Building a home gym doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re doing a Beachbody program – you can easily build a home gym if you’re on a budget and trying to keep costs low. You can even build one if you’re short on space.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the benefits of having a home gym, how to pick the right room, and the essential equipment you need to do a Beachbody workout program.
Benefits of Having a Home Gym
You might already know that you can use Beachbody On Demand to stream your workout program anywhere you go (more on that here), which means if you already have a gym membership, you bring your program on your laptop, tablet, or phone and do it there. We don’t recommend lugging in your own TV. Gyms tend to frown on that sort of thing.
While you’re there, check and see if there are any Beachbody LIVE classes. Gyms all over the country offer fun group classes such as P90X LIVE , INSANITY LIVE, CIZE LIVE, PiYO LIVE, and more. Find out here if your gym (or a gym in your area) offers LIVE classes.
If you don’t already belong to a gym or are thinking about letting your membership lapse, here are some benefits to having your own home gym:
1. A home gym will help you save time
Unless you live in a magical land where traffic doesn’t exist – or have a teleportation device – getting to the gym requires getting in your car, driving there, dealing with traffic, finding parking, finding a workout space, working out, and then doing the whole commute in reverse. If you have your own home gym, you can just go to that space, start doing your workout, and get a glass of water or Beachbody Performance Recover when you’re done.
Beachbody Performance Recover is my after workout treat and knowing I get to enjoy it when I’m done with my workout gets me through some of my hardest ones.
2. A home gym may save you money.
Though you might pay more up front outfitting your home gym than you would for one month at your current or previous gym, the long-term savings will quickly add up. Most Beachbody programs require little to no equipment. And, even for those that do, the cost savings will eventually eclipse the amount you’d spend paying for a gym membership.
3. A home gym might get you better results.
We’re not saying you won’t get results at the gym. But, if you don’t go often because of all that’s involved (described above in benefit #1), then you could probably be getting better results. By creating a personal workout space in your house, you not only sidestep those issues, you’ll also have one less excuse to skip your workout. And that consistency—in both your diet and your fitness—will get you the results that you desire.
The Best Room For Your Home Gym
Your options for where to put your home gym vary. They depend on the size of your home, how many people live in it, and the type of workout you do. There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the best room for your home gym.
How much traffic does the room get?
Ideally, your home gym room will be in a low-traffic area of your home. For instance, if you set up your home gym in the den, your workout time may conflict with when others want to watch TV—a battle you’re likely to lose.
While you can try to encourage them to join you, make it easier on everyone by finding a space where you can do your workout when it’s most convenient for you. That said, we understand that’s not always possible, so you may need to schedule your workouts when you’re least likely to be interrupted and if the family room is the only available place, then the family room it is.
However, if possible, you want somewhere that can be your own. Where you can shut the door, play your favorite workout music — don’t miss these Spotify playsts we created! — hang prints or posters that will motivate you, and get your sweat on. Somewhere that’s your escape from all the to-dos life throws at you.
So, if you have a spare room available (preferably on the first floor if your workouts involve jumping), a space you can clear out in the basement, or part of the garage you can transform, use it! If not, don’t dismay. I’ve been using the family room for years, and it’s worked out just fine.
Do you have enough space to do your workout?
For Beachbody workouts, your workout area should ideally be 12′ by 12′ so you can leap, jump, and lunge without running into the furniture. Beachbody tries to follow a “two steps in either direction” rule when creating workouts. However, sometimes those “steps” are more like “leaps,” so more room to move will likely net greater results and less bruises.
What’s going on with the ceiling?
Are they high enough so you can jump without hitting your head? Unless you’re quite tall (or working out in the French catacombs), they should be, but it is something to keep in mind. Same with anything hanging from or attached to your ceiling. Be that a disco ball, light, or ceiling fan. When doing jumping jacks or plyometric workouts, you want to get results, not a hole in your ceiling or a call to 911. Speaking of jumping… if there are things that rattle when you jump, it might be worth securing them with museum putty.
What kind of floor does it have?
Having the proper flooring in your workout space can make the difference between sore knees and a happy, healthy you. If you’re going to be jumping or doing plyometric or floor exercises on wood or concrete, consider putting down a few locking rubber mats with runner rugs beneath them so that they don’t slide. The padding will make the surface softer to land on and you shouldn’t go flying.
For extra padding, consider also using the Beachbody Plyometric Mat. It’s thicker and denser than a yoga mat and more comfortable to land on. If you plan to mostly be stretching or doing core work, you should be OK with using a yoga mat.
The Best Equipment for a Home Gym: The Essentials
The equipment you need is entirely dependent on what kind of workout you’re doing. While it might be tempting to go absolutely gear crazy, you don’t need to break the bank to start a solid home gym. Begin with a few, necessary basics and build your collection as you go. In addition to the aforementioned flooring, here are a few vital pieces of equipment.
If you’re doing one of Beachbody’s cardio programs, you’ll likely only need proper flooring and a good pair of shoes! For instance, the workout programs CORE DE FORCE, Country Heat, INSANITY, and INSANITY:MAX 30, don’t require any equipment at all. And 3 Week Yoga Retreat only requires a yoga mat.
For programs that include resistance training workouts that use more than bodyweight, you’ll need some equipment essentials.
If you’re doing a programs that calls for you to add non-bodyweight focused resistance training to your regimen – such as 21 Day Fix, 22 Minute Hard Corps, P90X, or Body Beast, you’ll need to pick up dumbbells or resistance bands.
With dumbbells, you have two options. You can purchase individual weights — you’ll want at least one light, one medium, and one heavy set — or you can purchase selectorized dumbbells that let you adjust the weight. Expect to pay about a dollar a pound (per weight) for standard dumbbells new, more for the adjustable variety. But keep in mind that selectorized dumbbells replace an entire dumbbell rack, so you’ll likely recoup the extra cost in the long run.
Trevor Thieme, Beachbody’s fitness and nutrition content manager, recommends the PowerBlock U90 Stage II model that ranges from 5 to 70 pounds for men and the U90 Stage I model that ranges from 5 to 50 pounds for women. They are $518 and $379, respectively.
If that’s out of your budget, don’t be afraid to shop around for used ones. The same goes for classic (non-selectorized) dumbbells. Ask friends if they have any they aren’t using, hit up garage sales, and look on Craigslist to pick up weights on the cheap.
Dumbbells are better for building muscle, but resistance bands can be a highly effective addition to your equipment arsenal. Plus they’re easier to carry in a suitcase, and are less likely to cause you to spend serious money on overweight baggage fees.
Beachbody’s resistance bands are elasticized plastic tubes that allow you to control the tension by shortening or lengthening the band. Whether you use Beachbody bands or another brand, one advantage bands have over dumbbells and other free weights is they provide constant tension throughout the lifting movement. In so doing, they help maximize time under tension, which helps build muscle.
Beachbody Resistance Bands are approximately 60″ in length and come in a wide range of resistance levels:
Teal – 5 pounds
Purple -10 pounds
Pink – 15 pounds
Magenta – 20 pounds
Orange – 25 pounds
Red – 30 pounds
Yellow – 35 pounds
Green – 40 pounds
Blue – 45 pounds
Black – 50 pounds
Every program in the Beachbody catalog can be done with bands instead of dumbbells, and to make it easy, most videos feature a cast member doing the workout with bands.
Want great looking arms and a sexy back? Pull-ups and chin-ups will definitely help you get there. You can install a pull-up bar in any wall with the help of a stud finder. However, for a safe, less permanent solution, Beachbody offers a chin-up bar. You can mount the bar onto almost any door frame and remove it when you’re not working out. The bar is designed to support up to 300 pounds and you can use it to do many different variations of pull-ups or chin-ups, including corn cobs!
The Best Equipment for a Home Gym: The Extras
These items aren’t must-haves but they’ll help you squeeze a little more from your workout.
If you can’t yet do unassisted pull-ups or chin-ups, consider purchasing the Chin-Up Max. The Chin-Up Max looks like a resistance band but helps you get a little extra lift when doing chin-ups or pull-ups. Attach the accessory to a pull-up bar, put your foot in the strap, adjust the resistance, and lift yourself as if you were doing a normal pull-up.
As you get stronger, you can reduce the assistance you receive by removing one and then two of the three bands, ultimately ditching the device entirely.
Some people find push-ups cause pain in their wrists. If you’re doing a program that calls for push-ups or planks, push-up stands can help take pressure off of your wrists by keeping them straight during the movement. The stands distribute your weight more evenly throughout your lower arms so your wrists feel less pressure.
Thieme recommends an adjustable bench as it’s the most versatile. His pick? York’s durable, comfortable, commercial grade Flat-to-Incline Bench. The bench adjusts to six positions and is made from 11-gauge steel construction, which makes it nearly indestructible. Nearly. Don’t get creative.
Owning a foam roller is like having a personal masseuse on call whenever you need relief from your soreness. Foam rollers can help ease tension, improve mobility, and reduce muscle pain in as little as five to 10 minutes. Beachbody offers two varieties: the 31″ P90X2 Foam Roller and the 18″ Tai Cheng Foam Roller both of which are composed of high-density foam, and the P90X2 RumbleRoller that has raised nubs to penetrate deeper into muscles.
What does your home gym or workout space look like? Take a photo and share it with us in the comments and we might share it in an upcoming post!