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5 Ways To Get The Most From Your Home Gym

A home gym can help you build muscle, produce an attractive body, rev up a sluggish metabolism and shave years off your age.

If you choose wisely, you'll have all the tools you need to accomplish these goals (and more). But not everyone knows where to start or how to get the most from a home gym.

When clients ask me about buying home gym equipment, here are 5 things I tell them to get the most from their purchase:

1) Buy a well rounded piece of equipment:

Unless you have hundreds of square feet in your home to dedicate to multiple pieces of equipment, you should look for a home gym that covers all the major exercises (including the ones you don't like), such as chest, back, legs (hamstrings & quadriceps), shoulders, biceps and triceps.

2) Make sure your home gym is stable:

There's a saying, 'You get what you pay for.' Most of the inexpensive home gyms you buy from a local department store have very narrow bases, so they tend to rock a bit. Stay away from home gyms that do not have a good stable base.

For a basic rule of thumb, look at home gyms that are more 'square' or 'as high as they are wide'. As an example, you won't want a home gym that 10ft high x 2 ft wide x 2 ft deep, unless you are going to anchor it to a concrete floor.

3) Put your home gym in a place you will use it:

If you leave your home gym in a room you normally don't go into to, odds are high that you aren't going to use it. The more inviting the room where you place your equipment, the more likely you will use it (how many of us really want to work out in a dungeon?).

If there's only one place you can place your home gym, then work on the room. Maybe add a coat of paint or put up pictures that inspire you. Add a stereo system or a wall mounted television. By making the room inviting and inspiring, you'll ensure that workouts will be enjoyable.

4) Make a simple & short workout routine:

Don't go making or using 'Mr. Or Ms. Olympia' home gym workouts. That's the first big mistake that people make when they first get their equipment. Instead, start by making a workout that is only 30 to 45 minutes long. That's less than a 1 hour TV show.

Do this workout 3 to 5 days a week. Remember to work all your muscles (not just the ones you like) for optimum results. It helps to keep a record of your workouts on paper so you can see just how far you've come.

If you're stuck on what to do, don't worry. Many home gyms come with beginner workouts. But again, don't go all out and kill yourself the first few workouts - start from where you are and build on it. Consistency is key for a killer body.

5) Write your workout days on the calendar:

Like any important appointment, make an appointment with your home gym. You need to make the effort to put yourself, your body and your health first - especially at the beginning stages. Experts tell us it takes 3 to 6 weeks before actions become habit. Once you've built the habit of working out, it will get easier.

To help you stick to your exercise appointment, get loved ones to encourage you and make you accountable. Once you get past the 8-week mark, you'll feel (and look) so great you'll wonder why you didn't get a home gym sooner.

So those are 5 ways to get the most out of your home gym equipment. Enjoy and good luck!

Charles O'Neill is a certified personal trainer and contributing writer to Diet and Exercise Reviews.

For more free exercise tips and reviews, visit


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