When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in 2020, one of the first businesses shut down were gyms. However, exercise enthusiasts refused to let the virus slow them down, continuing fitness regimens with neighborhood runs and at-home training sessions. As lockdowns continued and gyms stayed closed, people began creating in-home gyms, stocking up on essentials like dumbbells, sweat towels, and weight plates.
As restrictions eased and exercise facilities began opening their doors, many have flocked back to memberships quickly, embracing the gym-rat lifestyle once more. However, others have continued to opt for at-home options because of their convenience. Personal gyms allow you to avoid commutes, germ spread, and occupied equipment while receiving the benefits of in-person facilities.
Instead of heading to your local facility sporting a restrictive facemask only to find crowds of people flooding the equipment, consider building a dream at-home gym to avoid congested facilities and sanitation concerns.
Familiarize Yourself With Home Gym Must-haves
Although canned goods can work as weights in an emergency, investing in high-quality equipment is essential when building a long-lasting home gym. Between dumbbells and squatting stands, you’ll want to research the best gear to ensure your safety and continued physical gains.
Whether you’re an avid biker or looking for easy-going rides, one of the best home gym pieces you can purchase is an exercise bike. Stationary bikes are excellent options for those hoping to avoid unpredictable outdoor conditions and potential accidents. Cyclists can enjoy a traditional sit-down model or switch to an upright version, perfect for those with back pain.
Additionally, new-and-improved exercise bikes feature upgraded distance and heart rate tracking, perfect for refining your fitness routine.
The number of exercises you can perform with dumbbells is seemingly endless, which means they’re a no-brainer addition to your home gym. Be sure to purchase a wide range of weights and sizes for your dumbbells, and look for ones with rubber coatings for extra grip and protection. Solid metal dumbbells often rust quickly and cause damage when dropped.
For gym rats searching for a cardio and muscle-building solution, consider kettlebells for a high-intensity workout. Kettlebells have a built-in handle and low center of mass, allowing users to comfortably use them for squats, presses, and carries.
While dumbbells and kettlebells are adequate for strength training, exercises like back squats, bench press, and deadlifts require a barbell. Before purchasing a barbell, be sure to check the weight limits and diameter to ensure it can withstand additional pressure added.
Along with a high-quality barbell, you’ll need weight plates for added difficulty. Although bulky metal plates are typical for gyms with padded floors, you should avoid rust-prone models that can do significant damage when dropped on the hardwood. To dodge damage from dropped weights, consider purchasing durable rubber plates perfect for at-home gyms.
Although some prefer to work out in silence, many gym rats need high-tempo tunes to keep their workout exciting and motivating. Luckily, with home gyms, you dictate the music and can blast it without the fear of upsetting other gym goers. Set up a surround sound speaker system and play anything from mainstream pop to underground rap to keep your energy high and blood pumping.
Design Considerations For Building Your Home Gym
With the machines that you'll be buying for your dream home gym in mind, now you need to consider where in your house this area will be constructed. While many people simply throw some weight machines in the garage, or set up a station in the basement, the possibilities are endless. The consistent element between those two items though is that the floor has to be sturdy and you have to be able to move bulky equipment in (and out).
Although traditional exercise facilities aren’t going anywhere, at-home gyms are becoming increasingly popular for their convenience, customizable features, and germ-free equipment. You’ll never look back to crowded gym floors and locker rooms after you’ve experienced personal gyms.