A home gym offers many advantages over a commercial gym. You don’t pay membership fees, you won’t have strangers watching you while you exercise, and you won’t have to wait for a class to start or to use any equipment.
The benefits of using a home gym are endless. Not only does it save time, but it also saves money.
To ensure you get the most out of your home gym, you want to invest in quality home gym equipment you’ll actually use. Several options are available, from free weights to resistance bands for improving your strength and from rowers to treadmills for cardiovascular workouts.
But before you go spending hundreds on home gym equipment, take into consideration the following:
1. What are you training for?
The first question to think through is, “What do I need to train for?”
When it comes to exercise, there are three types of workouts: strength training, cardio/cardio endurance, and flexibility.
Strength training involves lifting weights, doing bodyweight exercises, using resistance bands, etc. Cardio activities include running, walking, cycling, swimming, and rowing. Flexibility includes stretching and yoga.
Strength training builds muscle mass and increases bone density. This helps prevent osteoporosis and reduces the risk of injury. You’ll also increase your metabolism with more lean muscle tissue.
Cardio training improves blood flow throughout the body. It strengthens heart muscles, lowers cholesterol levels, and prevents high blood pressure. It also improves lung capacity. In addition, it too increases metabolism, which makes it easier to burn calories.
Flexibility is essential for good overall health. It allows joints to move freely without pain, which keeps your spine healthy. It also improves balance, coordination, and agility, which help reduce the risk of injuries.
When choosing a workout routine, consider your goals.
Do you want to build muscle mass? Burn fat? Improve your stamina? Or maybe you simply want to feel better.
Whatever your goal, make sure you choose a program and equipment that suits your needs.
2. Where will your home gym be?
A lot goes into choosing where to put your gym or fitness studio. Of course, you need to consider things like accessibility, space, and cost to prepare the area.
Will you use a spare bedroom, basement, garage, or living room corner?
If you plan to work out regularly, ensure the location is convenient and easy to access. Also, consider how much room you need for storage and workout gear.
- Do you want to train alone or with others?
- What type of workouts will you perform?
- Is there enough space and structural support for you to perform those activities safely?
You’ll also want to think about flooring, sound control, temperature regulation, and lighting.
3. What’s your budget?
When it comes to buying equipment, it’s always good to determine how much money you have available to spend before you start shopping.
Avoid taking on debt to outfit your home gym if possible, and to save money, consider used or refurbished items. Remember, you don’t want to spend money on equipment that won’t last, so always look for quality pieces.
Refurbished products often come with a nice discount, and some include warranties and free shipping.
The best time to buy new home gym equipment is generally during the fall and winter holidays, but you can often pick up used equipment any time of year.
4. Determine the essentials.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to create a world class home gym, that’s okay. Purchase the essentials and add equipment over time.
For strength training, standard equipment includes dumbbells, barbells and weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance tubes, elastic bands, or other similar pieces.
Depending on your goals and training needs, you may require a squat rack, flat bench, adjustable incline/decline bench, or pull-up bar.
If you have the space, you may choose to buy one or two multi-station pieces of equipment to meet several exercise needs.
For cardio, you’ll need a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine, rowing machine, cross trainer, stepper, jump rope, or other cardio equipment.
Your stretching or yoga mat should be included in this list as well. But also consider rubber floor mats for your entire gym area as they are easy to clean, durable, and slip-resistant.
Don’t forget mirrors to help you see that you’re working out correctly. Proper form is essential to prevent injuries and make progress.
5. Other Considerations
You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on fitness equipment you won’t use, so if you’re just beginning a fitness routine, start small.
Still, no matter how you equip your workout space or what you spend on fitness equipment, always keep safety in mind. Operate, maintain, and store your exercise machines and equipment properly.
Safety – Ensure all equipment is sturdy and properly secured during operation and after usage.
Maintenance – Keep your equipment clean and dry. Inspect regularly, and if you notice any abnormal wear, take care of it immediately.
Storage – If you have limited space and will store equipment between uses, keep it away from moisture and heat sources.
Working Out at Home
A home gym can be an excellent addition to your health routine. It provides a safe place to improve your fitness level while helping you save time and money as you work toward your training goals.
You don’t need fancy equipment to experience a good body workout. Yet if you want to move beyond bodyweight exercises or engage in a cardio workout from the comfort of home, a few key pieces of exercise equipment can take you to the next level of your fitness goals.