A Guide to Building Your Own Gym

A Guide to Building Your Own Gym

Going to the gym every day can be time-consuming, distracting, and inefficient.

Home gyms have started taking off as an alternative to a city and membership-based gyms. With exercise equipment at home, you can work out between loads of laundry, immediately after getting home, or right after you roll out of bed; no commuting, detouring, or time-wasting required.

Additionally, as you are the only one using your home gym, you’re guaranteed limitless usage of any machine.

Your Own Gym, Courtesy of Fitness Expo Stores

Fitness Expo stores offer a wide variety of new exercise equipment, so no matter your workout preferences, we can supply you with the starter machines for your own home gym. Keep reading for our top tips on creating your first home gym:

1. Starter machines and equipment

When you’re selecting exercise equipment for your home gym, you need to focus on three factors:

  1. Versatility: How many different types of exercises can I do on this piece of equipment?
  2. Ease of use: Is this a challenge to set up? Will I avoid using it because there’s too much involved with adding weights, calibration settings, etc. before I start each workout?
  3. Room to challenge: As I improve over the years, will this equipment support my growth? Does it have many weights and settings beyond my current comfort level? Can I purchase more weights later?

Without these, you’ll find yourself plateauing in a few months, bored and frustrated.

After you’ve asked yourself the above questions, take a mental inventory of your current equipment: do you have options for both cardio/endurance and strength/bulking/toning?

If you need to purchase either cardio or weights – we’ve got you covered. Here are a few things to remember when shopping at our Fitness Expo stores’ selection:



With cardio machines, you want to pick something that allows you to work out as naturally as possible. For example: because walking uphill, running, and biking involve some of the most natural motions for your body, they’re also some of the most effective cardio exercises. For a solid treadmill, we recommend the BH Fitness S3 Ti Treadmill; and for an exercise bike, we like the Life Fitness C1 Lifecycle Exercise Bike.

If you have a knee or lower back injury or work in an industry where those types of injuries are common, consider a lower-impact option. Elliptical machines and exercise bikes will both raise your heart rate significantly without straining a lower-body injury.

Cardio is the foundation for a solid workout. You won’t be able to lift weights if your heart can’t pump blood to your arms while under stress. So before you purchase any heavy-duty workout equipment, talk with commercial gym equipment suppliers about the best cardio machine for you.



Weights are usually the second type of equipment purchased for a new home gym. Some people prefer dumbbells or benches for their freedom in range-of-motion, while others prefer strength trainers for their guidance and consistency.

We personally believe a good home gym has at least one strength trainer and one bench.

A strength trainer will tone your muscles using specific, guided exercises. A bench won’t provide the same guidance as a strength trainer; however, a strength trainer only has one or two available exercises, while dozens of options exist for bench training.

We recommend starting on a strength trainer to build specific muscle groups safely, then moving to a bench to further tone and bulk those groups.

2. Built-in functionality

When you start working out, you’ll quickly realize there’s more to a gym than new exercise equipment. Don’t forget these essentials:
Water cooler or water bottles

Hydration is key for building endurance and staying healthy. Many home gyms include a water cooler and disposable cups, or a package of water bottles/electrolyte drinks. If you prefer your drinks cold, move a mini fridge into your home gym and store drinks there. Trust us – it’s worth it.


Towels and wipes

Those prone to excessive sweating during workouts will probably want a small towel stash for quick clean-up – and maybe some sanitizing wipes for cleaning off equipment after a workout.

3. A space you love

Finally, make sure your space is attractive and welcoming. There’s nothing easier than postponing a workout, and if your home gym is dark and uninviting, you’ll find yourself on the couch faster than you can say “Where’s the remote?”


Natural light

The first step to cheering up a room is to fill it with sunlight. Light actually influences your hormones, helping you feel more cheerful, alert, and energetic; a dark home gym won’t produce the same results as a bright gym.

If you’re concerned about privacy, install glass films or sheer curtains to block your neighbors’ view but let in sunlight.

And if you don’t have windows? Add a variety of lamps with high-brightness bulbs.



Science is clear: tidy spaces boost our mood.
If you struggle to keep your workout area clean of old towels or stray weights, invest in an organization system. Your weights can easily sit on a weight tree (check out the Hoist HF4459 Pair Vertical Dumbbell Pack), your towels can be tossed in an inexpensive gym hamper, and your mood will definitely see an improvement.


Motivational posters

Ever feel like quitting ⅔ of the way through your workout?

Yeah, us too.
Believe it or not, a simple workout poster can counteract that effect. Find one of a fitness idol of yours, pick out a quote that inspires you to go that extra 110%, or post a “Progress toward my goal” chart. When your muscles are ready to quit, a glance at your poster can remind you of the deeper reason you’re exercising – and help you push to the end of your workout.

Your Home Gym: A Workout Retreat

Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should feel like a retreat from tedious daily responsibilities, a chance to invest in yourself, and a place where you can celebrate personal progress regardless of other circumstances in your life.

When you create a home gym, make it a place of continual progress with the right equipment from quality commercial gym equipment manufacturers. Don’t forget to equip it with workout necessities like hydration, and take the time to design a space where you feel welcome. Soon, you’ll be looking forward to mornings and evenings with just you, a couple of weights, and your favorite workout playlist.