June 08, 2021 4 min read
With the pandemic keeping gyms closed anyway, why not eliminate the need to commute or share equipment with other gymgoers permanently by setting up your own home gym? We have some budget-friendly tips for turning your garage into a home gym that are both effective in results and costs. With your own gym, you’ll have an easier time fitting exercise into your schedule and fewer excuses to avoid working out when everything you could ever need is right there in your home.
The garage is always an excellent choice when deciding what part of your house you should convert into a gym. It’s likely the largest and most open space in your home, as well as the least developed. This not only gives you the greatest amount of liberty to decorate and outfit your home gym as you please, but will also help you avoid costly repairs if a wall or some other part of the garage is damaged from any accidents. Furthermore, the concrete of the garage will make it much easier to properly surface your home gym for safety, while still allowing you to have proper footing and balance that may not be as effective on carpet.
The first step in creating your home gym while still being cost-efficient is to determine what your goals are for exercising. Many beginners make the common mistake of buying various equipment all suited towards different forms of exercise. For example, treadmills and exercise bikes are better suited towards weight loss because they’re cardio machines, while weightlifting machines and racks are for building muscle. So, establish what your goals are before buying equipment. This will help you narrow down the wide variety of equipment available so that you only buy what will be most beneficial.
Another tip for picking out equipment is to go in with the right mindset. Rather than trying to find the cheapest equipment available, it’s better to pick out equipment that may be a bit pricier. Having more expensive and durable equipment will ensure that you rarely, if ever, have to replace and buy a new copy of the same machine. Furthermore, for equipment that you know you’ll be using the most, buying the cheapest version may include buying the worst version. Equipment that is defective or poorly made will be more difficult to use, if not dangerous. In addition, you’ll neither see the results you desire nor the motivation to use the equipment if it’s an absolute terror to use in the first place.
While it’s still a way off, it’s worth knowing that the best time to buy exercise equipment will always be during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. So, if you’re ever looking to add new machinery to your home gym later on, it’s worth waiting for Black Friday to make big purchases. The savings on smaller purchases may be negligible, so you shouldn’t be missing out on much if you limit your spending to small purchases over the year.
In a different vein, another good time to buy is once you’ve identified all the machinery and equipment you want and buy it all at once from one retailer. A large part of the price is the effort it takes to transport equipment from the manufacturer to your residence. By buying it all at once, you’ll cut down on shipping prices that can be just as hefty as the initial cost of equipment. So, if you’re buying multiple machines at once, your shipping will likely qualify as freight, which is cheaper than having to pay shipping fees on every piece of equipment when buying them progressively.
One of the greatest budget-friendly tips for turning your garage into a home gym is to invest in horse stall mats instead of exercise mats. Horse stall mats may sound odd at first, but they’re much cheaper to buy and are very effective – after all, they’re meant to endure horses weighing hundreds of pounds. In some cases, they can even be more effective than traditional exercise mats because they’re thicker.
When you’re perusing exercise equipment stores or the manufacturer’s store, you’ll often see equipment that has been moved to a separate category than equipment of the same model. These are pieces of imperfect equipment that made it off the assembly line but still function just the same. These cosmetic issues are of very little or no concern to the average customer, so long as the equipment performs as intended and is safe to use. However, those customers wouldn’t pay full price when perfect equipment is the exact same price. So, manufacturers sell these imperfect models at a discount and can save you a sizeable chunk of change. This makes acquiring higher-end equipment much more obtainable so long as you know where to look.
Just because a piece of equipment is the latest does not mean it’s always the greatest. Gimmicky products will try to convince you their equipment can help you see results faster or provide multiple benefits at once. The reality, unfortunately, as that this is typically not true and produces very little, if any, results. Innovation and experimentation are necessary to find better ways to improve ourselves, but that doesn’t mean every new gadget is revolutionary. For now, we recommend you stick to the tried-and-true pieces of equipment if you have an emphasis on saving as much money as possible, as it’s simply not worth the risk of wasting money on a bogus product.
In contrast, and not to be confused with gimmicks, versatile and multi-purpose equipment will always be some of the best investments you can make. The simplest of which is typically tools like dumbbells that can be used on their own for dumbbell curls or as a supplement to other forms of exercise, such as resistance training, to provide a greater challenge and improve results. Larger multi-purpose machines include machines like functional trainers. This will help you save your limited garage space by allowing you to perform different types of exercises on a single piece of equipment – you'll also avoid having to pay for multiple machines.
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