How to Plan and Build Your Own Home Gym
1st October 2021
Between work schedules, parenting and enjoying time with your friends, fitting in exercise can be a workout in itself. Given the health benefits of exercise, creating a home gym might be the solution you need - it’s accessible at any time and you don’t have to worry about renewing your membership.
The great news - you don’t need tons of equipment or a big space to achieve your goals. It may be an investment at first, but working towards your goal each day will quickly pay off.
You will, however, need to plan ahead if you want to create the perfect home gym for all of your needs. Firstly, ask yourself ‘what are my fitness goals?’ - do you want to tone up, build muscle or get your heart rate pumping with cardio? How you design your gym will depend on your answer.
1. Find the right space
Ideally, a garage, basement or spare bedroom would make a good home gym location, but if you haven’t got that space don’t worry, you can optimise any spare corner of your home.
The area you need will depend on your goals. If your goal is to build some serious muscle then you’ll probably need a bigger space for heavy lifting equipment like a squat rack. Whereas if your goal is to tone up or lose a bit of fat then smaller equipment like dumbbells and a mat will suffice, but you may need some room to jump around.
If you don’t have a whole room to dedicate, it’s time to get creative. Some experts say that you shouldn’t exercise in your bedroom as it’s a dedicated space to rest, but not everyone has that luxury. If so, you could put a curtain divider in your room to make an effective workout space with a mat and a bunch of staple equipment - you don’t need a whole gym for great results!
There are some other factors to consider when setting up your home gym. Selecting a room with natural light will boost your motivation and energy levels but daylight bulbs will also do the trick. Ventilation is important too, whether it’s an open window or a fan, you’ll want to keep cool. And don’t forget that some machines need electricity so consider how many power outlets you have, and where.
2. Stock up with equipment
The equipment you buy will depend on your goals, your budget and your space. But whatever the case, you can still build an effective home gym.
Regardless of your experience, dumbbells are an essential part of any gym. They can be used for an array of exercises to build muscle for all parts of your body. Even if you don’t have tons of space, you can buy adjustable dumbbells with different weight plates, so you can essentially have five different weights using one item.
For muscle building or fat loss, a barbell and rack, a bench, a pull-up bar and a treadmill might also be beneficial as they have multiple uses. But ensure that you have the appropriate space and safety measures in place - for example, are your door frames strong enough? It might be worth bearing in mind any downstairs neighbours too.
Skipping ropes, kettlebells, resistance bands and a yoga mat are also super effective and don’t take up much space. Even using your body weight is great for fat loss too.
Remember, you don’t have to buy the equipment all at once. Start with a few key pieces and gradually build up.
3. Utilise storage
No matter how much or how little space you have, storage is key. You don’t want an area filled to the brim - you need enough room to move. If space is limited, selecting equipment with multiple functions will be beneficial as you can optimise your space. Similarly, equipment that can be packed away or stored will allow for more room - ideal if you’re using your spare room as an office and a gym.
Wall storage is also great to manage clutter and space. If you’re using a garage or basement, you’re likely to have sturdy walls to mount plates, ropes, dumbbells and mats. Otherwise, use a storage trolley to keep all of your loose equipment in one place, out of the way.
Step 4: Add your personality
Perhaps the best thing about a home gym is that you can make it your own! You’ll want to create an atmosphere that you’re going to enjoy working out in. Add posters, inspiring quotes, a sound system or a TV to motivate you.
Adding a lick of paint might improve your workout too. For energy-boosting, try white or brightly coloured walls. If you prefer yoga or pilates, try cool colours like green and blue to create a relaxing atmosphere.
No gym is complete without mirrors. This will allow you to keep an eye on your form. They also create the illusion of space.
You’ll also want to be aware of flooring. If you’re using a whole room, it’s worth considering rubber flooring for comfort, to insulate sound, withstand heavy equipment and protect your floor. For smaller spaces, interlocking rubber tiles or a single mat would also work.
With a little creativity, a few pieces of equipment and some extra space, you can create the perfect home gym to achieve your goals.