10/18/16

At-home gym - a great investment!



In the spring, I read an article from Bethany Rutledge about the perfect pain cave for your budget and it made me so happy. I have always been a gym lover but over the years, I've learned that time management is extremely important as an adult age group triathlete.
We could not be more pleased with our at-home gym and how useful it is for our active lifestyle. 

A lot of time and money goes into a home-gym but in my opinion, it's a huge time-saver and it's cost effective. 

We can workout no matter the weather.
We can workout no matter the time of the day. 
We can workout when we don't want to commute to the gym.
We can workout even when we don't have the energy to workout.
We can workout without distractions. 
We can workout and suffer in privacy. 

I can imagine that there are some pretty nice at-home gyms with some pricey equipment but for us, we needed an at-home gym that was practical for our swim/bike/run lifestyle.

Although training outdoors is great and we can train outside year round in Greenville, SC (minus a few really cold days), we have found great value in having an indoor training environment that is conducive for specific workouts that require focus and consistency..... and for those times when working out just seems like less of a hassle when it is in the privacy of your own home (ex. it's cold outside, you finish an indoor bike trainer workout, you are drenched in sweat and hoping on the treadmill seems much more inviting than drying off, layering up and then running outside). 

In our at-home gym, you can find:
1) My trainer bike - We purchased a hardly used Trek tri bike and Karel fitted me to the bike. It's always set on the trainer - all year long. This way, I don't have to sweat all over my racing bike (my racing bike needs enough routine tune-ups as it is!) and I don't have to carry my bike through our house. In the winter, when I am primarily riding inside (except for the longer weekend rides or when it is too cold), my Stages power meter (crank based) goes from my racing bike to my trainer bike so that I can ride with power (we have a computrainer but I don't use all it's functions). I never use power outside when I train in the winter (or when I am on my road bike). We also have another trainer (with power) that is used for RETUL fits and for Karel (who trains indoors in the garage - where it stays cold in the winter).

2) ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill - We invested into a quality treadmill but one that didn't give us more functions than we needed. A used, cheap treadmill would not do us much good considering how much we run on the treadmill and the type of workouts that we do on the treadmill. This treadmill is great because it has a decline setting (3%) and an incline up to 15%. It doesn't turn off after an hour, the speakers are great for jamming music and it has a nice shock to reduce the impact. It also has two fans with two speeds. It's also easy to collapse (if needed). We LOVE our treadmill and it has been one of the best investments we have made for our at-home gym. 

3) Weights, bands, stability ball, weight bar - the typical stuff that we use for functional strength training. We don't need machines when it comes to "lifting" but instead, we can do every strength move at home with our own equipment. 

4) Plyo box - Karel built us two plyo boxes (he found a YouTube video how to make them - pretty simple) which are great for plyometrics but also for simple hip exercises. They also work great as tables  :)

5) Smart TV - Occasionally I'll watch something on TV but music (You Tube) is usually on when I have a specific bike trainer workout. Although movies and TV shows are nice when it's an EZ spin and the weather is not ideal outside. We don't have cable in the workout room but we have Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. As you can see, the TV sits low to the floor as it's not ideal to look "up" at a TV when you are riding aero on a tri bike (or any bike for that matter).

6) White board - The white board comes in handy to write out workouts ahead of time. All of our workouts include a warm-up, pre-set, main set and sometimes a post set so with so much going on in a workout, it's nice to see it in front of you. 

7) Mirror/towel container  - The mirror is used to address proper form and the towel container keeps a bunch of small towels (many of which, we have received from races) which are a necessity for indoor workouts when sweating is unavoidable. 

8) Medals and bib numbers - inspiration and motivation. We have 18 Ironman bib numbers and medals between us both. On the wall above the white board hangs our IM Kona medals (7 between us both) and bike frame numbers. 

9) Cooling off - floor fan, ceiling fan....and a window. 

10) Gym flooring - We installed heavy duty rubber flooring for our gym for easy cleaning up and to make it more functional. We debated about removing the carpet before putting on the floor but we ended up putting the flooring on top of the carpet and it's been just fine for us.

Today I took a mid-day break to perform some functional strength training. Although Furman University (where we swim and sometimes strength train) is just 1.5 miles (or 10 minutes) away, I saved 20 minutes of driving to perform 20 minutes of strength training, in the middle of the day, without any distractions.

Although the best place to workout is the one where you will actually workout, I highly suggest to invest in a few pieces of equipment to make your house a bit more training-friendly so you (and your family) can stay consistent with training/exercising.