Home workouts are the ideal solution for those with busy and demanding lives. There are many to avoid the gym. Perhaps you don’t have time, you don’t have a gym in your local area, or your local gym is always too busy for an effective workout. Investing in home workout equipment can be a perfect solution.
But buying the equipment is only the first part of the struggle. Then you have to make sure you carve out the time to use it. Finding the motivation to work out at home can be very tough, particularly when there are other demands and distractions all around you.
You need to think very carefully about what equipment and workouts are most likely to encourage you to get moving. Otherwise, you could soon see your home gym turn into an expensive clothes hanger.
How does weight loss work?
In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you are consuming. It might sound simple, but the reality is often much more challenging. Most people achieve their weight loss goals through a combination of adjustments to their diet and increases in physical activity.
Above all else, you should make changes to your lifestyle that are sustainable. So, rather than going on a crash diet for a month or trying to fit in daily cardio workouts, aim for smaller and sustainable changes. This could include:
- A combination of strength and cardio training 3-4 times a week
- Tracking your calories and aiming for a calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day
- Moving more throughout the day, aiming for around 10,000 steps per day
- Adding more protein to your diet to help you feel fuller for longer
- Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking around 2 litres of water per day
Weight loss also takes time. If you’ve been putting on weight steadily for 3 years, you can’t expect to shift it in 3 months.
Building a home gym: key considerations
When choosing equipment for your home gym, there are a few things you will need to consider:
- How much space do you have for the equipment?
- What are your goals?
- How much time do you have to work out?
- What is your budget?
- Do you get bored of workouts easily?
When your goals are to lose weight, the instinct is to choose a piece of cardio equipment that is most likely to hold your attention. But this might not always be the best solution for weight loss.
For effective and sustained weight loss, building muscle through strength training might be more effective. For this reason, a squat rack and bench might be a better investment than a cross-trainer.
Cardio equipment benefits
Cardio equipment includes machines like:
- Static bikes/ spin bikes
- Rowing machines
The single biggest benefit of cardio equipment is that it is easy to use. It’s also very easy to track your progress and increase the intensity. You can either use it for longer or increase the speed. It’s also perfect for high-intensity interval training, which can be perfect if you are short on time.
With a subscription to an online fitness class provider such as Peloton or Les Mills, you can also enjoy workout classes from the comfort of your own home. If you struggle to find the motivation to work out, this might just be the nudge you need.
As the name suggests, cardio workouts are great for your cardiovascular health. They will help to build your endurance and stamina and will help you to lose weight while building muscle.
However, cardio training can get boring, particularly if your only goal is weight loss. Keeping treadmill workouts interesting can be challenging, so you need to consider how you will stay motivated.
Weight training benefits
Weight training with free weights is a highly effective way to burn calories and lose weight. There’s a common misconception that you have to choose between cardio or weight training, but weight training is also a great cardiovascular workout.
Women often fear weight training because of the fear they will get “bulky”. In reality, it’s very difficult for women to build muscle because they have lower levels of testosterone. In fact, women who want to build muscle often find it very difficult, particularly upper body muscle.
Weight training offers a wide range of benefits, including improved cardio health, increased bone strength and improved posture and stability. Building muscle will also help to boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn at rest. And this can all lead to weight loss.
Weight training Vs cardio
While you might torch more calories during a cardio workout, you’ll burn calories for longer following a weight training workout. This is because of something known as caloric afterburn. The technical name is Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and it refers to the additional calories you burn after a workout.
Your body uses oxygen and calories to help remove lactic acid, repair muscle fibres, and then restore levels of creative, oxygen and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This process can continue for up to 72 hours after working out.
When it comes to keeping things interesting, weight training often wins. It’s far easier to vary your workouts with strength training equipment than it is with cardio equipment.
What home gym equipment is best for weight loss?
The simple fact is that the piece of home gym equipment that will be best for weight loss is the one you will actually use. To get results with any training plan, you need to be able to stay consistent, and this requires a lot of motivation.
At the start of your training plan, you will be kept afloat by motivation but this will eventually start to diminish. Once you feel your motivation decreasing, you need the habit to take over. So when it comes to choosing the best home gym equipment for weight loss, the real question is: which piece of equipment will allow you to build healthy habits?
If you enjoy the rush of a group workout class, then a body pumping barbell set and step would be ideal.
If you like to challenge yourself with endurance challenges, then cardio equipment like a stationary bike or treadmill will help you to stay on track.
And if you enjoy the challenge of regular strength training, then a home gym package would be the perfect fit.