Turning Your Home into an ‘Iron Paradise’

By Sara Butler

Best At Home Workouts

Going to the gym is a social experience. I know I enjoy seeing my gyms buds and getting a little gossip in along with my workout. Humans are social animals, after all.

But sometimes, you just want to have the option to work out at home. That way you can avoid that one guy in the weight room who is an unnecessary screamer (you know who I’m talking about) or be your own unnecessary screamer in the privacy of your own home.

We here at The Joint Chiropractic get it -- you need your own home gym. But where do you start? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled this little guide to help!

Find the Right Space

The very first thing you need to do is pick the right space to dedicate to your workouts. If you follow The Rock on Instagram, you’ve probably seen his home gym -- a massive facility with about 40,000 pounds of training equipment he lovingly refers to as the “Iron Paradise.”

Don’t freak out -- you don’t have to build your own Iron Paradise. Shoot for more of an Iron Delight -- emphasis on the light.

Your extra bedroom, office, empty corner, or even a patio (when the weather permits) can work. As little as 50 square feet may be enough to change your life. If you don’t have a spare room where you live, then any small living area in your home will do. Many people use their living room as workout space. If you’ve got the room to spread out and not bonk your head, then you’ve got the room to work out.

The type of workout will impact the amount of space you need. A multi-gym such as Bowflex or Total Gym might be the best answer, but if the cost is prohibitive, then you might need free weights or resistance tubing. Here’s the American Council on Exercise estimates for the footprint of various types of exercise equipment:

  • Stair climber - 10-20 square feet
  • Stationary bike - 10 square feet
  • Rowing machine - 20 square feet
  • Free weights - 20-50 square feet
  • Ski machines - 25 square feet
  • Treadmill - 30 square feet
  • Elliptical trainer - 30 square feet
  • Multi-gym - 25-80 square feet
  • Multi-station gym - 50-200 square feet

Ultimately, you must make sure your home can accommodate the necessary space. Take measurements of the area you plan to use and then make sure to check the specs while shopping to ensure a good fit!

Set a Schedule

One of the most important things you need to do if you want to start working out at home is set a schedule -- and stick to it!

Decide on the frequency you need to work out to meet your health and fitness goals. Your schedule also must make sense with your lifestyle. Can you manage to work out three or four times a week? Are there days that will always work or days that won’t? Think all of this through and then write down your schedule on a calendar. It will help to put it up somewhere it can’t be ignored -- like the refrigerator door -- to remind you!

But you don’t always have to think in terms of a specific time. Maybe the answer is to work out during that hour-long daytime talk show, or the 30 minutes spent watching you guilty pleasure, reruns of ALF. I know that Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz would be happy to hear it -- the exercise, not the guilty pleasure.

Choose Your Equipment Wisely

You know that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which Indy finds the knight that protected the cup of Christ and was warned he had to choose wisely or face dire consequences? Well, no pressure, but that scene totally applies to picking out the right equipment for the home gym.

Your biggest parameter is going to be your budget. We don’t all create box office blockbusters like The Rock, so we must do what is within our power. Come up with a number to guide you -- how much money do you feel comfortable spending on equipment? Professional equipment can be quite expensive, but you may not need professional equipment -- especially if you’re just starting out. You can certainly buy a few lower level dumbbells for about $50. If you’ve got the money, investing in a Bowflex or Total Gym workout station might do the trick. Remember, the type of workout will impact the necessary space.

Next, think about the types of exercises you enjoy doing. Do you want to lift weights? Do you enjoy running? Should you invest in a stair stepper? If you have a favorite piece of equipment at the gym, then you may want to investigate and buy something similar. That way, you know you’ll be into it!

See? Creating your own home gym isn’t that big of a deal, it just takes some planning and determining your available resources. Now, good luck with all that muscle-building screaming in the privacy of your home.

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