Your fitness journey lasts a lifetime, and building your own personal gym can be an excellent source of motivation. After all, you won’t have the excuse of poor weather or traffic to prevent you from getting your daily dose of cardio. But knowing where to start, especially when you’re not used to working out regularly, is tough.
Gym equipment doesn’t come cheap, and you might worry whether the price is worth it. The answer is yes, it is, so long as you stay motivated and build a gym that reflects your preferences and goals. You don’t need to recreate the top fitness Instagram influencer’s gym. You just need to build a space that makes staying active engaging and fulfilling for you. Here’s how to do it.
Define Your Routine
What does fitness look like for you? If you don’t enjoy lifting weights, then you really don’t need to drop thousands of dollars on an expensive rack, barbell and plates. You shouldn’t force yourself to partake in certain exercises you despite. In fact, that’s the surefire way to guarantee you’ll eventually give up on working out and go right back to spending every night on your couch.
Instead, think about the fitness activities you personally enjoy. Walking, cycling and using the elliptical are all great forms of cardio, and this should be the foundation of your home gym. For strength training, you may be better off saving money by getting a mat, resistance band and some hand weights or kettlebells.
Plot Your Budget Ahead of Time
What’s the most valuable piece of workout equipment to you? This should be what you allot the greatest amount of money toward. Don’t buy what you think you should own. Buy what you know you’ll use. You can always add more later, but focus on the basics. If the only thing you buy to begin is a treadmill and fancy steel water bottle, so be it.
You might find good deals browsing the Facebook Marketplace for used equipment, but exercise caution. Some equipment may be old or damaged, and previous owner may not realize that their equipment poses dangers to new users. You’re better off buying a new piece from a reputable source. You’ll get a warranty and be able to possibly cover it with additional insurance for a small fee. The cost may still be high, and you can offset it by planning ahead and even looking into taking out a personal loan from a private lender. This will help you finance your next big purchase with zero stress.
Design to Suit Your Space
Make sure there’s plenty of room to get a full range of motion when working out. You don’t want to send a hand weight flying through your French glass doors or a kettlebell through the wall. If you live in an apartment, you may need to scale down your vision for the time being and dedicate a small space to your fitness routine that doesn’t intrude on the rest of your living quarters. People with spare bedrooms, garages and basements are at an advantage, but make sure you don’t wind up using these less frequented spots as a way to inadvertently avoid your cardio. Out of sight, out of mind.