So the home gym started with the Bowflex weights and the adjustable bench. For anyone looking to start a weight training regiment at home, in my opinion, this is a fabulous start. It gave me enough weight to do chest exercises (bench pressing dumbbells is harder than a straight bar, so 90 lbs on each arm allows you to do a lot), back exercises, arms, shoulders, even legs. You would be amazed at the workouts you can put together with just dumbbells. This lasted for a number of years, as part of the process we updated the cardio equipment, and added a spin bike. I love to cycle, however finding the time, and having the weather cooperate was always a challenge. So the spin bike with clips for the pedals was a great addition. The Keiser M3i is the bike we have. For all the years of the home gym, it existed in our enclosed loft area, which worked…until I decided I needed to add more weights, and bought my half rack. My half rack from DICK’S Sporting Goods was a Christmas special a few years ago, that and the Olympic bar and weights gave me more options. So after everything was shoe horned into the loft area, we decided that we needed to convert that space to an office area for Becca, and the gym needed to find a new home.
Home Gym 2.0
The move to the basement was something I wish I had done years ago. As you can tell from the photos above, I had strategically placed all the equipment. It worked, but was a pain sometimes to move things around to workout. The other issue, I am 100% a morning person, so exercising at 6am, weights banging around, did not exactly make my family happy. Now that the equipment is in the basement, I have room to move around. It’s more quiet for the family, I no longer need to wear headphones to exercise as I can turn on the music on the stereo system. It also allowed me to add some additional pieces, namely a lat pulldown machine, that also lets you do pulling exercises.
When COVID struck and all the gyms closed, weight training and cardio equipment disappeared from the stores, I could not have been more thankful for the home gym. While friends complained about the inability to go to the gym…my routine did not change. I actually think I may have missed an opportunity to run my own gym from home…or maybe not. I enjoy never waiting on equipment, or wondering if the guy ahead of me wiped down equipment, or put away the weights.
So even though I have the full home gym, I do enjoy getting outside and exercising. In 2018 I trained for and ran in the Chicago Marathon 4:25:52, 8 seconds better than my goal. I cycle outside, still enjoy running outside, and even just taking a good long walk. For me…I need that exercise as a stress reliever.
Is a Home Gym right for you?
I’ll honest, getting to this point has taken years, somewhere in the 10+ range. If you can be patient to grow a home gym, and actually use it then go for it. I traded the monthly gym membership for saving up for new equipment, and growing the gym. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting moving. For me I love the gym, for others it’s about walking outside. The key is to find what works for you.