A wiseman once said:
“Thinking about going to the gym burns between zero and zero calories.”
Although I may argue that the body is constantly burning calories, it’s the principle that matters. We all have had those days when we tell ourselves we are going and then…
In order to keep you from making these excuses, you can bring the gym right into your own home. Thus, saving you hundreds of dollars a year in gym membership fees for something which you never seem to have time.
So put the excuses aside and let’s get started.
Tip 1: The Questions
Not your usual first step, but critical nonetheless. Ask yourself: how much space am I willing to dedicate to my garage or home gym? what type of workouts will I be doing? what machines will I need? how do I want the gym to be organized? what’s my budget? how many people will be working out at one given time? can I buy everything now or should I build my gym piece by piece over time?
These are just a few examples, but these questions will help shape your expectations and help you decide where to start. If you aren’t comfortable with your capabilities don’t be afraid to bring in a consultant to help make sure you get exactly what you need.
Tip 2: The Clean Up
This falls back to the question “How much space do I Need?” In some cases you may just need to pull out the car and sweep the floor and you’re ready to move on. Yet in most cases your garage is full of boxes and junk… If this is your current position, start by cleaning out the garage and running a garage sale or two before you continue your garage transformation.
Tip 3: The Floor
Getting your garage floor prepped for the weights and machinery is key to protecting your investment. If you don’t have the budget for the official 4’x4’ and ½” thick gym mats you can always go to your local home depot or online store for some rubber horse stall mats. The stall mats can help cover more floor space and save you a few bucks.
Tip 4: The Equipment
When it comes to the equipment for your new garage gym, we return again to your starting questions: “what type of workouts will I be doing?” “what machines will I need?” If you already know the exercises that you use to fit your routine then you know what to do. However, if you’re new to setting up a home gym (or working out in general) you should start with some basics.
I recently spoke with Ealiane Joseph, a fitness center consultant from Southeastern Fitness Equipment, about what she would recommend for a new home gym. At minimum you should need:
- Cardio equipment (elliptical or a rowing machine)
- Free weights (dumbbells, dumbbell rack, adjustable bench)
- Plyoboxes (if these are too expensive you can look up some easy DIY projects online)
- Pull-up Bar (also check online for DIY solutions if needed)
If you are taking the cheaper route for your equipment you may find yourself on websites like craigslist or fitness equipment forums. Ealiane provided some crucial advice if you are looking for used or refurbished equipment:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: is it a good brand? is there still a warranty that covers the equipment?
- Try it out: Make sure the equipment is in decent shape. If electric, make sure it runs before you buy.
- Try it out a second time: Come back later a day or two after to make sure it’s still working if you felt uncomfortable during trial #1.
- Question the seller: Why are you getting rid of this item? (This is crucial to feel out the seller. Are they truly selling it because they don’t need it? Or are they selling it to pass their problem along for a profit?)
Tip 5: USE IT
Possibly the most important step in the process is actually build a workout plan (that you found online or learned from a personal trainer) and put your new gym to use. Depending on your equipment and project as a whole you probably spent between $600 -$3000 on your new gym. For your project to be worth it, you should be using your gym every day now that you have no excuses.