The home gym
Create a world class strength and training facility in your own home.
The home gym is our retreat, where we do our training and sometimes some of our best thinking. A place where problems are left at the door and the ones that come in with us are worked out with iron and effort. It’s where one of the basic human needs is met, physical exertion… to move. It’s what our bodies are designed for and what our nine-to-five’s deny us. Our gym brings us equilibrium - phyiscal fatigue to counter the mental.
The home gym is a primal hideaway, a step away from the incessant stream of youtubing, facebooking, twittering madness. All this in nothing other than a spare room with some of the most basic tools known to man, exercise equipment that has been around for hundreds of years. We couldn’t be without our home gym.
The benefits of the home gym
We’ve never liked traditional gyms and always been more old school in our training methods – kettlebells, gymnastics rings, Olympic weights and clubs – machines and mirrors just aren’t our thing. Here are our benefits to working out at home:
The home gym is about control, you dictate the equipment, the music, and the décor. You can train barefoot and shirtless and there aren’t any queues, monthly fees or members to deal with… this place is yours and you can workout when you want, how you want and as often as you want.
No gym commute
A home gym also means that you get to cut out the gym commute and be able to move from your gym room, to shower, to kitchen, to couch in less time than it would have taken for one of the treadmills to free-up.
You can build elite fitness
You shouldn't listen to anyone that tells you that you need a ‘proper’ gym for a good workout. You can develop elite fitness in your own home with nothing other than a kettlebell for starters. Machines are hugely overrated. Go basic, work hard, eat right and see results.
Home gyms are incredibly cost effective in the long run and for a one year annual gym membership fee you can buy your own equipment that will last a lifetime.
The downsides to the home gym
Firstly, you're going to lose your spare room, garage, basement or garden shed! But if you’re reading this article you probably think it’s worth it. Good luck convincing your other half. Be nice.
You’ve also got to finance and kit out the gym, but considering the cost of memberships today and the fact that you can start small and build your gym up over time; we don’t see this as a huge problem for most.
Some people cite that only a limited range of equipment is possible in the home gym but we know you can build an inexpensive, world-class training facility in your garage! You don’t need acres of room, because you don’t need dedicated machinery for specific body parts. Your workouts should be about moving your bodies, not machines.
Many people like the social aspect to public gyms. If this is your thing then fair play to you, but don’t expect an overly impressive physique or fitness level.
We go to the gym to train and to the bar for banter. Home training is perfect for a distraction-free focused environment but if this isn’t what you are looking for maybe the public gym is the place for you.
Setting up a home gym
First and foremost – location.
This can be anything from a spare room, loft conversion, a garage gym, basement or even a back yard. This room can be as basic as they come, but try and use somewhere with adequate ventilation. It may be a case of just leaving a window and door open to create a through draught, but if the room doesn’t have any windows you might want to consider a wall or ceiling fan.
No matter what location you choose for your gym you'll want to protect your floor especially if you plan on heavy Olympic barbell training.
You can buy gym flooring if you have the cash but this can be pricey if the area is large. A decent alternative is to use a layer of plywood topped with a heavy floor covering which shouldn't break the budget.
You might also want to think about the amount of weight you’re putting in the room and whether the floor needs strengthening, although this will vary depending on the type of house and what level the gym is on. Consult a builder if you are concerned.
Setting up a home gym doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive and it can be done on a lot less than most people realise. Get the car out of the garage or clean out the spare room, pick up some dumbbells, a barbell, some plates, a pull-up bar and rings, and you have the means to get in the best shape of your life. Once you have the bare essentials you can expand from there, but remember that fitness can be created out of the most basic of equipment.
Final thoughts on the home gym
If you have space the home gym could be a great addition to your life and it has changed the lives of many.
Despite what anyone says - elite fitness is achievable with the most primitive of equipment and in some of the most basic of spaces. You just have to look at CrossFit trainees to see that’s the case.
- Choose your space
- Start small and pick up the essential equipment
- Train hard and consistently
- Add equipment over time.
Example home gyms
Have your own home gym? Share your setup and tips. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it on display
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