Personal gyms do not have to be outrageously expensive, and if you have the space for it, your ideal home gym is in reach. If you are not comfortable working out at the gym, or just don’t have the extra travel time, a home gym can help you meet all of your fitness goals. A little ingenuity can go a long way, with dual-purpose equipment and scouring your area for second-hand fitness equipment can keep the cost of a personal gym reasonable. There a few essentials necessary to get your gym started, and after that, you can add more specialized equipment as your budget allows.
Even if serious weight training is not your goal, you will need a few dumbbells and kettle bells for use in your exercise program. For those who enjoy lifting, be sure to splurge on a 7-foot Olympic bar that will provide the needed foundation for your lifting regimen. Professional bumper plates are worth the added expense as they will reduce sound and wear and tear when dropped on the floor. Build your weight set as you see fit, and be sure to check around for cost-saving second-hand gear.
Cardio machines can be costly, and do take up a lot of space, so if you are not an avid cyclist or runner, try using a jump rope or doing calisthenics to get your cardio fix. Fitness does not have to mean running on a treadmill for miles on end. Mini trampolines are another option if you are short on space or cash. YouTube is now filled with free exercise programs that will get your heart rate elevated even without the use of any equipment. Creating a routine that varies your exercises will also keep you engaged with your fitness goals and more likely to stay motivated.
Yoga, mat Pilates, and active stretching are now part of most people’s fitness routines and are easily incorporated into your home workout space. Hard floor surfaces are not conducive to many activities, and investing in a personal size gym mat can make intensive stretching a lot more tolerable. Flooring is one luxury that is a worthwhile splurge, and commercial grade foam flooring that comes in interlocking squares is relatively affordable and will make a noticeable difference in your overall workout experience. If you are not at the point where replacing your gym flooring is an option, old style school wrestling mats can also be effective.
Safety becomes even more important in a home gym as you are not being spotted as you work out and there is no one around to help if you get into trouble. Always lift an appropriate amount of weight and monitor your form and technique in a full-wall mirror to minimize the chance of injury. Done right, your home gym can give you hours of fitness with reasonable cost and a lot of convenience. If you are ready to build your home gym, seek out the equipment that you are most likely to use and wait until you find it at a great price.