By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
Everyone has that one room in their home that they’d like to change into something else. Storage.com is here to help provide you with ideas and the storage necessary to make a transformation.
Whether it’s a spare bedroom, some square footage in your basement, or even an entire garage, many people have that space in their home that seems to serve no other purpose than collecting the debris of life. Rather than letting these areas become consumed by clutter, why not transform it into your own personal gym at home?
In-home gyms serve the dual purpose of keeping you healthy and saving you money spent on costly monthly gym dues. We spoke with Matt Goodwin, Director of Sales for EliteFTS, on home gym essentials needed for any fitness goal.
“We can set up everything from a home gym to a professional team’s weight room, so I’ve seen it across the board,” Matt says. Beyond his professional role with EliteFTS, Matt is also a competitive power lifter who understands the value of having a gym at home. “I have a home gym,” he laughs, “and I work at a company where we have one of the greatest gyms in the world at my access.”
He says between working long days and other obligations, taking another one to two hours to work out means sacrificing time with his family. Fortunately, his wife and son join him in working out at home in their basement, where they have all they need to get a good workout.
And fortunately, he adds, this can be done cheaply by getting only the necessities. Plus, a home gym can be done in as tight a space as a 10×10 room. “A 10×10 space gives you room for a rack, bench, and a bar, ” he says. “That’s normally the smaller room in the house.”
Learn How Self Storage Can Make A Home Gym A Reality!
BARBELLS, DUMBELL HANDLES, & FREE WEIGHTS ARE KEY
What’s a weight room without weights? Matt says most home gym exercises can be done with a standard 300 lb set of free weights, or plates, though more advanced lifters may want to consider getting a 600 lb set. These free weights can be placed on the barbell, which needs to be a good one, he says.
“A lot of people, when they go with a cheap bar, it ends up bending, and they spend more money replacing it,” he says. While it is more money upfront, he says it’s important to get a good quality bar for lasting savings. As for dumbbells, Matt says don’t buy them, as they can be both expensive and space consuming. Instead, buy dumbbell handles, which can have 5 to 25 lb plates added. With their versatility and space savings, he adds, dumbbell handles are definitely a home gym essential.
A POWER RACK OR HALF RACK PROVIDES SAFETY
“Safety is going to be the biggest factor, and having a good, solid power rack with spotting attachments is just going to keep you safe,” he says. As many men and women who use a home gym typically work out alone, there is a risk of hurting yourself by dropping the weight on your chest, core, or even falling under the weight entirely. Power racks provide weight-catching bars to prevent the weight from crashing onto you.
Power racks can also be customized to include multiple spotting attachments, a pull up bar, or be bought as a half rack to take up less space. However, Matt says, safety is the most important thing.”You will be protected, which is why I always suggest having a power rack in the house,” he adds.
A ROLLING, 0-90 DEGREE BENCH OFFERS VERSATILITY
The 0-90 degree bench allows for a range of lifts and exercises in your home gym, from a bench press in your half rack to working out your triceps with overhead dumbbell extensions. When running tight on space, Matt says it’s also important to find a bench with wheels.
“For a tight space, I definitely recommend a half rack with a removable bench,” he says. This way, when doing lifts such as squats or deadlifts, the bench can be easily rolled out of the way.
SAVE MONEY WITH A PUSH-PULL SLED FOR CARDIO
“Cardio machines are going to be the biggest expense,” Matt says, adding a good-quality treadmill or elliptical machine can run anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500. Instead, he suggests something like Prowler push/pull sled, which can be found for less than $300.
The cardio is simple, he says, just add weight to the sled, and sprint as you push. “It is by far the best conditioning,” Matt adds. “These are used all over the world by some of the best strength coaches in the game today.”
HOW TO MAKE ROOM FOR YOUR HOME GYM
SMALL EQUIPMENT CAN YIELD BIG RESULTS
“A lot of people see what’s in the gym and think they need it,” Matt says. “You don’t need the big, $5,000 cable-crossover trainer.” Instead, smaller items like elastic bands are a home gym essential for their size, low cost, and versatility. He says that elastic bands can be looped to provide assisted pull ups, resistance on tricep extension, or give you a good bicep workout.
“I would definitely suggest a good set of bands,” he says. “They’re a great tool that’s very inexpensive.”
One item he highly recommends for tight spaces is the Spud Inc. econo pulley, which can be looped around beams and bars within your home for lifts such as lat pulldowns or other cable-requiring lifts as well as be easily stored in a nearby drawer.
“You can emulate all those movements with those small pieces than that big, $5,000 trainer.”
RUBBER FLOORING MAKES FOR SAFE HOME GYM DESIGN
“A lot of the time people ask about flooring,” Matt says. “That’s another cost that will go through the roof.” Instead of spending thousands of dollars on professional flooring, he recommends going to your local hardware or farmer supply store and purchasing 4×6 sheets of 3/4-inch rubber flooring.
“They’re horse-stall mats, but they work great,” he states.
Tough enough to handle a horse, these mats can withstand having weights dropped on them without damaging both the mats and your floor underneath. In the long run, protecting your floor can also protect your wallet as it saves you from making any repairs down the road.
MISCONCEPTIONS ON HOME GYM ESSENTIALS
Matt says there are things many people misunderstand about home gyms, for example, many think a mirror wall is a must, but they are far from it.
“The mirrors are the least of my concern,” he states. For starters, he says the can be very expensive to install as well as distracting to proper form and overall productivity. Ultimately, however, they’re an accident waiting to happen. “You’re moving steel around these mirrors. They will get broken. It never fails, someone is going to put something through that mirror.”
One of the biggest misconceptions, however, is that you need specialized equipment for specific goals. Matt says these home gym essentials can meet any goals, whether it be to tone, maintain, or make gains.
“People don’t realize lifting weights is actually the best way to tone,” he says. Weight lifting increases lean muscle mass, giving you a toned body, which is very hard to accomplish with just cardio. “Regardless of your goals, whether it’s fat loss, muscle gain, whatever, training with weights is the best way to achieve that goal.”
Matt says he will always suggest weight training for your goals by using the basic home gym necessities with the right program. “Get the necessities that you know you’re going to use so you’re not wasting money on pieces you’re never going to incorporate,” he reiterates. “You definitely want to build a versatile, safe home gym that you’re actually going to use.”
Do you have a home gym? What do you love about it? Let us know in the comments!
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