When I put in my home gym last fall I can honestly tell you that I did not have pandemic in mind. There are many other reasons besides pandemic for which putting in a home gym is well worth your time:
It will save you drive time. You won’t have to fight with all the gym bros for the bench. You can play whatever music you want and get chalk dust all over the floor without some personal trainer giving you a hard time. Your children can work out with you (to name a few).
When you are putting in a home gym there are lots of factors to consider. But there are only two overarching factors that make any real difference.
1. Space constraints
2. What do you like to do?
Answering those questions will determine the trajectory of your project.
Let’s start with number two first. I am a physician and advise people to exercise often. However I don’t care what the latest guru tells you. If you don’t like the exercise you’re doing you will not continue to do them.
In my opinion, consistency is the number one factor achieving any results over the long run.
So first do some deep soul-searching and ask yourself what physical activity do you like to do. Is it dancing, karate, weightlifting, basketball? Whatever it might be figure it out. Then start considering your needs around that activity.
The second constraint is space. Honestly assess your space. Is it a garage, bedroom, basement? Get a tape measure out and make some measurements. Don’t go buying any equipment until you do.
I don’t have time to get into a blow-by-blow description of how to put in an entire gym. I will cover some of the details in other posts. But remember the seven P’s Plan things out. You can have a space that works for you.
When I put in my gym I wanted a power rack. Ideally I wanted a certain size but I realized very quickly that I was going to be constrained by ceiling height. That made the decisions much more narrow and easier. Another concern was I did not feel like bolting anything to the floor.
I needed some rubber mats for the floor. Weights make a lot of noise on a concrete floor. When I started looking I found out that some fitness outlets carry used mats. They often remodel other and pull out the used industrial grade mats- which can be of quite high quality.
Also concrete floors and mats don’t go well together. If you are in a basement and you lay rubber mats directly on the floor, the moisture form the porous concrete will eventually give you a mold problem on the bottom of the mats. Many thanks to Brian Cardamone one of my shoulder implant vendors for warning me about this just before I put in the gym. He recommended a product from Lowes that is tongue-in-groove sub floor that lifts the bottom floor layer up off the concrete a little with plastic “feet.”
These are a few things that I learned in the process. Measure things out. Start with the constraints first. Then build to suit your needs.
It will be a bigger cost up front than a gym membership. But you won’t have to fight traffic (in the gym or on the way there) or be limited by pandemic or other interuptions again.