Home Gym Equipment – Do I Need It?

When you embark on your body transformation or your latest ‘health kick’ there is a temptation to go and buy stuff. This can be going to the local supermarket and buying a selection of healthy foods that you have never eaten before, it can be buying a cocktail of expensive supplements or it can be buying home gym equipment. While some, if not all of these purchases are necessary, you can end up buying things that you don’t need and spending more than you need to. Before making any decisions, you need to decide on your routine and your personal workout preferences. Below are a few of the things that I took into account before deciding on what home gym equipment I needed.

Do You Like The Gym?

It is a simple question. Do you enjoy the gym? If you are the type of person that enjoys going to the gym and working out with others then you probably won’t need home gym equipment. If you are deterred by the gym atmosphere and don’t relish the prospect of the gym then buying your own stuff might be the answer. For me, it was a bit of both.

The Gym & Cardio

For cardio, I really didn’t see the point in going to the gym. I would have to travel to the gym to then run, cycle or cross-train. I would then have to use the sub-par gym showers rather than my own warm shower. Most importantly, the selection of TV channels is always pretty poor. The channel choices are OK if there is a football match on but otherwise I would pick Netflix or something similar every time. Finally, if you are doing a HIIT routine then you can attract some unwanted attention. Some people will flat out stare at you. You are pedaling like a lunatic while the rest of the stationary bike users are pedaling along at a comfortable, quiet pace. I don’t know about you but I really don’t enjoy being watched. Below is the set-up I currently have with my exercise bike and TV.

Free Weights At The Gym

For weight training, it is completely different. It is different at each gym but a visit to the free weights area at my gym is my chance to learn. While I have my own workout planned out, I get some great ideas from the other people working out. Pretty much my whole abs routine is based on exercises that I have seen other people do. Moreover, there is a sort of positive peer pressure. In the free weights section, the majority are pushing themselves and trying to eek those extra few reps. You also know that if you start to struggle there will be someone on hand to save you. While extra effort drew stares in the cardio area, it is the norm in the free weights area. I admit that the free weights area can be a little bit intimidating to start with but you do get more comfortable.

The Weight Selection

Another barrier to having your own weights at home is the number of dumbbells that you would actually require. Unfortunately, you will probably be able to lift different weights on biceps, triceps, lunges, shoulders and chest. You need a pair of dumbbells for each of these exercises. In addition, if you make the progress that you are looking to make then you will have to up the weights which could mean buying a whole new selection of dumbbells. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are compromising your progress to save a hit to your wallet. You won’t be able to compete with the selection available at the gym.

Storing Home Gym Equipment

Another problem with having your own home gym is where to store the equipment when you are not using it. Most of us don’t have a spare room to dedicate to a home gym. It is for this reason that having your own bench, weights and dumbbell collection is really quite impractical. Even if you had somewhere to store the equipment it isn’t exactly light to lift. Moving the weights would be a workout in itself.  In the summer months you could potentially keep it outside but you are running the risk of rust and you are always susceptible to random showers. You my case, I have a lightweight exercise bike that can be easily moved to the side of my bedroom, out of sight when it isn’t in use.

You Will Always Get On Your Equipment

One of the major perks about having your own home gym equipment is that you won’t ever have to queue to get on your favourite cardio machine. It’ll always be free and ready for you to use. Having to wait at busy times can be a major pain point for gym goers. If you have the space and the funds then buying your favourite machines could be the answer. For me, this was particularly useful for when I was looking to exercise after work. Literally every single treadmill, rowing machine and stationary bike could be taken at peak times in my gym.

You Don’t Have The Weather Excuse

One of the main reasons that people skip the gym is because of the weather. They get home from work or wake up in the morning, see the weather outside and decide they can’t face braving the elements. It is fair enough. After a tiring day you are not going to fancy walking in the wind and the rain. If you have all the cardio equipment you need in the comfortable of your own home then you don’t have an excuse. You still might have days where you skip cardio but you will be improving your chances of sticking to the routine.
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My Own Climbing Frame

As a part of my routine, I really wanted to make some progress on pull-ups and dips. These are two staple gym exercises that I had really struggled with in the past. In fact, before this workout programme, I couldn’t complete a single pull up. I purchased what I like to call the ‘climbing frame’ to help me improve on these exercises. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone and it isn’t particularly practical. However, because i have been able to practice before bed and first thing in the morning, I have been able to make significant progress.

I hope I have given you a bit of an idea as to whether buying home gym equipment is a worthwhile expense. You really need to be honest with yourself and decide how big a difference having gym equipment could make. Do you enjoy the gym? Do you have the space to store the equipment? As always, thank you for reading.