Year of Fitness: Creating the Ultimate Home Gym

Year of Fitness: Creating the Ultimate Home Gym

Did you know that 80% of Americans with a gym membership don’t end up going?

Whether they’re deterred by the crowded, noisy atmosphere or hate waiting for their favorite machine, a lot of people waste their hard-earned money on gym memberships they never use. The same can be said for other fitness options, from yoga memberships to contracts with CrossFit or a martial arts studio. To avoid this problem, save money and gain the freedom to workout how and when you want to by building a home gym.

What is a Home Gym to You?

If you’re imagining a completely separate room where you can retreat to do your workouts, that’s just one way to create your own home gym. Not everyone has the luxury of devoting an entire room to their workouts, but you can still collect your favorite gym equipment and convert part of your home to a gym when you need it to be. Whatever your definition of a home gym is, the goal is the same-- attain the equipment you need to get intense workouts in the comfort of your own home.

Your Home Gym Doesn’t Have to Be Huge or Expensive

While CEO of Virgin Airlines, Richard Branson, has a home gym with a squat rack that overlooks a beautiful island view, your home gym can be as simple as some workout equipment stored in your favorite living area. The most important thing about your home gym is that you actually use it, so beyond that, it’s only limited by your own creativity.

Live in a Small Apartment or Condo? No Problem!

Even if you have limited space to work with, you can still create a fun home gym that can help you get as fit as you want to be. By choosing fitness gear that is easy to store, such as kettlebells and dumbbells, and larger equipment that folds up, you can maximize space and still get an effective workout. Peruse these tips to see how to create workout options when you have very little room to work with:

  • Focus on gear that offers many workout options, such as kettlebells.
  • Ensure that larger gear, like rowing machines, fold up for easy storage.
  • If necessary, rearrange the rest of your room to support your home gym.  
  • Consider storing equipment in places that save space, like under your bed.

Short on Money? Try These Tips to Create an Affordable Home Gym

Let’s face it, even the most basic workout gear can be pretty expensive. If you’re like most Americans who don’t have a lot of extra disposable income, the idea of collecting fitness equipment for your home can seem like a distant dream. But by shopping smart, knowing exactly what you need, and planning ahead, you can create a practical workout area in your home without breaking your budget. These tips might help:

  • Start with inexpensive equipment you’ll use, like an Ab Wheel or a Pushup Board.
  • Be selective with the equipment you want and consider it an investment in your health.
  • Check used sports stores to find discounts on high-quality gear.
  • Plan ahead to save up for equipment you really want and will be motivated to use.

An Ab Wheel provides an excellent core workout and is easy to store.

Pros and Cons of Working Out At Home

Getting fit in your own home comes with a ton of benefits, and a few drawbacks as well. Explore the best reasons to start your own home gym and some concerns to be aware of before you do.

The Many Benefits of Starting Your Own Home Gym

  • Avoid costly memberships and fees that other gyms would charge.
  • Create a personalized workout environment that you’ll look forward to using.
  • Always have the workout equipment you want available when you need it.
  • Save time by not having to travel and drive to another location to work out.
  • Workout in privacy which you can’t do in public gyms.
  • Be as loud as you want and customize the music in the room.
  • Use your home gym anytime that fits your schedule.
  • Continually expanding your gym is a fun and rewarding process.
  • Own the equipment you use so you can sell, trade, or exchange it if you want to.
  • Invite friends or family to come over for private workouts.

Drawbacks of a Home Gym

  • A home gym doesn’t come with a personal trainer to motivate you.
  • You have to already know how to use the equipment properly with a home gym.
  • You miss out on the gym atmosphere which is motivating for some people.
  • You’ll probably never have access to as much equipment as a public gym.

Overcoming the Drawbacks to Your Home Gym

The main drawback to committing to getting fit in your own home gym is that there’s no one there to guide you or correct your form during workouts. However, with the internet readily available, sites like offer detailed workout plans that can help you learn how to get the most out of your equipment.

Regarding the fact that a public gym will always have more equipment than your home gym, that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. Corporate gyms need to have a wide range of equipment to support dozens of people working out at once. As long as you have enough to workout all of your important muscle groups, you’ll never need as much gear as a public gym.

Getting Started-- What Types of Gear Are Best for a Home Gym?

Before buying workout equipment for your home, there are a few things to consider first. If you’re not going to be leaving it set up at all times, then you’ll want to have some idea of where you’ll be storing it. Plus, when considering a piece of equipment, it’s important to have some knowledge of it and to choose gear that you’ll be motivated to use for a long time.

Three Types of Gear That Are Ideal For Your Home Gym

The equipment that will be optimal for your home gym may be different than the gear that others would prefer, but ultimately, these choices are portable, easy to store, and provide effective workouts that are well worth your money.

1. Kettlebells - Provides full-body workouts and they’re easy to store

Kettlebells are the official sport of Russia and have soared in popularity in recent years thanks to CrossFit. Taking up very little space, kettlebells are easy to store in a closet, plastic bin, or even under your bed. That said, the biggest advantage of kettlebells is their value. With this one piece of gear, you can do intense workouts to benefit nearly every part of your body.

Effective Kettlebell Workout to Try: Sumo Squat Jumps

2. Rowing Machine - Full body workout you can do while watching TV

Available for $200-1500, rowing machines come with a wide range of features, but the workout is the same. With 60% of the workout focused on the legs, 20% on the back, and 20% on the triceps, even a short time on a rowing machine will leave you feeling like you’ve worked your entire body. Plus, on low resistance settings, they’re excellent for cardio as well. Many machines are able to fold up or stand for easy storage, or you can simply leave it sitting out in your home.

Example of an Affordable Rowing Machine: Sunny Magnetic Rowing Machine for $212

3. 25 lbs Steel Mace - Allows extremely versatile workouts and very easy to store

Part of the fun of having a home gym is that you can use eclectic pieces of workout gear that aren’t found in most gyms. A prime example is the steel mace from Based on ancient Indian warriors who would use the heavy mace in combat, workouts with the mace will leave your arms, core, and legs sore in a short time. The steel mace costs about $40, but is an excellent investment considering the numerous workouts it enables.

View the Tutorial for the 25 lbs Steel Mace: Video with Mace History and Techniques

A rowing machine can be an excellent addition to your home gym.

Making it Yours-- Personalizing Your Home Gym

A key advantage of creating a gym at home is you can make it fit your personality. In addition to getting the specific workout gear you want, you can decorate it with quotes, athletes, or anything that motivates you. Being able to roll out of bed and get an intense workout in your own customized home gym is an amazing experience that can help you achieve new levels of fitness.

What Happens When You Commit to Home Workouts for a Year?

While working out and gradually adding to your home gym, you’ll be getting fitter and stronger with every set. You’ll also be free from the stress of paying a membership fee and being constricted to their hours for your workouts. The feeling of having your own home gym instills you with a sense of confidence and may motivate you to continue adding to it and learning how to use new equipment throughout your lifetime.

Get the Workout of a Lifetime Without Leaving Your Home

There are plenty of places you can exercise, but only one of them allows you to workout in privacy while controlling the atmosphere around you. If you decide to build a home gym, you’re taking a major step towards not only fitness, but freedom as well.  No matter how or when you want to workout, that option will be available in the most convenient location possible: The comfort of your own home.