Contrary to what the pushy salespeople at Virgin Active or Fitness First would have you believe, that $300 monthly gym membership is, in fact, completely optional.
That’s right! No one has actually put a gun to your head and made you cough up a significant chunk of your income for the privilege of queueing up endlessly for the squat rack and bathing in a communal shower. You did it to yourself.
And guess what? It’s actually possible to set up a home gym, tailored just for you (NO QUEUES, EVER!), right in the comfort of your HDB flat.
I’m going to tell you about what you need, where to get the gear, how much everything would cost, and the benefits as well as potential trade-offs of working out at home.
Wait, explain to me WHY you would set up a home gym?
Okay, let’s say you think $250 a month is a reasonable amount to pay for fitness. Fair enough. Health is wealth, right?
But think about it. You pay $3,000 a year and you still have to wait at least 30 to 45 minutes each time for the good gym equipment and the shower. After that you have to spend another $20 on a hasty protein bowl because you’re too hungry to wait till you get home to cook dinner. (That’s an extra $3,000 a year, if you do it thrice a week.)
Set up a home gym instead, and your fitness regimen will look like this:
– Get home from work.
– Put on your workout clothes. Can be your ugly singlet and FBTs or your skankiest crop top and booty shorts, because no one can see.
– Stretch and warm up while playing on your favourite music – NOT that Maroon 5 crap the gym is always blasting.
– No need to queue, just start working out right away.
– Work out at your own pace without feeling like people are staring at you waiting for you to finish your set. Or weird creeps mansplaining fitness stuff to you.
– You’re done in 45 minutes, as planned.
– Walk your sweaty self down to the kopitiam and eat $3 ban mian for dinner. Or cook yourself a steak and make a gin and tonic. Whatever tickles your fancy.
– Take a shower in your clean personal bathroom and go to sleep.
Best of all? It’ll cost you all of $1,000 to $1,500 – half the price of your annual gym membership. And you only need to pay once.
Of course, there are downsides to working out at home. The primary thing is motivation: It can be really hard to get into the “zone” when your sofa/bed is just a few metres away. That can be overcome (somewhat) by making your home gym as conducive as possible, but your mileage may vary.
What do you need to set up a home gym in Singapore?
The beauty of a home gym is that it’s entirely up to you what equipment you want. And you can make your decision based on what you personally like (subject, of course, to your budget).
If you’ve been lifting free weights at the gym, such as with a programme like Stronglifts 5×5, you’ll know how simple and low-tech it is. No fancy machines needed, just:
– Barbell & weight plates
– Squat rack
– Kettlebells or dumbbells
– Pull-up bar
– TRX suspension trainer
– Plyometric box
Other things to consider are:
– Flooring (like a gym mat to protect your actual floor) & mirrors
– Anything else you’d like to add, e.g. battle ropes, punching bag, yoga mat