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Posted by Barry on Nov 18, 2010

Build a Home Gym

My Home Gym

When I started doing P90X it was with my son and we needed more than just the living room as we were running into one another and of course using the family TV for something other than just pure entertainment.  So we decided to set up our own home gym in our workshop that we currently used for storage (as well as being my old gym with weights, bench, squat rack now all collecting dust and holding the Christmas boxes).  Times are tough for all of us and I did not have any money to spend so we made due with the old stuff in the workshop and some ingenuity.  After a major cleaning and moving effort we had an area on one end that we decided to use.

The Floor

I was lucky enough to have a large supply of gym floor mats that I had bought for an outdoor project some years before that were stacked in my workshop.  With a little cleaning and hunting for the edge pieces we were able to cover almost the entire area with these nice cushion workout mats.  Perfect for the jumping and rolling around we would be doing in P90X.  I had gotten these at Sam’s Club (currently $21.68 for 8 pieces that cover 33.5 sq ft).  So our floor was taken care f without spending any money.

Pull Up Bar

We needed a way to do pull ups for all of us at the same time so I decided to install long pull up bars.  I had two,  ½ inch 10 foot long black iron plumbing pipes in my shop and several wooden 2X4s.  I mounted the 2X4s to the roof rafters with four bolts per support so that they would be secure and could easily handle the weight.  I put them on every other rafter which made them a little under 4 feet apart or 3 supports per bar.  I had already measured the length that the boards needed to be in order for them to make me get up on my tip toes to grab the bar (me being the tallest I used myself as a worst case scenario) and had also measured where to drill the hole through the wood so we could slide the bar through.  I had the hole just barely larger than the pipe and drilled a cross hole on the middle support in which I put another skinny bolt to keep the bar from twisting (this came later after we found out that with more than one of us doing pull-ups at a time we would end up twisting the bar on each other).   I was able to solve the problem of how to make pull-up bars using what I had laying around our country home.  The bars have worked out great and have not shown any signs of failing after 2 rounds of P90X.

Electronics

I had an old DVD player that we use to use upstairs in the kids entertainment area, but it had been replaced by the PS3 and its Blueray player.  So I moved it out to the workshop.  Also I was lucky enough to have a spare TV set that was also left over from being replaced this past Christmas by the kids getting a flatscreen for their Christmas gift.  So with my 27 inch CRT huge TV and as luck would have it a neighbor had also been getting rid of an old console 27 inch TV about six months before.  At the time we did not know what we would use it for, but our neighbor did not have any room to keep it so we had moved it into our workshop.  So with my old DVD player and my two left over TVs and all the appropriate cabling to set them up to run off the same player (as an engineer I have an old box of electronic cables that I keep for just such a project) I had the electronics covered.

Table Space

If there was something positive that came out of our kitchen flooding I guess it would be that I had a lot of cabinets ripped out and stored in my workshop.  The original plan was to install the good ones in the workshop to be used, but wouldn’t you know that they were just stacked in the corner collecting dust.  So we stacked the ones designed to be on the floor along the edges of our workout area and placed the old counter tops on them for areas to set the DVD player and TVs on.  We also set up a nice area where we can put our worksheets for writing down our reps as well as were we put the pitcher of water we need during the workouts.

Chairs

Of course we also had a nice set of 5 chairs that had been used as portable chairs for when the family or company came over.   These black metal chairs turned out to be perfect for using to help with the pull-ups as well as being the right height for swinging our legs over during the Plyo routine or doing the multitude of sitting lifts for P90X.

Dumbbells

Several years ago as I started my own little gym out in the workshop, I got a set of dumbbells as a Christmas gift.  These went from 3 lbs up to 35 lbs and had been used some over the years, but not on a regular basis.   So I started out being able to use both dumbbells that I had from the past as well as a set of bands.  As I’m sure many of you have tried to work out and stay in shape over the years we have all collected different pieces of workout gear and this time I was going to be able to re-use something that had been put in storage.

I used some extra space I had out in a building on my property that I call the workshop.  You can set up your own home gym in your garage, in your basement, in your guest room, in your laundry room, in just about any extra space you may have at your home.  If you do not have any extra space then rest assured that working out in front of your TV in the living room is what P90X was designed for, having your own home gym is just convenient.

My family and I got to spend some time together putting all the pieces together to make our home gym.  It was a lot of cleaning, sweeping, moving, laughing, goofing around, and fun.  Anytime you can all work together on a project and end up with something you all can use that not only is fun, but helps us to stay healthy and fit then it is not really work at all.  We have enjoyed working out in the gym for over 6 months now and I must say it is one of the most used rooms at our home.

If you would like any help in designing, figuring out how to do it, or just want some ideas on how to hang a pull-up bar then feel free to e-mail at barry@gooburner.com.

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2 comments
Vivek Chawla
Vivek Chawla

Great info! I'm also trying to move Indoors (been working out in the Garage), this is very helpful! Thanks!

Barry
Barry

No problem, glad to be of help!