It’s the dream of every person who loves working out, to have their own gym at home!
No more driving to the gym, having to wait for some sweaty guy to get off a piece of equipment so you can wipe it down (because they always “forget” to do it themselves), and then after your workout either brave the weird naked people in the changing rooms, or drive home all sticky and messy.
Instead, walk from your utility room into your own, personal gym. No drive, no queuing, no strange or smelly people, and a quick walk upstairs to use your own shower in peace.
Not everyone can afford this luxury, (although it can be more cost-effective than you think!), but for those that can afford it, the real question is,
“Where do I even start??”
“How do I make sure I do it right??”
Well, read on, because that is exactly what we will be going through down below!
Where to Start
For starters, the space you will use is the first thing that you should be considering. A home gym can take a small space, or a large space, it really depends on what kind of training you will be doing and what your budget is. For a decent home gym, that would mean you didn’t need to go to a commercial gym, you would need between 50 and 100sq ft at a minimum.
The other consideration is the flooring. Now, if all you have is an exercise bike, it isn’t an issue, but if you plan on having some weights, it becomes far more important! (Last thing you want is to drop weight and it lands in the lap of someone sitting in the room below!
Ideally, you want it to be on the ground floor. Anything above the ground floor you may need to get the structure professionally surveyed for strength and integrity, and it may end up being more expensive than it is worth!
With the flooring and room, location problems sorted, your next port of call is the flooring material. Just the concrete is ok if you don’t have many weights, but if you do, dropping them can damage both them and the floor! Your best bet is to purchase commercial grade foam flooring, which will protect the floor, the equipment, and last a long time!
Getting the Right Ambience
Before moving any gym equipment in, you want to get it looking, sounding and feeling right!
With the flooring in, you should focus next on the ventilation/air conditioning. Even on your own, a small, poorly ventilated room can become a sweatbox and start to smell pretty ripe! If you’re lucky enough to be turning a pretty open room into a gym, then great! But if not, you may want to invest at this point. Something small like a fan or a ceiling fan is a good start, or if you have the funds, you can get an air con system! But I’d definitely recommend something.
When it comes to the colour of your gym, a lot of people suggest going for plain white. Now, if you like that, then go for it. But I’d suggest using this opportunity to jazz it up a bit! Lighter colours are great but don’t be afraid to mix it up. Murals of your favourite sports team or idols, a TV on the wall, or even a wooden ‘theme’ will all go a long way to making this more than just a room you get out of breath in!
You should also think about 2 other additions – mirrors and a chalkboard wall. All gyms have mirrors and for good reason. (No, not just for checking yourself out!) They allow you to watch yourself and ensure you are keeping proper form, and they also make a room feel larger than it is! The reason I also suggest a chalkboard wall is because it allows you to easily and clearly track your workouts, and actually adds to the ambience, in that it clarifies that this is a place for you to”work”.
Lastly, look into lighting and sound systems. Working out to silence is dull, so installing something to break that silence makes a huge difference! You can go old school, and get a “boombox”, or even set up a surround sound system! It’s up to you, your needs and your budget.
With lighting, you want to keep your gym well lit. It makes it a more attractive place to train, and overall make your life easier in there. But you might want to avoid too much overhead lighting. When lying on your back and exerting yourself, having bright lights straight above you can cause headaches or migraines. Sidelights, and having overhead lights away from where you would be lying on your back gets around this.
The Fun Stuff – Your Home Gym Equipment
It will come as no surprise that what equipment you need is entirely dependant on what you want and need, so it needs to be tailored to what you want to achieve! However, there are a few points of advice that will cover most bases.
When it comes to cardio machines, you want to limit how many you have, simply because they take up a fair amount of space and have a singular use. So it’s a good idea to have one or 2 of them, and the ones that you prefer using. (If you hate rowing, buying a rowing machine is not a good idea, because you are less likely to use it!)
With weights, however, you can become far more creative with your space! The best place to start is a squat rack. You can get smaller, cheaper frames if your budget requires, or the larger ones that have more uses. Both, however, give you several training options and variety, all within the same amount of space! Add in a bench, a barbell and some weight plates, and you pretty much have everything you need right there!
A selection of dumbbells can, though, add a degree of variety in your training. There are two ways you can add these into your home gym, in a way that conserves space.
- Buy adjustable dumbbells, which saves an exceptional amount of space, but can make certain types of training a little more awkward or time-consuming.
2. Buy a rack of dumbbells, so that you can store them vertically. This takes up more space and money, but makes your gym feel like a “proper” gym, and makes training easier.
Talking of vertical storage, when it comes to a home gym, this becomes very important! Most equipment can be stored in this way, and I would always recommend looking into ways of doing so, to make your life easier, and to maintain the ambience of your gym that you have worked hard to attain.
Other equipment worth looking into would be kettlebells, which again add variety, swiss balls, mats, foam rollers and resistance bands. These add a small degree of extra diversity to what you can do in your gym and are cheap and easy to get.
But What About Exercise Machines?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
Exercise machines are great and can be very useful training tools, but there are some considerations to think about when looking into them for a home gym.
First of all, as spoken about just now, is space.
Exercise machines take up a lot of space, and most of them have a single use, like cardio machines. If space isn’t an issue for you, then great! Mark Wahlberg has a home gym that is full of machines, and he makes full use of them!
But when you are actively trying to make the most of the space you have, you should look into multi-gyms. These machines take up only a fraction more space than normal exercise machines, however, they offer several ways of training! This solves the space problem very neatly, and adds more options to your training!
It also makes your home gym look much more like an actual gym!
Ultimately, this all comes down to what you want, what you have, and how much you are willing/able to spend. Choose your space, create the ambience, and fill it with the equipment you need using the advice above, and you will never need, (or more importantly, want), to use a commercial gym again!
Plus, you get to see your neighbours go green with envy when they find out that you got super fit using a gym you built in your own home!
The next step is to find the right place to get your equipment. As important as your budget is, remember that buying cheap is often a false economy! What you save on initial outlay is usually spent on replacing either broken or ineffective equipment. So, finding the right company is key!
Here at Mango, we deliver the highest quality gym equipment in China, and further! For our complete gym packages, where you can get everything you need, just click this link here!
Or for individual items, have a look here.
Oh, and once you have finished your home gym, we would love to see what you have created! Send us the photos at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you want to know more about how to design a home gym, you can look at the life fitness coaches tips.