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Creating a Home Gym

In This Article:

Page 1

Okay, let's say that you're starting to think that working out at home is the way to go for you. What now? Well, now you've got to look into the future a bit and anticipate some of the challenges you may face. Don't worry, we'll walk you through it! One important disadvantage of working out at home is that you have no spotter, a kind soul who will make sure you don't drop a weight on your head. While most home gym equipment is designed to minimize (and/or eliminate) this problem, the potential still exists. Let's take a look.

Recognizing and Avoiding Home Gym Pitfalls
It sounds perfect, doesn't it? If you have gym equipment at home, you can work out in privacy on your own schedule. What could be better? Well, before you assume home is where the exercise is, consider a few built-in pitfalls. Perhaps the most important one concerns safety – an issue we'll return to again and again throughout this book. If you're working out at home, you're almost always also working out alone, and that can be dangerous.

For instance, one day many moons ago, Joe came home and found his father stuck upside down like a bat hanging helplessly in a pair of inversion boots (an odd but once-popular piece of home gym equipment). One can only imagine what his poor old man would have done had no one come along to extricate him from his perilous predicament. Another time, Mr. Glickman was benching a modest amount of weight and was unable to press the bar from his chest. Stuck like a mouse in a trap, he slowly, painfully, rolled the weight toward his knees until he was able to squeeze out from below. Although these examples are humorous, each year 5 to 12 deaths are reported from weight training. Usually the cause of death is suffocation from dropping the bar across the neck during the bench press. These kinds of stories are virtually nonexistent in a gym, where patrons and trainers typically rush to your assistance.

Needless to say, because you are alone you need to take extra care to read the instructions that come with your home unit. If there's anything that you don't understand, don't hesitate to call the manufacturer. Many units come with a video. Take the time to watch it – it could spare you an injury.

What You'll Need, and What It'll Cost
Assuming you're like us and plan on working out until you're put out to pasture, setting up a home gym is more economical over the long term. (Actually, working out in a pasture is rather appealing as well!) Of course, if your shiny high-tech piece of equipment becomes the featured item in a garage sale, you've been penny-wise and weight-foolish. Let's examine the cost of a complete home gym. We'll start with the equipment, which should include these three components:

  • Cardiovascular equipment. You'll need some type of machine – stationary bike, rowing machine, or treadmill – that gets your ticker ticking.

  • Resistive equipment. This apparatus will help you build muscle.

  • An exercise mat. We'll discuss stretching at length, but for right now know that working on your flexibility should be an integral part of any fitness regimen. Without a mat, you're even less likely to follow our advice.


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Excerpted from he Complete Idiot's Guide to Weight Training © 2003 by Deidre Johnson-Cane and Jonathan Cane. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide website or call 1-800-253-6476.


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