The Basics of Building a Home Gym

Home gym in luxury villa houseAnd on top of that, the gym isn’t always the most welcoming environment: Sweaty, loud and rude gym-goers can be enough to make even the most avid fitness enthusiast throw in the towel. That’s why the idea of having a personal fitness center in the comfort of our homes is so appealing. The key is knowing where to start.

Marty Scheller is something of a home gym guru. He’s been with Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling since 1990, joining his two older brothers in their venture to better aid the community’s fitness goals. Their original store, found on Preston Highway, has now branched to five additional locations, including stores in Lexington and Clarksville. Thanks to his experience, for those looking to start their own home gym, Scheller has a few inside tips from the trade.

Starting that first rep

When deciding what to buy first for a personal gym, Scheller recommends starting with what you already enjoy. “People tend to gravitate toward what they favor at their fitness club,” he says. “If they have something that they love to do at the gym, like spinning, it’s attractive to be able to spin at home.” It’s also ideal to place your new gear in an area in your home where you actually want to be. “If your gym is tucked in the dark corner of an unfinished basement, you’re not going to feel compelled to work out there.”

Breaking a sweat

“If you want to get one machine to try to do as much ‘all body’ as possible, a row machine is a good place to start,” he offers. The fluid motion of the row machine is perfect for activating your arms, your legs and even your core. It’s a great way to engage your entire body in one workout, so it’s ideal for cardio aficionados on a time crunch.

Scheller also suggests a treadmill, which over the years has become more budget-friendly but remains an exercise staple. “Whether you’re running, jogging or walking, those are all natural ways to move because our bodies are engineered to work that way.”

If money is no object, there is one machine that Scheller favors over the rest: the XT-One – a cross trainer by Octane Fitness that essentially allows the user to walk, run, hike or climb all in one. And with the ability to customize any workout to exact specifications, it lives up to its motto of “one machine, infinite workouts.”

Pumping you up

When it comes to powering up those pecs or boosting your biceps, it can be as easy as lifting some dumbbells on a bench or a stability ball. But there are ways to go above and beyond to really supercharge a workout. Most fitness machines are good at isolating one muscle group, but Scheller recommends trying a functional trainer: a cable-based machine that works more than one target muscle group at a time. “It’s the way your body works; whether you’re doing yard work or going for a hike, you’re using multiple muscle groups.”

The cool down

With dozens of different brands and machines to choose from, the most important piece of advice Scheller gives is to choose your equipment carefully. “When building a gym, make sure you invest in a machine that is going to last. Nothing can derail your hard work more than a failing exercise machine.” Although his store has a range of price options, Scheller always favors quality over anything else and often encourages going for the more high-end equipment so that customers are not disappointed in the long run: “A year or two down the line, you want your machine to stick with you and your good workout habits.” VT

By Zachary Burrell, Contributing Writer