Setting up your very own home gym can be an exciting prospect, however, with so many different pieces of equipment to choose from, it can also be very challenging to know where to start.
In this article we'll guide you through the key things to consider when setting up a home gym, as well as some of our recommended pieces of equipment to get you started.
Key Considerations For Your Home Gym
There are 3 main considerations to be made that will allow you to create a personalised, efficient and enjoyable workout space.
1. Reflect Your Fitness Goals
When designing your ultimate home gym, the most important aspect to consider is your own training needs and goals. The equipment you purchase and the way you set up the gym should reflect your number one health and fitness goal.
For example, if your goal is to improve your full body strength, there would be little point spending the majority of your budget on cardiovascular machines. Instead, it would be sensible to purchase strength-based equipment first. Even more specifically, look to choose equipment that will allow you to work a number of muscle groups throughout the body.
2. Measure Your Available Space
The second key consideration is to realistically assess the space that you have available. If space is limited, there is little point in purchasing an extremely large piece of kit which will significantly reduce the amount of space that you have available.
Measure your space first and ensure that the equipment you buy can actually fit into your home gym. The last thing you want to do spend money on equipment that is simply too large and end up having to return it or sell it.
3. Ensure Your Training Is Enjoyable
Lastly, and this is potentially the most important point of all, pick equipment that you know you will enjoy using. Far too often, individuals set up their own gym with the latest and greatest pieces of kit, but after a month or two of use it begins gathering dust.
Training needs to be enjoyable and fun. If it’s not, the thought of using your gym will fill you with dread, not enthusiasm. As a result, you will not train regularly and will fail to see any substantial changes take place.
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CHOOSING YOUR HOME GYM Equipment
Once you’ve considered the above points, it’s time to think about the equipment you’d like to fill your gym with. The following list is not intended to be entirely comprehensive; the purpose of it is to simply highlight some versatile, space efficient and functional pieces of kit that you may wish to consider for your home gym.
Barbells and Dumbbells
In terms of building strength, free weights are undoubtedly the best option as they allow you to perform a variety of resistance exercises such as deadlifts, squats, presses, and rows. Barbells will allow you to lift the heaviest loads and develop pure strength whereas dumbbells are less stable and therefore require a greater degree of stability and strength.
In terms of affordability and storage, they both score very well. A decent set of dumbbells, barbells and plates are relatively inexpensive and can easily be disassembled after each workout to allow for easy storage.
The TRX is a suspension bodyweight trainer that uses ropes, webbing and handles to allow the user to perform a number of full body exercises. By assuming different body positions while holding onto the handles of the TRX, it is possible to target the legs, chest, shoulders, back and abs
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One of the best things about the TRX is the fact that it takes up very little space. Additionally, it is portable and the only requirement when setting up the TRX is to hook it around a solid object.
Following on from the TRX, we have another powerful and multifaceted bodyweight trainer. The power tower has multiple handles and pads which allow for a number of exercises to be performed. The majority of power towers will allow for pull-ups, suspended dips, leg raises and a number of variations.
The power tower is perhaps slightly more expensive than the previous items, however, there is absolutely no doubt surrounding its effectiveness for building strength.
In terms of cardiovascular exercise, the stationary exercise bike is one of the more popular choices for home gyms. This is typically because it is smaller in size and easier to store than many other types of cardiovascular kit.
There are many variations and styles of the stationary bike but most will allow you to manually adjust the resistance and make the exercise more challenging. Regular cycling will substantially improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs and develop muscular endurance in the legs.
While the bike will develop the cardiovascular system and the legs, the rower can perhaps be seen as superior for full body development as rowing requires drive from both the legs and the arms.
Another benefit of the rower is that it can also be relatively easy to store, providing you have the headspace. Most rowers can be stood upright when not in use which will free up a lot more floor space.
If you're not so keen on the exercise bike or rowing machine, a cross trainer may prove to be a good alternative. They're also one of the best pieces of equipment for low impact exercise.
Having a gym at home can be hugely convenient and serve to advance you towards becoming a fitter and healthier individual. Do consider the above points and look to carefully design and set up your gym to match your needs, requirements and preferences.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Stone is a Personal Trainer and Fitness writer who lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.
During his time in the Health and Fitness Industry, he has worked at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, spent time in North America coaching and directing football camps and now runs his own Personal Training business in the Scottish capital.
He is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to help others improve their wellbeing through personal training and fitness writing.
You can find out more about Chris at chrisstonepersonaltraining.com.