How to Set up a Home Gym for the Fitness Enthusiast

How should you set up a home gym if you’re a fitness enthusiast? The seven steps outlined below will help you create the ideal space for your needs. Personalize it as much as you like — your workout is all about you. 

1. Let There Be Light 

You need to see what you’re doing when you work out — you don’t want a careless injury to derail your progress. If you decide to locate your home gym in the basement, you need more than a cobwebby bare bulb.

Those who go the garage route might think that an open door provides ample illumination, but what happens to routine when the wind chill surpasses 40 below? For the ultimate in home-gym lighting, go for an LED system with a dimmer switch to set the mood for HIIT or yoga. 

2. Select Appropriate Flooring 

If you perform high impact moves like burpees on a concrete basement or garage floor, you might be setting yourself up for undue pain. Instead, consider installing cushioned flooring to absorb some of the impacts.

You can find plastic mats similar to the ones used in commercial gyms in many home centers. If money is no object, you can go with a suspended wood floor so you can practice twirling dance moves without tweaking your knees. 

3. Free Weights or Machines?

When it comes to home fitness, free weights are the first choice of many because they cost significantly less than machines. You can also work a broader range of muscle groups in a short time. If you aren’t a professional bodybuilder, you can get a full-body workout with only one or two pairs. 

However, machines have their perks, too. They hold your body in correct alignment, a plus if you’re recovering from an injury. Some models also provide you with a convenient circuit training chart, which makes designing your routine a snap. 

4. Choose Your Cardio 

Strength training is only one of the three components of a well-rounded fitness program. You also need to work your heart and increase your flexibility. When it comes to your ticker, you don’t need any equipment to get your cardio. Try performing 20 minutes of burpees and watch your heart rate soar.

However, if you prefer, you can go with a treadmill, elliptical machine or bike. Check online markets such as Craigslist and Mercari to find steals. 

5. Give Yourself Space to Stretch 

Flexibility is the third component of a well-rounded program, and it gets neglected most often. Make sure you have enough room to roll out a yoga mat and do some stretching. You don’t need to do a full 90-minute Ashtanga class — unless you want to — but you should spend at least five minutes getting your muscles gummy after each workout. 

6. Keep an Eye on Your Form 

If there’s one accessory every home gym must have, it’s a mirror. Otherwise, you risk performing movements with improper form. This practice can result in injuries that put you on the disabled list. Make sure your model is large enough to let you see yourself head to toe. 

7. Pump up the Jams 

Working out is tough, but music makes it more enjoyable. If you have a bit of cash left over after outfitting your home gym, invest in a quality pair of wireless Bluetooth speakers to pump up the jams. You can also use these when you stream free workouts on YouTube to increase the volume. 

Set up the Ultimate Home Gym, Fitness Enthusiasts 

If you want the ultimate home gym, keep the factors above in mind as you design your layout. With the right setup, you can get the perfect workout in the comfort of your home. 

About Author: Holly Welles is a home improvement writer hailing from Upstate NY. She runs her own blog, The Estate Update, where she shares tips on everything from renting to remodeling. You can find more of her work on publications including Today’s Homeowner and Apartment Guide.