Setting up a Home Gym

March 01, 2020

What to consider when setting up your Home Gym


There is a plethora of different machines available when planning to set up a Home Gym. 

The first decision you have to make is to identify your goals and what you wish to experience and to plan a work-out schedule. Then you can start researching the type of equipment which will best suit your requirements. There is a large amount of equipment sitting unused in a garage or storeroom because of lack of knowledge as to the optimal exercise routine for your requirements, and because it was just too complicated to do it all on your own. 


It is also important to consider the amount of space you have available at home before buying a piece of equipment. Most of the larger exercise machines, like multi-gyms, require a strong and stable base which can hold the weight. 


You have to consider the size of the machine or equipment, especially if it has moving parts, like sliding benches, etc. so that the room is large enough for you to be able to perform the exercises and also to add extensions to your machine if desirable. Consider whether there is only one person using the machine at a time. Some machines allow for two people to use them at the same time and those, of course, will take up more space. 


There has to be ease of access for installation, which is best done professionally. Most reputable companies selling gym equipment will have a delivery and installation service. 


Consider the safety of the equipment you are about to purchase and check the guarantees on the equipment. Be careful about buying second-hand equipment as sometimes equipment is recalled and then guarantees are no longer applicable.


Above all, enjoy being able to work out at home. Consider your choices carefully, so that this can be a life-enhancing and pleasurable activity for you, and maybe your whole family.


STARTER PACK FOR LIGHT EXERCISES


If your aim is to increase flexibility and muscle tone, manage your weight and keep fit, then you could start with a minimum of an aerobic step, an adjustable bench, a few sets of dumbbells, an exercise mat and a fitness ball. Some resistance bands and tubes could add variety and all of this would not be too costly. The downside to this is that you do need to have a structured fitness regime and you need to know how to do the workout. 


MEDIUM WORKOUTS


If you are looking for a more advanced workout option, consider a more complete set of plates, dumbbells and barbells with a good quality rack and an exercise bench. 


At this stage a multi-gym would also be a viable and enjoyable option. 


ADVANCED WORKOUTS


Serious weight trainers and body-builders would have equipment to supplement their gym workouts. They would most probably invest in a heavy-duty multi-gym to use at home. 


MULTI-GYM


This type of equipment is the safest when working alone at home. The various pieces are “fixed” and you do not need a spotter or partner to stop you from dropping a piece of equipment and injuring yourself. They are easy to use even for people only starting out and many enable one to have a full body work-out even if you have a limited amount of space. 


There are various option ranging from the compact multi-gym to the standard and the multi-stack multi gym which enables more than one person to work out at the same time. 


The most effective multi-gyms should have: stacked metal weights with pin load selection; an adjustable bench for reclining or sitting; press bars for shoulders, back and arms; pull-down bars; a leg extension system; leg curl system; seated cable row system.


There is also a possibility to add on extensions to some of the multi-gyms if you have the space and you wish to increase your exercise options. 


Some of the multi-gyms use cables and pulley mechanisms with stacked weights, using pegs to select the weight while others have options for attaching free weights.


Multi gyms allow you to have a full body work-out by performing moves such as lat pull-downs, seated rows, leg presses, leg curls, lateral raises, triceps extensions, biceps curls, assisted chin-ups and chest presses.


SMITH MACHINES


If you are an experienced lifter, want to lift more than 95kg, and have the feeling of free weights training while enjoying the safety of a traditional resistance machine, this might be the answer for you.


This machine has a set plane of movements and lock-out points and therefore there is little or no risk of injury. It enables one to carry out a number of exercises such as squats, bench presses, upright rows, seated rows, bent-over rows, military presses, pull ups, pull downs, curls, etc.


POWER CAGES


These offer more options than multi-gyms and are more advanced as they allow complete freedom of movement. They require some knowledge and expertise from you as you must be familiar with the exercises you wish to perform. They allow for heavier lifting than multi-gyms as weight-load capacities are higher. There are numerous add-ons for power cages and you will require a barbell with weights. 


You need to be certain of your requirements as different power cages come with various add-ons, so you have to be certain when choosing this option. 


Among other exercises the power cage allows you to perform seated shoulder presses (you require a bench for this), chest presses, pull ups, deadlifts, back squats, dips, etc.


MULTI-PRESS RACKS


While these offer the same exercise options as power cages, these are only safe for the experienced weight trainers as they do not have the safety element. 


PORTABLE EQUIPMENT


A simple start-up system could consist of portable equipment such as a bench, steps, mats, some dumbbells, balls, bands and ab workers. 


When you are using portable equipment, you do require some knowledge of optimal exercises to be performed, and how to perform them, for an effective work-out.


FREE WEIGHT STATIONS


This is mainly moveable equipment for heavy duty use and can comprise of power racks for holding barbells, dumbbells and plates and adjustable benches. 


THE TOTAL GYM CONCEPT


This comprises of an inclined bench with adjustable height settings. It has a sliding seat platform which uses your body weight to increase resistance.


 
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