Here’s your complete guide to starting and growing your best home gym
People around the world are becoming more aware of their personal health and therefore investing in healthy, clean eating and fitness. But between driving kids to and from school, daylong meetings, errands galore among other things, finding time for fitness is never easy for many.
Given how important fitness is for our overall health, leading a busy lifestyle should never be an excuse for skipping workout. Even those who have time to go to the gym are simply tired of paying an arm and a leg for facilities they have to share with others.
If any of these situations sound like what you’re going through, we are here to offer a solution. Home training is the answer! By assembling a few training gears in your house, you can get your heart pumping and sweat glands dripping right from the comfort of your home.
At-home workouts are a great way to support your fitness goals, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown period when you cannot access the gym. The best part is you can create a home gym that works for you regardless of how much money or space you have.
Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your athletic performance, or be a little healthier, a home gym is exactly what you need to ensure you’re doing your workouts regularly. Read on to find out what you’ll need to create the perfect home gym and how to get the most out of it.
Best Home Gym Equipment’s For Every Workout
Building a home gym sounds like a luxury, but nothing could be further from the truth. A lot of people have been seduced into purchasing overly expensive, faddish fitness equipment that promises to melt the pounds away.
How many vibrating dumbbells or other relics of the fitness industry are stashed in people’s attics, never to see the light of day again? Home workout equipment is a billion-dollar industry taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers who are desperate to gain that Instagram body.
Don’t fall into that trap! There’s a wide variety of home gym equipment to suit every budget, the hardest part is deciding what not to buy. Here are some home gym essentials to get you started you can also download some workout Apps to help you manage your fitness program:
Dumbbells: For upper and lower body workouts.
This is one of the most versatile home gym essentials for beginners to invest in. Dumbbells can be used in so many ways, including for upper and lower body workouts, core exercises, not to mention, they are a great way to work your muscles and build strength.
They are available in multiple options (both standard and Olympic) and at numerous price points. Adjustable dumbbells are your best bet because, compared to the traditional dumbbell set up, they allow you to adjust to different weights so you get all the variety and are much more space-efficient. A great alternative to dumbbells would be kettlebells or a weighted ball.
Cardio machine to Boost your stamina and cardio capacity.
Cardiovascular exercise is a key component of overall health and fitness. The easiest way for those who want to get their cardio indoors is to invest in some type of cardio machine. An elliptical, treadmill, rowing machine, stair climber, and stationary bike are some of the most popular options.
There are pros and cons to each option, so pick the one that fits your fitness needs and that you know and like. For instance, get a treadmill if you enjoy jogging or walking, a stationary bike for low-impact conditioning, and if you feel safer holding onto equipment during workouts, an elliptical is your best bet.
These machines come in various sizes, features, and different price points, so you should be able to find one that fits your space, level of fitness, fitness needs, and budget.
Jump rope for great calorie-burning.
Cardio machines can be very costly, so if you can’t afford one, this is an inexpensive cardio option. Jumping rope is fantastic cardio as it allows you to burn 200 to 300 calories in a simple 15-minute workout; plus, it works your coordination in a big way.
Jump ropes are great gym essentials for beginners. You can get a wire lightweight rope to work on speed and timing, or increase the intensity of your workout with a weighted jump rope.
The best part is a jump rope is available just about anywhere and it costs as cheap or as costly as you want it to be. Keep it in your bag when you leave the house for a do-anywhere cardio workout.
Pull up bar to build upper body strength.
This is an awesome multi-purpose piece of equipment as it allows you to work various muscles in your upper body and can also be used for abdominal workouts.
Most pull up bars are easy to install as they simply hang on your doorway and take up little space. Alternatively, you could mount it on an archway or part of a wall. If you’re not ready for full-on pull-ups, you do an assisted version with the help of resistance bands.
Rep fitness bench for solid strength training workout.
A good bench is useful if you are going to bench press and is ideal for solid strength training workout, especially if you looking to lift heavy fitness gear weights. A sturdy, adjustable weight bench can help you work nearly all muscles from your calves to your forearms.
You can also work multiple angles by changing the incline. It is also great for performing hip thrusts, bench dips, chest-supported rows, chest flyes, and can double as a step for step-ups.
Medicine ball they help to develop coordination and balance
If you’re looking to do plyometric exercises and core strength movements like lunges and squats, then a medicine ball is an essential purchase.
It also allows you to perform explosive, upper-body moves like smashes and throws. You’ll find them in a variety of weights, so go for one that fits your current fitness level.
Barbell for weight training
There are two types of barbells: standard and Olympic. The former has one-inch holes and is ideal for light applications as they bend easily and tend to hold no more than 200 pounds. The latter typically has a 2-inch-diameter sleeve and is designed for heavyweight workouts.
There’s a strong correlation between quality and price when it comes to this piece of equipment. There’s also a huge difference between a high-quality barbell and a cheaper option in terms of durability and performance. Since you’re likely to use it more than any other piece of equipment, consider something high-quality.
Weight plates for physical exercise
You’ll need some weights to put on your bar. Weight plates are available in various sizes, materials, and colors. Iron plates are your best bet if you’ll only be powerlifting and using plate-loaded machines.
But if you want a more versatile option, look no further than bumper plates. They are quieter, multi-functional, and generally safer for your floor.
Yoga mat for any floor exercises
At-home workouts are a hot topic right now due to the situation we are all going through currently and if you haven’t added them to your isolation routine yet go out and pick your best that will make you want to get on board on your fitness.
A yoga mat is useful for several floor exercises, including push-ups, crunches, planks, Pilates, and, of course, yoga practice.
It prevents you from slipping and sliding on a hardwood floor or carpet during a workout and adds some extra cushion for abdominal exercises and floor stretches.
Resistance bands for strength-building
Exercise bands can be used in place of fitness gear weights. But unlike weights, they are convenient, lightweight, cheap, portable, and most importantly, versatile. You can use them for strength-building movements and also flexibility, rehab, and activation exercises such as pull-apart and clamshell.
Additionally, once you’re comfortable with the basic exercises, you can add mini resistance bands to your workouts like squats to challenge yourself. Resistance bands do wear out, so consider going with high-quality options.
Stereo system or a TV and video player
Your home gym would not be complete without some music. While this is no workout equipment, studies have shown that listening to the right music stimulates the nervous system and increases adrenaline levels during a workout.
Music is generally exciting and can make high-intensity exercise feel easier while improving your endurance during low-intensity cardio. You can also install a TV if you enjoy video workouts or want to catch up on your favourite TV shows while you burn calories. While you’re at it, remember to add some motivational posters and prints.
There are many more pieces of equipment that you can add to your home gym and this is just a tip of the iceberg. Once you have our recommended essentials in place, you can expand your gear selection to include other things like a power rack, kettlebell, plyo-box, foam rollers, battle rope, heavy bag, weighted vest, collars, foam tiles, dip station, BOSU trainer, and other items that pique your interest.
But before adding more items to your home gym, make sure you’re using the ones you already have. Perhaps you can set a fitness goal and once you achieve it, you can reward yourself with a new piece of equipment.
Home Gym Benefits
Thanks to the wide variety of fitness equipment, you can now create a total gym set up within your home and enjoy a quality full body workout just as you would in a commercial gym. Not yet convinced that having a home gym is the better option? Well, here are 8 reasons that prove that a home gym makes sense:
They are Convenient: Life is busy and most of us can’t find the time to finish daily tasks, let alone go to the gym. Some have schedules that don’t match the typical gym schedules and closing time. A home gym is open 24/7 and is ready for you when you are –whether it’s late at night or early before others are awake. This makes it easy to fit your workout routine into your schedule.
They Saves time: Seeing as we are busy people, we have to spend our time wisely if we are to get even half of the things we want to be accomplished daily. Going to the gym is time-consuming; you have to walk or drive to the gym for about 15+ minutes, then park, go through reception, and get changed before you can begin your workout.
Sometimes you even have to wait for the machines to be available, not to mention there are so many distractions during a workout. With a home gym, there’s no commute and you get to eliminate all those pesky time-sucks of going to the gym, thus allowing you to focus on what important, which is to get started with your workout right away.
Potential to save money: A home gym seems like an expensive venture –and it is, at first. This is especially true if you plan on investing in equipment like a treadmill, weights, and/or a stationary bike. But the truth is a home gym will save you money over time.
Most gym memberships will run into several hundred or even thousands of dollars per year, especially if you live in expensive areas or want specialized equipment. There are also hidden costs that come with a gym membership, including transportation, trainer fees, fancy workout clothes, vendor services, and so on.
With the many types of home gym equipment available, you can have a total gym setup within your budget. Imagine how much more you’ll be able to save if everyone in the family can use the home gym rather than subscribing to a commercial gym.
They offer kind of personal Privacy: One of the things that turn folks off about commercial gyms is how public they are. Some people are quite uncomfortable working out in front of others –either for fear of being judged about their weight or using equipment incorrectly, wearing the wrong clothes, looking awkward while exercising, doing exercises wrong, and not looking/being athletic enough.
Does going to the gym makes you feel nervous and intimidated that you no longer want to exercise? Well, you’ll have none of these worries when working out at home. Since you’ll be going to the gym alone, you can take your time to discover how best to use the equipment, workout at your own pace, wear what you want, and exercise the way you want –all without feeling judged.
No sharing of equipments: Once your workout routine starts to gain momentum, it can be frustrating to have to stop and give other gym members a chance to use the machine. Having a total gym setup at home means your equipment and machines are always ready for you.
No more distractions or being pressured to get off the machine for others to use or waiting for a station to open up. Furthermore, commercial gyms have thousands of members, each of whom leaves their mark on everything they touch. Think of all the germs you’re exposed to in the public toilets, showers, and sinks. A home gym equals fewer germs and you can avoid the awful experience of getting a whiff of strangers’ body odor or touching their sweat.
It lets everyone in the house get their exercise: Regular exercise is good for all members of the household regardless of their age. Kids, teens, adults and even seniors all need age-appropriate amounts of physical activity. Getting your kids or older relatives to the gym is even more difficult than getting yourself to the gym.
A home gym makes it possible for everyone to exercise as much as they should. If you have outdoor space, you can create an outdoor home gym where the entire family can spend time together training. This is not only fun but leaves everyone feeling happier and healthier.
Customizable: A commercial gym is designed to accommodate the general population, so your workouts are limited by the gym’s equipment. But with a home gym, you can design it in any way you want and according to your fitness levels and needs.
Whether you are training for a 5k race, functional fitness, powerlifting, or general health and wellness, you get to fit your gym with only the equipment you need that are best suited for the workouts you’ll be doing. You can also decorate it with inspirational posters, your favorite sports team, etc.
If you aren’t sure how to start building a fitness room at home, don’t fret as there are several home gym ideas online to help you get started or professional fitness consultants who can help you design a personalized home gym. There’s even information on how to use gym equipment for beginners.
Your gym, your rules: Commercial gyms have a lot of rules limiting your personal expression and training style. This can have a direct impact on your performance and even make you feel controlled while exercising. With a home gym, you are in complete control.
You can wear whatever you want, be as loud as you want, listen to your music of choice or watch any TV programming you like, or even act however you want without feeling embarrassed. Whatever you feel like doing to provide yourself with the ideal workout environment, the sky is your limit!
Tips for Fitting a Home Gym in a Small Space
From the texts above, it’s evident that a home gym will save you time and money while ensuring you never have an excuse to skip a workout. That being said, some people are hesitant to invest in one because they don’t think they have room in their home.
The good news is nearly everyone has enough space for at least a small home gym setup. All you need to do is find a space in your home that you can dedicate to your workouts. A spare room is an ideal spot for a home gym but if you don’t have one, then a back porch/patio or a small area in your living room will do. Here are a few home gym tips that will help you create the ideal fitness room in a small space:
Maximize your space: There’s always room to be had if only you’re willing to reorganize and also find storage solutions. For starters, you can use a cabinet, open shelves, or storage bins to keep your workout gear organized. If your workout space is in the living room you can use the furniture there like an ottoman to store your gear.
Most importantly, make use of the vertical space. You can install wall-mounted shelves on the vertical space of your workout spot for extra storage of the lightweight items. You can also mount a pegboard on the wall and use it to hang towels, resistance bands, yoga supplies, and other gym accessories.
Install mirrors: Mirrors help to open up space, thus making it appear larger than it actually is. This will help you feel less cramped when exercising in a small room. Mirrors can also help you check your foam during a workout, thereby preventing injuries and tracking your progress.
Install indoor lighting and ventilation: Small spaces can seem congested during a workout. Making the room as airy as possible is a must as it helps you to stay cool and hygienic, and ultimately boost energy levels during a workout.
Lighting will help you see what you are doing in small spaces to avoid injuries. Adding plants can also boost oxygen levels in the room and purify indoor air.
Stock it with small equipment: You don’t need bulky machines to make an effective home gym. In fact, some of the most effective pieces of equipment are actually small and affordable.
For instance, instead of buying a treadmill for cardio, you can go for a simple jump rope. There’s also no need for a bunch of weights for strength training, instead, invest in adjustable dumbbells or a set of resistance bands.
Purchase essentials: Commercial gyms often feature the greatest and latest fitness gears that your home gym doesn’t need. Stock your space with essential gears that are specific to the workouts you plan on doing. This will save all kinds of space, as well as money.
Purchase multipurpose equipment: Instead of stocking your home gym with all kinds of equipment for different exercises, find fitness tools that can provide you with multiple workout sessions.
Examples include foam rollers, which you can use for core strengthening, as a prop for yoga poses, or for kneading out muscles. Adjustable dumbbells and rubber bands are also versatile as they are designed to grow with you and your gym.
Arrange wisely: Once you’ve purchased your gym equipment, it’s time to solidify an arrangement so the gear doesn’t take up more space than necessary. If possible, dedicate a few bins or shelves to keep gear out of sight when not in use. A messy and disorganized space can be distracting and increases the likelihood of injury, so keep your space clean and clutter-free.
Things to Should Consider Before Buying Home Gym Equipment
It’s not possible to install all the gym equipment mentioned above in a home gym, let alone a commercial one. Plus, there are many more available in the market. So, how can you tell which ones are best suited for your home gym? Well, here are a few important things to consider that will help you make the right choice:
Your fitness goals: In order to create the perfect home gym, you first need to take a moment and think about your ultimate goal. The gym equipment you purchase should revolve around it.
For starters, if you are a marathoner or a triathlete, your goal is probably geared towards the aerobic end. While nothing beats running outside, investing in a treadmill can eliminate uncontrollable variables like bad weather. Cross-training equipment is also vital to reaching your aerobic goal.
If your end game is to burn calories, lose fat, and/or tone your body, then you’re going to have to do a variety of exercises. Cardio machines like treadmills are a great place to start. These can, however, be quite costly; plus, doing more cardio doesn’t always equal burning more calories.
In order to burn more calories and eventually lose weight, you’ll need to increase muscles. Muscle mass helps to keep your metabolism elevated, thus allowing you to burn calories even while resting. In that case, a resistance-based home gym using things like bands is your best bet. It’s cheaper and much more effective at fat loss.
For muscle building, you should consider a weight-based home gym. You are going to have to stock some weight stacks and/or weight plates to add more resistance and achieve this goal. If you’re not ready to lift heavy weights, you can add less conventional equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, or a weighted medicine ball to your fitness routine.
For those who want to do strength training, equipment like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells are ideal. Strength training is great for increasing and maintaining muscle mass, increasing bone density, helping to keep off many age-related diseases, improving joint strength and flexibility, improving overall strength, and slowing the aging process among other things. It can also assist in the above-mentioned fitness goals, meaning these pieces of equipment have a place in anyone’s fitness routine.
The amount of space you have: Ideally, you should have a room dedicated to your home gym. A better option would be to create one in the garage or basement. But since this is not possible for everyone, the key is to pick pieces of equipment that you need that don’t take up much space.
Dumbbells, barbells, benches, and the likes, seem pretty small until you have one of everything and find yourself with a cluttered gym without much space to workout.
A lot of us focus in indoor space, which can give you nothing more of a compact home gym, but there are outdoor options like a terrace or backyard that might offer more space for stocking more workout equipment. Plus, there are several proven health and mood-elevating benefits of exercising outdoors.
Your budget: There’s an influx of gym equipment in the market from the growing fitness trend, which has made it possible to get high-quality workout gear at a fraction of what you think it might cost. A home gym is often perceived to be a luxury but creating one doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive.
There are options for every budget. Equipment like treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, weights, and dumbbells can be pretty expensive. If your budget doesn’t allow brand new ones, go second-hand for such costly items. People sell used rogue equipment all the time –usually at more affordable rates, but be careful not to purchase faulty ones.
Remember, cheap and low-quality equipment will lead to decreased satisfaction, lower resale value, a higher chance of needing replacement, and a higher likelihood of injury.
So, how much does a home gym cost? It’s possible to create a low-cost gym with essentials like dumbbells, resistance bands, an exercise mat, and a pull-up bar for under $1,000. The ultimate mega home gym can go well over $3,000. With this, you can mimic a commercial gym as much as possible.
If you are willing to go the rocky route, you can make or repurpose most of the essential gym equipment. For instance, a sturdy chair can be great for steps, bottles filled with cement can act as homemade hand weights, and lastly, a tractor tire can work well for deadlifts.
The supportive environment: Architectural factors also determine the type of gym equipment you can stock in your fitness space. For instance, many racks, boxing bag brackets, and rigs may need to be secured on the vertical surface. It’s important to check the wall’s structural integrity to ensure it is strong enough to support such equipment before buying them.
Also, treadmills are significantly elevated from the floor and can bring your head close to the ceiling. So, make sure there’s plenty of room to allow you clearance for your head. Last, but not least, make sure there’s enough headroom before installing a power rack.
What steps up your motivation?: The answer to this question should guide you in picking out your home gym accessories to complement your workout sessions. Some popular gym accessories include TVs, sound systems, and mirrors. They are not only functional but also make workout sessions more fun.