Setting Up Your Home Gym
With the many ways of
utilizing an entertainment room home gyms are high on the list. If
you’ve decided this is the year you’re going to get in
shape and stay in shape but you don’t like waiting in line for
the treadmill or forking out high membership fees each month to a
health club, then let’s get started on your own personal
- the staple of the gym, and one of the first purchases you should
make, is a good pair of adjustable dumbells. Dumbells are versatile,
cost effective, and they take up very little space. Dumbells are a
great solution for strength training and offer an unlimited number of
exercises. By adding a weight bench and exercise ball you’ve
got all the makings of an instant home gym. Manufacturers include
Bowflex, Bayou, Hex, Powerblock, and Pro Style.
Trainers – sometimes referred to as cross-trainers, are
quickly becoming the most popular pieces of cardio equipment for home
gyms. Determining which model is right for you might be confusing;
there are now over 70 models to choose from. Here’s a list of
the major brands: Eclipse, Epic, Horizon, Infiniti, Life
Fitness, Lifegear, Nordic Track, Octane, Orbitrek, Precor, Proform,
Reebok, Schwinn, Smooth, Sole, Stamina, Star Trac, Tony Little, True
and Weslo. Models range between $300 -
$5,000. Grab a cup of coffee and mull over this informative
Trainer Buyer’s Guide.
Ball – otherwise known as an exercise ball, is one
of the best workouts for your abs on the market. A high quality
exercise ball, like the ones used at the health club, is the most
effective means you can use to get rock hard abs. Don’t settle
for an exercise ball found at your local sporting goods store or mass
market retailer, these balls are poor quality. You want a quality
exercise ball that will endure prolonged use, handle larger users,
and one that will allow you to perform strength training with
dumbbells too. What you should look for in an exercise ball is a
weight limit of 1000 pounds (opposed to 200 pounds found at the
stores mentioned above) and a warranty of 3 years. Priced under
Resistance Bands Home Gym – If you’ve seen this
advertised on TV you may think they look a gimmic. They’re not.
The Bodylastics resistance bands are a huge leap forward in
resistance training compared to the old exercise tubing. What’s
really great about this product, besides its compact size, is the
resistance bands are color coded – each colored resistance band
has a unique tension level. There are swivel clips at the end of each
exercise band to facilitate quick changes in resistance, and they
include a number of nifty attachments that make the Bodylastics a
complete home gym that’s smaller than a breadbox. This product
is a breeze to use, even for beginners. So, if you want a great
workout, and a great value in strength training for under $100,
the Bodylastics system is a bargain.
Exercise bikes –
a popular choice for a great cardio workout. Exercise bikes are a
little pricey but well worth it. Try out as many different models as
you can before you make a purchase. You’ll want to make sure
the seat is comfortable; remember, you’ll be sitting in the
bike seat for long periods of time so you’ll want to make sure
you’re comfortable. Good - A decent exercise bike starts
at around $300. In this price range expect your bike to last a
few years. Better - A better, mid-level model, like a Schwinn,
will run between $300 - $500. In this price range expect a
smoother silent operation, magnetic resistance, a more comfortable
seat, many workout programs and heart rate control. Best -
High-end exercise bikes run about $600 plus. In this price
range expect push button resistance control, high tech led display
console, a longer warranty, pulse driven workouts, adjustable
handlebars, and many workout programs. Here’s a list of the
major players: Cybex, Fitness Quest, Healthrider, Kettler, Life
Cycle, Lifestyler, Monark, Nautilus, NordicTrack, Proform, Reebok,
Schwinn, Stamina, and Tunturi.
Rowing is one of the
best workouts available. The motion of rowing uses your entire body
and works every major muscle group; pelvis, thighs, arms, shoulders,
back, abdomen, legs, hips, and torso without the risk of high impact
injury. It’s great for muscle toning and development in areas
of the body that can be difficult to work; back of upper arms,
shoulders, and butt get a great workout. Also, great for weight loss
– burn from 500 to 800 calories per hour. Rowing machine
manufacturers include BodyCraft, Concept2, Kettler, Lifecore,
LifeGear, Precor, Schwinn, Stamina, and Tunturi. For a novice user on
a budget BodyCraft is a great choice for around $700. Kettler
Coach is about the best rower on the market at around $1000. A
rowing machine is best for people who need a low impact cardio and
strength training workout but are bored with treadmills and cross
are so many smith machines on the market today it’s difficult
to distinguish between them. Should you get a smith machine with
bushings or bearings? A vertical smith machine or a 7 or 5 degree
angled smith? Is a Jones machine better than the best smith machine?
There are many differences in construction that you should understand
before investing in a smith machine. You’ll want to spend some
time researching each manufacturer to see what each one offers.
Manufacturers include Bodycraft, Body Solid, Freemotion, Golds Gym,
Hoist, Marcy, Nautilus, Parabody, Ultimate and Weider. A full
functioned single station gym with a built-in weight stack, expect to
spend a minimum of $700.
Stair climbers, also
known as steppers, are excellent machines for burning calories and
working the major muscle groups of the lower body. Though they’ve
declined in popularity in recent years, largely due to elliptical
machines, there are still a few machines released each year. Priced
between $2,000 - $4,000.
After your vigorous
workout you’re going to want to relax and wind down; what
better way then in a sauna? After all you’ve earned it. Indoor
saunas come in many shapes and sizes. You can customize your own
sauna and have it built right into your home gym, or your other
choices include portable saunas that are capable of plugging into a
standard wall outlet, pre-built saunas that come in modular insulated
panels that are assembled together to build your room, pre-cut saunas
require that you frame up your own walls and provide your own
insulation, and combination traditional & infrared saunas.
Perks - Many come with
soft-touch control panels inside and outside of the sauna, CD stereos
with remote control, recessed lighting inside and outside of the
sauna. Pre-manufactured saunas usually seat anywhere from 2 to 4
people however, if you have limited space a one person sauna is
available. Custom built saunas can accommodate as many family members
or guests as you’d like.
Cost - Expect to pay
around $2,000 for a one person sauna, anywhere from $3.000
to $5,000 for a two person sauna, and $5,000 + for a
three or four person sauna
Home gyms are high on the list of popular home additions. If you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to get in shape, but don’t like waiting in line for the treadmill, or forking out high membership fees each month to a health club, then it may be the perfect time to create your own personal workout oasis.
The cost of building your home gym depends on the type and number of workout machines you purchase. Get a price quote from a licensed installer to discuss labor rates in your area. For equipment costs and exercise machines, here are some ballpark figures:
- On average, elliptical trainers cost from $300 to $5,000.
- Exercise balls and resistance bands are cheap, ringing in under $100.
- Exercise bikes cost $300 to $600
- Rowing machines can be as much as $1,000
- Stair climbers cost between $2,000 and $4,000
- For those that want to splurge, a home sauna runs from $3,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the size.
A home gym allows anyone to follow a workout routine on their own time, with an added dose of privacy.
Home gyms be made to fit a variety of budgets, depending on the equipment purchased.
These rooms can increase the likelihood that you will follow a workout routine.
Some homeowners spend a small fortune on buying equipment and rarely use it.
Materials needed for home gyms are very specific (rubber flooring, moisture-resistant paint), so this space won’t be the most versatile.
Home gyms may not bring the highest resale value down the road, as some homeowners may not be interested in using them.
The maintenance required of a home gym is minimal and usually limited to regularly wiping down the equipment after use.
Common Questions and Answers
What types of saunas are best for in-home use?
Indoor saunas come in many shapes and sizes. You can customize your own sauna and have it built right into your home gym. Other choices include portable saunas that can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, pre-built saunas that come in modular insul
Besides the exercise ball, what’s an inexpensive piece of equipment for a home gym?
One excellent option is resistance bands. In addition to their compact size, resistance bands are color-coded to specify a unique tension level. These are great for home gyms because they allow for a wide range of exercise combinations without large equip
HistoryHome gyms became popular in the 1990s, when technological advances and changes in the manufacturing of exercise machines made them affordable for people to install them in their own homes.
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