Your Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Gym
Create an oasis of fitness at home that matches your space, style and salary.
Lets face it the gym isn't for everyone,and if youre not a fan of crowds, packed parking lotsor equipment christened by other peoples sweat,training at home could be your dream come true.The good news is that building a decent home gymis easier than ever, and the key to creating the perfecttraining space is selecting the equipment that best suitsyour goals, your space and your budget.
Check out these four spatial scenarios and theirassociated equipment suggestions. Then mix and matchthe gear from any of them to create a gym perfectlytailored for you. Hello instant workouts, goodbye excuses!
The Tiny House
Whether you literally live in a dollhouse on wheels ora studio apartment, you need to equip your space carefullyto ensure that your gear doesnt double as furniture.Portable, multifunctional equipment is best here soyou can set up anywhere and get your sweat on.
A suspension trainerleverages your ownbodyweight forresistance, and simplychanging your angleor body position canmodify any exerciseto make it harder oreasier. And becausethe trainer is just asimple set of strapsand handles, it hardlytakes up any squarefootage in a draweror cabinet.
No room for a rack ofdumbbells? Then investin a set of resistancebands. They are cheapand versatile and canbe used in place ofdumbbells or barbellsfor just about everymove you can think of.Purchase a few differentweights to give yourselfoptions during training.
Not everyone has thespace (or the money) fora treadmill or ellipticaltrainer, but truth be told,you dont need a machineto get your sweat on.Jumping rope is one of themost time- and space-efficientways to burna ton of calories whilebuilding endurance andcardiovascular fortitude.
Sample Tiny House Setup*
Total Investment: $400-500
* All prices are estimates; cost will vary by brand.
Either perform this workout using straight sets to build strength or create a heart-pumpingcircuit by doing the moves back-to-back with no rest in between for twoto three rounds.
The Suburbanite Setup
Out in the burbs, you have alittle more room to kick around,and here a guest room or dencan easily double as yourworkout space. In additionto being able to house all thesuggested Tiny House gear, youare more at liberty to expandyour equipment horizons.However, your space still needsto be multifunctional and neatwith equipment that can becollapsed or hidden away whencompany calls.
Unless youre planning on using your flat bench for extraseating at the dinner table, youll want to be able to stashit when your in-laws are in town. Most foldable benchescollapse completely flat and can be rolled underneath abed or hidden in the back of a closet.
Parallel Training Bars
Though they look simple, a set of parallel bars can be usedfor hundreds of strength moves, and they are appropriatefor exercisers of all levels. Perform moves such as dips,push-ups, L-sits and leg raises, as well as stretches andmobility training.
If you dont have the wall space to house a bulky rack ofweights, then an adjustable dumbbell set is a must-have.This system allows you to change your weight up or downin increments, and when not in use, it can be stashed in thecorner without
Sample Suburbanite Setup
Total Investment: $1,375
Perform as many reps as you can of each move in 30 seconds and rest minimallybetween exercises. Cycle (or do another form of cardio) for five minutes at amoderately intense pace, then rest one minute. Complete two to three rounds.
Lets face it no one uses their garage for carsanymore, and besides, who doesnt want the kindof fitness space that spills out into the drivewayand makes the neighbors jealous? With this setup,you bring some of the niceties of a commercialfacility into your own domain and will neverhave to share a chalk-crusted power rack again.
Great Garage Gear
CrossFit Home Gym Package
Even if youre not intoCrossFit WODs, a setupsuch as this delivers allthe equipment bellsand whistles in a singlepackage, and usuallyat a lower price pointthan if you were topurchase all the itemsseparately. Dependingon the company, apackage might includebarbells, a rack, bumperplates, a rowingmachine, a climbingrope, rings, medicineball(s) and more.
Whether you usedto have cars in thereor not, most garagefloors are less thanpristine, with oilstains, outdoor grimeand (yipe!) spiders.A puzzle-piecerubberized floor iseasy to install, allowingyou to rise above thegrit while also givingyou the option of easyremoval if you decideyour car indeed needs shelter.
A solid plyo box is anincredible in-hometool and can be usedto train your wholebody with or withoutweight. Step-ups, dips,box jumps and endlessplyometric drills are atyour fingertips.
When choosing a large piece of equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill or rowing machine, consider the footprint (how much space it will take up), whether it can be easily accessed for maintenance or adjustments, and what is in your line of sight when you use it. Because it won't matter how many bells and whistles it has if all you have to look at is a blank wall.
Sample Garage Girl Setup
Total Investment: $5,230 - $5,730
After a thorough warm-up, completeas many rounds and reps as possible(AMRAP) of the following workout in25 minutes. Record your score and tryto beat it next time.
The She Shed
If youre lucky enough to have a no-limitbudget, get your gym out of the house andinto its own space. This custom setupincludes state-of-the-art equipment thatcollects all your metrics, integrating on-demandboutique studio classes (such asthose offered by Peloton and Technogym)and your own biostats to help you maintain motivation and track your progress.
The Bells and Whistles
Enjoy the intensity andcamaraderie of a groupfitness class withoutleaving your home.Peloton offers more than90 live weekly classesthat range from fiveto 90 minutes and thatare led by some of themost popular instructorsaround. See your realtimemetrics, such as heartrate, cadence and output, and then compare them with others who are virtually working out with you.
There are a bevy ofoptions (and pricepoints) for this kindof equipment, solook for a productthat allows you toperform a multitudeof your favoriteexercises. If you cansee the machinein person, test it out and make sure everything locks securely and that all moving parts glide smoothly.
This incredible piece of equipment gives you a treadmill, a sled and a parachute trainer all in one. It provides guided workouts and a large touch screen, and an easy-to-reach toggle makes increasing and decreasing speed and intensity a snap.
Sample She Shed Setup
Total Cost: $22,395 - $23,515
Choose a light to moderate weight for the strength moves, and work at70 to 75 percent max effort during the cardio intervals. Rest 30 to 60 secondsbetween strength moves, and complete the workout two times through.
Want to outfit your home gymlike a pro? Come to the IDEAWorld Convention July 8-12,2020, in Anaheim, California,to test-drive the latest andgreatest in fitness equipmenton the expo floor! ideafit.com
Making the Grade
Fitness equipment comes in different grades based on how much it is going to beused, and most large companies make multiple versions of the same piece: home, light commercial and full commercial.Home-grade equipment is typically the cheapest and will withstand consistent use by one or two people, at most. Thelight commercial version is more reliable and will have the sturdier feel of a piece youd find at your local gym or box. A fullcommercial piece is an absolute necessity for anyone planning on having multiple people use it throughout the day forexample, if youre setting up a small studio to train clients or have a number of friends chipping in on it.
Also, beware of the crappy stuff. The biggest mistake people make when buying equipment online is not knowing the quality ofthe source, says Ron Martin, sales manager at FitOne Fitness. Purchase from companies with a reputable name in the commercialand studio gym settings, even if youre buying the home version of their gear. If you already train at a gym, you will recognize the morereputable names such as Precor, Life Fitness, Freemotion, Hammer Strength, York, Rogue, Perform Better and TRX. If its been a whilesince you had a membership and youre unsure what is best at present, consult a specialized fitness equipment store and sales staff(steer clear of big chains) to steer you in the right direction, or attend a fitness conference expo and try