Does the idea of driving to the gym completely crush your desire to work out? Hey, you’re not alone. Pushing through traffic is its own battle, and once you’re there, you have to share the machines.
Why not create a workout room in your home? That way you’ll have zero commutes, unless you count crossing your living room. You can control the volume and style of the music you play, and you never have to wait for rude folk scrolling through their playlists between sets.
So where should you start?
1. Evaluate Your Space
The first thing you need to do is locate space for your home gym. If you’re fortunate enough to have a spare bedroom you’re not using for an Airbnb, you can start shopping for your gear. However, if you lack this amenity, you may need to clear a corner of your living room or bedroom.
Alternately, you can locate your workout room in your basement — like me — or your garage, but keep climate control in mind. You might appreciate cooler temperatures while you sweat, but if you live in a Northern state, your garage can get downright frigid at times.
Make sure to insulate this location if you select it — this will prevent frostbite in January. As a bonus, insulation will also extend your vehicle’s life, as extreme temperatures can damage engines.
2. Determine Your Equipment Needs
The type of equipment you need depends on your goals, as well as your available space. If you want to train for an Olympic powerlifting competition, you’re going to need some substantial weights. You probably should also locate your room on the ground floor — you don’t want your barbell to tip and a plate to crash through your ceiling.
If you typically perform moves like close-grip bench presses, you’ll want a standard weight bench. These allow your elbows to dip slightly below parallel, unlike using the floor. Additionally, you can brace your knee when you perform dumbbell rows to reduce pressure on your lower back.
3. Remember to Integrate Cardio, Too
I’ll be honest with you, folks — I despise treadmills. I’m an outdoor runner, through and through. It gets me my fresh air and vitamin D while I work up a sweat. Why, then, do I have such a device in my workout room? It’s not only because I found an inexpensive used model on Craigslist.
Simply stated, sometimes the weather is too awful to venture outside. I’m not a massive fan of either rain or wind, but I can manage one or the other. Combine the two into a raging monsoon, and yeah — I’d rather stay on my couch, thanks.
However, I still want to log my mileage, and doing so on my treadmill on inclement days gives me the perfect excuse to binge-watch a show on Netflix.
4. Leave Room to Stretch
I’ll admit it — as a guy, I’ve skipped the cooldown more than once during my gym days. It never seemed as vital as making sure I hit all the weight exercises I wanted to perform. However, now that I have a workout room in my home, I no longer feel as time-pressured, and routine flexibility training has significantly improved my performance.
Well-stretched muscles can achieve a full range of motion more readily. When your muscles contract, such as when you perform bicep curls, it shortens the fibers somewhat.
Over time, you can develop muscular imbalances, particularly if you hit some groups harder than others. Flexibility training like yoga, even if you only perform a few moves, helps you maintain proper posture and balance.
5. Personalize It
Hey, you’re creating a home workout room. That means you can personalize it any way you please. Did the SO put an ixnay on hanging your framed and autographed portrait of Mookie Betts in the living room? Why not give your memorabilia a home in your fitness studio?
The best part? You don’t have to wear earbuds — with their dangly cords that get caught in the weight stacks — to jam out to your favorite tunes. You control the type and volume of music you play. Don’t overlook details like lighting and fans.
I’ll tell you what, once I replaced the ugly overhead fluorescent in my basement with track lighting, I spent much more time in my home gym. Those things can give anyone a migraine.
Create the Perfect Workout Room With These Tips
You don’t have to deal with commuting to the gym to get in a great exercise routine. Make a workout room at home and reap the benefits of convenient fitness.