Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Workout Wednesday: The Beauty of a Home Gym

The only times I have ever EVER gone to the gym has been when I was on vacation.     I'm, hopefully obviously, not referring to my month-long TRX class I took last June - THAT was in a gym but not a traditional gym with equipment. I've looked into gym memberships before.  I've worked out budgets and schedules and when the costs to both my time and my wallet have been added up - it is nowhere near as appealing as my home gym.

I can remember back to 11 years ago, when I set up my first home gym.  I had gained a few pounds (boy what I would have given to have stayed at just those few pounds) and decided I would nip it in the bud before it became out of control.   I looked into Curves, figuring a women's gym would be less intimidating.  That thinking changed when I tried out the machines and they seriously hurt my joints.   The long bus ride home that night, I kept thinking over how disappointing it was.  Then, I had a flash of inspiration. 

I had an extra TV
I had an extra VCR
I had a large space in my basement that wasn't being used
If I bought some exercise tapes, it would only cost a few dollars and I could keep them forever without a monthly fee.

It was such a liberating moment for me. Who needed a formal gym, when with a few little pieces you could workout at home whenever you wanted!?!  It was brilliant!

Over the years the home gym has evolved in our house.   When we didn't have a basement, my videos took over a corner of the living room and hubby's weight bench occupied a large part of his office.  We have bought and sold off equipment as necessary and, today, we have a pretty great home gym!

I still have a TV, DVD player and DVDs, but our gym has grown to include a bike, pull up tower, bench, rack, foam flooring, assorted weights, a Wii FIT (unfortunately not used often), a suspension trainer, and inspiration lining all of the walls.   I can work out anytime day or night without needing to travel to an actual gym.   
The pics are old-ish, but you can get the idea:

Whether you start with your laptop and a couple of DVDs or you invest in some key pieces of equipment that will keep you going indefinitely, a home gym is a wise investment that pays off - in savings!  Instead of paying x number of dollars on an annual membership, I have everything I need right there.  This year, we will add a treadmill to the room so I can safely run indoors in the winter.  

We didn't put all of the money out at once - most of the equipment was collected over the course of the past 10 years.  Kijiji and Craigslist are great places to score deals (especially in March, when the new years resolutions have worn off and the equipment starts showing up).   Freecycle is another great resource - I once asked for a large mirror for the workout room and someone gave me their old bathroom vanity mirror that worked perfectly - FOR FREE!  

If you have been struggling with the thought of getting in shape and not wanting to pay the huge fees of a local gym (or if you don't have access to a local gym at all) - seriously, just set up a little home gym.  Even in a tight space, you can find ways to improve your fitness without needing to worry about the expense. Plus, dreaming up your dream home gym can give you something else to dream about on Pinterest.


  1. Love it! Just putting the finishing touches on mine and can't wait to post photos!

  2. I have a pretty decent home gym, but the boys drive me crazy getting into stuff and i can't concentrate so i do have a gym membership as well. I was once so distracted because they were bugging me while on the treadmill that i stepped on the moving treadmill while holding the baby and we had a bad crash that ended up with us in the doctor's office :(

    My gym has a great baby-sitting service so i can really concentrate on my workout and i know they are having fun too :)

  3. OUCH! That sounds terrible, Amy! I can definitely see why you go to the actual gym instead. I tend to only use mine when hubby is around to care for the girls or while they are sleeping.

    Nikki! I am excited to see your pics! Yay for being almost done!


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