The biggest advantages of having your own gym at home are saving time and energy on transportation (especially during inclement weather) and freedom. You work out whenever you want, however you want, you don’t have to wait for equipment to be freed up and best of all, you’re free to crank up the music and huff, puff or grunt as loudly as you want. You can really take your workout to the next level, no excuses, right?
Well, it’s up to you to really make the gym a highly functional space, fitted to your personal fitness needs. Once you have that, there will definitely be no excuses and you’ll be sure to stick to your workout schedule, enjoying the fitness sanctuary you’ve built for yourself. Before you set out to the next sporting goods store to buy equipment, here are the things to consider, starting from scratch.
You need a secluded space
In order to focus, you need isolation. When you go elsewhere to work out, you are both physically and mentally isolated from your home life, but with home gyms, that gets very tricky if you’re not provided with a closed off space. It’s important to strictly designate the time and space for fitness, because this will set your brain and body to focus and perform at their best. Your chores, family, and couch are left behind in the time window you need to focus on your workout. Find a place in your house that you can shut the door in – whether it’s an empty garage, basement, or a spare room.
Mind the floor
To protect the floor of your room and more importantly, your joints, you need proper flooring for your home gym. Four options have proven to be most popular: carpet or vinyl tiles, rubber, and foam flooring. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one really depends on your personal needs. For example, you’re not going to opt for carpet if you want to avoid vacuuming, and foam flooring is definitely not an option if you’re going to have lots of heavy equipment, because it gets compressed very easily.
…and the walls also
One thing all proper gym walls have – mirrors! Large floor-to-ceiling mirrors will make the space feel much less congested but that’s just an extra advantage – the important thing is that you’ll have a view of yourself while working out. Not for narcissism (okay maybe a bit of that sometimes) but to ensure you’re maintaining proper form while exercising. With no trainer or other gym-goers to give you a heads-up when you’re doing something wrong, a mirror will be the only thing to give you an idea whether you’re positioning your body properly to avoid injury and get the best from your exercises. They can be very pricey, so if you’re on a budget, just one large mirror will do – and it does not have to extend from the floor to the ceiling. Set it up on a wall facing your key workout station.
Get the temperature right
There’s nothing worse than gasping for air while trying to exercise in a stuffy, smelly room. You don’t want it to be too cold either, but just right. The recommended room temperature for gyms is 20-22oC for a comfortable workout. So, you’ll need an air conditioning system in your designated room to ensure you have full control prior to exercising. It’s an extra buck to invest, but you can always find aircon sales online or in your local store. It will definitely be a worthwhile investment, because you want to sweat from exertion, not lack of air.
Choose the appropriate equipment
Once you have your space set up just how it should be, it’s time to get the equipment! There’s no right or wrong here, or anything you absolutely must have – it all depends on your fitness goals and your workout regime. So do some research, ask yourself which kinds of exercises you’ll be doing, or just rely on the routines and equipment you preferred using at a gym elsewhere. Be patient with this and take time to choose wisely – you don’t want to waste money buying something you’re not going to use in the end. Consult with fitness professionals and home gym-owners, because chances are, there’s always an appropriate, cheaper replacement for the fancy gym machinery, which will do the trick just the same. Also, keep in mind the space you have. If you have very little room, a smart choice would be small-footprint machinery and multipurpose equipment. This type of equipment is recommendable also because it allows you to switch up your routine every once in a while, without having to exchange or get new things.
That’s it, with all this covered, you’re ready to start sweating! One last tip as a parting gift: if you install a TV inside your personal gym, you might never watch it from your couch again. You’ll really be putting to use that famous “cram in some exercise while watching TV” piece of advice. Whatever works for you, make this your safe haven, and you’ll never skip a gym day.