Guide To Setting Up A Home Gym© Pexels

An Expert’s Guide To Setting Up A Home Gym

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

One of the biggest reasons why most people don’t follow through on their gym memberships is because the thought of getting out of bed to trek out to another place and put your body through a strenuous workout can be daunting for the non-Kriti Sanons or Tiger Shroffs of the world. This statement is not based on any science or statistics, but purely out of personal observations and years of introspection.

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What is the solution then?

It’s pretty simple: Set up your gym at home!

“When you invest in a home gym, you’re basically investing in yourself. A home gym would save you a lot of excuses like ‘travelling to the gym is an additional effort’,” says Robin Behl, one of the co-founders of the fitness collective The Tribe, “Having a setup in your house takes away the travel time. You can easily squeeze in smaller workout sessions if not an entire 40-minute workout routine.”

Behl also (politely) shuts down any arguments about lack of space and expensive equipment, “You may not even need a proper gym setup. Just something basic like a space dedicated to workouts and simple, necessary equipment like a yoga mat, a set of dumbbells, and resistance bands. That’s it!”

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If the fitness trainer’s enthusiasm has rubbed off on you a little and you’re ready to unlock a new realm of fitness and training experience, make a note of Behl’s simple tips on how to successfully set up a gym at home.

Don’t overcomplicate it

According to Behl, one of the top things people get wrong about their home gyms is that they tend to overcomplicate things. “If you do too much with too little space, it will become a problem. So it’s best to keep it simple based on your goals. Equip the space with what you really need.”

Stick to the basics

The fitness expert reasserts that you don’t need a professional level set up at home. “A set of dumbbells–you can make these three sets of dumbbells that go from light to moderate and heavy. A yoga mat is needed for floor exercises, a bench for certain exercises, resistance bands of different levels, mini loops, ankle weights, and a skipping rope. You can keep a barbell as well with some basic plates of moderate weights. If you have the space and the budget then a treadmill would be a useful addition too.”

Quality is important

One of the most important things to remember is to never skimp on quality when it comes to fitness equipment. This will help you avoid easily avoidable injuries and be easier on the pocket in the long term. “Go for credible ones instead of cheaper standards so that they last you for a longer period of time,” he says.

Be resourceful

You do not have to splurge on fancy equipment if you’re just starting out and feel sceptical about the investment. Behl has a wide variety of alternate suggestions that you can find around your house for an effective workout. “You can use hand towels as sliders to create resistance. Water bottles can be used, instead of dumbbells, as substitutes for light weights. You can also take a bag and fill it up with books and use the bag as weights,” he continues, “You can use a chair for elevation as a bench. A cushion can be used as a slam ball–this can be used to punch into or to slam side to side. It can also be used as an unstable surface for balancing exercises.”

Behl suggests more innovative ways to use the items around your house to assist your fitness journey, “You can also use a full-size towel and get it around one of your legs to use for rowing around your back. The leg can be pushed against the towel in order to create resistance. Small hand towels can be used for hamstring sliders, rowing, bicep curls.” As Behl (and the old proverb) says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”