Posted on July 08, 2020 by Gordon Smith

The last few months have been tough for most people. With the Coronavirus wreaking havoc in society, most of us have been forced to undergo lockdown – an unprecedented change in our lifestyles.

It’s changed our attitudes towards everything from spending habits, shopping, entertainment, health, fitness and travel.

Home gym workout

Why are home gyms so popular right now?

It’s because over the last few months so much has changed in lifestyles and attitudes:

Our schedules Instead of having regimented daytime schedules (wake/breakfast/school drop-off/work/school-collect/dinner/evening) the day, for many of us, is far more fluid.

This means we have more opportunity to exercise at home. Exercise can now be built into almost any part of the day instead of being relegated to first-thing or evening.

Our desire for stimulation Frankly staying at home can be boring and as a society we are looking for more ways to fill our time.

Our attitude to wellbeing In these uncertain times we are focusing more and more attention on mental wellbeing, health and fitness.

Our desire to try new things In the last few months so many of us have tried new things. Whether it’s cooking at home or a new fitness regimen, our minds have expanded and we’re looking to fill our time with meaningful, beneficial, life-affirming activity.

All this has created an environment where people are building home gyms like never before! You only have to look at the trend in searches for home gyms to see where the future is headed.

Home gym searches

Searches for “home gym” over the last few months.

We’ve been motivated (and exhausted) by the brilliant Joe Wicks and his boundless enthusiasm for staying fit. We especially love his emphasis on family fitness.

With so many people embarking on adapting space at home to fitness purposes, we thought we’d take a look at the how the professionals would approach this task. And who better to ask than the experienced team of home gym designers right here at motive8?

Private gym myth busting

Home gyms – just for the rich and famous?

Let’s quickly dispel one myth: home gyms are not just for the rich and famous.

All sorts of people have built gyms in their homes. One reason is because a home gym can actually save you money, compared with gym memberships. Given the average gym membership cost £150 (2019 figures) it’s not surprising to learn that the return on investment in a home gym can be seen within three years for an average family.

Home gyms – just for adults?

Not true at all. We’re seeing an increasing focus on creating exercise spaces that all the family can use. The benefits of exercising together as a family are enormous. From family bonding to increased health and fitness. Exercising with your kids sets up an expectation of physical activity that can last a lifetime. As we said in our article “Building a Private Gym for the Whole Family” – “it’s great to see the family get fitter and stronger together and reach your goals as a “team”.

What would the pros do?

So what would a professional home gym consultant do differently to a non-professional?


Developing a home gym does require some space. But not as much as you might think. In fact one thing a professional can bring to your project is the imagination to see your home space in ways that you cannot. If you have lived in a house for years, it’s easy to become accustomed to using spaces in a certain way. A professional will encourage you to see your space differently and look at the potential for space to be turned into exercise space.

As we said in our April blog, The Benefits of a Home Gym:

“Long gone are the days of a treadmill in the garage.”

Family space

When consulting on a new home gym one of the questions we’ll ask is what your fitness goals are. Everybody is different. For some, cardio is important. For others, core strength and endurance. For many people, exercise is about recovery from injury or illness. It’s rare that the home gym is just intended for one family member, so we would aim to find out what everybody in the family needs. This way, nobody gets left out and your investment is maximised.

Types of home gym

Of course gym consultants are continually thinking about hardware – the treadmills, weights, rowing machines. It’s our job to know exactly what is on the market, what the best deals and prices are and what equipment suits which customer types.

Not all home gyms are equal. Different gyms are designed for different customers.

Functional home gym Functional training tends to focus on whole-body movements. Equipment includes kettlebells, barbells, plyometric equipment.

Wellbeing home gym This type of gym will focus on activities such as yoga, Pilates and core strength equipment. It could therefore include yoga mats, barres, Pilates rings, yoga belts.

Traditional home gym This type of gym has a more traditional gym vibe and the equipment will focus on machines such as treadmills, cross-trainers, ellipticals, dumbbells.

Health and safety

One really important element is keeping everybody safe. Gyms can be hazardous spaces. We take into account the potential for accident or injury as a top priority.

We aim to eliminate (as far as humanly possible) the hazards associated with heavy weights, machines with running cables, slippery floors, poor air circulation, poor light and many other factors. These are parts of the gym design process that are truly best left to those with experience and who understand the installation of gyms in many different spaces.

Father and son doing push ups in a home gym

You can leverage kids’ desire to copy adults when encouraging them towards a lifelong love of health and fitness

Kids space

Professionals know that family gyms require plenty of mat and floor space.

This is because kids’ requirements are different from adults. Their bodies and bones are not developed enough for hardcore workouts with weights.

Instead, mat-based exercises including Yoga and Pilates are often a huge hit with the kids. Especially as now there are so many online classes and tutorials that can safely guide kids through the exercises.

Talking of which – professionals know that kids love to copy adults. This can be leveraged to your advantage! Showing them that getting fit is both fun and grown-up is a huge motivator. Just one more reason to build a family gym at home!

We also recommend some clients a comfy beanbag corner or homework corner so that mum or dad can get a few extra minutes of exercise when the kids have finished!

What have we learned?

Home gyms are hugely on-trend now for everybody, no matter how much space you have.

To get the maximum return on your investment, it’s a good idea to consult a professional home gym installer like motive8. Professional consultants can help you with space-planning, equipment choice, environmental factors such as air circulation and flooring, and ensure that your new gym works for the whole family.

Exercising at home has taken on new importance in the last few months, so why not book a home gym consultation? Or contact us on 0800 028 0198.