By Jane Blanchard
You can build your own home gym for a fraction of the cost of a gym membership.
Training at home with the essentials you need to build your strength and your health will save you membership costs, travel costs, and most importantly, time! With an affordable home gym, you can’t afford NOT to get into shape.
The best approach is to first think about your fitness goals, then about how to get the most bang for your buck for each of your main muscle groups. Training successfully is all about developing the right workout habit, and building an affordable home gym will help you achieve the consistency you need to get back into shape.
Get the Right Atmosphere
If you have an extra room, use it. Having a dedicated space to train can make all the difference when you’re trying to build the right workout habit. Get a full length mirror also. Whether trying to work on proper form, or looking for extra motivation, use a mirror to check your daily and overall progress. Finally, make sure you can see the writing on the wall: inspirational quotes, a list of your fitness goals, or a simple, “Get it done!” can help you push yourself at crunch time.
Get the Right Equipment: Think Simple
Buy free weights, not machines. Getting fancy high cost machines is a waste of your time and money. While they look convenient, they can be a constant struggle to use and maintain. So just use free weights. They’re more durable, easier to maintain, and cost less at the outset. They also give you the flexibility to grow, while you build solid fitness habit.
On a budget, start with dumbbells and an adjustable bench. With just these two items, you’ve got a workable, reliable, home gym. Dumbbells help ensure you’re gaining even muscle mass, and are great for increasing the intensity of of full body exercises like squats and thrusters. Also consider buying an adjustable dumbbell set for weights up to 50 lbs to save money and space.
An adjustable bench is your second must-have. Having incline and decline options will help you work a wider range of upper and lower body muscle groups and add variety to your workouts. With dumbbells and an adjustable bench, you’ve got a solid foundation.
But Don’t Forget Flooring
Adding one or two ⅜” rubber mats can extend the functional life of your knees and your weights. Instead of dropping $100 plus on a name brand exercise mat, go to your nearest Feed & Seed and buy one or two mats used in horse stalls. They’re usually plenty big at 4’ x 6’, exceptionally sturdy, and only $35-$50 each. With a mat, you won’t have to worry about scuffing your floors or your equipment. And as an added bonus, sweat won’t destroy them.
You can create an affordable home gym--dumbbells, adjustable bench, rubber mat--for $150 or less, especially if you can find some of the items used. With an affordable home gym, you can create workout habits to achieve your fitness goals.
For more ideas and inspiration for your next home project, head to Modernize.com.
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