Home Gym Equipment

Creating your work-out space

So, you've finally made the commitment to get yourself in shape! You've been working for weeks tweaking and adjusting your diet, and now you decide that it's time to start doing some exercise. Unfortunately, you don't have the time or money for a high quality health club. Not a problem! A small home gym is the perfect answer.

If you've ever stepped foot into a full-service health club, the first thing you notice is that there are about 3,000 pieces of equipment. The next thing you notice is that the music is pumping loud, there are about a hundred people on cardio equipment, and everybody seems to be looking around to see who is watching who. All of this is a waste of time and space - the key to getting a great exercise and building your own small home gym lies in three easy steps: solitude, multitasking and (last but not least) motivation.

Let's begin with solitude.

The key to having a satisfying workout is time. You want to be in a room that is not too big and overwhelming, and is away from the rest of the hectic activity of the rest of your house. Find a room that is approximately the size of a small bedroom. Make sure it has a door with a lock, and you can even place a small sign placed on the door that says "working out". The sign can be put up whenever someone is in the room getting their exercise on.

Solitude also means that you set up a time where you know you won't be interrupted for the 35 to 45 minutes you are going to apply to your health.

The next step is multitasking.

This step can be the most important step to building a home gym. If we go back to the health club scenario, you'll notice that there is a lot of equipment that is focused only on one body part. If we used the same mentality in the home gym, we would have the entire house filled with exercise equipment!

Divide your workouts into two parts - cardio and weight training. For your cardio, you want to have a decent treadmill or elliptical machine that is electrical. Manual machines tend to be very strenuous. When choosing a treadmill or elliptical machine, don't go overboard with the spending. A decent treadmill should run no more than $600. The fancy ones come with all the bells and whistles but the most important thing that you look for in a treadmill or elliptical is comfort and functionality.

When you go to your local sporting goods store to pick one out, take a good half-hour to stand on it, turn it on, use it for a couple of minutes and see how you feel. Of course, it's not going to feel like a walk in the park, but you don't want it to feel extremely uncomfortable or painful.

For your weight training, the best machine on the market is a Bow Flex model. You cannot go wrong with a Bow Flex regardless of which one you choose. They are small, compact and are extraordinary multitaskers. You can work out everything from your legs to your arms to your back on one simple machine. The machine is very simple to use and comes with instructional videos.

Another great multitasker is a strong pair of workout rubber bands. Again, whenever you go to purchase these, open the box and test them out. If they feel too tight, they won't help your workout. It's better to have a looser set and have to widen your stance, than to get a tight set and quit after five minutes.

The last piece of equipment that any home gym should have is a workout ball. Giant workout balls are great for abdominal exercises and simple weight training exercises using your workout bands.

Now finally we go to the hardest step in building a home gym.


Motivation is a lot more than simply firing yourself up to work out. If you're not comfortable in the room, your workout is going to drag and feel like it's going on forever. Have the room well lit. Play some form of entertainment in front of your cardio piece - a small television or a radio work great. Working out to music is always a good way to keep yourself motivated. The television can also help when you need to watch the instructional DVDs that come with your workout equipment.

Place a full-length mirror in one corner of the room. Use the mirror as your motivation when you are using your workout bands and your workout ball. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing the benefits of your work come to fruition.

If and when you are ready to make a commitment to the rest of your life, this little bit of advice will definitely put you on the right track, and help you stay on that track. Good luck and good health!

By Gerardo Y Rodriguez