Man looking at his watch

How to work out and build your at-home gym

With so many obligations and responsibilities packed into each and every day, it can sometimes be tough to squeeze in a workout. We’ll help you find ways to stay motivated and active—no matter how hectic your day-to-day is.

Let’s face it, life is busy and it can be challenging to fit in the things we love (like your favourite sports!) when there are so many other things that need our attention every day. But guess what? Squeezing in an at-home workout, full body or not, is easier than you think; here are a few tips to help you get it done. 

Get to know your inner clock for exercising, working out and training at home 

The first question you need to ask yourself is “Am I a morning person?”... Everyone’s inner clock is different, and it’s important to recognize when in the day you feel most energetic. Some people spring out of bed at 5 am; other people get a burst of energy when the sun begins to set. Figuring out which time of day is best for you is the first step. Once you’ve reserved that block of time (and it doesn’t have to be long!) you can juggle other priorities accordingly.

Tips & tricks for doing your exercises or home gym properly
- Set your alarm for 5:30 am so you can start working out by 6 am. For many, the early morning is a quiet time when they can enjoy a peaceful workout session and feel charged up and ready for the day ahead.

- Opt for a lunch-time workout and block some time in your calendar to get it in. This will require some meal prep (more on that later); but you can definitely get a 30-minute session in before that afternoon videoconference. Pro tip: If it’s in your calendar, you’ll do it!

- Wait until the evening, when the busy pace of the day starts to wind down. Giving your body a chance to move once you’ve signed off from work can offer a huge release—both for your muscles and your mind.

Woman getting ready for training at home

What is the best way to work out at home: Prep your equipment

When time is tight, you don’t want to be searching through your laundry hamper for your favourite pair of sports socks to start your full body workout. Make a habit of preparing your gear the night before, and you’ll find it that much easier to slip into activewear when it’s time to work out. Decide which activity you want to do, and make sure you’ve got all the gear (water bottle included!) ready to go.

Tips & tricks
- If you’re working out indoors, you’ll have less gear to prepare; but, don’t forget the details! Think head-to-toe, so you don’t leave anything out - hair elastic, top, bottoms, socks, water bottle, etc.

- If you’re heading outside, you’ll have a few more items to think of. The head-to-toe rule works here too: hat, neck warmer, layers for top and bottom, winter socks, winter footwear and gloves (do NOT forget the gloves!).

- Laying out your clothes the night before can also help solidify your commitment to get the workout in. You’ve taken the time to prep for it, so you have no excuse not to get it done.

Mom and daughter preparing food together

Food & meal prep for men and women: The basics

Sure, you want to fit a cardio workout or strength training workout into your day, but not at the expense of eating proper meals! Food fuels your body, so skipping a meal for the sake of being active just doesn’t make sense. Making sure you have time for both takes a little planning. Once you’ve decided the time of day that’s best for your workout, you can plan and prep your meals accordingly.

Tips & tricks 
- If you’re doing a morning workout, you may want to get your breakfast ready the night before. Try overnight oats—they literally prep all night so they’re ready when you are!

- If a lunchtime workout is your thing, decide ahead of time what you'll be eating afterwards. Salads are easy to prep in the morning, or the night before. Just make sure to include some good fats, carbs and proteins to help your muscles recover post-workout.

- When doing an evening workout, you’ll want to get dinner started before you start to sweat. Take 20-30 mins to do the chopping, marinating, etc. so your meal will come together quickly when the workout is done. Sheet pan meals can even go in the oven just before you start, that way they’re piping hot and ready to eat once you’ve finished.

How to plan your exercises at home: Find a good place

You don't need to have a dedicated workout room in your home to find a good spot that makes you feel inspired to move and do your cardio or strength training workout. Depending on the type of workout you do, you shouldn’t need too much space—often just enough for a yoga mat and a few accessories will do. Pick a spot that doesn’t get too much foot traffic from others in your home. Natural light can be motivating, and try to find a clutter-free environment so you won’t be distracted with thoughts like, “I should really tidy up in here”.

Tips & tricks 
- You may find a small, quiet space in the basement, attic, or even the family room (when it’s not being used). Find a creative way to store your equipment, so it’s ready to go when you are. Roll up your yoga mat and slide it under the couch, store small dumbbells and bands in a decorative basket or storage box, etc.

- With minimal accessories, you can set up your very own at-home “gym”. A mat is handy for most workouts. Dumbbells are useful, but resistance bands take up even less space and offer a wide range of muscle toning options. Gliders are great for core, legs and upper body moves; and since they’re small and flat, they require virtually no space at all.

How to work out and build your at-home gym

What are the best exercises, moves, routines and plans to do at home: Discover our app

Maintaining a fitness routine at home is possible through a variety of exercises such as cardiovascular exercises like jump rope, running in place, or burpees, as well as strength training exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks. Don't forget to include stretching in your routine to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. For personalized advice on what exercises to include in your home workout routine, it's recommended to consult certain people like a health professional or personal trainer, who can tailor a routine to meet your individual needs and fitness level. You can also explore our Decathlon Coach app to discover a wide range of workouts!

How to work out and build your at-home gym

Incorporate cardio into your workouts

The foldable treadmill

If you have limited space at home, a foldable treadmill may be the perfect option for your at-home cardio workouts.

The Run 100 treadmill was designed to combine comfort and easy storage. Once folded, the Run 100 treadmill is only 38 cm deep. It can be stored horizontally or vertically. It also has 4 wheels for easier storage.

Note: Don't forget, you should always wear sports shoes when using a treadmill, and you can attach the safety strap to your clothes for extra security.

How to work out and build your at-home gym

The exercise bike

If cycling is your preferred cardio activity, you may want to consider purchasing an exercise bike for your at-home workouts. An exercise bike lets you keep pedalling, even as the temperatures drop and snow begins to fall; so you can keep working on your technique and endurance all winter long.

The EB 900 Self-Powered bike operates without a cord, so you can set it up wherever you'd like in your home. It provides a smooth pedalling experience and optimal comfort.
It is also equipped with heart rate sensors, a bottle cage, small leveller wheels at each foot to adapt to any floor surface, and a handlebar with two positions, two wheels to help you move it wherever you want, and toe clips for faster pedalling.

How to work out and build your at-home gym

The stepper

If you're looking for a small piece of equipment that will allow you to easily get your heart rate going at home, why not try a compact mini stepper? This convenient equipment can be placed anywhere in your home; all you need to do is hop on and start stepping. You'll get a great cardio workout in no time! Depending on your balance needs, you can choose a model with or without a handlebar. 

If you want a more full-body workout, opt for the model with the elastic bands so that you can strengthen your upper body muscles as you step.

How to work out and build your at-home gym

The collapsible bench press

If you'd like to work on your muscular strength training at home, you may want to consider buying a collapsible bench press. This piece of equipment can be used anywhere in your home, and then folded for easy storage when you are not using it.

This collapsible bench press was designed with built-in pegs for weight training with barbells and dumbbells. Be sure to choose a weight you are capable of lifting, especially when training on your own at home.

How to work out and build your at-home gym

Additional equipment

The suspension straps

If you're very tight on space, but still want to get a full-body workout at home, suspension straps may be a great option for you. This compact strap can easily be attached to a door an allows you to perform a large range of exercises for your arms, back, core and legs.

Depending on your fitness level and goals, you can make exercises easier by supporting only your body weight with the straps, or you can take things up a level by adding instability work.


Choose a complete set of dumbbells, with different weights, plates and barbell. With this gear, you'll be able to do a wide range of exercises and work most muscles in your body!

The dip bar

With a maximum load of 130 kg, this lightweight dip bar is ideal for building upper-body strength and for all-round bodyweight training at home.

The push-up & slide grips

These push-up grips and sliders let you perform a wide range of full-body and core exercises; and pack up into their own mesh bag for easy storage.

Finding ways to fit your workout in is about recognizing your own rhythm and preferences, then making a commitment to make it happen. Try a few different ways of doing it at first; you’ll quickly see what works for you and what doesn’t. The good news is, once you find the method that works for you, it will soon become a habit and you won’t even have to think about it. A little planning goes a long way, and your body (and mind) will thank you for getting it done!

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