Suppose I do a workout without weights or online yoga classes at home; would I be exaggerating if I went around telling people “I have a home gym?” I don’t, mind you, I’m stating it as an example.
In other words, do I need an elaborate full body weight lifting system in order to say “I’m off to my gym for a workout?” Or is a gym as simple as a dedicated floor space where you do any type of workout?
The term “home gym” is not very clear. You can buy all-in-one comprehensive resistance training systems. Yet, it’s not my view that you need weight lifting equipment in your home to say you have a gym. I prefer a broader view of the term to mean any dedicated workout space in your home. That means if you run on a treadmill, or do aerobics, yoga, or Pilates, using no weights, for instance, in a dedicated space, then call your workout space a gym
So far, all I’ve written is pretty straightforward and maybe you’re wondering “so what?” The point is I want to set the context for the various types of home gyms you can set up – all very different, yet home gyms nevertheless.
Now to the heart of the matter.
Broadly speaking, there are 4 types of gyms you can set up in your home
1. Studio Gym
A studio gym is basically a bare space where you do workouts that don’t require any significant apparatus such as a treadmill or resistance training system. Types of workouts you would do in a studio gym would be yoga, aerobics, and the weightless workouts you follow along in a book or DVD
2. Cardio Gym
If you have a space where you use a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical trainer, stepper, vibration machine, and/or a rower, this would be a cardio gym. Some people have several cardio machines while other people have one.
3. Weight Lifting Gym
This is the type of gym most people conjure up in their minds when using the term “home gym.” There are 3 types of weight lifting gyms, generally speaking:
- Lever-based: is a single or multi-station weight training system that uses levers and weight plates for resistance.
- Machine-based: is a single or multi-station weight training system that uses cables, rods, and/or pulleys.
- Free weight: is a free-weight gym – whether a set of dumbbells and a bench, or a fully decked out free weight gym with squat racks, bench press, rack of dum bells and barbells, benches – much like a commercial free weight gym.
4. Hybrid Gym
If you’re into cross training like me, then you may have a gym in which you have a combination of the above. For example, you may have a lever-based weight training system, an elliptical machine, and floor space for yoga.
What type of home gym is best for you?
Home gyms are a work in progress. You might start with a studio gym and then buy a cardio machine. In time as you get into different types of workouts, your gym may change. Or, maybe you do only yoga and won’t ever buy any gym equipment. Obviously there is not a one-size-fits all.
I can tell you from my experience that I’m always looking for more cool fitness equipment and workout programs to add to my workout space. I guess that’s the nature of a cross trainer – always mixing it up and keeping it interesting.