How to set up your at-home Gym

HOW TO SET UP AN AT-HOME GYM: What you need to get started

Living in the midwest we’re well on our way into winter, which also just so happens to last for about six months. It’s awful. And while some people can bundle up and still keep working out outside when it’s cold, I just can’t — which means I can’t rely on my evening runs for my workouts any longer.

This spring when we first went into quarantine and it was still cold out, I was trying to do my at-home workouts in our loft/bedroom area. It was fine, but this was also where I now work all day and then sleep at night, so doing my workouts in this space was tough. I couldn’t get into them and was finding myself easily distracted and, more often than not, found an excuse to end my workout early.

I decided that for me to stick with my workouts this winter while trying to avoid the gym, I was going to need to build out a workout space in our basement. Our basement is unfinished and nothing fancy, but it didn’t take much for me to make it feel like a new space in the house where my mind could get in the zone and connect that when I am in that space, I am there to work out.

I’ve only been doing this for a week now, but I’m loving it and it’s also been giving me so much more variety in the types of workouts I’m able to do. And I didn’t have to buy too much to get started. If you’re looking to get a gym space set up, I’m going to share a few of the things I bought to get me going.

The first thing I bought were cushioned, 1/2″-thick interlocking floor tiles. You can find them in various thickness levels, but with this going onto a cement floor, I knew I wanted them to at least be 1/2″ thick for the right amount of support. This has been a game changer. Not only can you put them together to fit the size and shape of your space, but I’ve found that my wrists no longer hurt when doing pushups and I have great grip weather laying on the mat doing moves on my feet where I found myself slipping on the carpet before.

How to set up your at-home gym: Everything you need to get your gym set up for your at-home workouts.

To complete the space I’ve added a:

  • SPIN BIKE (UPDATE!): The one I bought (pictured above) only lasted me about 7 weeks before the resistance knob stopped working and I had to return it. To be fair, I went with a cheaper $300 bike to start since I didn’t know if I’d stay committed to spin classes in my basement. But, after that 7 weeks, even though the bike “broke,” I did learn that I absolutely love the at-home Spin classes. I use the Peloton app and ride with Cody Rigsby almost every time. This time around I’ve invested a bit more on this $899 Schwinn IC4 bike and I already COMPLETELY notice a difference. The ride is smoother, and you have much more control over the resistance variables than I did with the other bike. I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t just start with a nicer bike to begin with!
  • SET OF ADJUSTABLE WEIGHTS: The ones I found from Amazon were not cheap. They were $299 each, but they adjust up to a total of 71.5 pounds. They are really nice and completely worth the spend, especially since they don’t take up any space like a full set of weights would. They are also very comparable to the Bowflex adjustable weights if you are familiar with those.
  • DUMBBELL WEIGHTS: For some of the video classes I’ve been taking, you need some lighter weights. I bought a set of 3 lb, 5 lb and 10 lb weights.
  • YOGA MAT: Even with the cushioned floor, I like having a yoga mat to lay down when your workout has you down on the floor.
  • BLUETOOTH SPEAKER: If you’re like me, you need loud music to get into your best workout zone. Whether I’m doing my own thing to my own playlist, or watching a workout or doing a virtual spin class, having the sound surround me helps keep me going. I actually use THIS ONE, which is a little pricy, but it can be used inside/outside and has amazing sound even when it’s cranked up. The one pictured above can be found HERE.
  • REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE: No explanation needed. Just make sure you’re staying hydrated!
  • STREAMING DEVICE: If you have a TV in your workout area that isn’t already a smart TV, I recommend getting something like a Fire Stick, Apple TV or other device that will allow you to pull up your favorite workout apps or even stream workouts off of YouTube.
  • TRX SUSPENSION TRAINING SET: This is on my Christmas wishlist, so while I don’t have these yet, I’m excited to add this to my workout mix. And because I’m in the basement, I won’t have any issues attaching these to the rafters in the basement ceiling.
  • LED LIGHT STRIP: These lights were on my Christmas wishlist and these brought a total vibe to my workouts. This LED light strip (only $41.99) has a music mode where it will change colors with the beat of the music, which for my spin classes is perfect. You can also control the colors and brightness directly if you choose to, so when I do my other video workouts I like to set it to a cool blue hue.

If you have anything you recommend adding to a home gym, please comment and let me know. I’m also looking for great workout video recommendations so share any that you’ve found yourself coming back to!

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