View Full Version : anyone build an exercise room?
Dh has expressed interest in turning our unfinished basement into a finished exercise room. I have a gazelle, heavy bag, and 2 balance balls. dh wants to add an ablounger (?) and weights of some sort. I'm wondering if anyone has built an excercise room? What are some of the main items? pitfalls? expenses? things you learned that you should have done or left out?
01-20-2006, 01:38 PM
It sounds like you have a lot of equipment already....the main thing is to think about your space, movement, and what you really like to do so you won't end up with stuff collecting dust. If I were able to do a home gym, I'd probably have an elliptical machine (had a treadmil in the past, sold it due to lack of space in my apartment), space for free weights, space for some sort of stationary strength training device(friend has bowflex equip. but in my opinion it takes up a lot of space), weighted balls (I love those), and space for an area to do pilates/yoga/stretching, I hope you have windows in your basement....I love natural light when exercising, the sun helps to motivate and energize....If you really have the space, you might even be able to add an area for storage and supplies (health magazines, posters, etc.) Try to think of movement and the "less is more" concept so you won't have to be stepping over one thing to get to the next. Try to determine:
1. Define exactly what unfinished means and what supplies are necessary to finish the basement (floors, walls,etc.)
2. Determine what types of exercise equipment you each like
3. Do a pros and cons regarding purchasing one big item (e.g. weight training machine) versus several smaller and equally effective items (e.g. free weights, toning bands, etc.)
Those are just my humble suggestions. I think the main thing is to tailor it to both of your needs and desires with room for creative growth as time goes on
01-22-2006, 01:54 AM
i would chip in that if you get weights make sure to get the type bar bell that is threaded on each end because after you put on weight plates you then screw on the star shaped lock which holds plates down tight as opposed to some other types that easily come loose and allow the weights to rattle which is annoying . ide also say to get the iron weights over the cheap vinyl because it doesnt cost that much more and you wont have to worry about the vinyl weights maybe hitting floor hard and cracking . and though ive never really payed attention to the ablounger im usally leary of gadgets that are made of a bunch of moving pieces because they tend to not be long lasting . for me ide lag bolt a situp bar ( just a simple sort of H shaped piece of iron that you lock your feet under so when you situp you dont slide ) to the wall and have a piece of heavy shag carpet there to lay on for comfort , this is a cheap and also sturdy/lasting way to go . if you have a sports authority by you they carry good stuff at decent price . and just for money sake if your hubby wants weight bench tell him to keep an eye out for one at garage sale or in someones garbage that maybe has the vinyl torn and just take off old vinyl and foam and glue on a nice thick piece of shag carpet . i did mine like that and my bench is more comfortable then new ones . and for hitting your heavy bag ide suggest drawing a picture of ronald mcdonald on it so that when your punching you can think "ronald you sob , all your commercials keep making me think of eating that junk so im going to kick your a$$ " . itll really fire you up to punch more (lol) . im just trying to be funny there because its late and im sleepy . take care and goodnight .
01-22-2006, 01:19 PM
I have a gym in my home. The basement is dedicated to it. I have 20 yrs of equipment purchases. I would say my must have items are the cardio room with the Treadmill, Rebounder and Step Cardio area with the TV mounted in the room for Step Video's etc..In the Gym the Dumbells are the most used. If I was on a budget or short on space that is what I would get. Fortunely I have room for two benches, squat rack, leg press, leg extention and calf machine, and two trees of flat plates, and tons of bars, all sizes.. but they all take up space. Another thing that is very valuable is the the Lat Pulldown Pulley system. The Lat pulley system with the removable seat is so nice cuz you can do lat pulldown work, tricep work, leg work with a ankle cuff, turn it into a seated long pull. .
01-22-2006, 01:23 PM
I have a Gazelle that I purchased for about $300 when it first came out and use it for a clothes hanger now... Do you feel as if you get a good cardio on it? I hate the thought of even climbing my fat butt on it and I lost my Tony Little tape (note:his energy creeps me out) so I know I dont move as fast as I would watching the tape. Any suggestions?
01-22-2006, 01:52 PM
purl , i was just checking sunday sales and saw the ab lounge and say this = it would be a rambling wreck in 2 months , i wouldnt spend 1 cent on it . and i also agree with rawfigure on dumbells , they are great to have in weight room or den cuz when watching tv you can always get up during commercials and pump some sets off . and if you have meijers store by you they are on sale this week , the solid hex head type which are the best at 35% off , they have 10 15 20 and 25 lb sizes . i love my dumbells .
I lost my Tony Little tape (note:his energy creeps me out)
I'm pretty sure not his energy, nor his muscles come from RAW foods or any other "natural" means. I know it can't be from his $100 pillow either :rolleyes:
I only spent about $100 on mine and it pretty much stinks, but at least I use it on occasion when the weather it bad or if I can't get outside during daylight hours due to time restraints. I would not say it's a "good" workout (plus mine cannot be adjusted), but it's definately better than nuthin'. Plus-I do work up a sweat, so it must be doing something!
michigan roman-thanks for the advice. I'll tell dh. He tends to get enamoured with stuff, spends big bucks and gets angry about his purchase 6 months later once it's no longer "worth it" to him.
01-22-2006, 03:48 PM
Mine is pretty simple.......I have dumbbells ranging from 5 to 35lbs (I am going to add a 40lb and a 50lb pair very shortly) on a rack I bought at Sam's club and a workout rug and a foldable dumbbell bench..In the Hallway there is a chin-up bar...I like to keep it simple:)
This is in my bedroom. When I move I will put these things into the basement and get some barbell equipment.
01-23-2006, 08:55 AM
Make sure you have excellent ventilation. You want to air out the room regularly and have it clean -- a filtering system/air cleaner would be great.
Lots of plants! Plants are natural air cleaners and provide optimal oxygen into a room. I also have plants in my bedroom for this reason.
You'll probably want at least one full-length mirror; it's really beneficial to watch your form, especially if someone isn't there to spot you.
If you intend to have a lot of free weights, then a rack would be nice so as to keep them in their own space (and away from your toes! Ever bump your toe on one?! Ouch!)
Mirrors are a must. They will help you keep an eye on your form, flooring is also very important. If you are going to be a lot of floor work install a floor that absorbs some of the shock, you don't want to be doing step or lot's of lunges on a cement based floor, really bad for the bones !!
As far as equipment I highly suggest a wonderful new machine called the ARC trainer by Cybex, it's incredable goes way beyonf what any treadmill or bike could ever dream of doing ! Check it out on the Cybex site, sorry don't have it handy but just google it. I have worked in gyms for 12 years ( if you notice my picture and look behind me you'll see mirrors and equipment, i'm in the gym ) and this is by far one of the best and most usefull pieces of equipment I have ever seen !
Good Luck and have fun with your new project !
01-31-2006, 03:50 PM
Build no, have yes.
I have several weights, dumbells, bars, plates, plus several attachments for my squat rack system which includes a dip attachment and pull down tower. Also have bench with leg lift attachment and a seated calf raise machine. Ideally I wish it were a bigger room which could fit my treadmill in it. I would like to replace the treadmill with and elliptical. And would add lots of mirrors to practice good form. I also wish it were heated, but it's on my screened back deck.
02-01-2006, 07:08 PM
We are putting in our exercise room. Right now I have my treadmill in front of a mounted television for my viewing pleasure while I run. We also have an ab cruncher and hand weights down there plus a matt to save the berber carpet. He just purchased a "cage" where we can do multiple weight exercises on it.
02-02-2006, 08:35 PM
I have an exercise room that I just adore! But I also go to the gym (have two to be exact, due to location) for motivation...and a change of scenery.
Personally, I encourage everyone to look into some workout equipment for the home. It doesn't have to be a lot or expensive, but it sure is nice to have handy when you don't feel like getting out, the weather is bad, or even bc of the high gas prices these days :rolleyes:
I have built our home gym over the years...so not all of this was bought at once. I am living in a temporary condo right now, so space is limited...but once I move into a larger permanent house, we will be putting everything in the house. :D Can't wait for that day!
2. Recumberant bikes (in the garage, due to lack of space)
3. 2 Upright bikes
4. Precore Elliptical
5. Cheaper elliptical (in the garage...same as above)
6. Smith Machine (squat rack) w/ Pulley Cables for upper body (in the garage...)
7. Bench Press w/ bar and weights (garage...)
8. Incline/Decline bench
9. Dumbells/Triceps extention bar
10. Tonsss of workout video (ie. All of the firm series and firm boxes/bar, teabo, pilates, etc)
11. Weighted ball, swiss ball, rubber bands (used for total-body workout)
12. Ab swing/Total Tiger Ab device
13. Hanging boxing bag (garage...)
Wow...never really seems like I have that much stuff until its on paper (or computer ha)
I noticed someone mentioned the ARC trainer...definitely something I want to get in the future!! I've never used one but everyone that I know, that has, adores it!! ...and eveeeennntually want a Guantlet (rotating stairs machine)! haha I'm dreaming now...but ohhh it will happen :D
Good luck with your exercise journey!!
02-02-2006, 09:30 PM
i have an ab lounge and i really like it, it's a lot easier on the back as opposed to laying on the floor...
02-07-2006, 07:59 PM
I have an exercise room at my home. I have a Soloflex, kettlebells of various weights, a Schwinn Air-dyne, a medicine ball, dumbells, jump rope, heavybag, etc. I go through phases; sometimes I will jump rope and use the heavy bag, or just ride the Air-Dyne, lift on the Sololfex, or use the kettlebells. I think that is why I have been able to stick to some form of fitness routine over the years because I "mix it up". Can anyone say Adult ADD? :D
02-15-2006, 10:29 PM
IMHO the most important piece of equipment is a power rack. You can use it for basically every exersice you would ever need a barbell for(squats, bench, military press, shrugs, curls, deadlifts, and many more). Add to that an olympic barbell with weights and you basically have a complete gym from a weight training perspective. Someone suggested a threaded barbell. I highly advise against that. If you get weights, get a standard olympic barbell. I got a 300lb barbell and weight set at Sports Authority for around $100. You should be able to get a decent power rack for around $500.
02-16-2006, 05:42 PM
Ventalaion is key, mirrors on the walls to see your progress or to assit others.
You can get used good quality equipment at "play it again sports", I don't know if you have these stores in your area?
Also you can check around at your paint or hardware stores for rubber spray on flooring to protect those accidents,( they always happen). Then on top of the rubberized floor put down 1" thicK interlocking rubber pads. That way if a section does get damaged you can replace that section without having to replace the entire floor. Having cable access to the room is a plus along with phone and water and air conditioning and stero. Closets for storage of all those extra things, including towels. Use drywall verses paneling, paneling has some bad chemicals in it's make up. So if your in there excerting yourself your not inhaling to many bad toxins.
When weather is permitable I do alot of biking for my cardio.
I do all of my training at my fitness trainer home this is what we use:
Outside in garage adjustable floor portable punching bag.
Inside have a :
2 -total gyms
Dip bar/pull ups/lat bar/pushups tower
12 pound medicene ball
2 excercise ball - large and med
102lbs in free weights
Bowflex 410 lbs
5 - 10 - 20 dumb bells
Used to have lots of free weights 800lbs - Bench, preacher curl/incline and decline bench 2 weight tree's 10lbs thru 100lbs dumbells
But the total gyms and the bow flex can do just aswell as all the free weights.
Good luck :)
02-19-2006, 07:48 PM
mine is simple, cheap and WORKS!
I have an reebok step bench, which is great for cardio and for using as a weight training bench. I also have The Firm's transfirmer system, another bench thing, that is great for doing lunges with it's slanted format. I have many dvd's that use weights with low impact aerobics and the steppers, I have 3, 5, 8, 10 and 20 pound free weights, resistance tubing for resistance training when traveling, a large ball for ball workouts, and a pilates floor work system with videos. It's a lot, but gives me SO much variety and all that stuff is all we need. No need for machines-thank goodness. I DO have a total gym in the garage, but really don't have the space for it and found that I don't even need it-the easily stow away stuff is great! (and relatively cheap). I think I spent on everything listed above (except the total gym) less than I would've on a good treadmill or bowflex, or something. ANd it does the job just fine. Plus, using various dvd's keep it interesting.
04-02-2007, 08:30 AM
It's just the two of us and we didn't need a dining room so now we have our new pilates machine in there (new to us:) )
And a Nordic Track machine, a AB Lounge exerciser for the stomach and back and a rowing machine and finally a big Weider Pro machine, one of the older ones.
I am trying not to use them as clothes hangers.
When i figure out how to use a camera and post i will show pictures.
Until then feel free to show pictures of your exercise rooms i would love to see them:D .
04-02-2007, 05:56 PM
I have 2 full rooms for my home gym. One primarily weights and the other a cardio studio.
By far my best investment was Power Blocks:
The really is a huge space saver. It's super easy to change weights also.
I have a total gym I hardly ever use.
I have a bench press/squat rack that is extremely versatile with a pulley system on it as well. Really nice for doing full body exercise. Oh, it has a chin up bar attached.
Personally, I hardly ever use my treadmill. I prefer dance videos, step aerobics and DDR. The treadmill is just boring to me.
One purchase I have yet to make is mirrors. I think that would help to round out the gym feel and improve form.
Good luck on your gym! It's fun isn't it?
04-02-2007, 06:38 PM
Honestly, all you need are free weights, an exercise ball, a step, a mat, and a piece of wall. (And a jump rope if you don't have cardio machines)
I use a program called Fitter U - it's a 90 day weight/cardio mp3 workout that will firm you up in no time. It makes sure you get an effective workout in a short amount of time. The Director of Marketing at the Four Seasons Toronto uses it, and so do many others!!! (me!) I tell everyone I know who is interesting in getting into shape. I couldn't work out without it. Hope this helps!
04-16-2007, 09:18 PM
My exercise room is not terribly sophisticated -- just free weights, a stationery bike, a step set, and lots of room for yoga or whatever. I did have the good sense to put a big mirror (almost the length and height of the wall), which I love.
05-06-2007, 06:02 PM
I also go to the health club most everyday but also have the following at home. It is so convenient to just jump on the treadmill or elliptical while watching TV or reading and get some added time in!
I have the following and use them all.
Elliptical (we just bought this last month and love it!)
Hand weights in various sizes
Step for doing aerobic videos
05-31-2007, 01:37 PM
I too have an exercise area in my home. Insead of his & hers towels, we went a bit overboard and have his & hers garages. Mine is my exercise room. One thing I did not see mentioned in the other replys is that aside from equipment you need to make sure the permanent parts of your gym are considered carefully. The floor, lighting, and wall colors played a big part in my wanting to drag myself out of bed every morning to go work out. My gym has a foam tile floor (like the connectable ones you would buy for a childs play area). They provide enough cushion when I'm bouncing around doing a Denise Austin DVD, and a firm enough surface when I'm doing yoga or weight training. I cannot stand lights blaring down at me, so I have one floor lamp with a dim and high setting. Perfect for my eyes when I'm still trying to wake up. One wall is covered with mirrors so that I can keep my body position in check, and the walls are a color I find energizing - light plum - with motivational quotes hand pained in black. I also have a tv mounted on the wall on a swivel. It is hooked to cable and has a DVD for cardio tapes. Decorate the room in a way that you find beautiful so that you will be more likely to actually use it.
I can't add anything new about equipment the others haven't already said except that I can do everything a machine can do with a ball, a resistance band, and a medium and heavy set of dumbbells. If you don't already know how to use these I suggest taking a session with a personal trainer at a nearyby gym. They can show you the basics, and then you don't have to shell out $$$$ for fancy equipment. I use my elliptical every morning for 30 minutes. I also do interval training 2 nights a week. It is the quickest way to burn fat, build muscle, and build endurance (I'm a softball pitcher).
Good luck, and I hope I gave you some info you can use.
05-31-2007, 02:46 PM
I turned my son's old room into a workout room. I found it really is more about "Doing" instead of having a lot of fancy equipment. Heck you don't really need any equipment to get in shape! But I do have a weight bench, small weight set, large mirror on one wall, dumbells, jumprope, rebounder, and step.
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