Set Up a Home Gym

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 14:24

Setting up a home gym is a great option for people who don’t want to spend the money on a gym membership, feel intimidated working out around a lot of people, or simply need and/or like the convenience of being able to get a great sweat session in at home.

The great news is, we can do this easily and affordably. Obviously, if price wasn’t an issue I’d recommend getting expensive cardio equipment, full dumbbell racks, some barbells etc. But that’s costly and totally unnecessary.

The first thing you need to think about is your space. You don’t need much. Ideally, we would have a 7 foot by 7 foot open spot that allows you to lay, hop, or jump in any direction. So, if you don’t have a separate room for your home gym you can literally move the furniture around to create enough space for a yoga mat. In whatever space you choose, you might want to consider a TV on the wall should you want to stream workouts. I highly recommend this. While it is absolutely doable to train yourself, it’s a heck of a lot easier having trainers do it for you. And it’s a very affordable way to have top trainers in your home for super cheap. Also consider a full length mirror so you can see yourself and check your form.

Next, what equipment do you need? So, we can absolutely use only your body weight if that’s all we had available. However, I do recommend a few essentials that won’t break the bank:

  1. Yoga Mat – You can use it for yoga or just floor work obviously. A towel will also work but it’s not ideal as there are certain exercises you will do that require some cushion for the spine, knees etc.
  2. Dumbbells – I can train any part of someone’s body with their own body weight very effectively. However, when it comes to back and biceps – unless you have a pull up bar it is ideal to have some free weights around. Plus, it’s nice to have the option of doing weighted lunges, squats, and deadlifts. If you just want to keep it light I recommend a little set that scales from 3lbs to 8lbs. However, if you are looking to do some serious heavy lifting you might want to consider making an investment in an adjustable pair. They run from 5lbs to 50lbs or 10lbs to 90lbs. These will cost you several hundred dollars, but you can do just about anything with them and they don’t take up a ton of space.
  3. Resistance bands – Another really affordable option would be tubing. A few pairs of solid resistance bands will allow you to train your upper body pretty efficiently, but they aren’t super helpful when it comes to weighting your lower body. There are some exercises you can do, but it simply isn’t ideal. So, maybe consider one strong resistance band for the home to work back and biceps – they are compact and cheap.

And if you want more...

  • Cardio equipment – if you want a treadmill or a bike and have the money for one, by all means go for it. These are big purchases though. They cost a lot, they take up space, and they don’t offer the most efficient workout. So if you want one get one. There is no right piece except the one you will use. But you absolutely do not need anything like this. You can very effectively use your body weight to get in HIIT and/or cardio workouts with exercises like jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, skaters, jump rope (no rope needed) etc.
  • Weight bench – A weight bench is useful, but also unnecessary. You can use a chair or a coffee table to step up on, do dips off, etc. And, for presses, fly's etc. you can simply lie on that yoga mat I mentioned above.

I realize this doesn’t seem like much, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do almost any workout utilizing only the above – from yoga, mat pilates, kickboxing, HIIT training, resistance training etc. The sky really is the limit. You could always add a few extra functional pieces like kettlebells or a TRX, but again it’s not necessary.

My last tip – if you are feeling lost like you don’t know what to do – honestly you aren’t supposed to. That’s why people become trainers. Consider streaming some workouts in your gym space. Whether it’s training with me or someone else, we trainers know how to work you out effectively without a ton of space or equipment.