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  • Dr. Allison Andre, DPT

4 Easy Hacks to Create the Perfect Home Gym

A large proportion of American adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity mainly due to various factors such as time constraints, lack of motivation, fatigue, intimidation, and injury. Personally, I encounter several of these obstacles every week, and sometimes even simultaneously. However, setting up a home gym can be a practical approach to make exercising more accessible and feasible, and in recent years the popularity of home gyms has skyrocketed. Having a home gym can be a great way to stay fit and healthy, and it can save you time and money in the long run. In this article, I'll be sharing my own experience of designing a home gym and giving you some tips and ideas for creating your own.


gym in home

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

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HOME GYM DESIGN HACKS


HACK #1 - DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Consider your goals and fitness level when designing a home gym.

In order to create a home gym, you will use, it is ESSENTIAL to define your goals. What exercises do you love to do? What drives you and motivates you? Do you want to focus on cardio, or strength training, yoga, or a combination of those? Once you answer these questions, you can begin to consider the types of equipment you will need in your home gym.




HACK #2 - CONSIDER YOUR LOCATION

The location of your home gym will determine the design and equipment that can be accommodated. To plan effectively, consider utilizing a floor planning software to help visualize and optimize the available space.

Will you be using your garage as a gym? Does the space have temperature control? What is the size of the space? Is your gym located in a spare room or the basement? Depending on the size and location of your gym will determine what equipment will fit best and how you use the space. We used a floor planning software to optimize our gym space.



HACK #3 - CREATE A BUDGET

To effectively allocate your resources towards the equipment for your home gym, it is important to plan your budget in a way that prioritizes your needs. Begin by determining the essential equipment that aligns with your fitness goals and gradually build from there.


Gym equipment can be quite costly, but you don't necessarily need to spend a lot to achieve your fitness goals. Depending on your budget and objectives, you can still get an effective workout with minimal equipment. For instance, I used to have a "home gym" in my apartment living room, which only consisted of a set of 35lb dumbbells, a 24lb kettlebell, a plyometric box, a few exercise bands, and a yoga mat. Even though my space wasn't ideal for a home gym, I was still able to achieve some fantastic workouts without requiring much equipment.


HACK #4 - MAKE IT AESTHTICALLY PLEASING

Make an effort to create an aesthetically pleasing environment in your workout area! A comfortable and inviting environment gym space will increase the likelihood of you using it frequently.

Get creative and add your personal touch when designing your home gym! Don't settle for a dull and uninspired space. Consider incorporating elements that you genuinely enjoy. For example, we are fond of having good lighting, high-quality sound, and a sleek appearance. We incorporated a top-notch speaker system with acoustic wall panels to reduce noise and installed LED lights behind the panels to produce a visually appealing effect. As a result, we now have a space that we genuinely enjoy spending time in.


 

MY HOME GYM TOUR & ESSENTIALS OF A HOME GYM


HOME GYM RUBBER FLOORING

Rubber flooring for a gym can be quite costly, especially if you have a large area to cover. In our case, our space measures 22ft x 22ft with 13ft high ceilings, and we were looking for a rubber flooring solution that would span the entire area. After conducting extensive research, we discovered that horse stall mats were the ideal option for our home gym's rubber flooring needs.

  • HORSE STALL MATS - Find these at a tractor supply store. Dimensions are 4ft x6 ft and 3/4 inch thick. They are burly mats weighing at 94lbs per mat! Do yourself a favor and get an EZ mat stall mover!


 

HOME GYM POWER RACK

in home pull up bar with power rack

If powerlifting and weightlifting are something you wish to do from home, a power rack is an essential piece of equipment! It's the perfect set up to work on bench press, barbell squats, overhead press, and more. Power racks have pull-up bars and many add-ons to provide versatility. We have a Rogue Monster power rack in gunmetal. We love it. Some popular and highly rated alternatives include:

  1. Rep Fitness power rack - This rack has a many different add-ons and customization options, is very durable and sturdy.

  2. Tital Fitness T-3 Series Wall Mounted Folding Power Rack - is a good option if space is an issue and you want the functionality a power rack has to offer.


 


WEIGHTS AND BEST HOME GYM DUMBBELL SET


We already owned weights including a set of bumper plates from Rogue, a barbell, various kettlebells, a few dumbbells, along with the adjustable Bow flex Dumbbell Set. The adjustable dumbbells are a great space-saving option while giving you a complete weight set. Another highly rated/recommended set is:

  1. Power-Block adjustable dumbbells: They are compact, portable and easy to adjust, made from high quality steel, so you can be sure they will provide years of use.


 


RESISTANCE BANDS AND ACCESSORIES


Some of my most used equipment are the resistance bands. They are cost effective, space saving and are highly useful in injury prevention and treatment. Resistance bands are a MUST. I use Crossover Symmetry bands daily and my shoulder health has never been better. Other accessories we have are medicine balls, a hang-board for rock climbing, a plyometric box and an adjustable bench.






CARDIO EQUIPMENT


I recommend cardio equipment if it is something you enjoy using and will actually use it! It can get expensive, take up space when a great form of cardio is jog outdoors.


We do own a Nordic Track Treadmill and an Air Assault Bike. The treadmill is often used as a Treadmill Desk, but also for incline walking training. I find the Air Assault Bike a great training tool for anaerobic training.







 


ROCK CLIMBING HOME WALL


Our home gym has a distinctive feature that sets it apart from others - our very own rock climbing wall. With our space's 13ft high ceilings, we were inspired to create a climbing wall, which has been an incredible addition to our home gym. Rock climbing is what motivates us, and having a wall in our own space has been an incredible experience.

  1. To ensure our safety while bouldering from a height of 13ft, we required a large crash pad for climbing with substantial thickness. However, the cost of purchasing such a pad was prohibitively high. Therefore, we opted for a DIY approach to make our crash pads. We ordered open and closed cell foam in various densities, which we cut to size to create a safe landing pad. We then sewed our covers for the pads. Our DIY crash pads turned out to be a fantastic success, and we are thrilled with the result!

  2. Onsite Lifesaving Wall: They were a great company to work with, super helpful and responsive and always made sure all our questions were answered. Compared to other options on the market, the Lifesaving wall from Onsite was more economical and took up a smaller footprint. It has an electric wench to lower and adjust the angle, and the wall itself is very sturdy.

  3. Grasshopper Climbing Holds: The official adjustable training wall for USA climbing team. The Grasshopper holds are varied throughout the board giving you so many different training options and opportunities. They are set up in a mirrored pattern left to right in order to flip the climb and train the opposite direction to even out weaknesses and biases.

 

By establishing clear fitness goals, taking your space and budget into account, and ensuring your gym is a comfortable space, you can create an incredible home gym that will help you achieve your fitness objectives. Are you in the process of planning a gym, or do you already have a home gym?


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