It’s no secret many of us have been confined to our homes for what seems like an eternity. While it looks like things may be changing for the better soon, the fact is people are starting to rethink what “Stay at Home” really means. I read a recent article that stated more and more people are becoming increasingly interested in home offices and home gyms/exercise rooms. While home offices can be relatively straight forward in design and what you need to do your job. Home gyms can be a different kind or monster altogether.
In a different life I co-ran and operated several gym and home gym locations in the South Charlotte, NC area. I can tell you for certain, if you’re thinking about putting in a home gym your decisions are endless. I have put together a quick 3 point checklist you may find useful to guide you through the process.
- Define your goals:
- When it comes to fitness and exercise goals are king, with out them you can spend the precious time you have doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. In this case, if you know what your life long fitness goals are it will help you decide what kind of space you need and the equipment that will help you accomplish them.
- Space requirements:
- If you have identified your goals then you should have an idea of what kind of space you need. For example, if your goal is closer to traditional weight lifting or bodybuilding it’s possible you’re going to need a much larger space than say if you only like to do yoga. Traditional weight lifting equipment takes up a ton of space, items such as squat racks, barbells, dumbbell racks, benches, cable machines etc…while awesome to look at, require more space. If your goals are more cardio based and you’re not a fan of outdoor activities you may only need enough space for a treadmill and mat for stretching. In the most extreme cases I have seen, walls have been moved, electrical lines trenched in for high end equipment, speaker wire ran for surround sound audio systems and ducting ran for fresh air returns for tight spaces. If you already have a good idea of what you’re looking for, reach out to a general contractor who also knows a thing or two about health and fitness. They can help you navigate the ins and outs of the construction portion of the home gym task if your application requires it.
- Goal oriented equipment ideas:
- First things first, be truthful with yourself. Are you out of shape but looking to get back into shape? Are you mobile enough to perform basic body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups etc…? Are you starting at ground zero and not comfortable with knowing all the ins and outs of fitness programing? If this is you, the best piece of fitness equipment you can have you already own…your body! Getting in shape is tough no matter how you slice it, but having realistic goals and knowing where to start will give you more confidence in your home gym decisions.
- If you’re going the traditional weight lifting routine, a solid squat rack, standard plate free-weight set and movable bench will go a long way and won’t take up near as much space as traditional free standing equipment. Not to mention it will save you some cash.
- My favorite piece of exercise equipment are TRX straps or Rings. These things are extremely versatile and allow you to work every single muscle in the body. In most cases, this piece of equipment can be used from the exercise novice to the fitness elite.
With so many machines, bands, medicine balls, dumbbells, treadmills, ellipticals, racks, mats, foam rollers etc… in todays fitness market its easy to get overwhelmed with were to start. I maintain that if you know what your goals are, you will have a much better idea of what kind of space you will need. This post is not meant to address every single issue that goes into planning and building a home gym but hopefully this will help get some ideas started for you. Good luck and if your interested in a home gym feel free to reach out anytime!