Perhaps the biggest step to getting into better shape is actually making the trip to your local gym. After a long day of emails, going to work out can sometimes feel like a marathon in itself. Save money and time and bring the gym to your home this year! Build an at-home gym for under $1,000 with these DIY tips.
Choose Your Location
Once you cancel your gym membership and commit to building your own workout space at home, you still have plenty of location options. Consider the amount of open space, ventilation and lighting. National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, Chris Clough, recommends a minimum of nine feet of ceiling clearance as well as a fan to improve ventilation.
“Most home gym or workout space at home is defaulted to the basement or storage area that is likely dark and dank and really is not going to inspire much motivation,” said Clough. Walk through your home and think creatively about what space might be most successful for your fitness goals. An empty deck or backyard patio might even inspire an outdoor gym installation!
Keep It Simple
According to Luke Hughes, managing director at Origym, space and functionality are the two most important factors to consider when creating a gym in your home. “You need to avoid any big pieces of apparatus like cardiovascular and fixed resistance equipment as they are big, bulky, often one-dimensional and take up huge amounts of precious space,” said Hughes.
A cheap alternative to an expensive treadmill can be as simple as a jump rope. You can do a HIIT workout with a $10 jump rope that will be just as effective – and burn just as many calories – as a similar workout on a treadmill that would cost you several thousand dollars,” said Justin Fauci, National Academy of Sports Medicine personal trainer and co-founder of Lean Muscle Project.
Buy Second Hand
Craigslist is the Amazon.com for penny pinchers. Look for local listings of second-hand gym equipment and follow our tips to help ensure a positive Craigslist transaction. Check Ebay as another source for used equipment, or for a real steal, strike a bargain with a gym that’s going out of business (because of home gym builders like you!).
“Kettlebells, dumbbells and barbells all have long lifespans due to their dense consistency, thus buying these second-hand will make little difference and save you a ton in the process,” advised Hughes.
However, with some items, you can get away with purchasing them new. “Ropes, straps and ladders are cheap enough that you won’t even spend a fraction of your budget buying these brand new,” added Hughes.
Use Hughes’ sample budget as a guide to create your own gym at home.
At-Home Gym Budget
- Pull Up Bar – $50
- Parallette (portable dip bar) – $50
- Range of Kettlebells x 6 with different weights (second hand) – $100
- Range of Dumbbells x 10 with different weights (second hand) – $180
- Barbells x 3 of different weights (second hand) – $120
- Suspension Straps – $30
- Bulgarian Bags – $70
- Agility Ladder – $15
- Battle Rope – $35
- Medicine balls x 3 of different weights – $100
- Skipping rope – $10
- Standing punching bag and gloves – $140
- Bosu Ball – $40
- Stability Ball – $30
Total Cost: $970
Once you’ve acquired a set of the essentials for your day-to-day workouts, you can invest in additional features if you find some extra space in your home and fitness budget. Clough recommends investing in interlocking or rollout rubber mats. “This will protect your floors and carpets, and most importantly, will protect your knees and other joints from impact,” added Clough.
For tracking your progress on fitness goals, Clough suggests wall charts or a white board for recording notes or a workout calendar. “And get good towels and sanitizing wipes or spray!” he added.
Building a gym in your home is all about owning your preferences and finding solutions that help you strengthen your body and spirit and make even exercise enjoyable. So if you prefer exercising outside of your home, find out how to use your neighborhood to stay fit and healthy. Don’t like the idea of working out alone? Cut the excuses and try one of these home fitness programs today!
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