Tips on setting up
a home gym
By Kirsti Sharratt
GETTING FIT IS a popular resolution, but
one that challenges even the strongest of
resolves. Equally, some people feel self-conscious exercising in a local gym or despair
when it’s so busy that they cannot get on the
equipment they want. Exercising at home is the
obvious alternative, and indeed many people
are dedicating space at home to working out.
A room of one’s own
So what should you consider before you
start buying gym equipment? “Assess how
much space you’ve got,” says James Banks, a
personal trainer. “Your budget, fitness level,
experience and goals are other important
considerations, and you should also think
about what types of exercise you enjoy. To
gain full benefit, exercise needs to be regular
Creating an environment that is condu-
cive to training is key, Banks points out. At the
very least, this entails making sure the room
you use has good ventilation and decent light-
ing. A sound system is not essential, but it can
make time fly for some people.
“I wouldn’t recommend watching TV or
reading unless you are doing something simple like a session on a spin bike,” Banks says.
“Even walking on a treadmill can be danger-
The Costco Connection
Costco and Costco.com offer athletic
apparel and a large selection of sports
equipment, including free weights and
resistance trainers, plus spin bikes, rowing
machines, ellipticals, treadmills, Pilates
equipment, inversion tables and fitness
accessories, such as heart-rate monitors.
Members will find a variety of exercise
DVDs at their local Costco.
training environment is as good as any: no
travel time or logistics, especially when the
weather is poor; no waiting for equipment at
the gym and more efficient use of your training time. And don’t forget that most of the
family can use the equipment, so you can all
get real value for the money.
“If you are new to an exercise routine,
consult your doctor first,” Banks suggests.
“Most importantly, use common sense. When
your body isn’t accustomed to training, it
doesn’t take much stimulation to be effective.
Go by how you feel.”
According to Steve Clark, a triathlon
coach and former elite triathlete who lives in
Safety comes first.”
When choosing equipment, bear
in mind that a combination of cardiovascular
and resistance training will give the best
results. “People generally think that if you
want to lose weight you need to run, and if
you want big muscles you need to lift weights.
In fact, resistance work stimulates your meta-
bolic rate, which in itself promotes weight
loss,” Banks explains.
Lifting weights will not give you bigger
muscles unless you follow a program specifically designed for this. Instead, it will give
you a leaner, more toned physique. The only
people who shouldn’t use weights are children and teenagers, as their bones are still
developing, says Banks.
Living the dream
Once you have your plan in place and
the motivation to carry it out, then a home