Six years ago this month my husband (aka workout partner) Rob and I opened our first home gym. Our kids were young, our gyms with childcare options were not great, and we wanted to get back to working out together – like we did before we became parents. Our second child had just become potty trained and gleefully moved upstairs to sleep in the same room as his big brother. As we stood in his bedroom and discussed next steps, we realized the last thing we needed in our lives was another place to sit on our butts.
The next thing you know I was laying a recycled tire puzzle-piece floor from Costco and calling mirror installers while he shopped online for weights and bought a TV. A few weeks later we had our first home gym, and a copy of Tony Horton’s P90X. That weekend we set an alarm to get going before the kids woke up, and completed our first workout in our very own gym. When Monday rolled around we set the alarm for 4:30am, 15 minutes earlier than my husband had been waking up to drive to a gym and workout alone.
We’ve kept up this 4:30am alarm, typically Monday through Thursday, for six years.
Now that our kids are older we typically don’t set a weekend alarm, as they can get up and fend for themselves for a while. When we moved to Plano in 2014 we told our realtor we needed a first floor room with a door that we could use as a gym. That room is supposed to be an office, so today we have bookcases and wood paneling in our home gym. Not our first choice, but it works and my husband is currently covering the walls with various plaques, prints and other items he finds in his travels. It’s truly turned into his “man cave” as he’d rather lay on the floor and stretch/roll (and watch TV) before bedtime than sit on a couch or at a desk. He sits enough at work!
Here’s what we purchased to start our gym:
- A set of weights and a rack (like this one), 5 to 50 pounds in five pound increments
- A doorway chinup bar
- Some heavy-duty Resistance Bands and a Door Anchor
- A giant mirror (we don’t have one in our current gym given the wall molding, and we miss it!)
- yoga mats and blocks
- A TV and a DVD player
- Some workout videos (scroll down)
Since we opened our gym we’ve made some additional purchases and changes:
- Roku with subscriptions to Beachbody and Daily Burn channels. Both provide plenty of short (30-50 minutes), high-intensity workouts as well as body building, stretching and yoga.
- Exercise/stability balls
- Medicine balls
- RumbleRollers, foam rollers and some lacrosse balls (for knot relief)
- PVC pipe for stretching (from Home Depot!)
- Tony Horton’s PowerStands
The “I don’t have time to workout” excuse is completely eliminated when your gym is down the hall, and screens make great babysitters during your workout if you’ve got kids at home (we still often get interrupted, but such is life as parents). You certainly don’t need a separate room in your house to workout at home, but it helps! I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration.