Setting Up A Home Gym In Your HDB Flat? Here's What To Look Out For
STORY: Dawn Hee
20 May 2021
Home gyms in HDB flats are increasing in popularity these days as more we become a more health conscious society and in light of social distancing and subsequent gym closures.
However, with a greater demand naturally comes a greater supply. The online market is brimming with different companies offering different products and bundles. How then does one choose something suitable? Fret not - here are some guidelines to follow when deciding on your purchase.
1. Know what you're looking for
Most people have an idea of what they want out of a home gym, but few know exactly what they want. Considering the cost and the amount of space it’s going to take up, it’s important to narrow down your choices based on your criteria.
For example, an adjustable rack for an olympic bar could come in the form of two stands, a half rack or a full cage. If you’re going for something basic for your bench presses and squats, go with the two stands. However, if you want more out of your home gym, there are many variations of racks these days that come with low/high pulleys, dip handles…the list goes on. So it’s important to know what you require out of your home gym before making that decision.
Once you’ve decided on what kind of equipment you require, the next step is to ensure that you allocate sufficient space for it. Many online portals offer the exact dimensions of the equipment which allows you to measure accurately how much square footage you need.
However, although it’s a given, don’t be exact with the measurements. Do ensure that you have ample buffer on both sides of the equipment. A good buffer would be about one metre. Otherwise, if something goes wrong while you’re squatting or benching, you don’t want your bar ending up smashing the dining table or a nearby cabinet. Also, if you’re bent on purchasing an olympic bar (which measures 2.2m across) and you don’t have enough space, there are modified versions of it that are less than 2m in length
This is something that is easily overlooked, especially for those who grew up fixing their own IKEA beds and tables. The assembly is extremely difficult and tedious, and unless you have a few hours to set aside, you’d be better off letting the pros handle it.
However, most websites charge for assembly upon delivery. So when comparing prices, do include the price for assembly as the prices can vary, and they’re often more than a hundred dollars.
Unless you live on the first floor, this is very applicable for you simply because you have to consider your neighbours downstairs when you’re tossing weights around. If you’re the sort that likes to drop the bar after a deadlift, it’s advisable you hold on to your current gym membership instead of purchasing a home gym.
Impact absorbing mats these days are relatively easy to find and you can plaster your gym area with it. Just bear in mind that these are not entirely soundproof and if you continuously drop your weights onto them, you just might get a knock on the door from your friendly Town Council.
If you really wish to deadlift at home, you could either purchase a deadlifting platform and position it on top of the impact absorbing mats, or place the safety bars of a rack at the most bottom hole for the bar to sit on.
For those coming from commercial gyms, you’re likely going to feel the huge difference between your home gym and the actual gym. The amount of space a dedicated gym offers would likely far surpass the amount of space you allocate it at home. As such, it can feel slightly claustrophobic so be prepared for that.
If there’s one thing commercial gyms do well at, it’s the music and air-conditioning. These are no longer part of your home gym package so if you really require air-conditioning, be sure to place your gym set in a spot that has a blower. Don’t put it in the hall if your hall isn’t air-conditioned.