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Home Gyms: 5 Things to Consider before Building Yours

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:01pm

homegym If you are a person who despises going to the gym, someone who hates spending money on a monthly membership or an individual who would rather be alone when they workout, having a home-gym might be something you have considered.  However, many people try this and often find that the space never gets used or that it doesn’t meet their needs.  Before embarking on a project like this, it is important to ask yourself the following questions to know if a gym at home is a good idea.  As you answer these questions, make a spreadsheet or chart to track your answers:

  1. Why Do I Want a Home Gym? Before you even start your spreadsheet, first ask yourself why you think this is a good idea.  Is it because you want to save money?  Do you prefer to workout alone?  Do you hate the gym scene?  For some, working out at home can end up boring, dull or unsocial.  Be sure that if you love being around people and the social aspect you aren’t being shortsighted by wanting to save money.
  2. What Activities Motivate You? Now you need to start a spreadsheet or chart.  Make a list of your ideal activities…maybe it is yoga, maybe it is strength training, maybe it is cardio, maybe it is dance.  In the first column of your chart, list ALL of your favorite activities.  Then rank them in order of most enjoyed to least enjoyed.  Make sure they are activities that motivate you to exercise.
  3. What Equipment Do You Need? Your next column should address the equipment you need for your different activities.  Some equipment you’ll need may include: a DVD player and television, free weights, a treadmill…etc.  Don’t forget some of the required “accessories” that go with each activity.  For instance, if yoga is on your list, remember to include a yoga mat, blocks, etc.  If you are interested in free weights, remember to include a bench.  For abdominal exercises, think about including stability balls, medicine balls and a mat.  Be as thorough as possible.
  4. How Much Space Do You need? This is very important.  Underestimating how much space you will need for an ideal gym environment is one of the biggest mistakes people make.  If a space is too small or crowded, you will HATE using it.  As a result, the next column of your spreadsheet should address the space requirements for your activities.  This includes the equipment storage space, circulation space and the floor space required.  Here are a few examples of appropriate space allocations for various activities:
    1. Yoga: 8′ x6′ min. floor space per person + storage space for mat, blocks, etc.
    2. Dance/Aerobics: 12′ x 12′ min. floor space per person + space for TV and DVD player + storage for other equipment (e.g., steps
    3. Free Weight Training: 8′ x 8′ min. floor space per person + storage for weights + storage for bench and other equipment
    4. Cardio Equipment: Dimensions of equipment + 2′ extra space on each side
    5. Nautilus: Dimensions of the equipment + 2′ – 3′ minimum extra space on each side
  5. How Much Does it All Cost? In the last column, approximate how much each activity will cost you to have in your home.  Factor in the equipment and the storage pieces you may use.

Once you have all of these pieces of information, you will then be ready to assess which activities are doable and which aren’t, how much space you’ll need for your home gym and how realistic it is from a cost perspective.  Further, having this information will also give you perspective on what it might cost to create and build your home gym.

Do you have a gym in your home?  Does it motivate you to exercise?




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