Bring It On Home

You're really committed to fitness. So much so that you're thinking about setting up your own home gym. The equipment options are higher in quality and more space efficient than ever. But you'll be faced with many trade-offs. For instance, you can buy free weights for a lot less than any weight machine, but you'll need a spotter to safely perform many of the exercises. You can shop the Internet for a used weight machine, but you better thoroughly inspect it before laying out the bucks. Here's something else to think about: How likely are you to move from the place where your home gym will be set up? It's not the kind of thing you want to be taking apart and setting up a lot.

The Bigger Picture: After you get all those issues figured out, there's one more detail to tackle. How much space will you need for each piece of equipment? These are very general estimates, and include considerations for being able to maneuver around each piece, but we think you'll find them helpful in designing your home gym. Free weights with barbell and bench take up about 20 square feet. A single-station machine uses at least 30 square feet, while the multi-station variety needs 50 square feet or more. Stationary bikes, row machines and stair climbers can all be placed within a 10 to 20 square foot area. If you have young kids in the house, remember to childproof everything so the little ones can't get hurt.
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