Setting up some form of home gym has become a necessity for many of us during Covid lockdowns. However, unless your home workout area is set up correctly it’s very easy for a lack of motivation and inconsistency to creep in.
Creating motivation to workout at home doesn't come from the amount or type of equipment you have. In fact, an amazing workout can be experienced with absolutely no equipment. The key to maintaining motivation for home workouts is to create an environment that makes you want to exercise.
Don’t let any more weeks of inconsistent activity slip by. Let’s run through how to set up your home workout area to inspire, motivate and allow you to get the most out of your workouts.
1. Create your workout area
The first step to creating a home gym is to consider the spaces you have to choose from.
To have an area dedicated just for working out in your home is ideal. However, identifying an area within your home that could be used better is a great start. I never worked out at home until the Covid-19 isolation became the new norm. So we decided to declutter the garage and designate the area for our home workouts. And it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
If it’s not possible to dedicate one area of your home exclusively to workouts, decide on an area that has enough room for you to workout while creating minimal disruption to other areas. For example, this could mean a home study area, a porch or even a living room.
2. Consider the workouts you will be doing
If you are lucky enough to have equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, bikes, rower etc, you’ve probably got an area for these sorted. However, what if you are like most of us and didn’t get the opportunity to deck out your home gym with great equipment?
The good news is you don’t need a lot of equipment to experience great workouts and if you don’t have any equipment at all, the bonus is – you won’t need a lot of space!
3. Have your workout space ready
Whether your workout area is a separate room of your home or a makeshift zone, it’s important to have it ready, easily. Nothing kills motivation more than having to spend time rearranging or moving a bunch of stuff beforehand and then putting it back after the workout. So declutter and reorganize your potential workout area so that it can be ready for use at a moment’s notice.
4. Home workouts must have a designated time
Once Covid hit, it took most of us a week or two to develop a daily home routine. The key question is, where does the workout fit into your daily routine?
If you find yourself often skipping workouts despite best intentions, then it’s clear your schedule needs to be addressed and maybe changed. Whether it’s building your day around an on-line workout with your trainer or scheduling a time for yourself, your workout needs to become a focal point of the day. It’s an appointment with yourself that must be met.
I’ve found the longer the day goes on, the more likely you are to find an excuse not to work out. That’s why I always believe in getting it done as early as possible. Even if that means getting up earlier to do it. If possible, recommend getting your workout done first thing in the day (or close to it). You’ll love the feeling of accomplishment and sense of control this gives you.
5. Like your workout space
One of the most important parts of working out at home successfully is ensuring you like the space you’ve created. Whether that means having a dedicated room for your gym, or working out in your living room, make sure you set up your space so that you actually like being in it. If you don’t like going to your home gym, you’re not going to like working out in it.
Make sure the space is neat, clean and organised so that you have plenty of room when working out. You need to feel totally comfortable in your home gym. The more comfortable you are in the space, the more likely you are to be motivated to actually go workout in it.
This might also mean creating additional storage solutions for decluttering, but also having a permanent place to store workout equipment as this creates a sense of permanence in your environment.
Make your workout space motivational. Put up quotes or inspiring posters, colour-coordinate or add speakers that you can automatically connect to your phone to play workout music. Whatever you choose, make your space a clean, inspiring place to be in.
My Tips for creating a home gym on a budget
There is no need to lose motivation just because you don’t have access to the best equipment or devices to train with. I’ve gone from visiting a state-of-the-art facility 4-5 days a week to now being completely happy with using a band or a ball for my home workouts. Any other equipment we get our hands on is a bonus.
There are still a lot of second hand items up for sale in community groups and sites and with restrictions starting to ease, picking up a second hand dumbbell set or other equipment could be the motivational trigger to get you working out again.
Invest in versatile equipment, the first purchases we made were 3 workout bands (each of different resistance), a suspension trainer (TRX) and a 3kg ball. Paul and I have been running free zoom classes for all our MP Coaches just with this equipment alone.
However, more than anything else I’ve loved using no equipment at all.
Body weight exercises and movements don’t necessarily need to be excruciatingly hard or difficult, the idea is to just get moving. How hard you want to work simply depends upon how you feel and your energy levels for that day. Some days you may be full of energy, when you're not don't worry and enjoy the movement. Remember, you always feel better afterwards.
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