How to Get Started Building a Home Gym

Wednesday Dec 30th, 2020


Home gyms are becoming increasingly popular as a socially distant alternative to health clubs and fitness studios. Convenience also plays a huge role as we enter into the cold winter months and need to bring our workouts indoors.  For those who are new to working out at home, the thought of creating a home gym may seem a bit daunting. It can certainly feel overwhelming with so many new equipment models and fitness applications on the market. To help make things easier, we spoke with our expert in home fitness, Kelsey Mullins, Gym Design & Fitness Consultant with Fitness Depot Ottawa, and rounded up his advice on how to get started. 

Top of Mind
To get a great workout at home, it’s important that your home gym or designated fitness area is somewhere within your day-to-day living space. You are much more enticed to use it if it isn’t hidden in a deep dark corner of your basement. Having your home gym in a location in your home where you actually want to spend time will help get you started and keep you going in the right direction. 

The Right Set Up
Ample lighting and air circulation are important for any workout space. A mirrored wall can visually increase the size of your space, help to brighten the area and provide a means to check your form and body position while exercising. Proper gym flooring can provide cushioning for your joints and traction for certain movements while also protecting your floors. Depending on your focus for fitness, cardiovascular or strength training, other items should be considered. For example, if cardiovascular training is your focus having an adequate speaker for music or a television is often desirable as a means of distraction.

For cardio training there are lots of equipment options available, including treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, spin bikes and steppers. These machines will have foot prints that range from 2x4 to 3x7. It is important to consider electrical requirements if you’d like for your home gym to include a treadmill. Some will require a dedicated 20 amp line and others will work on a standard outlet. Also, a treadmill should not be on the same circuit as a refrigerator or deep freezer as they also draw larger amounts of electricity and could overload the circuit.

Strength Training
When it comes to the strength training equipment for your gym there are many options available. A lot can be accomplished in a little space with something as simple as resistance bands and/or an adjustable bench with some dumbbells. If you have a bit more room, there are machine strength training equipment options. Functional trainers are cable machines that will give you free range of motion allowing for user defined movements with versatility and safety. They require a minimum of a 4x6 foot print.

Best for Beginners
A universal gym will provide a user with a fixed path of motion to guide them through the exercise. These are good for people who don’t have a lot of experience working out and need a bit more direction. This setup will generally take up more space than a functional trainer but there are lots of options and customizations here.

Purchasing Equipment 
When it comes to tips on purchasing equipment, it is generally suggested to spend as much as it takes to get something you enjoy using. As it is with most things, it is a question of balancing the money you want to spend with the quality you will be happy with, because you do get what you pay for.

Starting to workout at home, or bringing your existing workout routine home, doesn’t need to be a daunting endeavour. By following the tips above we hope you can experience the many physical and mental health benefits that living an active lifestyle brings.  

Are you looking to create a home gym and need some extra guidance? Ask our expert! 
Kelsey Mullins
Gym Design & Fitness Consultant
Fitness Depot Ottawa


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