitness levels and you should know which one you’re in before you start filling your home gym. You don’t want to buy things that you’re never going to use and let that space go to waste.
Be honest with yourself and adjust your plans accordingly based on cost and physical ability.
There are low-budget options for people who aren’t ready to spend the money on a whole gym setup. Believe it or not, there are affordable options for every budget and fitness level.
New to Fitness? Start Here
If you’re a newbie in the world of fitness you don’t have to commit to a full home gym experience just yet. Save your money for the time being.
Start yourself off with small weights, resistance bands, and a removable pull-up bar. You can also use things that you have around the house to supplement your routine like milk jogs full of coins or marbles, heavy books, canned goods, or full backpacks.
This helps you know your starting fitness level and gauge where you need extra help before you’re ready to move on. It also helps you avoid spending excess money too soon and work towards saving for those much-desired items.
Intermediate Exercisers? We’ve Got You Covered
When you’ve graduated from the beginner exercises and you’ve built some muscle and endurance it’s time to take the next step.
You’re going to want to “level up” your equipment. This is where we start getting into the pricier items.
An interchangeable weight set is going to be your friend here. This will help you scale your routine up from “never lifted a weight in my life” to “I’m ready for the barbells now”. One set can go from 2 pounds to 70 pounds per weight (and there are variations that may go lower or higher).
Investing in kettlebells is a great choice for this level of training, and this is also where you’d focus on a piece of cardio training to get your conditioning up to par.
Work at this level for a while. Some people never move beyond here and that’s okay!
Experts? You’re In Luck
Some people think that they’re too strong or fit to work out at home. A home gym changes that.
If you’re working with limited funds or space, bring some basics into the gym. Things like exercise steps, yoga balls, and even a plain dining room chair can give you a surprisingly difficult workout regardless of whether or not you add weights. There are plenty of ways to make a workout more difficult for yourself.
In a perfect world, you’re going to be able to buy yourself some advanced equipment. This is where you get your bench and barbell, some kind of multipurpose exercise machine, and a rowing machine (or your favorite home gym preferences).
Don’t Forget “Extra” Items
When you’re building your home gym you’re probably honed in on the things that you need for the exercises that you want to do. What else is going to be useful for your training experience?
You want your space to stay comfortable while you’re working out, right? A good humidifier can make things easier, especially in the cold winter months where you might have dry hands or a harder time breathing.
While you’re bound to get sweaty during your workout a humidifier helps to make your experience better. You’ll breathe easier and some even offer essential oil diffusing options to keep the space smelling fresh despite your workout.
Not sure if there are any benefits of a humidifier?
You’re going to get hot while you’re doing your favorite full-body workouts. Some people enjoy feeling that heat while they’re exercising, but if you want to keep cool it’s a good idea to get a small fan to keep in the room.
Not only will it help air circulate, but you can also take a breather in front of it to dry off some of that sweat.
Why do you need a place for your towels when you’re in your own home? You’re right by the shower, right?
Anyone who’s done some serious exercising knows that you can get so sweaty that you won’t be able to hold your weights anymore. Giving yourself a space for your towels stops you from interrupting your workout and losing momentum. Just wipe yourself down and keep moving.
Set up a space to set up a radio, speaker, or even your laptop so that you can listen to music while you work.
You can use headphones if that’s easier for you, but when you’re at home why bother? They can make your workout more frustrating when they fall out or get in the way.
Being at home means that you control the music. Take advantage of this.
Setting Up Home Gyms? We’re here to help
Setting up home gyms might seem like a huge expense, but if you take your time and scale yourself up based on the needs you can stick to a budget while getting your training in.
Anyone can get a good workout in at home. A budget-friendly home gym that’s tailored to your fitness goals is on the horizon.
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