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How Do I Make My Garage Feel Like a Gym?

In News

You may be someone who dislikes the crowds, the noise, the unlimited options that overwhelm you, and the sometimes lack of cleanliness that comes from a public gym. If this is you, We have good news! You can continue your workout routine, stay in shape, and enjoy all the benefits of physical activity without stepping foot into a gym. 

Whether you set up your workouts in your living room, office, back porch, or other location, you can stay fit and healthy without leaving the comfort of your own home. In this article, we will discuss how you can make your garage feel like a real gym! Let’s get started.

Benefits of Working Out

When it comes to activity of any kind, there are endless benefits for your physical health, mental health, and daily functioning: 

Cognitive Function

Engaging in exercise has immediate positive effects on brain functioning. It decreases feelings of tension and stress while supporting your cognitive function and overall brain health. It can also help improve your mood. 

These things, in turn, aid in a better sleep schedule, as many people struggle to form healthy sleep habits due to tension and stress. 

Weight Management

Are you someone who constantly talks about wanting to lose weight? Many of us are guilty of saying this but not being proactive in accomplishing it. 

Combining regular physical exercise with a healthy diet will aid in increasing calorie burn throughout your day. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. This is why it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet in combination with physical exercise. 

However, it’s also important to refuel your body with healthy nutrients after working out, so find a balance in your eating patterns, which we will discuss below. 

Heart Health

Exercise has several benefits for cardiovascular health. When engaging in 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, you increase the strength and function of your heart. In addition, this maintains your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels, which all improve your energy and overall health. 

Stronger Muscles and Bones

Working out improves the strength of your muscles and bones. Overall, it helps to support your joint health. Weight training especially can help your muscles and bones over time as you continue to get stronger. 

Improved Quality of Life

As you can see, engaging in regular exercise has benefits in many areas of your physical and mental health. These benefits increase your ability to complete daily activities and improve your overall quality of life. For example, when you regularly engage in cardio and weight training workouts, you will have more energy and strength for moving heavy objects, picking up your baby, playing with your kids outside, or completing whatever it is you need to do daily.    

Four Most Important Types of Workouts

When it comes to working out, there are many options to choose from. However, each of these options is tied into four major types of workouts. To get the most out of your exercise routine, involve each area in your weekly workout routine. 

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, commonly referred to as cardiovascular exercise, increases your heart rate and breathing and positively impacts many parts of your body. Not only does it strengthen your heart and lungs, but it also increases the strength of your muscles and bones. It is recommended to engage in 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity. 

This could include a variety of options, including: 

  • Running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Rowing Ski Training
  • Zumba
  • Aerobics

There are also several cardio exercises that can be accomplished with your body weight. Some of these include:

  • Marching in place
  • Burpees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Cross jacks 
  • Squat jumps
  • Jumping lunges
  • High knees
  • Shuffle and touch

Strength Training

This type of training is important to increase the strength of your muscles and bones. It also assists in completing daily activities, such as carrying groceries, moving heavy objects, picking up your toddler, etc. 

This can be done through various bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, resistance bands, or gym equipment. In addition, you can often combine your body weight with dumbbells to further increase resistance and intensity. For instance, you can increase the work of your step-ups by holding a weight in each hand as you make this move.

  • Bodyweight: Squats, push-ups, lunges, situps, pullups, step-ups, planks, calf raises
  • Weight and resistance bands: Squat and press, bicep curls, shoulder press, bent-over row, one-arm swing, triceps kickbacks

Stretching

The importance of stretching is often overlooked in a workout, as many people are tempted to skip the warm-up or cool down. However, this is vital for proper preparation before working out and recovery of the muscles post-workout. 

Failing to stretch can lead to pain, muscle cramps, joint damage, and delayed onset muscle soreness

It is recommended to stretch at least three to four times a week, but preferably every day. In addition, it’s important to take a few minutes before your workout to warm up and a few minutes after your workout to cool down. 

When warming up, engage in dynamic stretching, which involves active movement that increases your body temperature and blood and oxygen flow. For example, you can march in place or do arm circles. When cooling down, static sketches are the best route because they involve holding a stretch in one position for 60 seconds at a time. Aim to stretch out the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, shoulders, neck, and lower back. There are several options for stretches, and specific muscles that should be targeted depending on the part of the body worked that day:

  • Neck stretches
  • Chest stretches
  • Triceps stretches
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Wrist stretches
  • Bicep stretches
  • Torso stretches
  • Calf stretches
  • Hamstring stretches
  • Thigh stretches

Balance Exercises

Many of us get so focused on the speed and strength of working out that we forget to engage in the slower and simpler parts of a routine. 

Balance is a vital part of your workout and dramatically reduces the risk of falling, just as we mentioned with stretching. When engaging in balance moves, focus on the moment you are in and move into it slowly and carefully. You may need to begin by holding onto a chair or other surface to keep from falling. 

As you practice these moves, you will find yourself becoming more capable and may no longer need something to grab onto. Here are a few exercises you can try to improve your balance:

  • Standing knee lifts
  • Sitting and standing from a chair without your hands
  • Balancing on one foot at a time 
  • Side lift with dumbbells

Gym Workouts vs. Home Workouts: Which Is Better?

When it comes to working out at home versus going to the gym, this is totally dependent upon your preference. There are several pros and cons to each option, and there is a right or wrong option, whichever route you choose. Compare these lists below to decide the best workout location for you.

Gym Workouts Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A variety of gym equipment, ranging from cardio machines to weigh stations to areas for stretching.
  • A variety of amenities depending on the gym, including pools, hot tubs, and saunas.
  • Workout classes and personal trainers are available.
  • Indoor location where you can still work out even if the weather isn’t good. 
  • The monthly fee might increase your workout motivation.

Cons:

  • Monthly membership fees.
  • Closed on holidays and sometimes overnight depending on the gym.
  • Not as convenient as working out at home.
  • It tends to be less clean than working out in your own environment.
  • Risk of negatively comparing your progress to that of other gym goers. 

Home Workouts Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No monthly membership fees.
  • Available anytime, day or night.
  • Convenient and close by.
  • Cleaner than working out in a gym.
  • No temptation to compare your progress to others.

Cons:

  • Less equipment available- you must purchase your own.
  • Usually not as many amenities, if any.
  • No workout classes or personal trainers.
  • Less motivation to workout if no monthly fee is being paid.

Must-Have Equipment for my Garage Gym

The type of equipment you choose for your gym depends upon the type of exercises you want to engage in. Refer to the list of workout tips below to decide what workouts to do and gym-goers what equipment is needed. 

Purchasing exercise equipment can be expensive, so remember to budget yourself when planning to invest. Creating your perfect garage gym could save you a lot of money on monthly gym fees in the long run. 

Cardiovascular Training Equipment

  • Stationary Bikes: These are a good option if you are looking for a simple exercise starting out, as they are easy to use and provide a good cardio exercise. Consider the type of seat available when engaging in these workouts, as sitting for long periods of time can be uncomfortable. 
  • Treadmill: This machine is suitable for walking or running, although it can be hard on the joints. Some models have fewer joint-jarring surfaces, which can assist in the high-impact. Look for one with side rails and an emergency stopping device that will keep you safe while working out. 
  • Rowing: These machines are designed to work the legs, arms, and back simultaneously while targeting the whole body. It may take some time to get used to the rowing motion. Consider EnergyFit when looking into rowing machine options. There are a wide array of workouts that can be performed with EnergyFit’s SKI-ROW AIR and SKI-ROW AIR+PWR.
  • Stair Stepper: This workout provides low-impact movement while also increasing your heart rate; however, this exercise can be difficult on the knees, so consider this when engaging in this activity. Some stair steppers come with hand grips that can be used to work the arms and the legs.
  • Elliptical: These machines have a combined up-and-down movement which incorporates the idea of a ski machine and stair-stepper. The workout is almost impact-free, which creates an easy impact on the joints. In addition, you can adjust the resistance setting to make it more or less difficult.  
  • Ski-Training:  The SKI-ROW AIR by EnergyFit is a one of a kind, dual-function High Intensity Interval Training machine. It has the ability to switch from a rower to ski trainer. The SKI-ROW can be used for rowing-only or skiing-only workouts, but it also can be used to do mixed-erg workouts for enhanced results.

Strength Training Equipment

  • Hand Weights: Hand weights are helpful because you can choose the weight depending upon your fitness level. For instance, you can start at a low weight and increase your weight as your strength improves. 
    Getting dumbbells that are D-shaped with padded center bars tends to be the easiest to hold. In addition, you can get weights that strap on your wrists to increase the intensity of your Zumba training, run, or other exercises.
  • Ankle Weights: These are an option for added resistance when it comes to strength training. 
    For example, putting ankle weights on while doing side leg raises or hip extensions will cause further resistance and increase your results. In addition, these five to 10-pound weights have pockets that allow you to add additional weight as you improve in your strength training.
  • Resistance Bands and Tubing: These are great options for a full-body workout. They provide added resistance without the need to grip a dumbbell. They are lightweight, easy to store, and easy to take with you on a trip. 
    You can determine the level of resistance based upon the number of reps you can complete. For instance, if you cannot do eight or more reps, the resistance is likely too high. In the same way, if you can do more than 12 reps, the resistance is likely too low. 

Equipment for Stretching and Balance

  • Yoga Mat: Having a mat on hand is good for added cushioning for your joints. In addition, it allows you to have a cleaner surface instead of stretching directly on the ground. 
  • Foam Roller: This is an excellent option for rolling out your muscles post workout. It allows them to relax and will aid in a quicker healing process. 
  • Stretch Band: This is a great option to increase the depth of your stretch. Make sure not to push yourself further than you can, as this can result in injury and the inability to participate in exercise further. 

Tips for Working Out in Your Garage Gym

Keep It Unique

When it comes to working out, remember the importance of keeping variety in your routine. If you only engage in running, lift weights, or go swimming, you are likely to burn out more quickly. 

Consider what exercises interest you and do a variety of these throughout your week. For example, if you plan to workout Monday through Friday, you could follow this guide:

  • Monday: Go for a run and stretch
  • Tuesday: Weight training and stretch
  • Wednesday: Yoga
  • Thursday: Engage in a rowing machine activity + stretch
  • Friday: Weight training + stretch

This is a sample plan above and should be adjusted depending upon your preference. For example, if you hate running, exchange this for a different cardiovascular workout, such as the stair stepper or an elliptical machine. 

In addition, when it comes to strength training, you can also decide what additional weights to use and what exercises to engage in. Yoga is a great workout mid-week to give your body a rest while still engaging in a wonderful form of exercise.    

Make It Fun!

There are several ways you can make your workouts more fun: 

  • Amping Up With Music: Turn up the music! Playing your favorite artist, whether on a speaker or through your headphones, is a great way to spice up your workout! 
    Whether you enjoy pop, country, or rap, listening to music while exercising will make it more fun and encourage you to keep pushing during the exercises.
  • Using a TV: Especially if working out at home, TVs are a great way to add entertainment to your routine. You can use this to watch your favorite show while rowing or using a stationary bike, or you can use it for workout guides to all your favorite HIIT, CrossFit, and weight training routines.
  • Get a Workout Buddy: Even if working out in your gym, a workout buddy is a great solution when it comes to finding a routine you can be consistent about. In addition, having someone to workout with will make the exercises more enjoyable and allow you to hold each other accountable.  

Choose Your Preferred Exercises

When it comes to working out, there are endless options for your routine. You can choose from a variety of cardiovascular workouts, strength training routines, HIIT, SKI-Rowing, yoga… the list goes on and on. 

This is nice because each person will find their interest in a different area. You might enjoy a morning run while your friend enjoys biking or rowing after dinner. No matter what your preference is, remember to pick your favorite exercises when planning out your routine. 

Engaging in something you enjoy will likely increase your participation and will keep you working out long-term.

Get the Right Equipment

Just as choosing the right exercises are important, choosing the right equipment is equally as important. Working out can be difficult if you don’t have the things you need to complete the routine. 

For example, if you enjoy biking but own a treadmill or rowing, but you own an elliptical, your workout will likely be less appealing. Although it can be expensive at first, invest in a machine that interests you when possible. 

In addition, choose whether you prefer dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or another form of weight during strength training. Having the equipment you want in your garage gym is the perfect way to keep yourself invested in the workout and sticking to the routine long-term. 

Control the Temperature

Working out in your gym could get hot in the summer or cold in the winter, depending on where you live and the insulation of your gym. Remember to have a fan on hand for the summer when things get hot, open the garage door to allow airflow, and situate the fan so you can comfortably feel it. 

You will likely need no additional temperature controls if it’s cold outside, as you will quickly warm up while working out. However, if you prefer to start in a warmer environment, a heater will easily do the trick.  

Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

When it comes to working out, it’s vital to provide your body with proper nutrition before and after the exercise. To nourish your body properly, consider this list of nutrition rules:

Pay Attention

Many of us are guilty about being so focused on the workout that we forget about the importance of nutrition. However, this is a key component of exercise, as it provides your body with the ability to heal faster and more proficiently. 

Your body needs a variety of nutrients for fuel, which can be accomplished through a variety of options:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole-grain carbs
  • Healthy fats  

Fuel Up

Even if trying to lose weight, fueling up is important! Your body doesn’t need to be starved just because you want to lose that extra fat. Instead, fueling your body with the proper nutrients will assist in losing weight and will prevent some of the following due to nutritional deprivation:

  • A reduction in muscle mass
  • Weaker bones
  • Increased fatigue
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Increased time needed for recovery
  • Problems with hormone levels

You Can Love Carbs Because You Do Need Them!

Often, we feel guilty for loving our carbohydrates because we are told they are food to stay away from. However, we have good news! Research shows that this macronutrient plays a vital role in long and high-intensity workouts. 

The important thing to note is the need for healthy, whole grain carbs instead of white and processed ones. If engaging in a light intensity workout, you should eat three to five grams of carbs for each kilogram of body weight. Or, if you are working out more than an hour a day, you need six to ten grams of carbs for each kilogram of body weight. 

When considering what healthy sources to choose from, look at the list below:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa 
  • Whole-grain bread and pasta
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fruits
  • Veggies 

Rebuild With Protein

Just as carbs are essential for your workout nutrition, protein is also important. This nutrient assists in building and repairing your muscles post-workout. It is recommended to eat between 1.2 and two grams for each kilogram of body weight. 

However, if you aren’t active, eating 0.8 grams for each kilogram is effective as well. Just as with carbs, remember to eat a variety of healthy protein sources, including:

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Beans 
  • Peanuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Tofu 

Don’t Ignore Fats

Just as with carbs, fats frequently get a bad rap in the health-focused community. However, it’s all about the type of fats you choose and the balance in which you eat them. 

Your body needs fat for the absorption of vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K, while water-soluble vitamins include B and C. When considering what fats to take in, aim for unsaturated ones, such as:

  • Avocados
  • Olive and canola oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Nuts and nut butter

What Do I Need Pre-Workout and Post-Workout?

When you engage in a workout, try to eat one to three hours before starting the exercise. This will avoid stomach upset or cramps that may come with running, jumping, or high-intensity moves. In addition, don’t forget about the importance of post-workout nutrition. During exercise, your body utilizes your stored energy sources. 

It’s best to eat high-protein food within 15 minutes of your workout to begin the process of muscle building and repair and increase energy levels. You also want to take in carbs and fluids since exercise tends to diminish these sources. You may choose to drink water while eating a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread, or you may choose to combine your fluid and carbs by making a post-workout protein shake. Make your post-workout nutrition enjoyable!

EnergyFit’s Solution to Making the Most Out of Your Garage Gym

After reading this article, are you feeling overwhelmed with the endless workout equipment available? Are you unsure of what you should invest in? 

If so, EnergyFit’s dual rowing and skiing machines are the perfect solutions to your workout routine! You have the option to choose between the Ski-Row Air or the Ski-Row Air+PWR, both of which provide rowing, skiing, and HIIT workout abilities. 

There are endless exercises that can be done on these machines. Combine a variety of these exercises to get the perfect at-home gym workout!

Ski-Row Air and Ski-Row Air+PWR Features

  • The ability to choose between rowing, skiing, or mixed erg HIIT workouts
  • Heart-pounding air-flywheel resistance 
  • Gas-assist cylinder 
  • Rust-proof extruded aluminum seat-slider beam 
  • Convenient front-mounted wheels for easy transport
  • Bluetooth
  • Heart rate connectivity
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Console readouts with time, pace, stroke, rate, distance, calories, watts, and heart rate
  • Programs involving time, distance, or calorie goals, and time or distance intervals

What Are Some Exercises That Can Be Done With EnergyFit’s Rowing Machines?

  • Biceps curl: Increases strength in the upper part of the arm while keeping the abdominal muscles tight.
  • Arms only row: Targets abdominal and upper body muscles.
  • High row: Works your upper back and shoulder muscles.
  • Reverse overhead row: Works the abdominal and shoulder muscles.
  • Single-arm row: Targets the upper body muscles on one side of your body and should be done in equal amounts on both sides of the body.
  • Single leg row: Targets the muscles on only one side of your body at a time.
  • Alternating arms: Works your upper body and core.
  • Alternating reverse lunge: Challenges your entire body as well as balance.
  • Butterfly: Works your chest, arms, and back.
  • Plyo jump: Targets your lower body. 
  • Overhead triceps extension: Challenges your triceps, core, and balance.
  • Single leg triceps pull down: Challenges your triceps and balance.
  • Staggered leg skiing: Targets your leg muscles.
  • Woodchopper: Works your entire body, with an extra challenge for the core. 
  • Straight arm pulldown: Targets your core and back. 

Wrapping it Up…

If you want to get into a good workout rhythm but don’t know where to begin, we hope this article was helpful. Remember that picking your exercises and workout equipment should depend upon your preferred routine. There are many workouts to choose from, and you should never feel limited in your options. 

If you need a good place to start, consider investing in the Ski-Row Air or Ski-Row Air+PWR offered by EnergyFit. These machines are the perfect go-to for any workout routine, including rowing, skiing, and HIIT. Now that you have all the knowledge, it’s time to get started on your workouts!

 

Sources:

The four most important types of exercise | Harvard Health

Benefits of Physical Activity | CDC

Tips for choosing the right exercise equipment | Harvard Health

Nutrition rules that will fuel your workout | Mayo Clinic

Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors | NCBI 

Balance Exercise | Heart.org

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