Your Home Gym – Set Up For Success

by Rachel Laurendeau on April 25, 2013

You’ve made a commitment to yourself to get healthier? Congratulations! In Part I of our Home Gym Series, we looked at the pros and cons of building a home gym. Today, we’re going to look at what it takes to successfully set-up a home gym or fitness room.

The Space
The amount of space you have available for your home gym will determine the type of set-up and equipment size. For some people, they simply carve out a corner of a spare bedroom or hobby room for an exercise bike and some free weights. For others who are looking for a more elaborate set-up, it might mean hiring a general contractor to finish a large area in the basement or even to add on a bonus room. Only you know how much square footage you are willing to dedicate to your fitness room and how big the budget is for this home improvement.

The experts where you buy your fitness equipment can tell you how much clearance you need around particular machines. Don’t forget about height. Many basements have low ceilings and taller equipment won’t fit.

Start with the flooring. Ideally, you’ll want a surface that is easy on the joints, prevents slipping during workouts and that can protect existing flooring underneath. Foam or rubber flooring is available in varying thicknesses as interlocking squares or rollout mats. You can cover the entire room or just the areas underneath and around your machines. Alternatively, you could install cork flooring, which is forgiving and attractive.

You’ll also want to make sure that the space you’re working out in is well ventilated. Having windows that you can open up for fresh air is a nice bonus. You don’t want your home smelling like a sweaty locker room! If you’re uncertain about the ventilation in your home fitness studio, talk to your contractor or HVAC professional.

The Extras
• Ensure that you have enough open space to stretch at the end of any workout.
• Hang or lean a large mirror against the wall so you can keep an eye on your posture and form.
• You may want a small stereo or docking station to play music or a TV and DVD player if you rely on videos to guide you or distract you.
• Inspiring images, photos or quotes can be added to the space to help keep you motivated.

The Motivation
In order for your investment in a home gym or fitness room to be worthwhile, you need to use it regularly. That means finding ways to motivate yourself to get going and keep going.
• Make a training schedule and stick to it.
• Find exercises that you actually enjoy doing. The more you like it, the more likely you are to keep at it.
• Set realistic short and long-term goals.
• Tell people about your goals. No slacking if other people are asking you about your progress.
• Hire a trainer to come help you with your workouts and motivate you.
• Create a (non-food) reward system for yourself.

Check back soon for the next installment in our Home Gym series.

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