Items to consider when outfitting a home gym

By Metro Creative
Recreation & Fitness

Home gyms can make working out more efficient, saving time driving to a fitness facility and enabling people to stick to a workout regimen during inclement weather.

Having a gym at home also may motivate people to work out more frequently and more effectively, as they can exercise at any time of day they choose and won’t need to share equipment with fellow fitness enthusiasts.

While workouts will vary from individual to individual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults should combine both aerobic and strength training to achieve optimal health. The CDC recommends adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. In addition, the CDC advises adults to include moderate-or high-intensity muscle-strengthening activities, involving all major muscle groups, in their workout regimens two or more days per week.

When constructing their home gyms, homeowners should keep CDC recommendations in mind so they can enjoy as complete a workout as possible.

The following are some items homeowners can consider when outfitting their home gyms.
• Barbells: Barbells aren’t just for biceps. Barbells can be used to work all the major muscle groups, including arms, chest, shoulders, legs, and back. Purchase a set of barbells of various weights so workouts can be varied depending on the muscle group being targeted.
• Bench, bar and plates: A bench, bar and plates also can be invaluable to people who want a fitness facility-quality workout at home. Purchase plates of various weights but remember to be cautious with the amount of weight you lift when no partner or spotter is present. When shopping for a bench, look for one that can incline and decline, which increases the range of exercises you can perform at home.
• Land line: If the gym will be in a basement or another area of the home where access to a mobile network is unreliable, the presence of a land line in the room can help in the case of emergencies.
Those who work out at home will be doing so without gym staff or other fitness enthusiasts nearby, so the land line can be invaluable should someone suffer an injury when exercising alone. If possible, place the land line in the middle of the room so it’s not too far away from any particular area.
• Flooring: Homeowners have various flooring options when outfitting their home gyms. Carpet tiles, rubber flooring, foam flooring, and vinyl tiles are popular options. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice may depend on how the gym will be used. For example, foam flooring may be compressed under heavy equipment, which may be problematic for homeowners who want to include lots of equipment in their home gyms. Before considering which flooring material to lay down, write down your likely workout routine before taking that write-up with you to a flooring contractor who can recommend the best material for you.
• Cardiovascular equipment: Homeowners don’t have to reinvent the wheel when purchasing cardiovascular equipment for their home gyms. If a treadmill worked for you at the gym, purchase one for your home gym as well. Cardio equipment can be expensive, but savvy homeowners may be able to find fully functional secondhand equipment online.
If you currently have a gym membership, speak with the owner about purchasing a used item directly from the facility.
Outfitting a home gym requires homeowners to give careful consideration to their workout preferences so they can tailor their gyms to their specific needs.