I Be Up In The (Home) Gym Just Workin' On My Fitness... Terralicious
ok you guys... that title might not be totally original... Thanks for the inspo, Fergie.
shout out to my mom
Let me start by saying this: I've always had a home gym. Guess what, if you ever exercise at home, you also have a home gym!
When I was little, my mom was the queen of home fitness. She usually belonged to a gym as well, but she did Jane Fonda, Pilates, and Tae-Bo in the living room. My mom showed my sisters and me from a very young age that there was always space to work out, and there was always time to work out. She didn't wait for a time when us kids weren't around; we worked out with her! So before we go any further, SHOUT OUT TO MY MOMMA! I am forever grateful to my mom for being such a body-positive example during my youth.
dedicating space to the things that make you happy
Until a few years ago, my home gym consisted of the following: yoga mat, dumbbells, kettlebell, and a wicker basket that held everything in the corner of my living room. That's it! About a year after we bought our house, and 6 months after beginning my wellness journey with Tone It Up, my husband and I decided that we wanted to utilize the spaces we had in our home in a way that we'd get the most enjoyment out of them. The most dramatic change was building out a dedicated home gym in the garage. Although this was the biggest home transformation we made, it was the easiest decision to make. I work out almost exclusively at home, and my hubbs works out at home 3 days a week. We both love to exercise, and this gave us a way to do it together no matter the time of day. The other big benefit to a home gym is that our son also works out with us!
Before you begin your home gym transformation, here are a few questions I suggest you ask yourself:
- What are your 3 favorite activities in the gym?
- What colors do you find most invigorating?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Will this space be used for anything else?
We knew from the very beginning that this space would be used as a true gym at least 80% of the time. We wanted the space to be comfortable as a second gathering area, especially for my son and his friends in the rainy winter months. We also knew that we didn't want to spend a fortune on new equipment. You'll notice that at this point we do not have any cardio equipment in our gym- that's TWO years with a home gym with zero cardio equipment. I do HIIT workouts most of the time, and my husband jumps rope or runs outside when he works out at home. This saved us a ton of money. We also cash-flowed the process. We bought flooring one month, a mirror the next, a tv the month after that, and so on. Our monthly gym building budget was equal to or less than we would have spent on gym memberships.
**pro tip! scout local yard sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores for gym equipment. there is so much second-hand equipment in great condition.**
creating a space tailored to us
When we sat down to talk about what we needed from the space, our gym criteria was this:
- We both need to have room to exercise at the same time
- It needed to feel like an indoor room, and not like a garage
- Everything needed a home. No random equipment laying around
- Utilize the equipment and supplies we already had, and buy great quality equipment over time
- Only incorporate things we love
I would encourage anyone who is considering a dedicated home gym to make a list of the things that are most enjoyable, and most important to their workout. Our gym could be completely irrelevant to your likes and needs. Creating a space that is tailored to you is the most important part.
Once we decided how the space needed to function and feel, we got to work! First, we gave the room a fresh coat of paint. We used the same grey paints on the interior of our house (criteria 2 and 4) and bought 1qt of a pop-color to create a fun pattern on the wall.
**fun fact! the design we selected for the wall was supposed to be a ladder. we couldn't make one of the lines straight, and thus, the triangle on the ceiling was created. i actually like it even better than the original design**
Once the room was painted, we rolled out the gym flooring, and cut it to size. I am obsessed with our rubber-cal floor mats . They are perfect for high impact activities like HIIT workouts and dance cardio. It's also forgiving if you accidentally drop your weights. Plus, you can vacuum and mop it, which makes cleaning up a breeze.
Next, we re-purposed a cabinet from inside our house (again, criteria 4) to create a catch-all for small equipment and storage. Ours is from California Closets, but check local yard sales and thrift shops for a similar design!
do what you love
The next layer of building the gym was adding elements that support our favorite activities (criteria 5). I love Barre workouts, so we installed a Vita Vibe Home Ballet Barre on the wall. It's the same barre as a studio that I love to take classes at, and it makes me want to do barre workouts at home. The benefit of an at home barre is that it's mounted at the right height for ME!! My favorite online Barre 3 workouts can be found here!
My husband loves strength training, so we incorporated a TRX suspension training system, Multi Grip Pull-Up Bar, Power Block Adjustable Weights, CAP weight bench, and 6x8 gym mirror into the design as well.
recovery is as important as the workout
This space also lends itself to stretching, yoga, and our favorite recovery tool, the Foam Roller. The biggest splurge in our gym falls into rest and recovery, and it's an Infrared Sauna. The entire family uses the sauna on a daily basis, and it's especially wonderful during the winter months.
I will say, that after almost 2 years, I still feel inspired every time I work out in the gym. It's full of energy, and it's a place that even my son loves to hang out! Remember, build it for you, tailor it to your needs and likes, and don't be afraid to add a pop of color!
Let me know in the comments- what's your favorite workout?