Everything You Need to Know to Have a Home Gym – How to Build a Home Gym?
There is nothing better in this world than the comfort of your own home. The latest technology has facilitated us all well by bringing things home and making them smaller. With a long lineup of home appliances, fitness equipment, communication devices, etc. we can now do almost anything imaginable from the comfort of our home. A passion that many fitness enthusiasts share is about having a home gym. Having a complete gym at home within a small space is a dream that comes true for some and remains a dream for some.
At first glance it might seem that putting a few pieces of exercise equipment together in one place is all you need to have a home gym. This concept couldn’t be more wrong. Fitness experts and specialists will always advise on this matter very seriously. It is because they know that only good, healthy and refreshing experience can keep you going into your home gym on a regular basis. If you don’t feel comfortable there, you will ditch your exercising regimen and the gym within a week.
Let’s take a look at a few things that are most important to have a complete and satisfying home gym experience:
#1 Most Important Considerations for Home Gym
There are three things that you have to work with in order to create a perfect home gym: equipment, space and health conditions.
This is the first thing you must know before you even start putting things together to create a home gym. There are mainly three types of exercise equipment that must be present in every gym that aspires to be complete: cardio, strength training and balance and stability equipment. Cardio equipment is meant to focus on your cardiovascular exercises. You put more focus on your heart rate, blood pressure and overall body fitness with these exercise machines. Strength training equipment is the equipment you mostly see in bodybuilding gyms including dumbbells, power towers, weight benches, etc. Next in line are wobble boards, exercise balls, rocker boards, exercise rollers, stability disks etc. that are among balance and stability pieces of equipment. Spend more on the type of equipment that serves your requirements the best.
Next up you have to manage the space well. Always take measurement of the area that you will be using for exercising. The equipment you buy will be based on the area you have available. Folding machines, transport wheels and smaller footprints are things you need to focus on in order to make the most out of the space available to you. Almost all exercising machines target these aspects as most manufacturers release a completely different lineup of exercise machines for home users. Take measurements of the room in all dimensions, i.e. you must measure the height of your ceiling too. The room should have proper ventilation so you can breathe comfortably during your workouts and another purpose is to let out the odor of sweat from the room. Your workouts could be annoying for others so make sure you choose an isolated area.
• Physical Health Condition
Your physical health condition is also an important factor in deciding what comes in your gym and what not. Of course, if you want yoga and cardio only then you will focus on a big mat, a few things for balance and stability and cardio machines. You don’t have to go for strength exercise equipment because that’s not your target. Furthermore, depending on your health conditions, you have to keep the right equipment with you i.e. heart rate monitors, blood sugar monitors, calorie counters, etc. to avoid any hazards that might arise from doing exercise improperly.
#2 The Right Cardio Equipment for Home Gym
As we split the type of equipment needed for home gym in three different categories, we will now talk about the first category of exercise machines i.e. cardio equipment.
Treadmills are those machines with a moving deck on which you are supposed to walk, jog and run. People do a lot of funny stuff on them too, but we highly recommend that you avoid those things as they can lead to dangerous accidents. Treadmills have a moving deck and a console right in front of you in most cases. They can be manual as well as automatic. The manual ones can be extremely difficult to run, especially for beginners. They are also very noisy. Automatic machines can give you a thorough feedback on your workouts through an LCD/LED display. They have dozens of pre-installed programs too.
They provide a full body workout and with speed changing options you can always make them faster or slower. They can occupy a lot of space since the deck lies horizontally on the floor. The automatic options can be expensive and manual ones too noisy. The folding option can take care of the space shortage problem though. Always buy ones with long warranties to be on the safe side. They need regular maintenance too.
The Best Pick of Treadmill in 2015
Best Pick of TreadmillLifeSpan Fitness TR4000i is our favorite pick for anyone looking to create a home gym in 2015. This treadmill folds so you should not have any space problems. It has a powerful motor with 3.25 horsepower. A multi-color LCD gives feedback on time, distance, speed, calories burned, heart rate, etc. Comes pre-installed with many programs and it has a big deck size for freedom of jogging and running. Incline levels and a top speed of 12mph are perfect for professional training. It is an amazing treadmill and comes with a lifetime warranty on its frame and motor. For full review, please click this: LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i Review
Best LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i
Elliptical trainers are also large sized machines, especially the ones that are a couple of years old. Elliptical trainers are great in that they provide you a great lower and upper body exercise while mimicking your exact walking and running movement. You get on the machine, put your feet on big pedals, hands on moving handlebars and start moving your entire body just like you walk or run in reality. There are rear, front and center drive elliptical trainers. The center-drive mechanism is the most space saving option and also the latest and most expensive.
Elliptical trainers are bulky machines so they are going to take up a lot of space in your home gym. They are also among the expensive form of fitness equipment. Moving them from one place to another can be a big problem if there are not transport wheels. You won’t find any folding elliptical machines so center-drive elliptical is your only option. However, it is quite expensive and you don’t normally consider it as an option for a home gym. Their drive mechanism also affects your experience.
The Best Pick of Elliptical in 2015
Best Pick of EllipticalSole Fitness E35 elliptical trainer is definitely the most recommended elliptical out there for fitness enthusiasts in 2015. This treadmill has a small footprint, even though it is front-drive. It offers a big stride length and a huge 7.5-inch display for easy readouts. The console has quite a few programs installed on it and bottle holder, cooling fan, storage compartments etc. make it a good package. The frame is backed by a lifetime warranty and 5-year warranty on parts and electronics make it an amazing deal. It’s not very cheap in price though. Get my review here: Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Review
Sole Fitness E35
(c) Exercise Bike
Exercise bikes are considered among the most favorite exercise equipment for fitness enthusiasts from around the world. They are compact and you can find folding options in them too. They can come with fixed and moving handlebars. There are exercise bikes that mimic a perfect bicycle riding experience. They mostly operate with the help of a flywheel. LCDs are often provided for workout feedback. They have varying tension and resistance levels. The resistance levels and technology may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. One important thing that you have to check is that the bike must have a very solidly built frame to avoid it from rocking when you pedal it.
It is best to look for pedals with straps because slippage is quite a common problem with them. In most cases, you won’t be able to find folding exercise bikes. Recumbent bikes i.e. that require you to sit in a reclining position while pedaling, can be quite big in size and occupy a lot of space in the gym. Depending on the mechanism they use the exercise bikes can be noisy too. A heavy flywheel is often the thing you should look for if you want a smooth and relaxing experience.
(i) The Best Pick of Upright Bike in 2015
Best Pick of Upright BikeU614 upright bike from Nautilus is an amazing option without a doubt. It is a simple looking with two LCDs, making you feel as if you were riding a commercial bike. It stores 22 workout programs on it and has some modern USB charging and data storage and transfer features too. There are 13 readouts for users to see almost every detail about their workouts. Speakers allow music listening during workouts and the cooling fan makes it a complete package. It has a very small footprint so it is perfect for home users for that. 10-year frame and 2-year mechanical warranty is a peace of mind. Read my review here: Nautilus U614 Upright Bike Review.
Nautilus U614 Upright Bike
(ii) The Best Pick of Recumbent Bike in 2015
Best Pick of Recumbent BikeNautilus R616 is the recumbent bike for all those who made a resolution to be fit in 2015. The footprint is not the smallest but it’s the features that make it a favorite choice for many. Again, this boasts two LCDs, USB charging port, Bluetooth connectivity and 13 readouts for a complete feedback on workouts. There are 29 programs on this bike and that’s something you don’t get very often. The cooling fan and speakers are there, and there is also a holder for holding your tab. Its telemetry heart rate monitoring makes it a perfect machine for those who want to focus on their heart rate during workouts. Read my review here: Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike.
The stepper is more like an elliptical machine, but in a very compact size. These small machines are amazing for providing great cardio workouts. The most amazing thing about them is their size that makes them perfect exercise equipment for every home gym. It’s more like two steps joined together on a very small structure. You put your feet on these steps and start moving them. Additionally, you will see straps with them to do some exercise of your arms too. They come with built-in resistance mechanism to provide challenging workouts.
The most important thing to notice before buying this particular piece of equipment is to notice its sturdiness. Since this machine is small the weight is pretty much centered on the whole machine. The height of the steps is another big issue. The steps should not be very high since they can cause a falling accident, especially during the workout sessions. An LCD is a good plus but it should have a big display because it is not easy to see the readouts when you are standing that high on the stepper.
The Best Pick of Stepper in 2015
Best Pick of StepperSunny Health And Fitness Twister Stepper has everything that you should expect from a stepper. It is a very small stepper that goes into the corner of your home gym without even getting noticed. It has two textured steps for good grip of your feet on them. There are arm bands included with it to provide a complete body exercise with a focus on shoulders, arms and wings too. It is made of heavy duty steel and also boasts an LCD for workout readouts. The slip resistant feet make it very safe when you are doing fast workouts. There is an adjustable resistance option on it too.
Sunny Health And Fitness Twister Stepper
(e) Rowing Machine
The rowing machine is a piece of exercise equipment that focuses greatly on stamina and strength. It provides you great exercise of upper and lower body. It imitates the rowing operation that you do on a boat as you row. There is a handle that is attached to a flywheel with the help of a strong cable. You pull it while holding it with both hands using the push strength of your leg and pulling strength of your arms. This is a favorite of many fitness buffs who want to focus their entire body, wings, thighs and even chest.
The rowing machine is not always very cheap because it’s a big machine. Furthermore, the biggest problem with it is its size. It is always highly recommended that you buy one that can be folded or separated in two parts to allow quick and easy storage otherwise it can take a lot of space on the floor. It must have a very strong construction and the operation must be very quiet. A rowing machine with a flywheel is a great recommendation when you want quiet workouts. The footplates should be adjustable and transport wheels are of great importance.
The Best Pick of Rowing Machine in 2015
Best Pick of Rowing MachineConcept2 Model D indoor rowing machine with PM5 is a complete rowing machine with a very sturdy built and some amazing features. It works with a heave flywheel so your workouts are very quiet. There is a performance monitor on it for workout readouts. Footrests are adjustable and a long and strong cable for pulling the handle. The best thing about it is that it is separated in two parts so you can easily store it. There are transport wheels on it to move it anywhere you want in your home gym. It has a good 500lbs user weight capacity and a mind calming 5-year warranty on its frame. Get my detailed review at here: Concept2 D Rower Review.
Concept2 D Rower
(f) Some Additional Stuff For Cardio Exercises
There is a lot of stuff available on the internet today for cardiovascular exercises. From fitness DVDs to games that are meant exclusively for fitness enthusiasts. These DVDs are complete with exercises that not only provide great workouts for focusing your cardiovascular strength, but tell you a complete regimen to live a healthy life. They often come with bonus DVDs that include plans and programs on diet. Furthermore, most of these DVDs come from experts who have been training people around the world for years. Regularity and consistency are your best companions when you want to get fit through DVDs.
Have a look at Shaun T’s FOCUS T25 or INSANITY to see what these DVDs contain for you. These DVDs come with not only instructions on exercises and workouts, but also a complete dietary plan so you can eat healthy too. This particular set of DVD asks you to do workout only 25 minutes a day. Shaun thinks that 25 minutes of workout are more effective than 60 minutes of workout and takes support from the latest studies. Zumba Fitness Wii is your way of getting fit while playing a game. Also try the Wii Fit Plus, if you want to get fit the fun way.
#3 The Right Strength Training Equipment for Home Gym
When your focus is on increasing your strength you need the strength training equipment. This equipment is available in many different forms. This equipment doesn’t really come integrated with technology as cardio equipment does. Some equipment is quite small, so you can easily store it in any place you want such as dumbbells, barbells, Kettlebells, resistance bands, core & abdominal trainer, etc. Power towers, power racks, sit-up benches or weight benches, multi-gym machines and squat racks are among the big sized equipment that will require a lot of space in your home gym.
It is best that you have already created a lot of space when looking to get in some strength training equipment. They are not always foldable, they have huge sizes and their heights are big too. In most cases, you will need a bigger room to accommodate strength training equipment. Dumbbells are the weights that are meant to be held in one hand. They allow you to do a lot of different exercises while mostly focusing on biceps. Using them in different positions and postures can provide you workouts for many other regions in the body. Kettlebells are weights with a holder on them.
Kettlebells provide an even bigger range of exercises since they have a better grip than a dumbbell. From squats and pushups to deadlift and floor press, you can do dozens and dozens of Kettlebell exercises with these weights. Make your body even more muscular with the barbells. These long bars can hold a lot of weight on both their sides and are a favorite exercising piece of metal for most heavy lifters. While Kettlebells are amazing weights that can be used for pushups, push up bars are specifically designed for providing a more pleasant and safer pushup workout. They grip the floor better than Kettlebells.
Weight benches are big benches with a slanted backrest and you can buy the folding options when dealing with them. There are complete weight bench systems too, that provide you with a complete gym at home with several different exercise equipment features integrated in one place. To give your legs, thighs and core body some strength, you might want to go for a squat platform. If you want everything in one place, spend some time saving some money for Smith bench.
#4 The Right Balance And Stability Equipment for Home Gym
Balance and stability equipment is used when you want to focus on strengthening certain muscles in your body, make your joints stronger, fix some injuries, etc. These pieces of exercise equipment are the simplest looking things you can put in your home gym. Not to mention, they will make your home gym to look quite colorful. There are many different types of boards, balls and half-balls that come in this category. The best thing about this equipment is that you can find it at very affordable prices.
Think of exercise balls that are nothing more than rubber balls filled with air. The material of the ball has to be very strong because exercise ball will take a lot of weight. It is important that you look at the feedback and reviews given by customers before buying this equipment. Exercise balls will not do anything for you, but you have to use them in many different ways to get the desired result. These balls are used for balancing, pushing against, laying down on etc. In different positions you are focusing different muscles of the body as you use these exercise balls.
You can use the BOSU in a similar fashion. This is a half-ball and is used for many different types of exercises. The unique thing about BOSU is that it can be used on both sides, even though only one side looks usable. The ball-like side is used best for aerobics. The bottom side rests on the ground and keeps BOSU fixed in its position, whereas the ball-like side is not stable. When turned upside down the ball-like surface makes the entire platform very unstable and you do much of your exercise by balancing the BOSU.
Wobble cushions look just like their names – cushions. They are also used in various aerobic activities. The best way to use any of the balance and stability equipment is to buy a DVD of an expert. With these DVDs you can make the most out of these exercise balls and equipment. In most cases, you will get the DVD instructing you on the workouts with the equipment. You need to spend around 30 to 45 minutes every day on balance and stability equipment in order to stay fit and keep your muscles strong.
#5 A Few Bonus Tips For Home Gym
• While the equipment you buy for exercises and workouts is extremely important, you cannot overlook the importance of gear that makes your experience complete. For example, if you want to use the BOSU or an exercise ball for your fitness, you have to make sure to have the right mat on the floor. You don’t put the mat only to keep your clothes clean, but it plays a more important role in providing your feet the grip they need while working out with these exercise machines and materials. Yoga and aerobics demand highly that you arrange a mat for your floor.
• In a similar way, you want to make sure that you have the right equipment to keep a check on your progress or to keep you informed of your limits. For example, you must have a heart rate monitor with you at all times if you are a heart patient or you have been advised to keep a certain heart rate. Glucose monitors are also similar devices that you might need in order to keep yourself from getting into a medical emergency while doing these workouts. The good thing is that most treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical trainers we have mentioned above come with built-in heart rate monitors.
• Keep yourself motivated at all times because it is only your motivation that can keep you working out to maintain a healthy lifestyle. No piece of equipment or DVD can make you fit unless you have made up your mind and convinced yourself to get fit. A good way is to arrange a white board/black board and marker/chalk. Write down your daily workout particulars and give yourself targets. Run a certain distance one day, write it on the whiteboard and run the same distance in less time the next day. Once again, most treadmills and elliptical trainers we have mentioned above in our picks include profile keeping options. You can even upload your data on online websites or keep it stored on your treadmill’s console.
• If you are not sure how to best fit your fitness equipment into your space,
• If you are not sure how to best fit your fitness equipment into your space, you may want to visit this Cybex Gym Planner. It is easy to use – just drag and drop the equipment, furniture, accessories, windows or doors to create a layout and plan what will work best in your home gym. Then you’ll get the basic idea in your mind.
Lastly, remember your goals and do only as much as you need to stay fit. Know what exercises mean and the right way to do them. For example, if you can run for a long time on your treadmill then your stamina and endurance are getting better. If you are running the same distance you ran the last day in less time, your strength is improving. Do more reps with lighter weights with dumbbells, barbells or Kettlebells to give more shape to your muscles and introduce more cuts. Do fewer reps, but with much heavier weight to gain muscle size. You can get my fitness advice & fitness tips, fitness gift ideas, and lastly download FREE fitness publication here. Start putting things together today and step into a new and fitter lifestyle in your own home gym.
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