5 easy steps to building the ultimate home gym for any space

Whether you’re planning to spend the season enjoying the great outdoors or the great indoors, Canadian Tire has everything you need to Bring On Winter fun. From winter activities the whole family will enjoy to tips on building the ultimate home gym, Canadian Tire has the gear you need to stay active this winter, both indoors and out.

Woman working out at home using exercise mat
Photo via Canadian Tire

Home gyms have been on the rise lately, as going to a crowded gym may no longer be an option for some, while others simply prefer the flexibility and convenience that working out at home can offer. (Not to mention the potential cost savings compared to a pricey gym membership!)

However, unlike a commercial gym which typically comes with plenty of room to move about, building a home gym requires a bit of strategic planning, particularly for those living in condos or apartments. Small space dwellers need to be especially smart about how they plan their workout area in order to maximize floor space and utility.

In order to create a home gym that works for you, it’s important to decide what type of workouts you want to focus on. Someone who practices yoga and Pilates will need vastly different equipment than someone who does high-intensity workouts (HIIT).

Once you’ve established your workout style, you can start building your dream home gym. Whether it’s tucked away in the corner of your condo or a dedicated area in your garage or basement, don’t let limited space deter you from getting in shape. Here are a few tips for building the ultimate home gym according to your specific needs and space.

1. Determine where your home gym space will be

Man using home gym equipment from Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Once you’ve committed to building a home gym, the first order of business is deciding where it will be located.

If you have an abundance of space, it’ll be a bit more obvious where your gym will be situated, as a basement or spare room can perfectly accommodate a home gym. For those living in compact spaces, it’ll take slightly more planning to find the ideal spot, but it’s far from impossible. Maybe you have an under-used corner of the living room where you can store your exercise gear, or a home office area that can double as workout space when you’re off the clock.

No matter where you choose to set up, there are a plethora of adjustable and collapsible equipment options that won’t take up much room. You may find you have to adjust your workouts slightly to accommodate the space you have to work with as well, but as long as you’re determined and plan ahead, you can carve out enough room to workout in any type of space.

2. Decide what equipment you’ll need

Man using home gym equipment and Bowflex SelectTech 522 dumbbells from Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Finding the right equipment is extremely important, and even more critical if you have limited space. The key is to look for gym equipment designed to do double duty or that can be folded or stowed away when not in use.

Weight training? Start with a set of adjustable dumbbells. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells allow you to adjust the resistance from 5 to 52.5 pounds while being space efficient. A workout bench is another great addition for any home gym, allowing you to add variation to your workouts. They’re a great asset for building strength and endurance, but they do tend to be big and bulky. Fortunately, benches like the Bowflex 3.1S Adjustable Utility Weight Bench feature a click, lift and go process that allows you to fold it up vertically and stow it away once your workout is finished.

The TRX Training Fit System Suspension Trainer, meanwhile, allows you to effectively target your upper body, lower body and core, and can be easily set up indoors or out. (Don’t forget to add a mount if you plan on setting up your TRX Trainer somewhere more permanent. The durable steel plate easily attaches to walls, studs or overhead beams.)

Cardio workouts can be no-fuss as well. Have limited room but want to get your heartrate up? Try adding a skipping rope to your workout arsenal. The IGNITE By SPRI Premium Speed Rope will have you drenched in sweat in no time. If you do have the space for larger equipment, pick something that can do double-duty. The Bowflex M3 MAX Elliptical Machine/Trainer Stepper, for instance, combines two cardio workouts in one machine and is slim enough to avoid taking up too much precious real estate.

3. Figure out a layout that works for you

Man using home gym equipment, exercise mat and weights
Photo via Canadian Tire

Once you have a better sense of what type of exercise you want to do and what equipment will fit your space, it’s time to map out where everything will be situated. Use a measuring tape to figure out the best way to maximize your space so you can comfortably move around while exercising.

Then get creative with space-saving ideas, such as adding a pegboard to hang items like your jump rope, resistance bands and yoga mat. Condo dwellers should also consider designing your space with shock-absorbing foam floor tiles so you don’t drive your downstairs neighbours up the wall.

4. Personalize your space

Woman doing yoga at home with weights
Photo via Canadian Tire

You’ll do your best workouts in a space that inspires you to put in the time, so give your home gym a more personal touch by decorating or painting. Decor like a floor mirror, a clock and good lighting can help make your home gym a more welcoming space and encourage you to spend more time in it.

Good music is one of the best motivators when it comes to exercising, so we recommend adding a Bluetooth speaker to your workout space as well. The JBL Flip 5 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is a slick speaker that provides big sound despite the compact design — plus you can strap it onto your wrist for outdoor workouts once the weather warms up.

5. Use it!

Woman using Stairmaster equipment in her home gym
Photo via Canadian Tire

Once you have your home gym in place, it’s time to get down to business. One way to keep yourself consistent is by using a workout app. A good exercise app will help you schedule your workouts and give you direction and goals to work towards. (Looking for recommendations? Here are some good options for beginners.)

Another great way to crush your workouts is to have an accountability buddy. After all, when it comes to encouragement and motivation, your friends and family are your best assets, so use them to keep you focused when you need a little outside inspiration.

Winter isn’t always easy, but Canadians know how to make the best of it, and Canadian Tire is here to help. Whether you’re looking for tips on dealing with messy winter weather or fun outdoor activities to keep kids active, Canadian Tire has everything you need to Bring On Winter this year, so you can embrace all the fun and excitement the season has to offer.