Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t escape the fact it’s difficult to stay in shape without seeing the inside of a gym. However, there’s nothing to say you need to leave the house to head into that gym. If you regularly use lack of time or the need to travel as an excuse to avoid your workout, bringing the gym to your doorstep can help you make faster progress.
Can I afford it?
Setting up a home gym doesn’t require a whole lot of room, but it does take a bit of planning and an initial financial investment. You should buy the best gym equipment you can afford, but this doesn’t mean investing in lots of expensive machines, quite the opposite.
Shop around for online gym equipment stores, such as Best Gym Equipment or even check out Ebay (being wary of the obvious risks of buying from members of the public). Increasing muscle mass helps to increase your metabolism and, for this, you require weight training.
So, while it’s wise to invest in some good cardio equipment like a cross trainer or a rowing machine, the less expensive pieces like free weights will prove invaluable to those looking to burn fat. And, if you’re a female in search of a flat stomach, you should read this recent Her Fitness Hut article advising you how to achieve your goal, which shows how few items of equipment you need to buy.
What should I buy?
You should plan your gym area around your budget and training goals but basics might include:
· Kettle bells
· Dumb bells
· A pull up bar
· A jump rope
· Medicine balls
· Cross trainer
· Rowing machine
Not only are free weights not as expensive as heavy electronic equipment, they are also multipurpose and can help with body conditioning, flexibility and improving core muscle strength. When it comes to picking a cardio companion – think about what would benefit you most.
If you usually jog outside, a treadmill is unlikely to be as useful as a cross trainer or rower, but any machine is worth having if you are likely to use it when the weather outside is less inviting. And, of course, though some items are costly, that cost is only relative to the benefits.
Over the long term you’re likely to spend far less on items for a home gym than on splashing out membership fees at a corporate gym, and with the gym on your doorstep you are likely to get more use out of it too. Then you can factor in precious time saved in travel and the cost of that travel if you need to get to your current gym by car or public transport.
How do I make it a nice place to train?
We don’t all go to the gym just because they have equipment there – we also go because it’s a nice place to workout. If you’re setting up a home gym this is something you need to think about. Consider what elements help make gyms an appealing place to exercise and factor them in to the fixtures and fittings of your home gym: light, air and noise should all be taken care of.
You don’t want to be too hot or cold while you work out, you need light for safety and music is a great training motivator. It’s hard to achieve the same finesse when fitting and decorating a home gym, but be assured – you can still sculpt a set of perfectly polished abs.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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