The gym is a great asset for many people. It is a place to escape everyday responsibilities, meet new people, and test your physical limits. But for those who do not have gym access, or have no desire to join the hustle and bustle of a gym, creating an at-home-gym is easy and affordable.

The biggest hurdle in creating a home gym is finding the space.

Homeowners or renters of multi-room houses, or houses with basements, will not have as much of an issue as the apartment dwellers. If you are a part of the latter group, a dedicated room might not be an option. Instead, you can create a stow-away-gym. Meaning, your equipment can easily be stored and accessible when needed.

Cardio Equipment

Many homes have at least one piece of large exercise equipment, such as a stationary bike, a treadmill, or an elliptical. It might be stored in the garage collecting dust from years past, but nonetheless, it is there. It’s time to change your negative view of this machine as a bulky, out of place piece, into a more positive relationship. This piece of equipment has the potential to be the heart and soul of your home gym.

If you do not have any large equipment, stop by a few yard sales each weekend and you will be sure to find one without much hassle. However, it is not necessary to have a treadmill or a bike in your home to have a fully functioning home gym. All you need is enough room to preform high intensity intervals of various cardio workouts such as squat jumps, burpees, or push-ups.

Weights

When it comes to weights, unless you are planning to have a few muscular friends over, there is no reason to purchase an entire weight rack or dumbbell set. Find two weights, one that allows you to perform a high number of repetitions, and one that you can max out with. Typically, for women the high rep weight will be between 8-12lbs, and the max out weight will be between 20-30lbs. Men do not fall into weight training categories as easily as women, but generally, a high rep weight would be upwards of 15-25lbs with a max weight of 35-50lbs.

Once you have determined the correct weights for your liking, head to any sporting goods store or major retailer, and purchase two sets of dumbbells – one set for your high reps, and one set for your max. Congratulations, your home gym is almost complete!

Resistance and Flexibility Equipment

A crucial piece to your home-gym will be resistance and flexibility equipment. Resistance exercises build lean muscle and increase strength, while stretching and flexibility exercises improve athletic abilities and decrease the risk of injuries. Lucky for you and your wallet, you can knock out all of these categories with just one product! A box of three resistance bands, ranging in length and difficulty, can be purchased for less than $20. You can use these bands for various resistance workouts such as leg lifts and tricep extensions, or use them for stretching to help pull your body into positions.

Miscellaneous

The last few pieces of equipment to complete your home gym are optional. A mat for floor exercises, a stopwatch or clock for intervals, and other miscellaneous items are not necessary for a successful gym, but they are affordable and help tie everything together.

If you are one of the lucky few who have a room dedicated to your home gym, take the time to turn it into a place you want to workout. Add a mirror, photos, or posters that will motivate you. Or incorporate colors and decorations. There are no rules requiring every gym to look industrial and cold.

If you are a stow-away-gym person, find a storage container or a large basket for your equipment that is aesthetically pleasing and does not stick out among your everyday décor. Consider buying a fun, bold colored rug and deeming it as your gym floor. Roll it out each time you workout to keep yourself from distractions or straying from your workout.

A home-gym is feasible for even the smallest budget and the tiniest apartment. Whether you have a gym membership or not, it is always a good idea to have basic equipment on hand for when the mood strikes!

Micah Larsen

Micah is a traveling swim coach and personal trainer, depending on the season. She is also currently working on her Master of Science in Athletic Administration and Coaching. Micah loves to live an active lifestyle, whether she is competing in open water swims, running a road race, practicing yoga, or biking with her dogs. The main objective in her career is to... Read More

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