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How to create your own home gym

Home gym
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Follow these three tips to build the ultimate home gym (it’s not as pricey as you’d think).

We all know that exercise is good for us, but how often do we get the time and opportunity to work out? This is especially true if you have a young family to care for when taking time out to visit the gym can seem like something of an indulgence. Then there’s the expense which, unless you’re a regular, means you’re adding to the estimated £4 billion that we waste on unused gym memberships each year.

But there is a solution: build your own home gym. It could cost less than you imagine and it will overcome all the issues that we’ve just mentioned.

Create the space

The first step is to choose a space in your home. It could be an extension to the garage or even a cellar conversion. This is going to be the most expensive part of the process so it could mean a small remortgage to finance it. But don’t panic, rates are low at the moment and if you do a mortgage comparison to look for a good deal the increase in your monthly payments could well be less than a monthly gym membership – plus you’ll also be potentially increasing the value of your home.

Design it the way you want it to be

The atmosphere in your home gym is going to be crucial if you want it to be a motivational space. So think about it carefully and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve in even a relatively small area. For example, maybe think about having a full-size mirror on one of the walls. It won’t just make the space look bigger, it’s also good to be able to watch yourself as you work out.

And don’t forget a good sound system. Music’s been proven to increase stamina and enhance your workout, but you also don’t want it to disturb the rest of the family so make sure that there’s some decent sound-proofing included when you have the gym built.

Install the equipment you need

Most home gyms include a combination of strength and cardio equipment. You don’t have to buy new, especially as there is usually a good selection of second-hand equipment available on eBay and other online marketplaces.
For weights, try to get a barbell and plate set with a suitable range of weights. Also essential is a rack to hold them.

By adding a bench you greatly increase the number of exercises that are possible and a set of dumbbells are also good for arm exercises. For cardio, either a crosstrainer, treadmill, static bike or rowing machine is what you need – or two or more of them if there’s space.
So there you have it. The first steps towards creating your very own home gym. Obviously, you can spend a great deal on getting all the right gear and fitting it out to a professional standard, but there’s really no need. And if you stick to a regular exercise programme, you’ll soon get results, however
little you’ve spent.

Main photo credit: Ted Eytan (Flickr).

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