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Create a home gym in 5 simple steps

I had a long list of reason why I was finding it hard to stay active. But it really all boils down to the fact, that no matter how much I wanted to be fit my lifestyle was limiting my options.

I asked my self what could I do to work around my time limitations and introduce exercise into my schedule.

Going to a gym was not an option as it required a time commitment I couldn’t give, any memberships would just be a waist of money for me. I couldn’t commit to any group classes as life with a toddler (post liver transplant) was so unpredictable. I could go one day no problems and the next we could be in hospital.

I shared this frustration with a friend of mine and so the idea was born. Home Gym!!

My garage was the perfect space. Since we moved to this house I had never actually parked my car in it. The space became a hybrid storage space / Garbage tip. BUT now it finally had a purpose.

If you are in two minds about a home gym and you are not sure if this is a solution for you then please read '2016 Bucket list - Own a Home Gym', but further more if you are finding it hard to motivate your self to work out at home then I have the remedy for that too in 'How to find motivation to workout from home'.

Ok so here we go, 5 simple steps to set up a home gym:

1 - Space

If you have committed to making a home gym then having some space is a must!

But how much space is enough well that is all relative.

I made my gym in my garage, that is only because we were not using the space to park the cars but to store ‘stuff’ and garbage. I decided to do a massive clean up of the space, which you can read about in ‘How to clean your Garage’ and repurpose it to fit my exercise space.

But you have many other options empty spare room, balcony, backyard or even your living room.

Depending on the space you have your gym will look as big or as small as you like.

2 - Cardio

So every gym needs some cardio equipment.

To find the best option for you, you’ll need to assess the following:

Frequency of use -

Do you have bad knees and ankles like me? Then you should not consider buying a treadmill as you’ll need a low impact machine such as an elliptical trainer, bike or rower. And vice versa if you are runner at heart and enjoy the high after a 10 km run, then don’t buy a rower.

Buying the machine that doesn’t suite your exercise style will only be money waisted as you won’t be using it as much as you need

Space -

Do you have dedicated space where your equipment will sit permanently or do you need to fold it away after your workout? If you intend to exercise in your living room, then a large elliptical trainer is not a good idea.

I use to live in a small two bedroom apartment and had a really awesome treadmill which would fold up after use and I would wheel it behind the bedroom door.

Price -

Are you looking forward to a splurge or do you have a budget? Or are you like me, you need to convince your husband that you’ll use it before you go and buy it ;)

If there is some convincing to be done of your self or any one around you then I have one word for you - RENT.

You can rent for 1-3 months see how you go and then make the decision on purchasing any expensive equipment. Having said that you could check out places like K Mart, Big W or Target, they have some great beginners exercise machines for as low as $89 for a stationary bike.

And most importantly if you don’t have money right now to rent or purchase anything then here are your Cardio options for FREE:

  • Put on a 4 very high past songs and dance to your hearts content that will come to about 20 min cardio

  • Use the stairs at the house if you have some

  • A skipping rope

  • Jumping jacks

3 - Resistance

The options here are endless!!

Before buying any equipment again, consider what type of exercise you are doing and what space you have to store it.

I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to have a huge weight stack all-in-one machine in the centre of my home gym, but that just isn’t feasible.

If you are a beginner you should consider investing in some free weights and resistance bands. You can purchase them very inexpensively from K Mart, Target or Big W. They don’t need to be any special brand, they just need to show their weight.

So a Celsius 5 kg dumbbell is not heavier then a no brand 5 kg dumbbell you buy from K Mart, however the price is! Celsius 5 kg (Rebel sports) $24.99 and the same at K Mart is $18.

I purchased a TRX Home suspension pack because I had used the equipment before and loved it. But again if you are not willing to spend $200 on TRX the brand just to try it, you could purchase a no brand from $50 to get you started.

4 - Technology

Every gym has it. The music pumping, the TV going in the cardio rooms. Your home gym shouldn’t be any different.

I use my iPad & iPhone in the gym all the time. I use it for:

  1. Watching my shows to keep me entertained so I can last longer on the cardio exercises.

  2. Set up my Cardio DVDs, to do an odd class here and there. Anything from Yoga to Les Miles

  3. Pump the music to keep me pumping the extra push up or two when my body is screaming enough

  4. Listen to my audio books.

5 - Plan & Vision

Plan how you’ll best use your home gym time. I have written about this before in how to motivate your self, but it’s important to surround your self with motivation.

I have printed workouts targeting specific areas of the body and they are sorted in my work out folder which I keep in the gym. Depending which work out is in line that day I flip to that section of my folder and off I go.

Lastly you need a clear vision of what you are doing. That you’ll achieve by placing a nice large mirror in your gym. Watch you self do the motions of each exercise to ensure you are doing it right.

For home gym inspirations head to Pinterest and type in ‘home gym’. You’ll be amazed how people use large or small spaces to achieve the same goal.

Once you complete your home gym I would love to see what you did with the space you had, so e-mail me or tag me.

There is no right way or wrong way it all boils down to what you want to achieve how much space and money you have. The options are endless. Happy designing and exercising.

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