So it looks like the new ‘Hybrid’ working model is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future anyway. For those of us who used to attend a gym close to work, this now presents a challenge for the gym-life-balance. If like me, you have thought of setting up a home gym, you may find my previous posts Home Sweet Home and Home is where the Heart is are useful for choosing what equipment to invest in. For me, available space and budget were big factors in what how I equipped my home-gym.
In this post, I wanted to expand on the theme and discuss some other useful considerations such as ventilation, flooring and lighting. These may not seem important on the face of it, but can make or break a gym, in my humble opinion. Personally, I find the environment in which I train is vital for my motivation and safety.
Its all about the base
Any serious home-gym should have a strong yet stable non-slip floor, anything otherwise is a recipe for disaster. If your floor is wooden, then you may want to reinforce it with a timber frame, especially if you are a heavy-lifter. If concrete, such as a garage floor, you will need some form of shock absorption; unless you don’t mind making a lot of noise and fancy filling in holes in regularly.
There are of course a number of options for floor covering on the market, such as Wood Laminate, Cork tiles or Vinyl flooring. For me however, the ideal option was rubber floor tiles, since they are non-slip, shock-absorbent and easy to keep clean. Also, being tiles, they were cost-effective, easy to fit and easy to replace when worn.
If you can’t take the heat
Heating and Ventilation are important factors for any home gym. If your room is subject to cold air or drafts, there will be a risk of injury, due to pulled muscles for example. Equally, if the room is too hot, you will you will fatigue faster when the weather is hotter; also it brings it own health risks.
Although Air Conditioning the obvious solution, this is costly to install and run, besides it’s not especially environmentally friendly. If your room does not have natural ventilation such as a window, then your options are limited. However, a cheaper alternative in such a case could be an Air Cooling Fan, such as the one shown below:
Personally, because I have a window in my home-gym, I prefer to make-do with a standard wall fan during hot weather; which seems to suit my needs just fine. If the room gets cold, I just wear layers of clothing, which I remove as I warm up during exercise to prevent injury.
Making light work of it
One other thing often overlooked is the effect of lighting in a home gym. This is especially if your room is small, like mine. Besides the obvious need to see everything clearly, for safety, a well-lit gym will also help with motivation. The closer you can get to a natural light, the sharper your mind and therefore the easier it is to focus on your workout. For me, a low-profile 3200lm LED light, was perfect, since this best simulated daylight for my small home-gym and sat flush to the ceiling.
Setting up the perfect home gym needn’t cost the earth. For many no doubt, much consideration is given to the machines and free-weights. However, just as important are the ‘peripherals’ such as flooring, ventilation and lighting. By giving thought to these too, you will get the best results from your new favourite room in the house.