Building A Home Gym: The Investment That Keeps On Giving
They say that summer bodies are made in winter and with the mercury dipping more decisively with each passing day, it’s little wonder that the active and health conscious homeowner might see this as the ideal time to get ahead of the curve. There’s no denying that the colder months are a great time to start laying the foundations for a beach-ready body, but however noble our intentions, it’s all-too easy for our intentions to become derailed by the cold and dark mornings and evenings. Biting cold and dreary skies have long been the enemy to self-improvement and the prospect of hitting the gym or going for a run can seem virtually insurmountable in the gloomy autumn and winter months.
If only there were some way to get in shape from the comfort of your own home, without the drudgery of taking yourself to the gym. If only you could have the facilities of a modern gym without the expensive monthly memberships and the logistical difficulties of actually getting there. Well, you can with your very own home gym. If you have the space in your home and a little money to invest a home gym can not only be a fun home improvement project but an investment that could potentially benefit your health and fitness every single day of the year by circumventing the typical motivational stumbling blocks that come with stepping out to exercise in miserable weather.
Benefits and caveats
Beyond the seasonal considerations there are many other motivational stumbling blocks that are avoided with a home gym. Many people are put off going to the gym because they’re not lucky enough to live within walking distance of their nearest gym, the gym’s opening hours conflict with their working schedule or they feel self conscious exercising in front of complete strangers. A home gym is there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week whenever you need it. You have absolute control over the environment and can fill the gym with equipment, images and music that are designed to motivate you specifically. While the benefits are numerous there are also some caveats. At your home gym you won’t have the luxury of coaches, instructors or personal trainers so the onus is on you to not only keep yourself motivated and pushing beyond your limits but to enforce safety. The last thing you want is to cause yourself injury without a professional on hand to administer first aid.
Funding the project
As with any home improvement it’s a good idea to think long and hard about how you’ll fund your home gym. If you have sufficient savings to fund the project, that’s great, but if you don’t there are plenty of other avenues open to you. Reaching out to a homeowner loans company or remortgaging your property are great ways to secure the necessary capital and even credit cards can be a viable option so long as you keep on top of the interest rates. While a home gym requires a significant investment, it can also add real value to your property.
What your home gym will need
This will depend largely upon you and your own fitness goals (though these will naturally evolve and change as your fitness improves). If you’re looking to cover all the bases then you should equip your gym with the following essentials:
Space- In your zeal, try not to over-invest in equipment to the point where your home gym will become cluttered. The space should feel as light and airy as possible to avoid feeling oppressively ‘busy’ and help you feel calm and relaxed as you work out.
Appropriate flooring– Interlocking squares of commercial grade foam flooring will protect your floors and equipment while also muffling the sound of weights being dropped.
Bench, barbells and plates- Whether you’re looking to build muscle or just shed excess weight, comprehensive weight training should be part of your regimen. Weight training helps to boost your metabolism and blitz body fat while toning and sculpting. Using free weights will lead to improved technique and greater long-term gains than using their mechanised counterparts.
A rack- While this may be expensive and space-consuming, without a good quality rack, important exercises like squats and military press become virtually impossible. Being able to rack your weight quickly will also reduce your risk of injury.
Kettlebells– These versatile weights can be used for a plethora of exercises that will burn body fat while building lean muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness. Your gym is not complete without them.
Jump ropes- You don’t need a bulky and expensive treadmill for a great cardiovascular workout. Jump ropes are dirt cheap and incredibly effective when it comes to fat-burning cardio.
Bedecked with this modest array of equipment your home gym will be ready to go and your path to a healthier new you is laid out before you. Now, roll on next summer!