You’ve finally had it. After a few swipes on your Instagram feed, you’ve seen enough ‘body goals’
to last you a lifetime. You make a mental note that the first thing after work tomorrow is to renew
your gym membership – the same one that you have been paying for but utilizing less than 20%
of; the wife and kids you say.
The following day you have a hard day at work and you are feeling worn out, you remember that you are to go and renew your membership but you decide to go and grab a cold one; to take the edge off you say. This goes on for a few days and finally the fire that you had burns out; you are back to your old ways.
Sounds familiar? Being fit should not be hard; neither should it feel like a task. Everything about
going to a commercial gym, however, does sure feel like another job. From packing that bag,
jumping into that car, entertaining locker room banter, finding the weight room overcrowded,
music that you don’t like, and a host of other reasons, it is easy to see why it is hard for anyone to
stay motivated to keep up with their grueling routine.
Having your own gym will solve a lot of these issues – and more. Let us consider some perks of
owning a home gym:
Having your own gym means training in an environment that is conducive for you. You are not
afraid of embarrassing yourself as you learn how to execute certain movements properly. You do
not have to worry about what you are wearing, or not wearing for that matter.
You are free to be yourself and goof around if you want to without having to worry about someone taking a picture of you and posting it online. Everything that goes in there is between you and the walls; there is
satisfaction in that.
You get to do what you want when you want to. Unlike the commercial gym where you might have
to change your program simply because the equipment that you needed to use are all taken, you
cannot have this problem at home. This freedom also allows you to train at when it’s most
convenient to you. If you missed your morning workout, you could always make up for it during
3. Time efficiency
If you are always on the clock, you might have already found out that the time taken to go to the
gym, change, train, chat a bit, change, then get back on your schedule inconvenienced you. Having
your gym ensures that you are always on schedule. If you decide to set 45 minutes per day for
your training, that is all you are going to take.
4. Cost efficiency
Commercial gyms have only one purpose; to make a profit. In the long run, when you look at the
amount you have spent cumulatively in these establishments you will realize that it is quite a tidy
sum . Added to the fact that you do not go every day, you will realize that by investing in your own
gym, you will save a lot of your hard earned cash.
Now that you have seen that investing in your own gym is the way to go, how do you go about it?
First, you need some space. It could be the garage or an extra room in your house. Visualize it,
then proceed to customize it; to your taste. Let the posters fly; paint the hulk with your face on
him if you have to. Bring in the music system; everything that gets you motivated. Once you have
established your space, you now need the equipment to complete it. Here is the basic and essential
equipment that you require.
I. Barbell and plate set
The barbell is the most important piece of equipment that you will need for your gym. This is
because most of your workout will be based under or over the bar. Here are some of the basic
exercises that you will do with the barbell:
Legs: Lunges, Squats, Front squat
Back: Barbell rows, Deadlifts, Shrugs
Shoulders: Military Press, Upright Rows
Arms: Skull crushers, Bicep curls, Close grip bench press
Chest: Bench Presses
There are two types of barbells; the Olympic and the standard. The standard bars are one inch in
diameter throughout. They are good for light applications but will start bending past 200 pounds.
Olympic bars are 7 feet long with a 2-inch diameter and 4-inch diameter at the sleeves. These bars
are built for major lifts and can easily handle weight past 1000 pounds. This means that you won’t
run the risk of outgrowing it.
There are several outlets on the internet where you can get really good bargains on the bar and
plates. Craigslist is an example. Do not go for new ones as these will cost you a lot, go for second-
hand; they are just as good.
There’s, no self-respecting fitness lover can do without the bench press. You need a bench to grow
those pecs. Again, opt for a second-hand quality bench. Choose one with an incline and decline
functionality so as to increase your training capabilities.
The rack is the cornerstone of your gym. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive; with reason.
Every single important lift that you need will be done in here. You have to remember that most of
the times you will be training alone, and you do not want to hit a strength plateau because you are
afraid of adding more weight.
The power rack will ensure your safety because of its safety pins. It will add to your confidence, and you can attempt three plates on your squat without the fear of crumbling under the weight. You can find a good rack for less than $500. If this sounds a little much, you can custom build yours. Just get a good welder and give them your specifications. The importance of the rack cannot be insisted enough.
You do not want your deadlifts, or Olympic style lifts to destroy your floor. Neither do you want
your weights to get damaged. Look for industrial grade foam flooring. It typically comes in
Better yet, you could customize yours by designing a platform made out of rubber and plywood. Place your rack over the platform to economize on the space too. A platform will not only protect your weights and floor, but it will also reduce the sound coming from the gym as your bang your weights. Not everyone needs to know when you go beast-mode.
Dumbbells are perfect for muscle isolation because they allow you to target an individual muscle
group. And if you are babysitting, you could always give your child the smallest ones so that they
can get strong too. It’s a good idea to get the plate-loadable ones. Not only will they allow you to
adjust the weight according to your strength, but they are the most affordable ones.
If you are on a strict budget, there is no need to worry about a treadmill to do your cardio. You
have various options.
Go outside and run. It’s free, effective, and is better than any treadmill machine on the market.
At $10, you will get a good rope. Practice how to skip and go to town with it. Rope jumping is an
excellent means of fat burning; just look at the shape boxers usually are in.
Having your own gym is obviously the way to go if your health, work, and family are a priority to
you. You will never have an excuse for not being able to commit to either of those factors. With
$1000 – $2000, you will have a basic but serious home gym. Make sure you get one.