The past few years have highlighted why owning the best home gym possible can make magnificent impacts on ones own mental and personal health.
Today, we're honored to hear from Danny Foley, MS, CSCS*D, USAW of Rude Rock Strength & Conditioning, who takes us through what characteristics he sees as essential to building the perfect home gym!
Table of Contents:
- How a home gym can benefit anyone
- Keys to building a home gym as a personal trainer
- The ultimate all-in-one home gym unit. Meet ARENA
- In closing
How a home gym can benefit anyone
As we’ve all continued to navigate our way back to a sense of normalcy from the effects of the pandemic, the strength & conditioning and personal training industries have undergone some radical transformations.
While some of these transitions have been difficult and frustrating to work through, I believe we are reaching a point now where we are starting to see some of the new opportunities and advantages that have materialized in our new landscape.
Primarily among these opportunities has been the rapid expansion of home gyms and at-home training modalities. For better or for worse, this has become an ideal population for which coaches and trainers can capitalize.
Whether a coach or athlete, there are tremendous benefits to setting up a home gym. I'm someone who never thought he’d say this, but I can personally vouch that it's been beneficial to have a home gym as a personal fitness coaching business owner.
Not only have we been able to expand our income potential by seeing athletes at the house, but it has also made some of the more mundane aspects of coaching much more convenient in a few key ways:
- I don't have to go anywhere to shoot video content
- It provides me with a pseudo 'lab' for movement experimentation
- ...and much, much more!
Keys to building a home gym as a personal trainer
When putting together a home gym there are three essential rules to consider:
- Surface area
This applies to both the layout of your space and the equipment you invest in. You want to analyze everything from the perspective of maximizing space and variety to be able to perform effective workouts with minimal constraints!
When working with a small surface area, it is critical that the equipment you have is able to be used for multiple purposes and does not cover a lot of square footage. This helps from both an expense standpoint and also from a logistics point of view.
Regarding versatility over less surface area is ultimately what you’re looking to accomplish. Additional considerations here include how heavy or bulky equipment is, how difficult it is to set up and/or breakdown and the durability of the material.
From all aspects and angles, you want to have equipment that is reasonably lightweight and easy to set up or breakdown. Again, this speaks to the day-to-day practicality of training, but also having long-term consideration so that you don’t feel obligated to sell things off in the event of a move or significant life change!
This way, you can feel more comfortable investing your money into your setup because you know it will get a good amount of use for several years to come irrespective of location or circumstances.
Taking all of these points outlined above, allow me to introduce you to the ARENA home gym unit.
I was very fortunate to be introduced to earlier this year, and I believe it is the best home gym asset for any coach or athlete!
The ultimate all-in-one home gym unit. Meet ARENA
Arena is a highly-sophisticated piece of machinery that truly is an all-encompassing training tool. Period.
I’ve been a strength & conditioning coach for nearly a decade, and for the majority of those years have worked in a fully furnished high-performance setting that has provided me countless tools, technologies and novelties. I’m not sitting here saying that I’ve seen it all, but I have seen quite a bit, and very few things rival the Arena with regard to simplicity, effectiveness, and overall ergonomics of training.
Nevertheless, it didn’t take long before my wife and I were absolutely blown away by this equipment. The Arena has taken our home gym, for ourselves and for our athletes, to a new stratosphere!
As small business owners investments are critically important early on, particularly when capital and funding aren’t exactly in surplus. But it only took a couple of hours experimenting and learning the equipment before we knew we had something special with the Arena.
Instantly we had a whole new viability for exercise selection and programming. ARENA has allowed us to work with a broader spectrum of new clients, while also providing more robust training for those athletes with which we already train.
It may sound like I’m gushing or even embellishing, but I honestly cannot recommend this piece of equipment highly enough, especially for those who are on the coaching side of the fitness industry.
From my point of view, I see three particular points that have stuck out to me since purchasing our Arena, which I’d like to cover in a little more detail.
It's extremely user friendly
The first thing that stands out about the Arena is its simplicity!
With everything from unboxing to set up and daily use, it is hard for me to imagine something so robust being so seamless with set up and integration. There is virtually zero requirement for the set-up itself, only requiring the user to pair the unit to their phone, and the Bluetooth pairing is fantastic.
The layout and navigation of the app itself is extremely well done, offering everything from pre-constructed workouts to follow or an open "freestyle" mode that allows you to work with your own creativity.
Adjusting the resistance on the Arena is very simple and can be increased or decreased in seconds. The unit is quiet, relatively lightweight, and holds a battery charge for several weeks if not for months.
To top things off, there is a good bit of workout data tracking and collection provided within the app. This allows you to monitor daily exercise output in kilojoules, and track progress across weeks and months.
All in all, it is a very impressive design. It is very intuitive to use and getting familiar with it takes no time at all!
It has impressive versatility
Ok, if you thought I was gushing in the paragraphs above, brace yourself here.
There is nothing that has jumped out to me about the Arena home gym unit more than the versatility of movement permitted. I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years studying fascial anatomy and working to integrate fascial based concepts into strength and conditioning practices.
Among the many distinctions with fascial based training, chief among them is performing omnidirectional movement under varying resistance types and speeds. And this is exactly what the Arena can provide best: a wide spectrum of movement, traversing an array of positions and ranges, and doing so with a unique resistance type that is highly conducive to fascial based loading.
It was love at first sight!
The movement spectrum possible with the Arena is virtually boundless. The cable allows you to truly explore any plane of motion, while the length offers room for some dynamic variations as well.
On top of the freedom of movement, the transition between concentric and eccentric actions is extremely smooth, which is appreciated by your joints and connective tissue. The fluidity of the resistance allows the athlete to move in a very individualistic manner that appears (and feels) more natural than being under conventional static load.
Guided home gym workouts to mindless ones: the choice is yours
The design and the development of the Arena is exceptionally thorough, and it’s clear they took into consideration coaches being an end user.
While the robust library of full training sessions is impressive, as a strength coach, I must say it was the freestyle option that sealed the deal for me. While the ability to experiment and explore through the freestyle option is immersive, the primary advantage to the freestyle option is being able to work the Arena in during circuits or supersets using other equipment.
With the simplicity of adjusting the resistance, it’s perfectly fit to have multiple athletes working through a circuit without disruption. The freestyle mode has definitely been inviting to utilize, and it’s the game changer from my perspective that separates the Arena from competitors.
Collectively speaking, the Arena is a tremendous asset for a home or recreational gym with its truly impressive versatility. The Arena is simple to operate and takes up very little space, allowing it to be easily worked into circuits utilizing other equipment!
The resistance is very smooth offering a more natural resistance than conventional static load and allows the athlete to perform movements in a very intuitive manner. The freestyle mode allows you to be exploratory with movements, being limited only by your own imagination.
With the continued rise of at-home and remote based training, I cannot encourage coaches and trainers enough to get familiar with this equipment!