There are many different reasons why someone would want to plan and build a home gym, and they are as varied as the kinds of work-out spaces themselves. Basically, reasons for building your own in-home gym are for convenience, expense reduction, privacy, safety, and flexibility. In this article, we will review each of these very compelling reasons for planning and constructing your own home gym, as well as outline the steps you should take in planning your home workout space.Tip #1
The reasons for investing in a home gym are varied, but clearly this is a popular home addition for many Americans, given the expense and hassle of going to the gym and all of the possible health concerns. We’ve identified the following advantages:
One of the biggest detractors to working out is the simple fact of having to get up and drive yourself to the gym. You have to be mentally motivated as well as physically up to the task. However, if you are looking for excuses, you can find plenty if the drive to the gym is more than a few minutes: the weather outside, traffic, parking, car problems….the list conceivably goes on and on of reasons to not drive to your gym. However, if you have a space for working out in your own home, all of those possible reasons for not going get taken away. When your gym is in the room next door, it is simply a matter of getting changed into your workout clothes and getting a move on.
Another element of convenience is if you have children at home, or anyone else that needs attention. Not all gyms offer child care, and this can be a big detractor from going to work out. However, if you can plunk your little ones in front of their favorite show for an hour, you can certainly get a workout in. You may have someone else living with you that needs attention, or even a pet. Regardless, its easy to sneak a workout in when the room is in the house and you know that you can be there in seconds if needed. Of course, as we will see in Tip #6, having ever-present children can also wind up being a reason why some parents might welcome that trip to their workout space.
Gym memberships can be expensive, and some can be very expensive such as the bootcamp-style gyms that are so popular today. These specialty gyms range from $100 to $200 per month, plus all of the equipment they like you to buy. With a home gym, you pay nothing extra except perhaps a little more for air conditioning during the hotter months. It can be a huge “avoided expense” and this can make a big difference for many home budgets. Also, when planning your home workout area, you buy equipment only once, especially things like weights. These are heavy-duty items that can be kept for years and years. Even large items like treadmills, spinning wheels, stationary bicycles…all of these big investments are still much less expensive than a gym membership. Typically you will break-even on these investments within one to two years, so if you keep them longer, you have saved money! Also, many gym memberships require a one-year commitment, which can be stressful if there is a period where you cannot get to the gym. That feeling of having wasted money on nothing can take all the joy out of working out.
This can be a big issue for two groups of people in particular. First, many people who have just started working out can feel very self-conscious when in the gym, especially a crowded one. You may not feel like you have all the moves down, or you may feel like you don’t have a “gym-body”…these are all common and understandable reasons to feel hesitant. Also, although some gyms have women-only workout rooms, not all do. Being in a mixed environment can make some women uncomfortable when these other options are not available. This is why having a home gym or workout room can be so wonderful…you don’t have any of these worries and you can work out at your own pace, in your own way, without having to worry about what other people think.
Another great benefit is that you don’t have to be concerned about your workout clothes. Many gyms are as much a fashion show as they are a place for physical fitness (in fact, some seem like that is their main focus!). With a home gym, you can dress in what makes you comfortable so you can focus on the workout and not clothes that you wear.
These days, the safety aspect of having a home gym cannot be overestimated. While we are sure that most gyms are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep their members safe, the fact is, you just don’t know for sure. Viruses of all sorts lurk in gyms and there simply is no guarantee. You go to the gym understanding these risks, but of course, now the dangers are more acute. If you are vulnerable to any type of virus, or you live with someone who is, then this is probably at the top of your mind. You can completely control your home environment so this would definitely be a factor in choosing to build a home gym. There could also be other safety issues with equipment you don’t know, or perhaps entry and exit into the gym, etc. If you are risk-averse, then certainly having your treadmill in the room next door may be the best option for you.
One of the greatest attributes of a home gym is flexibility. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, you can workout whenever you please. This assumes that you don’t like in an apartment or condo where you could be disturbing your downstairs neighbors! Since you don’t have to commute to your gym, you have much more flexibility. For example, if you have a little one taking a nap, or a Zoom meeting that suddenly comes up, or you eat that last piece of pizza when you really didn’t want to…no worries! Work out when it’s convenient. Also, if you are recovering from sickness or an injury, you can keep your workouts short and not have to be concerned with the time spent getting back and forth to the gym.