If You Miss Going to the Gym, Here's How to Recreate the Experience at Home
Logically, you know you can get an effective workout at home. There are countless online workout options and, thanks to Amazon, it’s easier than ever to create an at-home gym. Whether you curl 20-pound dumbbells in a fitness center or your living room, your biceps don’t know the difference. And burpees? They suck everywhere. Yet, you may still find yourself longing for that authentic gym experience.
Truthfully, even the fanciest at-home gym can’t compete with all the bells and whistles of a state-of-the-art fitness facility. But there are ways to recreate parts of the gym experience—and get a killer workout—in the comfort (and safety) of your own home.
Tips for a Gym-Inspired Workout at Home
To get a gym-quality workout at home, you need to create the right environment. Follow these tips to set yourself up for success.
1. Make a space for designated workouts
“A large part of the gym’s attraction is that it is a dedicated space just for training,” says Michael Julom, certified personal trainer and founder of ThisIsWhyImFit.com. “This puts you in the right mindset, separate from the rest of your life, and hopefully removes distractions.”
Use one part of the room for strength training, and another for yoga to create differentiation. If you work out in a multi-purpose space, close the door and restrict other members of the household (pets included!) from entering while you’re exercising.
2. Create a positive ambiance
“Part of the gym experience includes the music, the mirrors, motivational signs or photos, and maybe even the lighting,” says Jason Salter, certified personal trainer and co-owner of Forged Soul Fitness in Berlin, New Jersey.
Do your best to recreate the vibe at your gym. This could be as simple as dimming the lights and blasting an energizing playlist, or lighting candles and hanging up inspo pics.
3. Get social
Do you work harder when you have an audience?
“For many people, part of the experience is the social environment,” Salter says. “Seeing others may serve as motivation.”
If possible, work out with a buddy or partner up via videoconferencing. Or schedule a class through Openfit LIVE where you can access Openfit’s online community and expert instructors.
4. Invest in your space
You don’t have to forfeit your first born to build a serviceable at-home gym. But to make a down payment on your future fitness that will pay real dividends, you might want to get it right the first time.
“Buy gym-quality workout equipment,” advises Bryan Ortiz, certified personal trainer and Wellness Director at The YMCA in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. “This serves two purposes: You will feel that you are at the gym, and investing in equipment that is costly will motivate you to actually use it.”
If you’re missing the gym, you may actually be craving the structure and guidance it provides more than the actual space. Gyms offer group classes, fitness challenges, skills workshops, and on-staff personal trainers, all of which help you get the most out of your workout. If you want to get the same kind of results in your at-home gym, you need to follow a plan designed by fitness pros.
1. Bodyweight Workouts
An Openfit subscription gives you access to various programs that include detailed plans, workout calendars, and challenges designed to jump-start your results. Many require no equipment, and all of them can be done in your at-home gym. Here are just a few options:
- Xtend Barre combines ballet and Pilates to burn calories and sculpt a lean-looking physique. Most movements require just your body weight, but light weights and resistance bands are optional.
- Yoga 52 offers a year’s worth of yoga classes for every practitioner level, from beginner to expert.
- Led by some of the most elite stuntwomen and martial artists in the business, Rough Around the Edges will have you throwing punches one minute and dancing the next.
2. Workouts with Equipment
Does your at-home gym consist of a couple of dumbbells and a tangle of resistance bands? That’s perfect — really! A comprehensive fitness program will help you move beyond the same old lifts and build strength in a smart, systematic way.
- Intended to prepare you for the demands of an obstacle course challenge, Tough Mudder T-Minus 30 builds endurance and strength with a combination of bodyweight and dumbbell moves.
- Got 10 minutes? 600 Secs’ super-efficient workouts will help you optimize your time (and your at-home gym equipment). You’ll need just one set of dumbbells and a resistance band.
3. Cycling workouts
For those who are getting diminishing returns by pedaling on their own steam with an indoor fitness bike, there are individual rides and coordinated programs led by trainers who push cycling to all-new altitudes.
- Capitalizing on the heart rate-based training that’s native to the MYX fitness bike, Openfit rides range from short and intense to long and varied.
- The 7-Day Jumpstart program offers a range of trainers, class types, workouts, and music designed to expose you to the best of the MYX fitness bike and cycling on Openfit.