Chances are you’re not a pro athlete, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need or deserve to have a gym like an Olympic gold medalist. Because, hey, you’re serious about your fitness journey and you’re not going to let a measly pandemic get in your way. But in all seriousness, whether you’re currently stuck in lockdown or if you’ve simply always wanted to have a home gym, there’s no denying that this is a great investment.

Of course, you could stay fit when working from home without ever stepping into a gym, but we all know that the gym is the best place to build the physique of your dreams. That’s why today we are going to talk about all the essentials you need to build a home gym a professional athlete would be proud of, and what it takes to maximize its potential.

Create the ideal layout

Custom built home gym with equipment
Custom built home gym with equipment

The road to building the perfect home gym starts with the layout, because you want to optimize the little space you have for maximum performance, comfort, maneuverability, and of course, strength training. Assuming that you have already determined which room is going to serve as your home gym (hopefully it’s the garage), you can go ahead and create a floor plan.

By far the best floorplan is the one that maximizes the free space in the room. The more stuff you put in the middle of the room, the more cramped it feels, and it will severely impede your performance, not to mention that you won’t be able to do certain exercises that require more free space. With that in mind, go ahead and push everything in your plan up against the walls, and try to leave as much free space in the center as possible.

Proper airflow and air conditioning are essential

Once you have the floorplan, you can go ahead and start working on your gym. But before you start bringing in the squat racks and the bench press and the dumbbells, you should take care of some functional problems. For example, what is going to be the main source of fresh air in your home gym? Is it just one window and an AC or is it a proper ventilation system with ceiling fans?

This is something you want to think about well in advance, because proper airflow and air conditioning is essential for your health and performance, no matter if you’re doing strength or weight training, or cardio. Remember, you can’t achieve much in training if you constantly feel like you’re about to pass out from the heat, and a home gym can get very hot during intense training sessions.

Get versatile, high-quality equipment

Entrepreneur bench pressing in custom built home gym
Entrepreneur bench pressing in custom built home gym

When it comes to buying gym equipment, keep one very important lesson in mind: you’re making a long-term investment into your future. Getting the right gym and fitness equipment from reputable vendors and brands is of the utmost importance if your goal is to reduce financial waste and get something that will serve you for years to come.

When you’re working with limited space, though, you should also prioritize your purchases, and ideally get multifunctional equipment that can fill numerous roles. For example, a single power rack with a bench can substitute a standalone squat rack, bench press, a military press station, and more. Look for this type of equipment to minimize the clutter in your home gym.

Invest in quality mirrors and lighting

Another key consideration, aside from the equipment, that many people overlook at first is the mirror and lighting combo. Proper lighting is absolutely essential for safety, but it’s also important for when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, admiring what you have accomplished. And speaking of the mirror, don’t forget to put up quality mirrors on the walls in your gym in order to make the space look and feel bigger, but also to get some motivation during training and be able to check your form.

Add a surround-sound system

Lastly, having a good sound system is instrumental in getting the best workout experience possible. Not only do you get to control what’s played during your workout sessions (goodbye generic gym music), but you can also install a surround sound system that will blast your favorite tunes all around you to immerse yourself completely in your workout. This will give you some much-needed motivation and inspire you to push your body to its limits in training.

Build a home gym just for you

Entrepreneur working out at home gym
Entrepreneur working out at home gym

Building a home gym is no easy feat, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your health in the long run, and it’s a great investment into your future in general. With these tips in mind, go ahead and build yourself a home gym that even a professional athlete would admire.

Have any more tips for building a home gym? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.