Home gyms are becoming more and more popular as time goes on. They offer privacy, convenience and the chance to tailor your equipment to your specific needs, and that's awesome. Getting your home gym set up how you need it, however, isn't as easy as that.


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Planning Your Goals

Whether you’re setting up for the first time or you want to expand your existing gym, it’s important to understand why you are doing it. The answer is usually focussed around your goals. If you have a clear direction of where you want to take your health and fitness, it’s much easier to design your gym. That's step one.

People train for different reasons. For some, it’s to lose weight and tone up, for others it could be to build strength and muscle, or for an all-round healthier lifestyle in general. Everyone is different, and your home gym set up needs to have this at heart.

Once you have a specifically tailored gym, you’ll be much more motivated to keep up with your exercise regime, and you'll have a better chance of achieving your goals. It makes things much more enjoyable, and that's a huge step in the right direction.

Make sure you don’t limit yourself to certain exercise equipment too, though. Once you’ve got yourself into a routine and you’re reaching your goals, you’ll want to expand on your current exercise equipment and explore more training options. New equipment keeps morale high and keeps boredom at bay, whilst taking your training to the next level. That's just some advice from us.

Matching Your Health & Fitness Goals To Your Home Gym

Weight Loss & Toning

man on a rowing machine

Weight loss is probably the most common health and fitness goal out there. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume; from an incredibly general point of view. That's one of the fundamentals of weight loss.

We recommend starting off with cardio machines such as rowing machines, cycling machines, and free weights. These offer a great way to burn calories while strengthening your muscles at the same time.

The cardio equipment speaks for itself, offering you an awesome way to burn calories as you exercise in the most effective ways possible. You can change your intensity, time and resistance to suit your own needs and make sure your workout is perfect every time.

Incorporating weights into your exercise plan will also help to burn fat and build muscle too. Your resting calorie burn increases plus your burn calories when lifting. It's a win-win!

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, to keep your exercises varied, it’s worth adding in some resistance bands – they’re great for obliterating fat, whilst training all your major muscle groups.

Building Muscle & Strength

man doing dumbbells lifts on a bench

Another popular fitness goal is to build muscle and gain strength. For this, you really need weights and resistance. Everyone starts at a different level when it comes to lifting weights, so it's a good idea to look at a range of equipment so that you can progress on to heavier weights as you get stronger.

Dumbbells and kettlebells are the ideal tools to get a home gym set up. From there, you can look at bigger weights like some barbells and plates that can be added on.

Smith machines and power racks are incredible additions too. Their safety catches offer control and allows for a wider range of heavyweight exercises, plus they can help to keep the space free of unnecessary clutter. A weight bench is another option if you’re worried about space, as they’re designed to fit perfectly under the power rack or Smith machine. These are big pieces of kit though.

General Health

woman doing kettlebell lifts

Not everyone exercises for a specific goal like the things above either. For some, the inclusion of exercise could be to simply maintain or improve their general health. If you’re looking to improve your health and want to be fitter and more active, its best to own a diverse range of exercise equipment to keep your routine balanced.

You really need a combination of kit if you're trying to live a healthy life, like cardio machines to improve your heart health, plus weights like dumbbells to keep your muscles in the shape they should be. It really does depend on how far you want to take things though, and what it is that you enjoy doing.

Medical Reasons

woman on a recumbent bike

If you have been referred by your GP, or you’re looking to stay in shape during pregnancy and after, things get a little bit more specific. you need to know exactly what it is you need, and how to make sure that you can do it safely. To do that, you need professional advice, like a GP and a personal trainer.

Once you have been advised on the type of exercises that you should include in your daily routine, and the type of exercise equipment to buy, you will be able to effectively plan your bespoke home gym set up.

Regardless of what your goal is, there is one accessory that you should always include in a home gym set up – a full mirror! It’s nothing to do with posing in the mirror so you can flex your biceps either. Having a full-length mirror will help you with your technique and posture to keep you safe. It will also make your home gym look more spacious and light, so it's another win-win really.

Your home gym set up needs to be something that you can use practically and enjoyably. That is what is going to spur you on and make the whole thing more worthwhile. Find your own preferences and see what is going to be the best for you personally.


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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.