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creating a home gym

Posted Oct 18 2011 9:08am

In the last year or so I have really started to appreciate being able to workout at home.  I like being able to pick something to watch on TV and take breaks to switch laundry or pop something in the oven, and I can still spend time with Bennett when our schedules get a little crazy.  I know a lot of people invest quite a bit of cash into home gym equipment and then never use it (thank you to the couple who we bought our rarely-used treadmill from!), so before you listen to too many of my suggestions, have an honest conversation with yourself about your motivation to workout at home.  Some find that going to the gym on the way to or way home from work is easier than trying to get off the couch at home.  Some live in an apartment complex with plenty of equipment ready to use.  Some are happy just going for runs, walks or bike rides outside.  

Earlier this year I had a scary run-in with an unmarked van roaming our neighborhood at 5AM.  It was probably nothing, but I didn't wait to find out when I saw the driver slow down near me - apparently I'm a pretty good sprinter!  That next weekend we found a gym quality treadmill for half-price on craigslist that had maybe been used twice.  Between the two of us, I think we use it at least 6 times a week.  It was definitely a good investment for us, and it keeps me from running alone in the dark.   

If you're interested in building a home gym, I've broken down my suggestions into a free home gym, a moderately expensive home gym and an expensive home gym.  

Free Home Gym Cans of food or jugs of laundry detergent as hand weightsFloor space to do pushups, squats, lunges, dips, mountain climbers, burpees, etc.( check out this no equipment needed workout )
Fitness DVDs from your public library, youtube videos, or Body Rock TV
$100 Home Gym Dumbbells - 5lb set for $6.40 and 10lb set for $20.80 Jump rope - $7.11 Exercise ball - $16.54 Chin up bar - $24.90 Yoga mat - $20.85 DVDs (my favorite: Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones) - $8.70
$500+ Home Gym Treadmill, stationary bike, or other cardio machine - $250-$500 (used from craigslist or garage sale) Barbell set - $69.99 TV - steal the extra one from your in-laws :)
I think searching for used equipment is always a great idea. If you ask around, you may find someone who would be grateful for you to just take it out of their garage.  

Does anyone have other tips for setting up a home gym?
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