Accomplishing My Life-long Dream to Work Out at Home

I’m lazy. There’s no other way to say it. A body at rest will stay at rest, and I’ve been resting awhile. Sure, I hit the yoga studio on days off and sometimes during the weekend, or I take a randomly-inspired spring jog, but more often you can find me vegging out and cuddling with my dog.

You know what this means, right? Well, yes, I need to get my ass in shape. But ultimately, that’s not going to happen without hacking my life a little bit. It means I need to trick myself into working out regularly and allowing it to become habitual.

I’ve found this to be effective in other areas of my life, like cooking and cleaning. Two very adult things that, honestly, if you want to cook and clean every day, you’re sort of a maniac. But they’ve gotta be done, so I figured out that by subscribing to HelloFresh and by keeping cleaning supplies in the places I need to clean, like my upstairs bathroom where I keep paper towels and spray under the sink, those two things actually get done. The same can be said for my exercise habits — without hacking this somehow, I’m pretty much never working out consistently again.

So, when we moved into our house, we figured that the basement could be a great space to set up a gym. Except, for the first 15 months of living here, it essentially functioned as a dumping-ground for all of our extra stuff. Then, one day during our recent holiday break, I came home from an appointment to find that Chris had it 50% organized and cleaned up already after a stroke of motivation hit him… Once we started putting things into boxes and organizing the room together, it finally started to take shape!

Along the above vein of being lazy, I can also tell you I’m not a runner. I’ve tried it so many times and I can’t breathe through it and my ankles start to hurt, so I’m giving it up. Running is not for me. But three things I love to do are rowing, yoga, and weight training, which was enough to help us plan out our space and make it fully functional.

Chris obviously wanted some more serious lifting equipment down there, so in addition to the stuff I’d need for yoga and rowing, we also inherited a free bench press from our very generous neighbors and just purchased a legit squat rack. Then we bought a new water-resistance rower from H2O Fitness, and we were set.

There wasn’t much DIY to this — so this basically a photo gallery of how things turned out.

Taking a wide view first, you  can see pretty much everything but the bench press, which is off-screen to the left.

basement gym

basement gym racks

basement gym racks


Favorite part: Seeing “WORK” on the wall behind the squat rack. So we don’t forget. 🙂

I also rigged up my iPad Mini with a small wall mount, and that can Airplay to the Apple TV we have plugged into the TV on the wall. Yoga streaming! Harry Potter marathon rowing! Music! 


Some art on the walls reminds me how important breathing is when I’m working out.  🙂

But in all honesty, it can help any space feel more finished and intentional when you’ve hung some art, whatever it might be. I bought the Inhale, Exhale print here, and the Lotus Pose print here. These were digital downloads, so I sent them to Walgreens to print and picked up frames from Michael’s. On the other side of the TV is a fun dumbbell patent print, which printed and shipped to me, found here.


Spoiler: Not real succulents below. Also, if you do yoga at home, I highly recommend an essential oil spray cleaner like the one below. It’s eucalyptus, and it makes my whole mat smell super fresh and it energizes my practice.


Thanks for scratching the shit out of my mat, Mika.


We researched rowers for a couple of weeks before pulling the trigger. I love the water resistance because it feels and sounds a little more natural, as far as rowing is concerned, compared to an air-resistance or magnetic-resistance rower.



And that’s everything! I think this time I’ll actually find the motivation to put on shoes and walk down two flights to work out. 😉

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