Good alternative for people who are short on time or enjoy the convenience of working out at home, or just can’t go across town to the local gym, is to exercise at home. Be honest with yourself about how motivated you will be to exercise at home before you make the investment. It is also important that you understand how to exercise safely and that your doctor has cleared you to exercise. Once you have made the decision to design your own home gym, your next step could be on a new treadmill or elliptical trainer.
Before you invest time and money in designing a gym of your own, take a minute to consider your fitness needs, available space, budget and other factors that will determine how much time and money you are able to devote to home fitness.
The following factors should be considered when creating a home gym.
Who will be using the equipment?
If other people in your household be using the gym, keep in mind that a treadmill may need enough programming features and a long enough deck to accommodate the different body shapes and fitness goals of multiple users. Weight machines and free weights should adjust to safely accommodate a range of sizes and abilities.
Quality Matters, what is your budget?
Home gym equipment is of higher quality and more space-efficient than ever before. The real challenge is choosing from the many options. Before purchasing a piece of equipment, make sure you test it out yourself.
A home gym represents a significant investment, and you get what you pay for. Trimming the budget on cardiovascular equipment is a false savings. Any equipment in this category should suit your interests and fitness level and should be able to maintain at least 20 minutes of smooth continuous motion. Expensive equipment is usually priced that way for a reason.
High-quality equipment that is reliable and will work for years to come can’t be made cheaply. However, there are options for every budget. You may also want to consider purchasing used commercial equipment from a reputable dealer who offers a warranty.
Other Issues to Consider
Choosing strength-training tools is a matter of budget and safety. Novice exercisers may be better off with a multigym, which is safer to use unsupervised than free weights. The key with any home gym is to make sure it’s easy to adjust.
Guidelines to determine approximately how much room you’ll need:
- Treadmill – 30 square feet
- Elliptical trainer – 30 square feet
- Single-station gym – 35 square feet
- Free weights – 20–50 square feet
- Stationary bike – 10 square feet
- Rowing machine – 20 square feet
- Stair climber – 10–20 square feet
- Ski machines – 25 square feet
- Multistation gym – 50–200 square feet
Also look at ceiling height, since some equipment sits high off the ground.
Type of flooring
Pick a sturdy floor that can handle the heaviest of the workout pieces of equipment you are interested in using. Removable mats make for excellent choices in this regard. In this case, rubber equipment mats seem to be the most protective in terms of debris and dust issues.