Prevent Your Home Gym from Becoming a Clotheshorse

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

We’ve all uttered these words at some point. “I need to get in shape.” With time at a premium, health club fees rising and many of us being a bit unsure or intimidated by thought of going to gym with the muscle-bound beefcakes who spend more time looking in the mirror than training, the idea of engaging in exercise at home becomes rather appealing.

I went the home-gym route once. A buddy had an old bench and some weights that he needed to sell because he didn’t use them and I thought, “What a moron! This is a bargain. What kind of person who would have such a brilliant set up and not use it?”

I set the min-gym up and used it about five times. More often than not I would train with another friend of mine and afterwards we’d kick back and have a few beers after our training session. I eventually sold the equipment to a former colleague who, I am told, finds it to be the sturdiest clotheshorse he’s ever had.

It’s not hard to see why attempts such as mine fail. You’d think that with equipment at the ready you will be more inclined to train because you can do it anytime. The reality is that it’s too easy to fall into the trap of not having enough motivation. Whether you drive right past a health club en route to the office, or whether you have weights at home, human nature dictates that you will always find an excuse not to exercise. The fact that infomercials on TV sell all manner of contraptions that give “rock-hard abs” in only five minutes a day also creates the false impression that getting into shape is easy.

Training at home is possible and there are people who get a decent workout without having to battle traffic or wake up earlier than bakers. And it needn’t be expensive. Below are a few handy hints to try if you want to get in shape from the comfort of your home.

1. Get a personal trainer. Fees vary but it is often worth it as they bring their own equipment and can guide you safely through a routine. You’re also less likely to bail out when you are being charged for a session.

2. Train with a group. Unless you have rubber-armed friends like me who need little persuasion to crack open a six-pick rather than work on one, group training works well as there is more than likely going to be one eager-beaver who will ensure that your weekly training session doesn’t turn into a poker game instead.

3. Enter events. Having a reason to get fit is an excellent way to stay motivated. By entering that mountain bike race or triathlon you won’t just be training for the sake of training.

While training at home can be a challenge, it is possible provided that you remember that there is no quick fix to health and fitness. No pills or miracle equipment will miraculously undo years of de-conditioning. It’s going to require some effort but the payoffs in terms of longevity and improved quality of life make it more than worthwhile.

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