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Building a home gym

There are some definite advantages to building a home gym - you have what you want, where you want it, and you can spend your time actually working out rather than driving back and forth. So how do you go about it?

The first step to building a home gym is to be clear what equipment you will actually use. The simplest way to figure this out is to make a note of what you use when you are the health club. Chances are, you'll want to use the same equipment at home.

The other major considerations are:

  • Space
  • Budget
  • Machine or free weights
  • Cardio too?
Let's briefly look at each of these.

Space: Gym equipment can take up a lot of space, so you have to be realistic about what you can fit in. The old saying "measure twice, cut once" comes to mind here - measure very carefully, and remember to allow room to move around!

Budget: People often want to buy everything at once, and end up making compromises. It's far better to start with what you can afford, go for quality equipment, and be prepared to gradually build up what you have. Things like pull up bars, dumbbells and an exercise ball are a good place to start, because you can have a complete workout with a minimum of equipment.

Machine or free weights: Make this choice on the basis of preference, budget, space, and safety.

Cardio too? If you are focused on resistance equipment, don't forget that when you go to the health club you have a range of cardio equipment for warming up etc. So either budget for some cardio equipment, or be prepared to do simple warm-ups like stairs, skipping, or a quick jog.

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