5 Tips for Creating a Killer Home Gym

home gym
Photo: Architectural Digest
It’s officially time to quit the gym.

Let's be real—it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out after a long day or drag yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn to head to the gym. But that's the beauty of a home gym—they're incredibly convenient and fairly cost-effective once you scoop up a few essentials, meaning you're more likely get your fit on on the regular. You can trick out a whole room in your home to create an inspiring space that would put your local Equinox to shame or dedicate a small corner of your living room as a get-fit sanctuary. Below, find five easy steps to creating the perfect home gym for your digs.

Designate a Space

Whether it's a spacious basement, an extra bedroom or a micro-mini section of your living room, the most important thing to remember when choosing a spot for your new home gym is to choose a space you'll actually want to spend time in. Otherwise, you might find yourself making excuses—which is one of the main reasons why you decided to create a home gym in the first place. Just because a room is spacious doesn't mean it's the best candidate.

Create a Budget

A home gym is an investment in your health and requires some level of financial commitment. Before you start swagging out your new workout space, establish a budget. Pinpoint what you're willing to spend, what will work within the space you've selected and what you're hoping to achieve. Rest assured, there are options for every budget. Do some research to get an idea of the cost of the best quality gear you can afford. And even if you can't splurge on a Peloton bike or a TRX system, there are plenty of alternatives out there (jump ropes are great for cardio and resistance bands can be substituted for free weights or cable machines) that are just as effective.

Stick with the Basics

You don't need the latest trendy fitness gear to get a great workout in. Only buy equipment that you know you'll need and will actually use (think: dumbbells, stability balls, mats, resistance bands, etc.) — especially at the beginning. Once you've gotten into the groove and feel ready to take you workout to the next level, then go ahead and treat yo'self to heavier weights or a cool new 'toy.'

Be Picky

This is your space, so you don't need to cater to the status quo. Only buy equipment that you know you will use, not pieces that you think a 'good' home gym should have. This is especially true of things like treadmills, multi-system gyms or pieces of highly-specific equipment. If the option is available, try renting equipment first so you can get an idea of how often you actually use it and if it works well in your space to determine whether it's worth the investment or not. Once you do decide what to buy, take the time to peruse features and design to help you decide which one will best suit your needs.

Design Your Digs

You want to live a more active lifestyle, sure, but what you don't want is for your newfound fitness routine to overwhelm the rest of your home. If you're using an existing space that already serves another purpose, such as your living room, buy a few pieces of furniture with extra storage (for example, an ottoman, chic shelving or a vintage trunk) to conceal your equipment and keep clutter at bay. If you have the space to designate an entire room as an exercise space, take style cues from the rest of your home to decorate your workout room. An inspired space is more likely to keep you coming back for more rather than one that serves as a catchall for your equipment. Clear out any items that might interrupt your flow and consider adding a mirror to help you check your form.

Don't have a lot of space to work with? Use your room's vertical space to store everything from yoga mats to resistance bands and workout DVDs.