There’s no question about it: working out at home with your own home gym equipment has some serious convenience benefits. There’s no need to account for travel time to and from the gym, you never have to pack a bag, and you can blast your go-to workout music without headphones. And for many people, home is also a pressure-free zone to exercise because gyms can feel a little intimidating, especially when you’re new to fitness.
Let’s be real, the cost of a gym membership can sometimes be much more than its true value. And with the rise of online workouts from your favorite studios and trainers, it’s easier—and cheaper—than ever to build endurance and strength from the comfort of your own home.
So if you’re gung-ho about canceling your monthly fitness plan and committing to a 100-percent at-home fitness routine, you need to set up a home gym that helps you meet your goal.
Step one: Choosing a space
The first step to building a home gym is choosing the space you will be working out in. But before you do that, there are some things you need to consider:
How much space you have in your home
Ideally, when setting up your home gym, you will have an area dedicated just for working out. However, if you live in a smaller home, you may not be able to do this. If this is the case, choose an area in your home that has enough room for you to work out in without disrupting other spaces.
This might mean your home study or your living room doubles as a home gym. Or if you have a spare room in your house that’s not in use, that is likely your best choice for setting up your workout space.
What workouts you will be doing
Think about the style of workouts you will be doing. For example, if you’re doing strength training at home with lots of equipment, you’re going to need a lot more space than if you’re just doing cardio HIIT workouts with little to no equipment. Think about the types of workouts you’ll be doing before choosing the space to ensure you’ll have enough room to get your workouts done comfortably.
Step 2: Home gym equipment to get you started
The next step in setting up your gym is determining what home gym equipment you need to use. This depends on the style of workout you’ll be doing, or if you will be doing a combination of styles. There is some gym equipment designed specifically for cardio, others for strength training, and some for both.
Home Gym Equipment
Gym equipment for cardio
For cardio workouts, there are several different pieces of equipment you can invest in. The basic equipment you may want for setting up your home cardio gym includes:
- Yoga mat
A soft yoga mat will help with protecting your joints in high-impact cardio exercises.
- Skipping rope
A skipping rope is a cardio staple for jump rope exercises that can be added into any HIIT routine (or as a warm-up exercise).
- Weight Vest.
Weight Vests are a great addition to almost any exercise, adding resistance that will make your cardio moves more challenging. Check out our One:One Weight vest.
- Resistance bands
Resistance band exercises help build overall strength and stamina in your cardio workouts.
Building A Home Gym
Gym equipment for strength training
For strength training, there are several different items you can invest in to get the most out of your strength training workouts:
Dumbbells add weight and resistance to almost any movement, making them an incredibly versatile addition to your home gym. If you don’t have access to dumbbells, you can always substitute them with household items.
Kettlebells are great for making lower body exercises more challenging and are a useful staple to have in your home strength training gym.
- Barbell and rack
A barbell and rack require a lot more space than dumbbells or kettlebells, but if you have access to a garage or larger space within your home, this will allow you to progress your strength training with heavier weights more quickly. Check out our collection of barbells and racks.
Fitballs are lightweight and affordable, primarily used for core exercises.
- Pull-up bar
Pull-up bars are absolutely worth buying, especially if you want to be able to do pull-ups when you're at home. That said, pull-ups, in general, are a fantastic upper body exercise, that will hit not only your back and bicep.
Gym equipment for recovery
And finally, it’s important to invest in items for post-workout recovery. While you don’t need equipment to do stretches, there are some items that can help enhance your recovery sessions:
- Yoga mat
Yoga mats are useful for stretching, to support your knees and joints and soften any hard flooring.
- Foam roller
A foam roller is a helpful recovery tool, allowing you to stretch out your muscles and reduce muscle soreness.
- Trigger point ball
Trigger point balls target specific muscle points, allowing you to roll out any tense knots or tight areas in recovery sessions.
Step 3. Set up your space
Once you know which equipment you will be using, you can then begin to set up your space. It’s important to get your space ready so that whenever you want to work out, you have a place to go that’s ready for it, and doesn’t require too much additional work on your side for setting up before your workout.
- Get a full-length mirror
If you have the space, a great addition to your home gym is installing a full-length mirror. This is not for vanity reasons: a full-length mirror has two important purposes. The first is that you’ll be able to easily monitor your form to make sure you’re performing exercises correctly, and the second is that mirrors add more dimension and light to a room, making it look more spacious.
- Organize the space
Make sure the space is decluttered and organized. This is so that you have plenty of room when working out, and that you feel totally comfortable in your home gym. The more comfortable you are in the space, the more likely you are to be motivated to actually go work out in it.
This might mean adding in additional storage solutions to store your gym equipment or reorganizing an existing space to make it less cluttered for your workouts.
Step 4: Put It to Good Use
Now for the easy part: using your home gym. Invite your friend who’s been wanting to strength train to come sweat with you, ask your partner to crush a partner Work out date by your side, or just hit the iron for a mind-clearing solo workout.
Just like a real gym, you’ll see the most benefits if you visit it regularly.