Training can bring a lot of positive changes to a person’s life. When you commit to a daily workout regimen, you’ll notice a lot of remarkable mental and physical changes that will have a positive influence on the rest of your life. Ideally, this is best done in a professional setting such as a gym, they have quality machines, trained professionals and usually other members willing to keep you on the path. However professional gyms aren’t always in the cards for some and the convenience factor of a home gym can take you from no routine a to total routine quick. So here are a few tips to help you be successful at setting up your home gym and creating an environment of motivation and routine that keeps you focused.
1. Prioritize the Equipment
The size of your home-gym budget should not stop you from getting the best possible gym equipment. This is why you need to prioritize equipment and you can always add more equipment as time goes on. Your choice of equipment will probably be determined by what you hope to achieve as much as your budget.
There are different types of WODs (workout of the day) out there, with their specific equipment requirements. For example, strength-bias WODs and AMRAP WODs both make use of plates and bars, though the plates might not all weigh the same. You need to decide where you’ll like to start from, then get the equipment that suits that workout.
2. Stick to your Goals
You need to be specific about your workout goals. Pick one WOD and do your research on the type of equipment needed to achieve that. You also need to set realistic and attainable goals. Picking a WOD that is targeted towards individuals with similar goals, makes it easier to narrow down the type of equipment required for your gym.
3. Get Quality Equipment
A lot of athletes make the mistake of cheaping out when procuring training equipment for their garage gyms. Cheap equipment can be quite harmful. For example, a cheap rack can lead to ergonomic issues and cheap kettlebells often have handles with rough casting seams that can lead to unnecessary blisters. So when building a home gym, it is better to get the equipment that applies the most to your personal goals, and not just the cheapest equipment you can lay your hands on.
If your intended WODs are going to be about strength building, then it would be advisable to invest in equipment that can do multiple functions. For instance, snatch blocks can be used as plyo boxes, while squat racks can be used as pull-up stations. In fact, any equipment that can serve more than one purpose is a great investment.
4. Put Frequency of Use into Consideration
Home gyms should not be encumbered with so much gym equipment, especially if they’re not used regularly. Stick to items that are suitable for your preferred WODs. You can actually accomplish up to 80% of your gym exercises by using substitute equipment instead of bells. Even if you really need them for your program, you don’t have to get a full set up, you can start with weighs below the regular RX weights then add plates and heavier kettlebells as time goes on.
5. Avoid Overcrowding
When planning your gym, always have it at the back of your mind that space is very important. Never compromise on space, which is one of the first rules of having a great gym.
6. Essential Equipment
A gym in its early stages should at least be equipped with an Olympic barbell, a rack and bumper plates. Still, mats or rubber mats should be provided to protect the floor from avoidable damage whenever weights are dropped. These mats also serve as a comfortable cushion. You can also get programmable interval timers as they help simplify workouts like AMRAPs.
- Bumper Plates and Olympic Bar
You can either purchase your bumper plates as a complete set or build it gradually. If your budget permits, you can buy the Olympic weight set, which is one of the best and most used WODs equipment. You might want to get the ones with contrasting colors because those ones make it easier to identify the weight of the plates.
- Squat Rack
A training program is not fully complete if you can’t squat heavy. Being able to rack the bars simplifies heavy squats and makes it safer. It is better to go with an independent rack because, apart from helping you rack the bar, it also helps to retain valuable space.
- Pullup Bar
Since most programs require pullups, it is necessary for an average gym to have a pull-up bar. The door-mounted unit is the cheapest, but it is also quite dangerous, which is why it is better to go with the stud-mounted system. It can support more weight than the door unit. The squat rack with pull-up bar attachment is also another option.
7. Peripheral Equipment
There is so much secondary gym equipment out there, but space and budget are the greatest barriers to procuring these items. This is why your buying should be inspired by the frequency of use for your prescribed WODs. A bench might not be a popular feature for every program, but it does, however, serve a lot of purposes. And a plyo box should be left out unless it is essential to your WODs source.
- Gymnastic Rings
Gymnastic rings are probably the most frequently used secondary equipment in gyms. They can be used for quite a lot of programs and are quite affordable. This is what makes them so great for beginners. Gymnastic grips are also a great investment for beginners as it can save their palms from a lot of blisters.
- Weight Bench
A great weight bench is a nice addition to any gym. The best thing about this equipment is that it can serve multiple purposes. It can be used to replace the plyo box while replicating some GHD functions. In addition to all these, this equipment can also be used for pullovers, bench presses, and skull crushers.
Kettlebells are the most versatile of all gym equipment. A kettlebell can be used for rowing, curling, pressing and swinging, including lots of other conditioning exercises. You can start with a single one, but nothing stops you from adding to them as strength improves.
A great garage gym should have at least most if not all of the equipment mentioned earlier since most of the typical WODs feature a large portion of them. And the peripherals can be added with time. The most important thing is to continue getting stronger and to keep progressing. Though it can be quite financially challenging, the eventual benefit to your health is immeasurable.