home gym

We built a home gym!

by Shalice Noel

Going to the gym is next to impossible with 5 young kids. Or even 1 kid. OK…OK….It’s
hard even if you have a gold fish. We had a YMCA membership in the past and I think I only
went half a dozen times and experienced mom guilt putting the kids in daycare while I sweated
out my anxiety, but then I had more anxiety knowing my kids were miserable in the childcare area.

Benefits to a home gym:
 Saving money with a home gym
 Own your gym instead of renting it
 Pay for what you need
 Pay for what you want
 Saving time with a home gym
 Personal freedom with a home gym

As I’ve shared my life, you have may have observed I’m much more interested in health
and nutrition than routinely working out. To improve my fitness goals, we’ve been strategically
acquiring home gym equipment over the past year. Gym equipment is a big investment, but it
does pay you back over time as you avoid gym membership dues and gas mileage savings. The
family can also workout with you, which they love and I’m happy they are off the couch. I say
pump up the music really loud and create a family circuit like we did in this IG Reel a few
months ago.
I’ve listed our personal home gym equipment that we either currently own or plan on
purchasing in the near future. I’ve also shared my design inspiration for the new home gym
aesthetic. My intent is to make the gym feel like a hotel to make the working out feel as
pleasurable as possible. The Soho Chicago gym design is one of my favorites I have
experienced. Both workout motivation and design inspiration below.

First, let’s discuss purchasing home gym equipment. You need to know your fitness
goals. If you are married, you and your spouse may have different goals. Discuss those goals
and see where you can get the most bang for your buck. Reid loves weight training and his goal
is to build muscle whereas, my goal is maintenance and toning. With weight training you can
achieve both. Therefore, we purchased weightlifting equipment both heavy and light. For
toning I do lite weight and many reps whereas Reid does heavier weights by more sets.
Squat Rack with Barbell and incline bench. Squats are great for building core strength and
toning the legs and rear. I use the bar only but do reps until I break form. The incline bench
gives you versatility in the range of motion. This is good for everything. You can do lunges,
chest press, bicep curls. The incline bench is a key piece of equipment. I suggest you buy a
heavy duty one like this (Rep fitness or rogue).
For weights, keep it simple. Buy what you think you can lift without being too easy. 5 or 10lb
plates are just fine for me. If you don’t need the bigger plates, don’t purchase any. Same goes
for dumbbells. Only buy what you need. You don’t need every weight category.
I also am a big fan of the leg squeezer. I admit I even take it on road trips and do it in the car.
This device is the best! For those that don’t have gym space, this device is essential. Through it
under your bed, but don’t forget about it.

The overall goal for a healthy, well balanced fitness routine is to get a good whole-body
workout. Invest in gym equipment that will support
5 Gym Equipment Essentials
1) Squat Rack
2) Incline Bench
3) Barbell with iron plates
4) Dumbbells
5) Leg Squeezer
Beginners Workout

A typical full body training workout:

A1 – Deadlift: 4 x 10
A2 – Bench press: 4 x 10
A3 – Rope slams : 4 x25
B1 – Static lunge: 4 x 12
B2 – Knee high: 4 x 12
B3 – Single arm row: 4 x 10
C1 – Sled push pull: 3
C2 – Med ball slam with walk out: 3 x 15
C3 – Burpees: 3 x 15
You do all the A exercises together before moving onto B then C. The first number is
the sets and the second is reps. E.g. 4 x 12 is four sets and 12 reps.

After much negotiating, Reid convinced me to finish off our home gym. We’ve been making
due with the gym in an unfinished corner of our basement. The raw nature of the gym didn’t
bother me, but as we see that the gym is actually a great investment for our health and our
home, we decided it was worth the cost to finish the space. Here is some gym inspiration that
got us thinking and dreaming of our potential gym space.

I’m motivated to work out when I love the space that surrounds me. One of my favorite hotel
gyms is SOHO Chicago. It’s Restoration Hardware meets Rocky. We’ll be adding a few touches
to the gym to bring this kind of style to the space. However, our gym will be a bit more
I also love a space that feels clean and fresh. Our gym has no natural light, so we’ll be painting
it white and adding a ceiling fan and recessed lighting. Finding a place for your home gym can
be challenging. Try to carve out a space that can either be multi-functional, under-utilized, or
use equipment that can be stored in a closet.

Here is a list of the equipment we have or will be purchasing. The items with an (*) do
not need a gym space. I’d recommend these items for those without a designated gym space.
You also do not need to buy every weight class for dumbbells, plates and kettle bells. Just buy
the weights you actually would use. If it’s lite for you, do more reps.

What do you think? Will this motivate you to start a home gym in 2022?