Does the crowd in the gym scares you? Do you have to share one machine with a few people all the time? Do you have to wait for a good 20 to 30 minutes just to use the treadmill because it’s always occupied? You wish you can visit the gym during off peak hours but it’s not so possible for most of us Singaporean.
Take me for example, I start work at 830am and end work at least around 7pm. Travelling to my workplace takes about 1 hours and this means I have to wake up at least 2 hours before work. It will take me a lot of effort and discipline to go out, hit the gym and work out early in the morning before work as I’m just not a morning person. What about night, you ask? Every night after work, I just feel so drained and exhausted from work that I just want to have a good bath and sleep. Some of you may think that it is all excuses. Well, yes! These are all excuses and if you have the will, you can work out anywhere, at any time!
If you are someone like me, building your own gym at the comfort of our house might be just be the solution for people like us.
Let me break it down why I am building my own Home gym;
Transportation to the gym and back home might be a waste of time and affect amount of session you can get in a week. Singaporean who worked in central business district may have gyms that is located just 1 to 2 stops away by public transport. However, considering Singapore’s public transport downfall these years, the speed and the crowd during peak hours may drag a merely 15 minutes travelling time to twice or triple the time. And imagine braving through the travelling hardship and you still got to queue to use equipment in the gym!
Not to mention Singaporeans who do not work near CBD area, gym could be out of the way for them.
Building a home gym make sure that I can get in a workout after work. The time that I’ve saved from travelling to gym is good enough for me to get in a quick workout of 20 to 30 minutes. Affordable treadmills bought online can allow me to run and add cardio to my work out regime.
I can immediately take a bath (No need to queue!) and enjoy my dinner thereafter. It is a more effective way to use your time and save on commutation hassle.
I used to work in Audit field, and working overtime is a norm in our industry. The work is so overwhelming that auditors had no choice but to work way beyond normal working hours in order to be able to meet deadline and client’s expectation. There is more occupation that required overtime in Singapore, and this simply means that people might not have the luxury of time to visit the gym after work. Even if they do have, commutation is tiring enough. Singaporeans might not even have enough time to spend with families, let alone visiting the gym and wasting time to queue and wait for equipment to be available.
Having a home gym in our humble HDB allows working professional to work out at home, together with their family. Families can also have fun while working out together. For people like me, most of the time we bring our work home if deadline is approaching. During mind block or tired from sitting in front of computer for too long, a quick work out at home really freshen up my mind.
Have you tried doing a research for the price tag of gym around your work area? Let me list down a few for you.
|Gym (available near CBD)||Fee per month (Range)|
|Fitness First||$170 to $200 depending on packages|
|Pure Fitness||$150 to $200 depending on packages|
|True Fitness||$70 to $120 depending on packages|
|Anytime Fitness||$60 to $100 depending on packages|
On average, monthly membership fee for gym located near CBD is around $150. That makes up to $1,800 per year. And that is not inclusive of the additional transport fee travelling to the gym and of course, the cost of dinner (at least $6 x 5 times gym at week) at town would cost you at least $1,520 a year. The total adds up to a whopping $3,000 per year, imagine what can you do with this $3,000 expense every year?
This amount of money can be invested in building a decent home gym and all the equipment is owned by you for the years to come. I’ve built my humble home gym with pepu.sg where they have packages that fits all budget. I get to own a treadmill, a full set of dumbbells and barbells and even smith machine, all for less than $3,000.
By signing up for gym membership and in order to get better rate, most of the packages encourage people to sign for a longer period from at least 2 years to up to 5 years. This is not a small commitment for Singaporean, and we ended up cancelling the membership way earlier than expected. At the end of the day, we must choose between hefty penalty for early cancellation or continue to pay for the membership fee that you are too busy or lazy to visit due to the hassle. A simple search on internet will show you how many people are letting go of their gym membership at a loss of at least 50%. Not to mention that gyms also charges an amount of transfer fee.
With the price tag and effort made to maintain gym membership, invest in building a home gym and do not need to worry about early cancellation penalty or looking for interested party transferring the membership to avoid further loss. Even if one day you wish to sell your equipment away, it is definitely easier to do so compared to transferring gym memberships.
There will always be members hogging to gym equipment in the gym. Even when they don’t, the queue to use popular machines like treadmill or racks are long during peak hours. Imagine sharing the Smith Machine with another 2 people where each will take 5 minutes for 1 set of exercise and at least 3 sets per exercise. Not to mention the sweaty patches contributed by other on the gym equipment. That’s already 30 minutes of waiting time. When this happens, I will leave the gym and run outside for a quick cardio session. However, it defeats the purpose of me paying for gym membership if I’m unable to fully utilise the equipment in gym.
After I got my own home gym, I do not have to wait, ever! I get to work out on my own pace and do not have to share with anybody else. I do not have to compromise my work out due to the long wait and I love it!
As a female member in the gym, it’s hard not to feel uncomfortable and slightly self-conscious in the gym where 80% of the visitors were male. Often, ladies will feel awkward and “paiseh” (shy) to perform various exercise in front of strangers and prefers working out in your own comfortable space and pace. I often see many ladies visited the gym finding themselves only on the treadmill and yoga mats as they are too shy to share the other gym equipment with regular gym goers. At the same time, they are not too sure of how to use these machines.
By building a basic home gym to be called yours, ladies can practice and work out in comfort of their house. We do not need to be shy and can learn various exercise technique for muscle building through researching online and practicing at home. Essential items like free weights and rack as well as bench are good enough to train most of our body muscle part. Top it off with a basic treadmill to hit daily cardio goal.
Cater to your goal
Commercial exercise equipment in the gym may look intimidating and confusing for non-regular gym goer. Commercial gym equipment is mostly more specific and focus on only 1 or 2 body parts. This allow professional body builder to be more precise and pin point on different muscles part. For normal people who hit the gym for health, fitness and aesthetical reason might not need to do the same as professional body builder. This simply means that normal people do not need to master the usage of every single machine in the gym.
Thus, building your own gym allows people to select and pick only the essential items according to their goals. This is not only cost saving but also save saving. I will talk more about how you can set your goals and the essential items in building a home gym of your own in the next part.
Going to the gym, you got to make sure that you work out clothes is decent enough and not too sloppy. With home gym, you can wear whatever you want. For me, I always throw on only my trusty sports bra and FBT shorts that is so old that it ripped at the side for my workout. YASSSS to be able to wear whatever you want!
However, they ought to be pros and cons for everything, including working out at home. The main downside of having a home gym and working out at home is motivation and self-discipline. It can be hard to be get down to work out when sofa is just near you. Thus, we recommend building your home gym area away from your resting area like bed or sofa, preferably empty corner of your living room or if space allow, a room dedicated for home gym.
Once you have decided that you would like to build your own gym. These are some considerations to be made;
Are you looking at improving your health and simply wants to have a more active lifestyle, planning to exercise 3 to 4 times a week? Or you are an avid gym goer who works out at least 5 times a week, looking to build gain and build more muscles? Everyone can lift weights to improve health and aesthetically improve their body, however normal people might not need to purchase full dumbbell set and only need basic gym equipment to be more conducive and space saving.
For more devoted and professional gym goer, he/she might need to invest in more gym equipment to train different body parts. Multi-station machine is commonly recommended as people can perform at least 5 to 6 exercises and are able to customize the preferable weights.
Budget is one of the most important part to consider if you are planning to invest and building your own gym. This is rather simple, if you have a constraint budget, go for only one cardio machine and couple of free weights. Even without fancy gym equipment, there are plenty of body weight work out to sweat it out. Of course, if you have prepared to dedicate a space and a considerable amount of money for your home gym, go ahead and get a multi-station machine, cardio machine as well as fuller set of dumbbells to fulfil your needs. With less than 50% of amount required to pay, ones can build a comparable home gym than signing up for gym membership.
People with higher budget can consider getting semi-commercial grade gym equipment. These usually promises longer machine life and are able to provide more stability and uses for building muscles and working out.
As we have mentioned above, if you are constraint by space, go for foldable gym equipment that is more space saving and compact. Home gym equipment available nowadays are generally compact and foldable in some ways. Take this foldable bench press set I bought for my home gym for example, the bench can be folded upwards and space required to store is minimal. I have chosen a compact treadmill that is fully foldable and can be stored standing up. With such convenient gym equipment readily available online, that is one less excuse for not building a home gym and work out regularly.
If fortunately, you do not have any space constraint, feel free to go for regular sized gym equipment that is comparable to commercial grade, like the Twin H treadmills. Bigger and bulkier equipment allows more stability to your work out. For example, bigger treadmills that is non-foldable promises more stability and have bigger running area. This means that taller or bigger sized people will be able to run more comfortably without feeling constrained.
In conclusion, building a home gym can be beneficial in a lot of ways in the long run. If you are still unsure of what gym equipment you should be getting according to your goal, check out our next article to find out more!