Designing Your Man Cave

 By Alexander J. Boughton

Alex is an advocate for home safety training and co-founder of the National Kids Construction Club. A free-lance journalist, look for his upcoming book on how to establish a successful fraternity. Alex holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from American University’s Kogod School of Business. He welcomes your questions and the opportunity to speak to your school or organization. He can be reached on Facebook at Alex J. Boughton.

Alex is an advocate for home safety training and co-founder of the
National Kids Construction Club. A free-lance journalist, look for his upcoming book on how to establish a successful fraternity. Alex holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from American University’s Kogod School of Business. He welcomes your questions and the opportunity to speak to your school or organization. He can be reached on Facebook at Alex J. Boughton.

For a lot of folks, creating a man cave can be a challenge. It requires several decisions to be made: what’s your budget, where can it be created and what do you want to accomplish there? For me, the decision was easy. Create a home gym.  Why? Have you ever been deprived of alone time or just not had the desire to hoof it over to the local gym after a long day at work? I have, and I learned there are many ways to assemble a home gym, and they don’t necessarily require an abundance of expensive equipment.

The first thing to identify: the amount of space available. If living in a smaller apartment, it is still possible to create a comfortable home gym with just a 4 by 8 foot space. If living in a larger home, options range from including a few bigger exercise pieces or arranging an entire professional-grade gym system.

Next, identify your fitness needs.  Are you trying to make room for large fitness equipment, small weight sets and dumbbells or a combination of both? It’s important to carefully measure your available space and to adhere to your fitness goals to help ensure success. Another component of the home gym: the layout and aesthetics of the space. How do you want it to appear and where will the various pieces of equipment be placed so they’re both accessible and convenient?

One of the main things needed after establishing exercise goals and space is to create a realistic budget and to determine where best to purchase the equipment.  From my experience, buying reliable exercise equipment requires knowledge of what constitutes quality and how many levels of quality a manufacturer provides.  So carefully consider the brand and the durability of the workout equipment and whether to purchase used or to buy new. I bought mostly used equipment for my gym, since I can’t afford new, top-brand products. However, I can afford used, high quality equipment, which I easily found through Craigslist. I purchased a used, well-known brand stair climber, treadmill and stationary bike for my cardio workout and hand-held weights for weight training. If you want new, high-end gym equipment delivered through reliable shipping methods, I’d recommend looking at one of the many fitness websites or Amazon. Amazon catalogs provide a great starting point for some of the gear you may be looking for, and you can always browse other sites for better deals, once you find particular items that you wish to purchase for your gym.

The most important aspect of making that perfect home gym: finding a balance between what you want to accomplish versus what you can accomplish with the resources at your disposal. If you’re willing to invest in a home gym and make sound decisions based on your home’s layout, it’s possible for it to look great! If your significant other wants to use that space for other things or finds that your gym space detracts from the aesthetic look of your home, try and reach a middle ground so that he or she appreciates your desire to stay healthy and in shape!