Fitness is your life or at least a big part of it. This means the gym is exceptionally important to you. Whether you’re a pro athlete or a weekend warrior, there are certain pieces of equipment your dream gym must have if fitness is a priority to you. I don’t just mean kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells either. We need to also consider accessory work, conditioning, recovery, and the overall atmosphere.
Here are some of our thoughts on building out your dream gym to maximize efficiency.
For one, your dream gym needs equipment that meets your basic needs. This varies depending on what your sport is, but there are a few items every gym should have. The most important is a rig, a barbell, and a variety of weight plates. No matter what sport you take part in, a barbell rig is important. A rig allows you room to squat, bench press, shoulder press, and do pull-ups.
You also should consider kettlebells, dumbbells, collars, and an ab wheel. A barbell and plates are extremely important in any gym setting for strength training and practicing lifting. Dumbbells are important to help you hit less activated muscle groups through accessory work. Kettlebells allow similar exercises as dumbbells but allows different movement patterns and planes of motion, as well as many other different exercises such as kettlebell swings. The ab roller is vital to building core strength and is great to use in a circuit or giant set paired with the exercises and equipment mentioned above.
Accessory Work and Conditioning
In addition, straps, bands, rings, and other items are important for supplemental accessory work. Depending on what your goals are, these items will vary. Items like kettlebells and boxes can come in handy for all sorts of different movements. Your gym isn’t complete without these sorts of items.
Gyms should also offer cardio equipment. Running is great, but equipment like Airdyne bikes, rowers, and ski ergs are also important in fitness. Gyms shouldn’t just be about strength. They should offer cardiovascular fitness as well. A track is another accessory that can come in handy, as running is an important part of cardiovascular fitness.
Another important part of the perfect gym is the ambiance. This means everything from community and music to lighting and mirrors. Especially if you’re building a home gym, consider that you might need to watch your own form to see if you’re lifting correctly and safely. Lighting and mirrors come in handy here. Consider adding a lighting contactor to your home gym to create lighting that helps you see what you’re doing, right and wrong.
Whether you’re building a home gym or looking for a new place to work out, the community is vastly important. This could mean inviting friends and neighbors to use your space, or it could mean joining a gym that has a great foundation and is welcoming. Playing the right music and having a great sound system add to the sense of community and help create a welcoming vibe.
Though you may have to watch your own form sometimes, especially in a home gym, coaching is really important in any gym situation. It’s just as important as the community and ambiance. If you’re working out at home, consider hiring a personal trainer, even if it’s someone online. If you’re looking for a new gym, find one that has coaches that you mesh with.
All coaches are different. They offer different cues and can help you with specific and individual skills. Some coaches are going to offer cues that click for you and some won’t. Find coaches that match your vibe and that you work well with. Coaches can be great, but not great at coaching you. It’s important to look out for those who click with you and the way you learn.
Gyms should also offer recovery equipment. Recovery is extremely important to working out. Whether it’s a sauna, swimming pool, or yoga classes, recovery is an essential part of the fitness process. Make sure that your gym offers some sort of recovery, in order to avoid injury and to take you further on your fitness journey.
Recovery means different things to different people. Figure out how you define recovery and recover best, and then look for tools that aid you in that process. This might mean ice baths and saunas or it could mean active recovery, like in a pool. No matter what, make sure recovery is a part of the formula.
Whether you’re building a gym at home, or you’re looking for a new fitness community, make sure your new gym has the items needed to meet your needs. Structuring your dream gym with a variety of important equipment for all facets of your training and lifestyle will maximize the space and efficiency for your workouts. Your body and your mind will thank you for it!