Tuesday, 7 August 2012

How I made my gym

Before and After

Who needs a gym membership?  Make your own! ;) 

I'm not a big fan of gyms.  I was a member of one about 10 years ago and was a bit of a gym junkie (I'm currently wearing the jumper I won from being Gym Member of the Month!) but then I stopped looking after myself......and therefore stopped going to the gym...

I joined my work gym in March this year and started going along.  I went, but not as often as I had planned...I just didn't enjoy it.  I wanted to try to jog on the treadmill and was petrified of people seeing me do this.  I was 141kg at the time - I didn't think anyone would want to see that :(  So I didn't let myself try.

I also got frustrated with the times.  If I trained in the mornings, I hated having to think about what I was going to wear to work - I like being able to change if I put something on and don't feel comfortable in it and obviously didn't have the convenience of my whole wardrobe to choose from at the gym.  I didn't like showering there either.  And then there was the scare factor of walking 1km from my car to the gym in the dark, not in the safest area.  Afternoon sessions would dig into my schedule too much.  So I didn't go as often as I had planned.

When I found out I was changing jobs, that did it for me.  I lost complete interest as I knew that I would have to leave once I changed jobs as it was a work gym.

Around that time was when I watched my Round 2 pre-season task of "Gearing up".  I had a hit of inspiration.  Why couldn't I make a gym at home?  I am lucky enough to have a spare room which up till then had been used as a storage room.  Why couldn't I convert it into my own gym?  I got excited :)  I made a plan.  And I made a gym!

I considered hiring gym machines.  I couldn't afford to buy any outright so hiring was the best option for me at the time.  I really enjoy using treadmills and reasoned that if I hired one, I could then walk and run to my heart's content without the stares of other people and I could run at midnight if I wanted to and not be worried about my safety!

Before and After (storage boxes now under sheet / behind room divider)

I would have loved to have hired a cross trainer and rower (and more!) but I did my research, and for financial reasons decided to hire a treadmill only.  The one I got is actually not hired, the way it works is I pay it off (including a load of interest of course!) - I liken it to layby but you get it from Day 1.  I used the money that I saved from cancelling my gym membership to pay for this - and I get to keep it in the end!

Goal dress hanging up
That was basically the only thing I had to buy.  I was surprised at how much stuff I had collected over the years.  I already had a wind trainer, a bike, a fit ball, a yoga mat, a step, boxing gloves, hand weights and fitness DVD's (including Mish's Crunchtime!)  I have an adding-to-my-gym wish list which includes a boxing bag and a small TV/DVD player so that I can do my DVD's in there as well.  But one thing at a time :)

Stickers still rock at 31
It's still a storage room, but I've hidden that stuff away using a black bed sheet that I don't use, and a Marilyn Monroe room divider.  I also have my training plan laminated and stuck on my wall.  I may be 31 years old but I can't tell you how satisfying it still is, to be rewarded with a sticker for doing good work.  Yes folks, my training plan doubles as a sticker chart ;)  I put a star sticker over each training session that I do, and then I get a "Good work!" or "Star" sticker if I complete all of my training sessions in one week.  I feel like the biggest knob head telling you that!  But who cares?  If a cheap sticker is going to help me bring me closer to my goals (even if I am 31?) then bring it on. :)

Personalise it
I LOVE this room.  It's been like my little sanctuary ever since I made it.  I've personalised it - I love Marilyn Monroe and found all of these gorgeous prints of her exercising!  Perfect!  They match the Marilyn room divider :)  I have my goal dress hanging up on the door, and other bits and pieces as you will see in the photos - I keep my 12WBT training plans in there too.  I've been meaning to add some more motivational posters to the room and a huge 'JFDI' sign as well, so I will get onto that.

Posters and words to motivate

When I go in there I feel confident because no-one else can see me, I feel comfortable because it's a room that I created myself and works for me, and I feel excited because I know I'm doing something great for myself by being in there.

Hand weights and exercise DVD's
It's not for everyone, but man it's worked for me.  It gives me privacy from my flatmates, and a safe place to go.  It's a little room for me and my goals.  I know that not everyone has a space that they can do this in, but I think that if you think outside the square or just think about what works for you, you will be amazed at what you can set up for yourself.  Because when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter where you are, you can train anywhere.  It just has to work for you.

Love Coco xo


  1. Great post! Love your workout room, I wish I had the space to have my own gym room. I have started to collect a few things for the home and much prefer to do my toning and pilates at home in the lounge. I have brought a sand bag, kettlebell, weights, mat and foam roller. It is just more comfortable doing it in private, great work!

  2. I think this is such an awesome idea Coco girl! Good on you for setting yourself up and having your own sanctuary. I myself feel the same way, am very self concious about going to a gym and working out being such a large size, I would love to do what you've done. Keep up the hard work! It will pay off! :-)

  3. Your own 24 hour gym! I'm double dipping at the moment, Slowly building a home gym but still love to get to the real one. As a working Mum sometimes getting out of the house is where you find sanctuary. But a home gym is definitely a sustainable option (which is why I'm building it up). It never closes, you can't miss the class, there;s always a spot for you and if you move... it can come too! I love your gym!