While there are obvious health benefits to building a home gym, we also covered a few of the basic extra incentives in our last post. But we’re obsessed and have spent a lot of time in home gyms and thinking about the process of putting one together. You do get more time and consistency in your workouts, but there’s so much more to a home gym than that. Here are what we consider the best unexpected benefits of building a home gym.
When you join a gym as a green, optimistic starter with a head full of fitness goals, the selection of equipment available is a huge selling point. It all looks so techy and effective as you see it in use by so many chiselled, ripped individuals. However, when you gain some experience in the gym, you may hit one of two walls. Either the gym doesn’t have as wide a range of equipment as it first appeared to, or you realise all the bells and whistles around you aren’t that useful.
Many lifters would prefer one quality barbell and set of weights next to five advanced, but ultimately ineffective, machines. You also might also realise that the gym is stocked with different equipment than your personal needs require. This writer’s deadlift game saw a massive boost when they discovered the ergonomic genius of a hex bar. In your own gym you can choose every piece of equipment and put it to work without any excess taking up space. And choosing just the right equipment for your own gym leads us nicely to the final point.
There Are Fewer Germs
We’ve all had a recent wake-up call when it comes to germs in our environment. While gyms have taken steps to keep everyone safe, including social distancing, masks, providing spray bottles, and limiting attendance, there is still a measured risk. People move around freely; they make understandable errors by getting in your space or letting their mask slip. In your own home, you know who’s coming in and out and have an idea of who they have interacted with. You can limit your chance of exposure to people who may be sick and help keep everyone safe.
A Greener Solution
Athletes aren’t the only ones who burn up a lot of energy in the gym. The places themselves need lighting, temperature control, to run machines, saunas, steam rooms, heat pools, maintain water quality, condition the air, and manage facilities. This all racks up to an insane energy output to keep a gym running consistently, some for 24 hours a day. So much of that energy unfortunately goes to waste. Building your own gym means not wasting unnecessary power. Now, yes, you not attending a power-hungry gym is a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of the environment, but everything is. And oceans are made of drops.
It doesn’t stop there either. If you drive to the gym, cutting out the fuel used to get there and back will save you money, a few trips off your car’s lifespan, and cut down on your personal carbon footprint. Also using energy driving from one building to then expend lots of personal energy in another building does seem a little crazy when you really think about it.
If you choose gym flooring for your home gym made from recycled rubber, you’re also making a positive choice for the environment. Vulcanized rubber flooring and mats can last forever and are a much more useful end for a rubber tire than ending up in landfill.
While researching this topic, we stumbled across this interesting piece on an English gym which has installed machines that generate energy from people’s workouts. But that is far from being a mainstream solution at the present time.
You Make the Rules
You choose the playlist and the volume. You can drop the weights as much as you like. Go shirtless. Chalk up the equipment. You can put on a motivational video or track without outside opinions bothering you. Yell, grunt, hiss, or swear as much or as little as you like. In your castle your word is the law.
Building the Home Gym Itself
If fitness is important enough to you that you’ve read this far, you’re probably wired to appreciate progress. Seeing your own home gym start from that first rubber floor tile, to the installed squat rack, all the way to choosing just the right ergonomic collar clamps for your bars is so satisfying – and addictive. It’s your baby. You watch it grow, nurture it, and throw all your love at it. The rewards could last a lifetime.