my home gym tour

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 in Fitness

I’m seen a few fabulous folks post tours of their home gym, and I enjoyed seeing other people’s workout spaces so much that I thought it might be fun to share mine as well.

I let my gym membership* lapse back in December after deciding I wasn’t really getting my money’s worth. I really loved my gym. It was close (about a 90 second drive), never busy and had all the awesome equipment I loved. But even with all of that, I found myself only going once or twice a week, especially when the weather was nice. And 4-8 sessions a month just wasn’t worth the membership fee, to me. So to save a bit of cash, I decided to go without, and it’s worked out pretty well so far!

We’ve accumulated all of our equipment over the past five years or so. Some were big splurges (our elliptical and treadmill) some were cheap, cheap, cheap. I’m pretty happy with our set up. Currently it’s in our spare bedroom which serves lots of purposes (storage, craft room, office), but when we buy a house, I’d love to create a dedicated gym space complete with an entertainment system, soft floor and mirrors.

Weights, Odds & Ends

We have a terribly mismatched set of 3, 8 and 15 pound hand dumbbells that do pretty much everything I need. The 3-pounder barely gets used because it’s too light for my totally ripped guns stronger muscles, but between the 8 and 15, I can do most everything I need. I’d really love to get a nice set like this one day. We also have a basket on the shelf to store our weight lifting gloves, Body Glide, sweatbands and heart rate monitors. That way we never have to go searching around the house for them when we’re ready to work out. Also stored on this shelf (and on the pegboard above) are some of the smaller, lesser used equipment—resistance bands, jump rope, foam roller, pull-up bar.

Kettlebells

Does my husband know how to buy an awesome Christmas gift, or what? These beautiful, shiny, heavy guys were under the tree this year and I’m giddy with excitement over them! I prefer to have a mirror when doing kettlebell work, because form is so vital to prevent injury, but for now I just go easy and use the lighter bells.

Elliptical & Treadmill

I had a crazy moment a few years ago where I decided I must have an elliptical and plopped down in front of Amazon with my credit card and bought this guy. I’ve since stopped using credit cards, but I’m happy to have the elliptical. For a few years it stood almost entirely unused, but now that I’m more active, I’m really happy to have a piece of equipment I can just hop on and work up a good sweat on.

Mr. Tready is the newest and most-used member of the Johnston Home Gym family. This sucker was on special at Menards and after doing some research, we realized we were getting a mega deal and pounced. We brought him home and absolutely love it. It’s so nice to be able to run or walk regardless of the weather. And I love the iPod/iPad jack.

Recumbent Bike

We bought this bike with some of the cash we got from our wedding almost five years ago. It’s not all that great of quality, but the pedals move and the computer display tracks distance and time. That’s about all I need! It doesn’t get a lot of use, mostly only when one of us is injured and need a low-impact workout. We might get rid of it when we move.

Yoga Mats & Stability Ball

They are really poor quality, cheap yoga mats stacked on top of each other, but I just wanted something that I could use to cover up the carpet. I hate doing floor work on our itchy carpet, and these guys do the trick. Eventually, if we ever do a tricked-out home gym, I’d love to have real gym floors installed.

If you only can afford to buy one piece of home gym equipment, I recommend the stability ball! I use it all the time and have since I bought it four years ago. There are so many great exercises you can do on and with the ball in all different levels of intensity.

Bench

This bench was only $30 but it does pretty much everything we need it to do. It’s sturdy enough for me to do tricep dips off the side, but light enough that I can pick it up and move it without a lot of struggle.

Motivation & Tracking

Because no gym is complete without some motivation on the walls, we have our race medals and bibs tacked on the walls. I also have a calendar up to track my fitness minutes and progress on my plank times and pushups. I’d love to eventually have a home gym with a half corkboard half chalkboard wall so I can post motivating things I find and write out workouts and motivational quotes. Y’all know how much I love a good motivational quote.

*Note: Thanks to the nice folks at Anytime Fitness, I do have a membership there that is still going strong. But the only location in my town is about 20 minutes away. I go there on weekends when I’m really craving a gym session, but I do most of my workouts at home. I do love my AF membership for traveling! If you are a member of one Anytime Fitness you are a member of ALL 1800+ Anytime Fitness locations, which rocks. I wish that my local AF was closer to my house and office, because it is a beautiful facility with awesome folks.

What’s in your home gym?

16 Comments

  1. I have a hard time investing in home gym stuff. Up front the cost is so expensive. I’ve had my gym membership for almost 10 years so it’s relatively cheap plus I go about 6 times a week (yeah, I’m that guy) during the winter and 4 or 5 during the summer.

    I’ve been thinking of getting a kettlebell for the husband though because he’s been into working out at home lately. He’s pretty strong so I don’t know which one to buy. What weight does Babyface use?

    • He does a lot of body weight exercises (sometimes using equipment like the pull up bar). I don’t actually think he uses the kettlebells very often. I think both of us would agree that the one thing we want the most out of our home gym is heavier weights. Both free weights and kettlebells. What we have now works for maintenance, but it definitely doesn’t push us.

  2. I loved seeing your home gym. It makes me even more inspired to create one of my own. I would LOVE a treadmill…just the fact of not having to drive outside to get to the gym when it is raining, snowing, cold, hot…would be wonderful!

    • I love all of our equipment, but the treadmill is my absolute FAVORITE. Just because the variety. If I’m feeling low-energy, I can just get on it and walk. If I want a super intense crazy workout, I can do that too.

  3. This makes me want to go home and actually set up (and USE) the spare room that my treadmill is in. Having all of it in one place seems like an obviously choice..however part of it is in our bedroom (weights, yoga mat, etc) and the treadmill in a separate room. Thanks fo this post!

    • DO IT! Bringing it all together in one space really helps with the gym mindset. Makes it feel like you are going to the gym!

  4. I’m jealous. I live in a townhouse with no room for a home gym. Sigh, someday…

    Do you find having that stuff close by makes you workout more? Or does it just save the money of gym membership and your workout schedule remains fairly constant?

    • I definitely would say I’m working out more. Mostly because I can do short bursts if I want to. I don’t need to dedicate an hour or two to the ritual of going to the gym. If I want, I can just strap on my running shoes with my pajamas and knock out 20 minutes on the treadmill.

  5. I love your home gym! I have a mis-matched set of dumbbells, but I would love to have a sweet rack to hold them on! And the rest of your equipment is impressive too!
    I am building my home gym… it’s got what I need, but could definietly use some beefing up! I have a couple of photos of it on my blog, but kind of sum it up here: http://oatmealafterspinning.com/2011/10/15/and-the-weekend-just-opened-up/
    My spin bike is my favorite thing, ever.
    The only reason that I have a gym membership is because it’s free, since I’m an instructor there. I generally only go there when I teach or need to practice a new release for Bodypump.

    • Your gym looks awesome! Isn’t it amazing having it all there ready for you? And I totally want a BOSU too buy REFUSE to pay that much money for a piece of plastic. Ridiculous!

  6. I’d love to have a home gym but its just not in the cards for us. Plus we can basically get cardio workouts done outside whenever we want since we’ve got mild winters here in FL! We are just now thinking of saving for a treadmill to help with marathon training (provided we get in to MCM). Otherwise we’ll be running at 3am for our training runs since most of the training will happen during the hot and humid summer!… the biggest challenge will be finding a home for it in our tiny little house!

    • I would definitely not have a home gym if I lived in Florida. :)

  7. My home gym is basically just a yoga mat, but if I could only choose one piece of equipment that would be it, anyway. It’s my favourite.

    Your home gym looks pretty impressive!

    • Thanks! I wish I had a better mat. Any recommendations?

  8. I know that it’s probably standard practice in the States, but I’m amazed at the concept of a 90-second drive! to the gym of all places! I have never owned a car and walk everywhere, and it’s about a 30-minute walk to my (crappy) gym/pool here in TW, which I always consider a side-benefit to my workouts, especially now that I’m injured and can’t run… different worlds hey :)
    I do envy you your home gym so much though! it’s better equipped than the gym at my school >__<

    • It definitely isn’t standard practice every where in the States! I just happen to live close to a gym. But I grew up in a place that was at least 20-30 miles from one.

      I’m always amazed that people think the U.S. is SUPER packed. Whenever we’re in Canada, we hear all the time that they could never live in the States because they feel like they’d be living on top of each other. We aren’t that packed in. I promise! :)

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