I wanted to create this space so I don't have to pay gym fees, have more flexibility in my workout schedule, and show my kids the importance of physical exercise.
I know you might not be here for love of fitness. You might be here because you're trying to escape gym fees too, maybe you're just getting into working out more, maybe you want to supplement your gym time, or maybe you know you should work out and having it close to home in a more private atmosphere will give you the kick in the pants you want.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here and I'm excited to see your future spaces! (or even current spaces)
I broke down the Home Gym Setup in 8 Steps:
1. START WITH SOMETHING YOU'RE EXCITED ABOUT
- Did a quote get to you, put it up.
- Do you love your yoga mat? How about your foam roller? Maybe a slam ball? Your 8 lb weights? Your 30 lb weights? Your treadmill?
- It doesn't have to be big to mean something. It's usually the opposite.
2. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE FANCY
- The only space we had was our garage.
- It could be a corner, a wall, a room, a loft, an attic, a patio (if you're lucky enough to be outside more than inside). It doesn't have to be big.
- Or even simpler...get a basket, dedicate that basket as your gym. Keep your things organized in it and visible to remind you to use them.
- You could post some inspirational quotes in your space that pump you up, paint a wall, or dedicate an unused bench, table, or shelves to store your things. (My bench was an unused work bench, it has a much better use now).
(This counts as cardio equipment for me right now.
My 3-year-old loves going for runs together.)
My 3-year-old loves going for runs together.)
- Keep your goals simple, attainable, and measurable.
- I keep a log of my cardio on an app (map my run and nike running are good ones) and hand-write down a log of my push-ups. I can see my progress in a very measurable way.
- If a year sounds really scary, and you might not even know what you are able to do, start with setting monthly goals. You can reevaluate at the end of the month, setting another month's goals to grow on or out to a year if you're feeling ready. Keeping a log of your goals will help you set good ones.
4. SCHEDULE IT
- Set a schedule for when you are going to work out. I shoot for 4 running days a week and other lifting/toning exercises 2-3 times a week.
- Figure out what time of day works for you. I have small kids, so 6 am runs outside work best or inside during the day on the treadmill. Weight/toning exercises can be done with kids around too. If you don't set a time, it makes it easier to push out to "later," eventually becoming "not today."
- Maybe you want to do cardio Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or maybe start with Tuesday and Thursday. You can alternate cardio days with toning days. You might have to experiment with what works for you. Stick with it and you'll crave the feeling, maybe not during, but definitely after. You can do hard things!
- Make sure to use your Saturday to boost your health, not bring it down. A stroll downtown, a hike, a walk around the neighborhood, or a bike ride are good options. Don't let the weekends be cheat food days. Eating healthy all week round is going to help you want to exercise...and exercise will help you want to eat healthier. Win win.
- At our house we have the following:
- 2 lb, 8 lb, 15 lb weights
- 10 lb medicine ball
- 30 lb slam ball
- magic push up handles
- large exercise ball
- pull up bar
- foam roller
- floor mats
- If exercising outdoors (running, biking, etc) isn't your thing, then you will want to invest in a piece of cardio equipment. Make this be something you'll actually use. If you hate running, don't buy a treadmill. Look at a bike. There's lots of bike versions out there. Maybe an elliptical will be a good fit. Find your piece.
- If you're a runner in a cold place...I recommend a treadmill. I ran through the winter outside when I could stand it and on the treadmill otherwise. I'm faster than I was before winter because of the consistent pacing a treadmill offers. Try it.
- Start with a set of weights that you can do 12-15 reps at a time on. You don't need a lot of weights to get started.
- A medicine or slam ball can be good for two-handed weight exercises.
- Whatever you get, learn how to use (even though you might feel awkward or weird at first) so your time and money don't go to waste. You can do a lot with a little!
- It can be easier to workout when you have something to distract you. Listening to the radio or a podcast keeps your brain engaged as much as your muscles. A TV could work, but it could also be a distraction.
7. FIGHT BOREDOM
- It can feel weird when you're first trying to get strong. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I know a couple things now.
- Get resources:
- Check out my fitness pinterest page for lots of ideas and inspiration
- Find instagram people that post their workouts and follow them
- I love Zuzana's of Zuzka Light workouts, they are killer
- Look at Women's Health workouts
- My favorite workout app is Nike Training App - good for iphone and android - awesome ideas, it times you, and shows how to do each move
-Just start. Lift something, do a push up, and work towards a goal. Combine that with a healthy diet and you're going to feel tons better about your health, fitness, and physique.
8. DON'T GIVE UP
- If you miss a day, don't sweat it. Literally.
- I have a push up goal and don't always meet it every week. I don't add the missed to the next week, I just move forward to the next week. You can't move forward if you're always looking back.
- Believe in you.
- Let your home gym inspire you and others to get strong, get fit, and get healthy.
I'll be your cheerleader!!
And Just in case you're wondering if we also use our garage to store all our junk, memorabilia, holiday decorations, toys, camping stuff, etc, etc, etc. We do and here's the proof:
You now have every excuse to start planning your own home gym! :)
And just in case you wanted to see how far my organization has come...this is what our garage looked like before it was transformed into our workout zone: