Our Guide to creating the perfect at-home Gym set-up
By Vayle Hammond
Our Guide to creating the perfect at-home Gym set-up
Is just getting to the gym the hardest part of your workout? The solution could lie within the four walls of your own home. We look at the benefits of creating a home gym set-up, how to create one, and the essential pieces of equipment to get started.
We all know we should be hitting the magic with a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily and that spring is the perfect time to get our bikini or budgie bodies ready, but often, finding the time to hit the gym – and the very act of setting foot in a gym – has our fitness regimes sliding down the priority list. But fear not; the perfect solution could lie within the comfort of your very own home.
Creating a dedicated workout zone at home is a great alternative – it means no more ‘donations’ to the local gym, it literally couldn’t be more convenient, and it allows you to design a space based on your individual workout preferences. And best of all, it doesn’t need to cost thousands (or even hundreds) to be effective.
Here, we look at why a basic home gym set is the best investment you can make, guide you on setting up your own space, and cover a few affordable essentials to get started with.
The 4 key benefits of home gym setups
Excuses often sabotage our ability to schedule regular workout sessions. Setting up a gym at home removes most of the barriers, making it easy and almost inexcusable to not fit in some form of daily movement. Here are the key benefits:
While the initial investment to set up a home gym can be significant, you’ll save on unused gym memberships, potential travel costs and time. And over time, these savings only add up!
- Freedom & Flexibility
Forget rushing to the nearest gym during your lunch break or after work, forget waiting in lines to use machines, and never worry about missing out on a spot in your favourite group fitness class. A home gym gives you the freedom and flexibility to fit in a workout whenever suits you, for whatever duration you can spare, and the ability to experiment with different exercises and styles without limitations.
- Consistency & Convenience
Being consistent is something many of us struggle with, and this often comes down to accessibility. Whether it’s the location of the gym or your schedule that hinders your ability to get there, a home gym removes this barrier, making it convenient to be consistent. And it’s well-documented that consistency is a crucial factor in not only achieving fitness goals but minimising the risk of injuries and positively impacting overall health.
- Privacy & Comfort
Debuting form-fitting workout gear while dripping with sweat isn’t a look that many of us love taking out in public, and neither is the thought of jumping on a machine coated in second-hand perspiration. Home gyms afford you unrivalled privacy, comfort, and cleanliness – the only observers you’ll have are family members, and the cleanliness is in your hands!
- Customised & Cost Effective
The best part about creating a home gym is that it is entirely customisable based on your needs and fitness goals. If you are focused on building muscle, you can create a gym catering to weight training. If you veer more towards aerobic exercises like yoga, Pilates, interval training, or skipping, you can include things like Pilates blocks, yoga balls, exercise mats, and skipping ropes.
How to create a home gym?
Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just beginning your fitness journey, figuring out how to customise a space and what you’ll need is the biggest (and only) hurdle to working out at home. Here’s how to get started in 5 steps:
- Seek out the perfect spot
Having a pleasant environment to exercise in is a huge motivator – it needs to be somewhere you enjoy spending time, not a dark, dingy cupboard you dread setting foot in. Choose a spot that will allow you enough space to move around in, separates you from your main home (like a spare bedroom, basement, or garage), and preferably has some natural light. It’s essential also to consider the current flooring (as this can cause or reduce injuries), adding non-slip rubber or foam mats if necessary.
Other nice-to-haves to upgrade your workout space are large mirrors to check out your form and a decent sound system to blast your favourite motivational tunes. Check out these dream home gyms for more inspiration.
- Splurge on a good exercise mat
Along with decent flooring, an exercise mat (also known as a yoga mat) that is portable and light is a crucial addition to your set-up. Exercise mats reduce impact, deliver extra grip, and provide added comfort when stretching, meditating, or doing any floor-based exercises. A bonus is that you can roll it up and take it with you if you’re heading to Yoga or Pilates in the park!
- Tech that brings the instructors into your home gym
A smart TV in your home gym is a nice-to-have, as it allows you to access online platforms and apps that bring instructors to you. From weight training workouts to high intensity sweat sessions and Zen yoga classes, you’ll find plenty of content led by seasoned instructors. If a smart TV is out of the question, plug in your laptop or smartphone, and you’re good to go.
- Splash some cash on cardio equipment
If spin classes are your jam or a good stint on the rowing machine is the only thing that fuels your fitness fire, consider bringing specialised equipment into your home gym set-up. But don’t go out and impulse buy right away. It’s a great idea to ‘try before you buy’ and rent equipment first.
- Level up with some affordable additions
From workout benches to resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga blocks and skipping ropes, there are many additions you can make to your home gym set-up to broaden your options and work different muscle groups. Here are our favourites:
- Resistance bands – a great alternative to weights, these affordable strips of rubber use body weight to target specific muscle groups, aid flexibility, and so much more. They’re cheap and don’t take-up much space, making them a perfect addition to your home gym.
- Dumbbells and kettlebells – add a bit of weight (literally and figuratively) to your workouts with some accessible and low-cost hand weights. They both have different benefits and functions, so do a bit of research on which one is right for you – or grab both!
- Medicine balls – go ancient Greek with your workout, grab a weighted medicine ball, and get stuck into some explosive exercises. These are designed to be safely thrust (or thrown) in the air, working your core, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
- Exercise bench – not the cheapest, but a worthwhile addition to a home gym set-up. These add versatility to weight training and provide extra support and stability to any resistance work. There’s a lot of variety in exercise benches, so do some homework about what works for you.
- Yoga or Pilates blocks – if you’re planning on doing a lot of yoga or Pilates in your home gym, you’ll benefit from the extra support of blocks. They allow you to go deeper into poses while maintaining proper alignment, provide additional support for challenging poses and make every pose accessible no matter how flexible you are.
- Skipping rope – possibly one of the most underrated pieces of equipment that many of us haven’t touched since childhood, skipping ropes provide a quick cardio boost without the need for any bulky equipment. They’ll get your heart pumping, improve your coordination, concentration, stamina, and flexibility, and are entirely adaptable simply by increasing or slowing the speed of your skip.
- Foam roller – wrap up your sweat session (or start it) with some self-massage using a foam roller. It’s a self-myofascial release technique that can ease muscle pain, increase blood flow, aid in muscle recovery and much more.
- Invest in smart tech to track your performance
While some fitness equipment will come with built-in tech that tracks your progress and provides real-time feedback, if you’re not going down that road, it’s worth investing in a fitness app or wearable device. These are invaluable tools to provide you with accountability, motivation and monitor key health metrics. It’ll help keep you on track with your goals, see your progress, and keep you safe while you work out.
Once the barriers are removed, it’s up to you!
Creating a home gym makes fitness a convenient, enjoyable, and accessible part of our daily lives. And while it’s essential to take the time to think about your fitness goals and create a space that facilitates reaching these, the rest is up to you. It takes a commitment to consistency, showing up, and the right mindset to really make a home gym setup worthwhile. If your home isn’t cutting it when it comes to reaching your fitness goals, call First National Real Estate. We’ll help you find the perfect space to be your best self.