Monday, July 8, 2013

Guest Post: Essentials for a Home Gym

I'm off on vacation today and for the rest of the beach. While I'm working on making my skin resemble a color a little darker than translucent, I've got some lovely ladies filling in for me.
First up is Britt from Razorback Britt. She's super fit and while I focus on arm curls by bringing the Coors Light bottle from the table to my face, she's the real deal. Today she's going to talk to you about the essentials of making your own home gym. A topic I should probably listen to since my treadmill is currently a hanging rack for Big A's dress shirts. Whoops!
Take it away Britt...
My two worlds intersect with the topic of home gyms. See, I work as a moving specialist at U-Pack and as a Zumba instructor, so people who are moving like to talk to me about setting up home gyms in their new homes. Since K has a new home and has been working out recently, I thought I’d share some of my tips with you!
When creating a workout space at home, you need to first consider your goals. Do you want to work out a few times a week building muscle? Are you a cardio junkie? Do you want a space to supplement a gym membership or a place to replace the gym completely? These goals will help you build your home workout space.
In my opinion, the most wasted item in a home gym is the treadmill. Even if you are a runner, most people prefer to run outside. If you want a treadmill for rainy day runs, I wouldn’t splurge on one, I would buy one cheap. And buy one that folds up so it doesn’t take up precious space when you aren’t using it. You can do your cardio at home with videos, a jump rope, or even just plyometric bodyweight moves.
As you prepare your space, make sure your area is safe for working out. Thick plush carpet isn’t ideal for workout spaces, and neither are uneven floors. Make sure you are safe working out in your space, and make sure you have enough space to move. I wouldn’t turn a tiny closet into a home gym. We have our home gym in our laundry room area, which has concrete floors and ample room.
When buying the equipment you want, you can really save money by checking online classifieds for used equipment. If you want weights, I recommend looking for barbells and dumbells with plates, so you can save space. And if you need a bench to work out, a convertible bench will do double duty so you don’t need multiple ones.
I recommend a mirror so you can watch your form. We bought a used bathroom wall mirror on Craigslist, but you could even use an upright mirror on a stand from your bedroom if you want it to serve multiple purposes.
My home gym essentials would be a set of dumbbells with plates, a convertible bench, a stability ball (great workouts with those here!), and a space to work out to DVDs. I love me some Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. They have great DVDs (get them used on Amazon for cheap!). I only need a square about 3’ x 3’ to do a DVD effectively, so not much room. I put the DVD in my laptop, put the laptop on top of the washing machine, and go to sweat town right there in the laundry room.
Whether you want to supplement the gym, or replace the gym, a home gym will give you great freedom in working out. I am willing to try new things at home because no one is watching. If I want to hoop and holler (that’s an Arkansas phrase for “get loud” for you Yankees) while doing pushups, I can at home. I can work out in shorts and a sports bra (because sometimes you are just too sweaty for a tank top) or workout at odd hours. My home gym gives me freedom in my sweat sessions.
I hope these tips help you figure out what is essential in your home gym. If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment.
Brittney blogs at Razorback Britt. Along with her full-time job and teaching Zumba Fitness classes, she is a doggy mom and a lover of Mexican food (hence all the workouts). She is a southern girl living on 20 acres dreaming that her small town will someday get their own Macy’s. She would also move to Tulsa in a heartbeat (that’s where her favorite band, Hanson, reside).
Thanks Britt! Now while I can't agree with her questionable taste in music (I kid), this girl definitely knows her stuff when it comes to working out.
Check back for more guest posts from some fabulous ladies!

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