Do you know what the best gym in town is? It’s the one you will go to. How many times have you joined a gym or fitness center, only to find a million reasons not to go? I’ve got news for you; you won’t get in shape simply carrying around a membership card.
The home gym solution is superior to a membership driven fitness center on many levels. You can install the equipment you actually use. You can install the entertainment that motivates you like your own music. And the best part is; you can work out whenever you want, in privacy and comfort. Once the expense is over, no membership fees, no renewals … no penalties for losing your card (a particular problem for me).
If you decide to install a home gym, it may be helpful to break down the plan like this:
The lower or “entry level” of fitness equipment is chock-full of poor quality and substandard choices. Do not purchase your equipment sight unseen from TV or direct mail promotions. Equally bad decisions can be made in department store sport shops. While the machines may fit your budget, they are destined to function only as coat racks.
Equipment produced by leading brands like Life Fitness, Cybex, Vectra, and the ultra-hi-tech Octane line are all good choices. If you can’t afford to fully outfit your gym with the best equipment, phase your purchases. It is far better to choose one really good machine than a roomful of junk.
The best brands are used in commercial fitness centers because they utilize better bio mechanics and ergo metric design. Well-known brands are also likely to have many more features. And, not surprisingly, the warranty and service arrangements will also be superior to the lower end of the market.
Don’t let space limitations deter you. Even a condo or apartment can accommodate a single piece of cardio vascular equipment. The issue is balancing your intended use with the space you have available.
Most quality home fitness equipment lines have taken space limitations into account with their design. Universal weight training machines that used to need a lot of space were designed to sit in the middle of a room. This is because they were just scaled down versions of those found in big commercial gyms. Modern machines are specifically designed for home use and built to fit on a wall or in a corner. Most can easily fit into a bedroom.
Don’t have space for a wall filled with a dumbbell rack? Check out the new adjustable dumbbells that are available. These new devices take up a fraction of the space by utilizing only two handles but allow you to change how many plates of weight are affixed to them with a simple “click”. Spinning bikes are also a space saving way to get your cardio vascular workout.
Please remember, when planning your fitness space it isn’t all about square meters. Machine placement can be crucial. Most of us need some kind of distraction or entertainment when burning fat on a cardio machine. So, figure out how to place that treadmill or elliptical stepper near a window or a TV.
Ask yourself what your goals are and consider exactly how the equipment and space will be used.
Here are some questions to consider:
Am I creating this gym because I want to exercise on my own time or do I just want to burn some fat between trips to the big gym? Do I want to gain strength and tone? Do I want a full body workout? Who else in my family will use the facility?
No matter the answers, there are quality modern fitness machines that can match your goals. Balancing your budget, space and intended use is the first step in getting a gym you really use.
Equipment selection can also be broken down into three parts:
In case you don’t already have a favorite cardio machine, slip on your trainers and try some of them out. Even people with leg and back limitations have found new life through specifically designed machines. Treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, upright or recumbent bikes, rowing machines and stair-steppers are all low-impact ways to get your heart pumping. New designs can insure these machines give you a full-body workout and may be the only equipment you need.
Personal or Multi-Gyms
Personal gyms are single weight stack strength trainers allowing one person to exercise. Multi Gyms have two to four weight stacks allowing more than one person to use the machine at the same time. Both come in different quality and price levels. New personal gyms now offer cable motion for functional or “user defined” range of motion. This technology and exercise technique focuses on core training and movements of everyday life. Better quality personal gyms and multi gyms will provide 20-24 different exercises on all areas of the body with easy to use adjustments to change from one exercise to another.
Dumbbells, Benches and Free Weights
A twin tier dumbbell rack and five to ten pair of rubber coated dumbbells along with a flat to inclined adjustable bench is a nice addition or alternative to a personal gym if budget or space is a problem. However, most exercises done with this equipment is upper body specialization of the arms and back. Free Weights using Olympic bars and plate weights are not recommended for home use unless one always has a workout partner and a strong sound-proof floor.
Fortunately, Pattaya has several suppliers of quality fitness equipment including Seara Sports (www.searasports.com) and X-Trend Professional Fitness (www.x-trend.com). Not surprisingly, you might also find some nice pieces of equipment for sale second hand in local classified advertisements like Baht & Sold (www.bahtsold.com), or available at auctions. Shop smart and get equipment that meets your needs, your space and your budget.
Now stop procrastinating and go home … to the gym!
By Bart Walters