What if I told you getting fit didn’t require spending an exorbitant amount of money on a gym membership?
It’s time for you to invest in a home gym; and before you jump ahead of yourself, this will not involve a full-on renovation of your garage or purchasing many high-end elliptical machines—this will involve you doing some clever thinking and a little reorganising.
So, to start you on your affordable fitness journey, here are 6 steps to create your perfect at-home gym.
1. Pick a Space
Before we start stocking and organising your new home gym, you first need to figure out where you want to put it.
If you have a spare bedroom or large porch this space could serve you well, but if you are limited for space you can easily make use of more common areas within your home such as the living room.
2. Set a Budget
What many people make the mistake of doing when starting to create their own workout space at home is that they go too hard too fast.
In order to keep yourself from wasting money you should start with purchasing the basics and then slowly adding to your collection as time goes on.
You don’t need to buy overpriced gym products or multiple pieces of cardio equipment. There is no reason to believe that you can’t successfully create your gym on a budget.
3. Stock Your Space
As said before, to stock your space you are going to want to focus on the basics. You don’t need a large amount of bulky equipment to get started, all you need is enough equipment to be able to build a workout program.
With the right amount of searching, you can get your home gym at a decent price. Some of the main items you may want to include are:
Dumbbells (depending on their weights) can be found at Kmart for $16 to $22 with weights ranging from 5 kg to 10 kg, as seen here.
Resistance bands (depending on their resistances) can also be found at Kmart for $6 to $16 with resistance ranging from light to heavy, as seen here.
A gym bench can set you back $39 from Kmart, as seen here.
A skipping rope can cost you about $10 depending on where you buy, Amazon offer a large range, as seen here.
Foam rollers range in sizes from 45cm to 90cm, Amazon offers three lengths at reasonable prices, the 60cm roller setting you back $22, as seen here.
Yoga mats are a staple to any workout, and you can find relatively cheap ones at Kmart, only costing you $15, as seen here.
Once you’ve settled on what you think will help you on your fitness journey, you can start adding the pricier items, such as a spin bike, punching bag or kettle-bells.
4. Create a Program
Now, with your new equipment you can start to build a fitness program tailored to your goals. Mix in a combination of strength work and cardio exercises—variation is key.
A simple circuit you can complete involves much of the equipment listed above. You can warm up by using your skipping rope or by doing some star jumps and from there you can start your first circuit.
For an arms focused workout use this circuit:
- Triceps dips – sit down on your bench and from there take a step forward so that your bottom is no longer on the bench. Now bend your arms so that your bottom is about to hit the ground, and then come back up. Do 15 of these.
- Push ups – pretty self-explanatory. Do 10 of these.
- Squat and press – grab your dumbbells and hold them by your shoulders. Do a squat and as you come up, extend your arms above your head. Complete 10 times.
For a legs focused workout use this circuit:
- Weighted lunges – grab your dumbbells and lunge in place, alternating between your two legs. Complete 12 of these.
- Weighted squats – grab your dumbbells and place them by your shoulders, then proceed to squat with your shoulders in line with your feet (important to note that knees should NOT be bending inward when squatting). Complete 15 of these.
- Squat jumps – use your bench as a platform, from the ground you are going to jump from the ground onto the bench, landing in a squat. Complete 10 of these.
For a cardio focused workout use this circuit:
- Bunny hops – place your hands on either side of your flat bench (so you are hunched over) and jump from side to side over the bench. Do these 20 times.
- Burpees – start standing, drop to the floor and do a push up, then stand and do a jump with your hands above your head. Complete 10 of these.
- Skipping – skip for one minute.
5. Organise Your Home Gym
If your gym is located in the middle of your living room, you’re going to have to think about organisation to avoid your house becoming a mess. Even if you decide to use your gym daily, you’ll need some sort of system and a spot for everything.
f possible, have a dedicated space where your equipment belongs. For smaller pieces of equipment, like weights or resistance bands, you can simply find a cupboard or corner to store them out of the way.
You can get creative with your storage systems, enlisting the many unique IKEA items to help you.
6. Use your Home Gym
You’re all set up. The most important step in creating and maintaining an at-home gym is actually using it. Don’t let your efforts and money go to waste when motivation is down.
Schedule work out sessions around work and other commitments, making your fitness a priority. And if you haven’t figured out how to do that yet, spend some time finding your ‘why’.
In other words, why do you need to make fitness a priority? Why is it important to you? Shorter term, maybe you’re training for a marathon or a hike on your bucket list. Maybe you want more energy to spend time with kids. Maybe you want to tackle a chronic health issue.
Longer term, perhaps you’re taking your ‘health span’ into consideration, aiming to maintain an active and rewarding lifestyle. Select a reasonable number of sessions you can complete per week, stick to a consistent set of days and times, keep your ‘why’ in mind, and enjoy the convenience of your new home gym!