Building a Home Gym: The Pros & Cons

Thinking of Building a Home Gym?

It goes without saying, that convenience is a major determinant of how we go about virtually everything that we do. It often times dictates the choices we make in a variety of things from what, and/or where we are going to eat, when we are going places, and even what time we are going to workout. A lot of people try to get to the gym before work, but that obviously can mean rising quite early in order to get in the workout, shower, and get ready for the day. Others, for the sake of convenience, will sit out rush hour and opt for a post workday gym session. While either plan is fine, depending upon your goals, etc, there are some people that opt to do their workouts at home by building a home gym.

Building a home gym certainly isn’t a viable option for everyone. There are a plethora of considerations to weigh in determining whether or not building a home gym is a realistic possibility for you. Firstly, home gyms are expensive, especially if you want to stock it with quality equipment. I’ve not only been a personal trainer in Austin for over 20 years, but a gym owner for almost a decade as well, and I can unequivocally assure you, that if you’re going to buy exercise equipment, you don’t want to cut corners. I’ve worked at several gyms as an independent personal trainer, prior to founding my own gym, that would buy cheaper equipment in an effort to minimize costs. Without fail, it would be a decision they would come to regret as cheaper equipment won’t be able to take the wear and tear that is certain to come to it, and start falling apart. A good example of this would be a simple treadmill. There’s home treadmills, and commercial grade treadmills. The commercial kind can very easily cost over $5000, as compared to a paltry $500 for a home unit, but if you plan to do anything more than simply hang your clothes on it, you’ll be replacing parts frequently, and eventually buying several more home units as opposed to simply using your commercial treadmill.

If the cost of building a home gym isn’t prohibitive to you, you’ll need to seriously ask yourself if you have ample space for a home gym. When I was outfitting my commercial gym, where I do all of my personal training sessions, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted, and most importantly, if it would all fit in my allotted space. Keeping with the treadmill example, they are rather cumbersome, even the flimsy home models. They are quite heavy as well, and will require at least 2 people to carry. A typical treadmill is roughly 7+ feet long, 3 feet wide, and in excess of 300 pounds. Dumbbells are not only expensive, but they too require ample storage space. A rack is a great idea, but you’re looking at a minimum of 8 feet in length if you want to have any kind of variety in poundage. Benches, and chairs, take up room, of curse, but not in the same way a pulley system jungle gym does. If you want to have the capability to do seated rows, lat pull downs, overhead tricep extensions, etc, etc, then you’re certainly going to need a jungle gym. They are a minimum of 7 feet tall, heavy as lead with all the weight stacks, and pricing starts at well over a grand.

Let’s say that you have plenty of disposable income, as well as plenty of floor space, and you are intent on building a home gym. What equipment are you going to stock your home gym with? Obviously, if you’re going to be building a home gym, and incurring the hassles and expenses involved, it would only stand to reason that you outfit it with everything that you will be needing for your workouts. Are you a person who lifts heavy weights? Are you a person who focuses primarily on cardiovascular exercises? How about core work? Are you someone who does a lot of circuit training? Figuring out what you need for equipment is without a doubt, the first logical step, once you’ve decided to start building a home gym. A person who is into doing a lot of cardio, will no doubt be needing a few cardio machines, such as ellipticals, treadmills, perhaps a rowing machine and a stair master, etc. A person who is more heavy weight/ bodybuilding focused will be in need of a lot more equipment. For that person, some type of jungle gym for back rows is needed, as is a bench press, an incline press, at least one stand alone flat bench and a seat, for dumbbell movements, as well as a squat rack and/or a power rack for squats and shrugs, etc. Leg presses are optional, but they make for a very good leg mass generator that is less stressful on the low back than squats, so that may be in the cards for you as well. Dumbbells, barbells, and of course, plenty of weight plates will be needed. For those who are more core focused, building a home gym will be a much simpler proposition. Those people can vary easily get by with a few pieces of equipment such as inflatable stability balls, core rollers, etc. They may not even need more than a 10 foot by 10 foot room in order to accommodate their needs. It all just depends on what it is that you need from your exercise routine.

Lastly, but certainly not least, one must ask themselves, why they are interested in building a home gym in the first place. Is it to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solitude while you train? Is it strictly a matter of convenience? Ask yourself these questions before you begin building a home gym, because if you are someone that is building a home gym for the sole purpose of having all of the necessary workout equipment on hand and therefore, hopefully motivating yourself to workout, don’t waste your time or money building a home gym. Buy some hangers instead. It’s a considerably cheaper way of hanging up your clothes.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Building a Home Gym: The Pros & Cons
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Building a Home Gym: The Pros & Cons
Austin personal trainer and gym owner Andy Bruchey writes of what you will need to consider if you are thinking about building a home gym.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270