How To Design Your Home Gym

A great home gym set-up
A great home gym set-up

Having a home gym to workout in provides numerous benefits over having a gym membership.

Some of these include:

  • No membership fees every week, month or year
  • No paying for unnecessary equipment you don’t use
  • No stress of driving to and finding parking at the gym
  • No waiting for equipment
  • No closing hours
  • No annoying people
  • No crappy music

Whilst purchasing and setting up your home gym may seem like it will be an timely, expensive and ultimately unfruitful endeavor here are some tips on how to avoid making it so.

No more waiting for equipment when you have a home gym!
No more waiting for equipment when you have a home gym!

Step 1: Space – how much room do you have?

Before you think about what equipment you’re going to have and where you’re going to get it from you must first consider the available space you have.

The more the better, but the minimum for a basic set-up including a power rack, bar and weight plates is around 25m2

Ideally you want a place indoor that isn't exposed to the elements as this can cause wear and rust on equipment with metal components.

Step 2: Equipment – what do you want to use?

This depends on your goals.

For developing strength and building muscle, it’s hard to beat free weights, which incorporates equipment such as power rack, barbell, weight plates, adjustable bench, adjustable dumbbells etc. Whilst it may not seem like much equipment it gives you the ability to complete a large variety of exercises, see this list for an indication.

In addition, you can look at machine assisted equipment like cable home gym set-ups, adjustable kettlebells and exercise bands to add further dimension to your home gym and add further options for exercises variety.

For cardiovascular fitness a stationary cycle, rowing machine, treadmills, elliptical, boxing set-ups are the type of equipment you’ll be looking at.

Step 3: Budget – how much do you want to spend?

A basic squat stand, bench and 300lb barbell set can be bought for $500 or less. However if you want a more rounded home gym with additional strength training equipment such as adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells and/or cardiovascular equipment you could be looking at a price of around or over the $2000 mark.

Whilst it may be hard to justify paying such large amounts think about the savings you'll make on a gym membership in the long run. For example, the average gym membership is $58 per month which equates to $696 per year. Looking at it over the long-term this equates to $3480 over 5 years and $6960 over 10 years and keep in mind this is ignoring travel and the cost of time if your gym isn't located which is much more than even a nice home gym set-up would cost. So economically speaking, a home gym is an excellent investment if you intend on training over the long-term and you shouldn't be afraid to spend a little more.

Step 4: Purchase and Install

There are a number of different methods and places you purchase equipment whether it be at a local store or online, brand new or second hand.

In particular gym liquidation sales can offer good opportunities to get quality equipment on the cheap. Keep an eye on websites like Gumtree and Craigslist if you want to find out about some of these bargain opportunities.

Once you've purchases the equipment you can either install the equipment yourself without additional cost as all equipment pieces should have instructions or alternatively get a handyman to help you out for additional cost.

Once you purchase some equipment see the rest of my Exercise & Fitness hubs for some great training tips!

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