Ditch the gym and make a home gym instead

Posted 22 March 2017

Here’s how not going to the gym can make you fitter… you’re welcome!

Cast your mind back to the 1st January. For a huge proportion of us, this was the day we proudly proclaimed our New Year’s resolution to hit the gym at least twice/three times/four times a week, depending on how many glasses of champagne we’d supped.

But now it’s several weeks later and it’s difficult to keep the motivation going. 12% of all gym membership contracts start in January, but only one in ten members actually hit the gym more than once a month, on average. 

If finding the motivation to head to a public gym is hard and you struggle to find enough hours in the day to justify the cash you spend on it, turning one of the rooms in your home into a gym isn’t as crazy an idea as you might think. While few people want to bring in Smith machines, squat racks and half a ton of dumbbells into their home, getting the basic gym equipment and even just tailoring a space for exercise usage can be enough to get you increasing your activity levels.

If the idea of a home gym appeals to you, there are a few keys ways to put your plan into action.


Designate a space

The first step to a successful at-home gym is to designate a space for it, and stick to it. This could be an entire room, or it could be part of a larger open-plan space. Wherever you choose to allocate, you need to make sure that it is a clearly marked workout zone – simply putting an exercise mat on the floor of the kitchen from time-to-time isn’t going to inspire you to exercise hard.

Ground-floor spaces are usually best to keep noise to a minimum. If your home has a study or a second living room area that is rarely used, think about how you might incorporate a treadmill, exercise bike or rowing machine into the space. A gym ball and yoga mat should also make it onto your shopping list, too.

Thanks to the growth in popularity of equipment-free HIIT sessions, Pilates and Yoga, it really doesn’t take much to keep your fitness plans on track. But you should ensure that you allocate a space with the right kind of flooring and enough room to stretch out properly.


Have a budget

Before you start doing crunches in your gym, you’re going to have to crunch some numbers. This might not be the most enjoyable part of designing your own gym, but it’s definitely one of the most important. Know exactly how much you have to spend on your home gym so you have a better idea of what you can include in it, and how elaborate you can make it.


Keep it simple

Remember, you don’t need to have everything you want in your gym straight away. Keep it simple and stick to the things that you are confident you will use. You can always add more as time goes on. The treadmill is commonly listed as the most popular piece of gym equipment, so this might be a good place to begin. Other popular items include weights (a dumbbell rack often doesn’t take up too much floor space), a cross trainer, and a stepper. Make sure you have all the standard items before splashing out on the latest gym gadgets you don’t really need.


Design it

Just because you are creating a gym, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like every other room in your house. What do we mean by this? Just like a living room, kitchen or bedroom, you should take pride in your gym and design it to make it look nice. Spending a bit of time on décor will make your home gym a place you can enjoy spending time in and where you want to go to improve your health.