As fitness centers across the country closed their doors this year with the spread of covid-19, it comes as no surprise that many health enthusiasts decided to take matters into their own hands by building home gyms. According to several reports, major retailers have seen an unprecedented surge in fitness equipment with some experiencing triple-digit growth. Whether it’s squat racks, benches or cardio machines, America is shifting away from the big box gyms and opting to work out from home instead. No mask policies, no fear of a coronavirus spread and the convenience of rolling out of bed and onto a treadmill make the home gym a very appealing option.

So what if you have an empty room that you’re wanting to put to good use by converting it into a home gym. What do you need to know before you go out and buy free weights and a stair machine? Below are five helpful tips that will make your home gym the best one on your block!

  1. Mirrors

Remember that it’s not about how much weight you can lift – it’s all about proper form. And it’s hard to know whether you’re doing an exercise correctly if you can’t look at yourself in the mirror. Therefore, invest in some large wall mirrors so you can monitor your progress from head to toe (and flex your muscles while you take endless selfies!). It will give your home gym that health club feel.

  1. Proper flooring

Whether it’s a dumbbell you accidentally drop or a glob of oil dripping from the bottom of your treadmill, you need to make sure that your flooring is well protected. A good option is interlocking rubberized mats. Not only will it reduce the vibrations produced from cardio equipment, it will also safeguard your floor from the cracks and stains that come with having a home gym.

  1. Measurements

When dealing with equipment like squat racks and elliptical machines, make sure everything is carefully planned out. A large piece of equipment can take up a sizeable amount of real estate so grab a measuring tape and make sure everything not only fits but is well spaced out too.

  1. Great lighting

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to keep you motivated, it’s proper lighting that puts an exclamation mark on the pump you get from lifting weights. As such, don’t cheapen out on an epic lighting setup. Speak to your contractor or lighting salesperson about the options available that can turn a dark basement into your own personal mecca of bodybuilding.

  1. Safety when mounting

If you plan on installing a heavy bag, pull up bar or anything that requires a drill to your home gym, again, speak to your contractor to make sure the walls or your ceiling can handle the added weight that comes with increased wear and tear.