Honing The Home Gym

Words: Kerry DULIN

Ever seen someone with a good physique who got it by working out on a home gym? I have. I’ve even competed against people who became competitive physique athletes [bodybuilders] by working out on a home gym. It can be done. Well, if this is true, why do so few do it? Why do most people who buy a home gym end up selling it in a yard sale?

I will tell you why. It is for the same reason that most home businesses fail. They did not have a plan. Home gyms, which are similar to a home business, require dedication. You may have all the desire in the world, but if you fail to develop a plan, and then work it, you will never see results. The following five steps which I have developed will help you get the most out of your home gym. When you follow them, your home gym won’t go kaput, or collect dust.

  1. Write down your goals. What is it that you truly hope to accomplish by purchasing a home gym? Do you just want to lose a few pounds? If so, you really don’t need home gym equipment to do it. Perhaps, a few small changes to your diet and walking a mile a day will get you where you want to go. Maybe, you want to tone up a bit? Now we are talking. Home gyms are a great way to tone up loose and sagging muscles, and add a pleasing healthy appearance to your overall physique. Perhaps, you want to develop a good physique and are just too shy to go to your local gym. All of these things are important and will determine the type of home gym equipment that you buy. You will not develop large muscular arms on a treadmill, or strong thighs with an ab machine. So, determine what it is that you hope to accomplish with a home gym, and write it down.
  1. Make your goals reasonable. The perfect bodies and beautiful people that you see on all the infomercials are not reasonable goals. They are being featured in the commercial for a reason; they are exceptional, and in fact, most of them did not develop their physique from the equipment that is being advertised. If your goal is not reasonable, you are in for disappointment. I’m not saying that you should not set a lofty goal, but there should be legs in the journey. You don’t eat a seven course meal in a single gulp. If, for instance, your goal is to lose 50kg, break it down into steps of 10kg at a time, and celebrate each victory. If your goal is to add an inch to your biceps, don’t measure them every day. If your goal is to compete in the next sports event, forget it, you’re not being reasonable. Reasonable goals, taken in small steps, will return the most quality results over time.
  1. Get the most from your home gym. Do your research. Now that you have established what you intend to accomplish with your home gym, it is time to decide what home gym equipment is going to get you there. As already cited, you will not develop big muscular arms on a treadmill. If your goal is to lose a few kg and improve your cardiovascular health, then a treadmill, stepper, or rowing machine may be just what the doctor ordered. If you have decided to tone up just a bit, then you may find that a set of dumbbells is all that you need. You would be amazed to know what can be accomplished with a set of dumbbells and a little creativity. Your goals may be a bit more demanding, and a complete home gym is in your future. Multi-gyms, as they are often called, may be based on free weights, pulleys, or tension rods; they also offer the advantage of being able to work different muscle groups, with minimal change over, all on the same machine. My own home gym allows me to do lateral pulls, seated rows, incline bench press, curls and squats — all from one convenient machine.
  1. Buy quality. Quality home gym equipment will usually outlast their less expensive counterparts and actually save you money in the long run. It will function more smoothly, while reducing the risk of injury. It will require less maintenance. It will have a more natural feel to it, and is far more likely to still be in use a year from now.
  1. Work your plan. Quality results take effort and time, but they are worth the expense. When you have dropped another dress size, you will not regret the half-hour that you have spent every morning exercising. When you are complemented on your biceps you will not regret the multiple sets of dumbbell curls that got you there. When your abs begin to show, you will not regret the diet, dedication and crunches that led you on your way.

My wife once told me that I am lucky to have a six pack. Perhaps, I am, but I have also found that the harder that I work, the luckier I become. And, so it is with you, my friend. Recognise that this is going to take work, commitment, and time, so establish your goals, develop a plan, purchase the right equipment and then stick to it. You will wake up a year from now ever so grateful for the sacrifice.

This is it, my friend — there is no magic to a home gym. All it takes to ‘tick’ is your dogged commitment.

KERRY DULIN, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition at 41. Now 62, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has what he calls ‘a manageable programme,’ 12+ top trophies to show for his fitness endeavours and a brace of health and fitness websites. He lives in the US [This article is published by special permission from the author. ©Kerry Dulin].

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