Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Redesign Your Home Gym

Winter is setting in and chances are you've got to move more of your workout indoors.  And while that might put a downer on your motivation, instead see it as an opportunity to shake things up with your current routine and your space.

Get Something Motivational Up on Your Wall - Stirring up enough motivation to train hard at home can be a challenge but there are ways to shake off the cobwebs and get down to business when you walk in there.

Whether it's an inspirational quote or poster, there is a lot to be said about visual cues.  Many of us are predominantly visual and getting something up on the wall where you'll see it everyday can play a big part in staying motivated.

Put Up a Goal Board - The number one killer to any training program is the absence of a goal and the lack of recording progress.  Do you remember what your deadlift was this time last month?  How about last year?If you've been steadily training a movement for the past few months, have you made any progress?  We all get motivated by setting and achieving goals.  You might be surprised by how much improvement you've made in the past year but without keeping record or setting goals for yourself you just might be missing out on seeing those great accomplishments.

If writing down your goals on a white board isn't quite the thing to motivate you, pin up a relevant photo or two of your next goal.  The quick visual can be much more meaningful and sticks in your head more than a number up on the wall.  And when you smash that goal, replace it with something else immediately so you can stay focused on making gains.

Keep a Training Log and Plan Ahead - Keeping a training log is important but also critical to success is having a plan and following it.  Once you've got one or two goals written down, put a four week plan together to meet them.  If after four weeks you've met your goals, fantastic!  Set new ones.  If you did not reach your goals, don't look at it as failure, but learn from it.  Maybe the goals were too lofty?  Or maybe the movements you were training didn't contribute to increasing your capacity.  Change the plan and try again.  That's part of the fun of it.  Seeing what works and what doesn't then exploiting the type of movements and rep schemes that works best for your goals.

Do Something to Improve Your Space - Having a clean, well-lit place to train plays a big role in staying motivated, too.  Chances are that if you are training in your basement or garage, there is probably something that you could do to improve it's look or functionality.

Our first advice is not to try to rebuild your gym from scratch all at once.  Maybe tackle one small improvement every few weeks.  It might be adding a floor mat or two or maybe putting fresh coat of paint up on the wall.  Make improvements slowly and keep the projects small enough that you can complete in one afternoon.  That way you won't clutter up your space or make it unusable and you will stay motivated to keep on improving your space.

One thing we've found that is amazingly cost effective but of great value is adding a sheet of 4x8 plywood on one or more of your walls.  If you like working Handstand Push Ups or Wall Walks and Wall Runs, plywood is an effective wall protector, it looks great and you can walk out of the hardware store with a sheet of it for under $50.  Don't grab the expensive stuff - even particle board works great.  And some like the look of it unpainted.  It adds to the industrial feel.

Make Cleanup Easy - Most everyone likes clean lines in a space, and whether its your living room or it's where you meet some iron for a little training time, you'll want that area to be ready each and every time you walk in there.  Keeping your equipment well put away maximizes your open floor space and keeps you motivated to train.

If you end a training session with equipment left out, it's a real detriment to training the next day.  Ever walked into an unkempt gym space?  Who wants to spend their first 15 minutes cleaning up the place?  You haven't got to empty your wallet to keep all of your equipment organized, but keeping your space tidy goes a long way in staying after your goals.

Train With Versatile Tools - The enemy of progress in the gym is routine.  Understandably it's tough to master movements which you don't practice steadily, but without mixing up our programming, we don't stay mentally engaged and challenged.  Once your brain checks out, your workout becomes boring and you won't stay after it.

Owning equipment that is versatile allows you to keep changing things up and keep your interest level high.  If you haven't tried any new exercises with your current equipment, it might be tie to learn something new.  Tools like gymnastics rings, kettlebells and dumbbells are smart investments because of the wide range of exercises that can be done with them.  If you need some inspiration on what to try next, here's a few exercises for gymnastics rings that are challenging and fun.  And if you are looking to outfit your gym with any of these tools, we've got some great home gym packages put together that are the perfect answer for the stale routine.

So, wake up that routine, plan a gym improvement project and get some motivation to pursue your goals.  What are you waiting for? 3-2-1-Go!