Despite setting out with the best of intentions, in many cases people who set up a home gym – often at considerable effort and expense – will end up using the equipment far less often than they may have expected. Just like many people with their similarly pricey gym memberships, an initial surge of interest and dedication will simply peter out over time as they fall out of routine and their machines begin to collect dust. However with a long term schedule and weight loss/fitness targets setting up a home gym can be an incredibly wise investment when allied with suitable motivation.
Tips For Using Home Gyms
Using home gym equipment should be approached with a different mindset than that employed when visiting a bricks & mortar gym. Rather than thinking of the workout as a scheduled period of time within the day (say a couple of hours including travel time), consider home gym equipment as being incredibly time efficient and flexible. Not only is there no travel time, but even just a few minutes on the bike/elliptical/treadmill can be factored into the day – for example while waiting for dinner to cook, catching up on TV or similar moments of calm at any time of the day.
Essentially this involves incorporating quick casual workouts into a domestic leisure routine, while it also helps to be organized and schedule more complete sessions onto a calendar. Little and often can reap surprisingly good rewards for gradually improving performance and fitness that will be reflected in more intense workouts.
Another piece of good advice when configuring a home gym is to make it as appealing as possible! All too often these machines are crammed into the least appealing rooms in the home (guest bedrooms, basements etc.) with little decoration and often sparse natural light. Placing them in a welcoming room complete with natural light, pleasant decor, TVs and similar amenities really helps create a positive, leisure based atmosphere that really helps with motivation.
Setting Up A Cost Effective Home Gym
One of the positives of how many people fall by the wayside when setting up their home gyms is that there’s a vast selection of second-hand equipment to be found in the classifieds and online auctions. It’s important to try out plenty of machines to find a model that feels comfortable to use and has all the functions that will be needed in the long term, so take the time to experiment and build up a shopping list of products.
For many people space will be at a premium so fold away machines can be an appealing choice – just beware that having the machines constantly broken down will reduce inclination to ‘hop-on’ for a quick workout as described above! A good idea for new starters is to purchase one stand-out high quality item that will be in constant use (often treadmills) with two or three alternatives that can be set up easily to add variation to the workout. Remember that variation is essential not just in maintaining interest but also in adding healthy variety to the workout, exercising different muscles to promote all round body fitness.
Home Gym Vs Gym Membership
There are many advantages to having a gym membership: a wide variety of machines, expert advice and coaching, classes and the inherent motivation stimulated by taking the time to get out the house and schedule it into a routine. However the downside is that for many people they do not use their expensive membership enough to receive genuine value, and that membership in itself is really little more than renting access to these facilities.
Home gyms can be as cheap or expensive to set up as any budget will allow, but it’s absolutely vital to do so with the intention of integrating one into a domestic lifestyle routine. In regards to cost, the average basic gym membership will cost in the region of $60/month (often much more) – which over the course of a year is plenty to buy one or two high quality machines for home use. With care these machines will likely last for years if not even decades, and equipment can be added (or removed) as time passes and budget dictates.
This is an important longer term consideration as bear in mind that an effective home exercise routine coupled with healthy eating and living will lead to enhanced fitness and weight loss. Over time this may well mean that priorities shift from cardio intensive calorie burning focus to more ‘core’ based workouts involving weights and resistance training. Naturally this will require different machines to be 100% effective, so once again approach a home gym as a long term project that can be entirely flexible as needs and preferences change.
Make no mistake, home gyms can be an extremely good investment and offer amazing financial savings coupled with added practicality and freedom – provided they are approached with long term dedication and motivation.