plenty of advantages to building your own home gym. No waiting
in line for machines; no wiping off benches someone else just
sweated on; no more listening to that one noisy guy grunt and
curse his way through another set of reps. If you're that noisy
guy, no more watching what you say at the gym. Even better, your
commute is nonexistent.
up a home gym isn't as easy as you'd think-and even with the convenience
of a gym at home, you can still fall out of the workout habit.
Here are ten things you should know about setting up your own
body building workout area at home.
you want. What type of workout are you looking for? Are you
a serious body builder, or do you just want to get a little more
toned? Are you interested in cardio, strength training, or a combination
of the two? Most people don't have a lot of room for their home
gyms, so you'll have to be focused when buying equipment. Know
exactly what you want from your home gym, and you'll be better
able to choose the right equipment for your space.
with caution. Don't pull out your credit card for every exercise
fad that comes along. Many of the exercise machines and gadgets
you see advertised on television are not effective. Choose equipment
from a vendor you trust-preferably someone who will allow you
to try it out in-store before you buy. Talk to trainers, other
body builders, and even gym owners about the equipment they use
trainer. When you're working out at a gym, you can always
ask the in-house pros if you have a question. When you're on your
own, you're in a vacuum. You don't have to hire a trainer for
every workout, but it can help your workout a great deal if you
consult a trainer intermittently-to get you started, to help you
design a new routine, or to help you break through a plateau.
a routine. When your gym's in the house, it's much more convenient-but
that doesn't mean working out will be any easier. It still takes
willpower to stick with a workout. When you have a home gym, it's
crucial to develop a routine and stick to it so you don't lose
interest and let your workout go. Work out at the same time every
day, and you're much more likely to stay with your workout routine.
your floor can support your equipment. Workout equipment is
heavy. Consider where you plan to have your home gym. Can you
carry that equipment up three flights of stairs? Once it's up
there, can the floor support the weight? Many experts recommend
that home gyms be set up in the basement or garage; the cement
floor is sturdy enough to support any amount of weight, and you
won't damage a hardwood floor if you drop a weight accidentally.
space. It should go without saying, but measure your space
before you go shopping. If you have a tiny space, consider buying
equipment that folds up for easy storage. Make sure you know the
equipment you buy will fit in your workout space before taking
others in your home into account. Are there young children
in your home? If so, you'll need to make sure your home gym is
safe for them. Are you sharing the space with a significant other?
If so, discuss your plans for a home gym with them before bringing
your weights home. If you don't, you could be setting yourself
up for a major conflict as soon as you start moving your barbells
into the house.
basics. Most home gyms for body builders include a weight
bench-not too narrow, or it won't provide adequate support-along
with a squat rack, a cast-iron weight set, a calf block or stair
step, and a chin-up bar. You may want a set of dumbbells, or you
may need to buy a multi-exercise machine to save space. Talk to
your local retailer or your trainer about the types of equipment
you should consider based on your fitness goals, budget and space.
the hassle factor. How difficult is that new machine to set
up? Sure, the commercial said you could change the machine for
different exercises-but does making adjustments involve unscrewing
anything? When buying equipment, make sure the hassle factor is
something you're willing to deal with. A machine that's difficult
to change can add hours to your workout time, and a machine you
can't set up on your own won't help you get fit. Be sure you can
handle the challenges presented by a particular machine before
space appealing. Chances are, you won't stick with your workout
routine if you hate being in your home gym. Make an effort to
create a place where you feel relaxed and happy. Whether that
means picking up the clutter in your basement, installing a mini-fridge
stocked with cold water, or even hanging curtains and laying down
a rug-make sure your workout area is a place where you enjoy spending
time. If you do, you'll be surprised at how much easier it is
to stick with your workout.
A home gym
can be convenient, easy, and perfect for serious body builders.
But to get that way, you'll need to set it up right. Follow these
tips, and you're sure to be able to get the most from your home
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.
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