If you’re really committed to your wellness journey, you can save a lot of money on gym dues — not to mention commute time, privacy, and being able to play your own music as loud as you like — by creating your own home gym in the basement. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making it happen:
1. The Prep Stage
Is your basement habitable? The goal is to make your home gym every bit as appealing as the real gym, so before you even think about ordering exercise equipment, make sure you’ve sealed any leaks, cleared out any clutter, and installed natural light fixtures to create a bright, inviting space. If you have problems with mildew or a musty, stale smell, install oscillating fans to improve air circulation.
2. Choose Your Home Gym Equipment
Aside from price, there are three key factors you should consider when choosing your exercise equipment. They are the footprint (or floor space) each piece of equipment needs; the clearance it needs to the front, back, sides and even overhead to allow space for moving parts or your body; and, last but most importantly, how much do you like it? It doesn’t matter which piece of equipment the experts (or salesmen) tell you is “best.” If you don’t like it you won’t use it, and that translates to wasted money.
3. Install Floor Covers
No matter what kind of gym equipment you’re installing, having the proper floor covers protects both your basement floor and the equipment. You can either install jigsaw-style, padded flooring across the entire gym floor, or use heavy-duty roll-out mats under each piece of equipment. Don’t forget flooring for the free weight area, too — nothing will ruin your day faster than a dumbbell dropped on a bare cement or wooden floor. Once the floor covers are in, you can install your equipment.
4. Other Perks
Once you have the basics of your basement gym planned out, it’s time to think about the additional perks that will make it a more pleasant, inviting — and ultimately, useful — place. Floor-length mirrors are a great way to check your own form, especially if you’re lifting free weights. A mini fridge for chilling drinks is nice, as is a stereo system or television to keep you entertainment and motivated as you work out.
No matter what sort of equipment or extra perks you place in your home gym, remember: The point is to create a space that is so bright, inviting and comfortable, you actually look forward to using it.