Health and Fitness

  • Building the Perfect Home Gym

    15 June 2013

    Building a home gym can be a daunting task. This article will teach you everything there is about building a home gym, its advantages and disadvantages and choosing the right equipment.

    Choosing the right equipment can save precious space - and lots of cash. The question then arises, "Why do people build home gyms?" Some people are embarrassed to work out in front of other people in commercial gyms while others are just looking for the perfect setup in the home, or the convenience of the home gym.

    The main benefit of a home gym is that its time efficient - no more waiting, no membership fees, and freedom to train how and when one wants. There are also some small disadvantages associated with home gyms, like space requirements, working alone doesn't have the social contact of going to the gym, and perhaps having nobody to motivate or to act as a spotter for you.

    Home Gym Space

    The area should be wide enough to accommodate a power rack, and high enough such that an overhead press on the barbell doesn't hit the ceiling.

    Home Gym Flooring

    It is very important to protect one's floor and reduce noise. 2-3 layers of plywood and a hard in-compressible mat would do the job. For additional assurance one can put two small rubber mats under the plates of the barbell.

    Equipment

    • Adjustable Bench - This bench is versatile and can be used to perform loads of exercises. This eliminates the need for an incline, flat, or decline bench.
    • Pair of Dumbbells - Dumbbells have long been preferred as the best choice for hypertrophy training. These are much smaller and cheaper than most other home gym equipment. They are highly versatile, and almost every exercise can incorporate the use of these weights.
    • Burst Resistant Stability Ball - These balls are excellent for abdominal exercises. They support the spine and work the stomach muscles and abs more than a crunch or a sit-up. These are extremely versatile and considered one of the best choices in home fitness these days.
    • Treadmills, Exercise Bikes and Elliptical Machines - These are all excellent choices. However before purchasing one has to think if one will actually use them – choose the option that'll you'll get the most use out of.
    • Power Rack - This is the biggest piece of equipment, and usually the most expensive one amongst the discussed. It helps in positioning the barbell on the squat and press. It has safety pins that increase safety by catching weights in case someone misses a lift. These can be set at multiple heights.
    • Barbells and Plates - Quality barbells are safer and feel better. These coupled with a power rack and a bench makes for a great addition. These usually never bend and can handle considerable weights. Plates with a 50 mm hole to fit the barbell preferably rubber coated, would be an add-on to the barbell. A weight tree would help in keeping the gym safe and organized.
    • Extras – Finally, shoes with a hard, in-compressible sole are needed. Chalk improves a person's grip by preventing sweating and prevents callus formation by filling skin folds. Dip-belts, resistance bands, rucksack etc. can be used to add weights for push-up and pull-ups.

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