Setting up a home gym can be a big undertaking or it can be as simple as getting some ankle weights and a step box. No matter which route you decide to go choosing the right home gym weight equipment is an important decision that can become overwhelming, especially with all the equipment that is available.
This article will help make the decision a little easier by going through some things to consider before getting out your credit card and ordering the newest fitness fad or piece of equipment the guy at the supplements store said you need to have.
Decide What Your Goals Are.
The first step in deciding what home gym weight equipment you need is laying out your goals. The hardest part of this is being realistic with yourself and setting it at an achievable level. I find it helps to start by writing down your short term fitness goals first and then your long term goals. Using the goals that you wrote down will give you an understanding of where to start planning. You can also add equipment to your home gym as your goals change and progress. One of the main mistakes I see and even went through myself is going bigger than needed for entry level fitness.
If, you are just looking to be more active and a bit healthier you can start with a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical. If you are already pretty active and you want to start building muscle then a set of adjustable dumbbells or a couple different sized kettlebells may be all you need.
Establish a Budget.
If you’ve spent any time looking at home gym weight equipment you know that it can get pretty expensive in a short amount of time. After you have set your goals it is time to set a budget, this is going to determine not only what style of equipment you go shopping for but also how many pieces of equipment you can plan for.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend you don’t need to get discouraged about setting up your home gym, there are several options that won’t break the bank. I mentioned ankle weights and step boxes earlier, both of these are good options for a smaller budget set-up. Ankle weights can double as dumbbells and the box can be used to change your body angle and position to increase the difficulty of an exercise. Then as the exercises get easier or as your budget allows you could add other pieces of equipment like resistance bands, weighted balls and physio balls.
On the other hand, if you are looking to spend a little more you could get a few sets of dumbbells and a bench. A good adjustable bench can be used to perform a lot of different exercises and not just ones for laying down. You could use it in place of a step box or as a support for some standing exercises. With only a few different sizes of dumbbells you could perform a lot of different workouts that will get you on the way to achieving your fitness goals.
For those of you who have decided the sky is the limit you can add to this a squat rack or smith machine with a cable pulley attachment to be able to recreate any workout you could at a commercial gym. The only thing missing is the grunting from the guy next to you and people who forget to wipe down the equipment when they are finished.
Utilizing the Available Space
The next thing to consider that can be easily overlooked is how much space do you have available. You will need to measure the available space to set up your home gym weight equipment including the height of the room since some larger pieces of equipment require a lot of head room. Don’t forget to check how tall of a room is required with you on the equipment, for example some elliptical machines will put you 2 feet closer to the ceiling when you are using them.
Another thing to be cognizant of is that you will need space available to use the equipment or to do other exercise where you could be on the outside of the equipment. If you are looking to make a large purchase like a squat rack it may be beneficial to go to a store where they have one set up to test the foot space required. If that is not an option for you and you will be ordering online you could go to a commercial gym and just pace out how much area is required and then repeat the process at home to see where it would fit.
Supposing that your area is small you could consider attaching things to the wall or looking for equipment that can be easily folded up and stored out of the way. There are also pieces of equipment that attach to a door frame or resistance band attachments that close in the door way to create an anchor point.
Determining the “Nice to Haves”
After you have your list to determine what home gym weight equipment you want it is time to take a step back and ask yourself if you really need that or if it is just nice to have. Keep your goals in mind when going through this step but be honest and understand you may not need the fancy commercial dual cable machine and a couple sets of resistance bands or a suspension trainer may achieve the same results without taking up nearly as much space or being as impactful on the bank account.
Some people may know they are committing to something they don’t need but truly believe it is worth it for the convenience, this is perfectly acceptable if you are going to use it to reach your fitness goals and it fits within your budget. I just want to make sure that before taking that step you understand there is usually a cheaper way to accomplish the same results, don’t purchase something because the salesman told you that was the only way to reach your goals.
Setting Up the Area.
Now that you have picked out the home gym weight equipment you want to purchase you need to set up your workout space. First you will need to protect the floor by either putting down rubber or a cheaper foam flooring option. The expensive rubber floor can be purchased from several fitness stores or even farm supply stores. If you don’t require something as heavy duty you could pick up the interlocking foam squares from the local hardware store, these are available in black or multi-colored. A very cheap and effective floor covering is sheets of OSB wood that’s been painted or covered in a lacquer.
Next you need to consider the walls, will you be throwing medicine balls against them or using them to put your feet on as support? If so consider also covering these with OSB or some sort of wood, you may only have to do the lower half of the wall and could make it look like wainscoting if you are concerned with how the room looks.
You Get What You Pay For.
The last thing to consider is the quality of the products. Typically, as is the case with most things, you get what you pay for. This is no different when purchasing home gym weight equipment and although most things on the market are of a good enough quality for the average fitness enthusiast most of the big name brands will come with a warranty or a guarantee.
The time you need to be most aware of the quality is when making smaller purchases like foam mats, rollers or physio balls. Most of this equipment can be found online and some are of a lesser quality, don’t forget to read the reviews and don’t be scared to spend a little more knowing that it could last longer and become a key piece of equipment in helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Planning the Journey Makes the Goal Attainable
These tips for deciding the home gym weight equipment that is right for you are going to make the journey to your goal an accessible and enjoyable experience. Now that you know what to look for and how to get set up there is nothing standing in your way.
Perfect planning leads to a workout area that is best for you and your needs and this will ensure you are going to stick with it. By following the steps I have laid out you will set yourself up to become a better you from the comfort of your own house. Don’t quit until you’re proud!