Did 2017 bring you way too many croquetas and empanadas? (It’s a Miami thing) Or maybe too much eggnog and sugar cookies from recent holiday festivities? (Hey, if it’s low-fat that means I can have twice as much right?......right?)

So now your scale is screaming at you to just get the hell off of it. What do you do? Do you sign up for yet ANOTHER gym membership only to have to wake up an hour earlier in the morning just to battle traffic in order to use some crappy equipment that everyone else has already sweat all over?

Do you play the headphone game in the desperate hopes that your space will be respected and no one will talk to you while you work out on tetanus inducing gym equipment?  “Oh no. Here comes someone. What is he saying? Can’t he see I have my earbuds in? Aaaaarrrgggghhhh!”

C’mon, face it. You and I both know you will go for a week or two — Hell! Maybe a month (what a trooper!), and then… “Screw this! Being out of shape isn’t so bad.”

I am here to tell you that you don’t have to give up. Working out at home is where it’s at and you don’t even need magical, force-field earbuds to repel the creepers. Unless you do. Then you might want to consider moving and that’s another article altogether…


Home GymPent Fitness

Priorities. First, you need the real estate. Do you have a spare room? Guest bedroom? How about your “craft room?” You know, that room you were going to make all those killer, artisan macaroni pictures for Etsy but just never got around to? You don’t need a huge amount of space, but bigger is better. 


Admittedly, I am not a fitness expert so I recruited my favorite fitness guru, my very own personal trainer Tahesia Harrigan-Scott to provide some sage advice on setting up your home gym. Not only is Tahesia a world-class Olympic sprinter, she is also the world's nicest person. Since I have started training with Tahesia I have shed 10 pounds and shaped up my booty #tahesiabutt. The woman knows her stuff. 

Q: Tahesia, what would you say is the biggest mistake people make when setting up their home gym?

A: The biggest mistake people make when designing a home gym is purchasing equipment they aren't going to use. When considering a home gym, you have to understand the type of person you are when it comes to fitness. Stick to what you know! 

If you are a person that doesn't like to run, investing in a treadmill will be a horrible investment. You should always purchase equipment that you enjoy and have experience using!!! You don't want to buy equipment just to collect dust in your home gym.

Q: What gear do you recommend for someone just designing their own home gym?

A: The number one piece of gear that every home gym should have is resistance bands. My favorite is the TheraBand CLX Resistance Bands with Loops. These resistance bands are amazing because the loops provide an easy grip to hold and transition between exercises. They also come in varying strengths from beginner to advanced. 

My next must-have is the Phoenix 99226 Pro Olympic Bench. It's great and versatile. You can perform the bench press, decline and incline press, squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, lat pulls, preacher curls, etc. Just don't forget to purchase an Olympic weight set to go with it.

Phoenix 99226

Phoenix 99226

Lastly, you will need dumbells or kettlebells. If you do not have the space for dumbells, you can invest in an adjustable dumbbell such as the Bowflex version or Cap Barbell's I must warn you, however, even though the adjustable dumbbell conserves more space, it does feel a little bulky and awkward when lifting. 

My best advice for keeping your New Year's resolution is to make realistic goals to ensure you stick to your fitness plan. Don't wait for a New Year to roll around to try and get healthy and fit. You can start this journey anytime!!!

If you are into making resolutions, working with a personal trainer also helps you stay motivated and accountable. A personal trainer can implement a program to improve your exercise habits by incorporating exercises that are challenging and fun. 

Thanks, Tahesia!

If you are in the Miami area and are looking for a personal trainer,  you can reach Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Trufitathletics.com.

OK. So now let's make this space attractive and functional...


You will need to protect that flooring and have something to cushion your fall off of the treadmill when that happens — and it will happen. If only I had the video of me being rocketed off of the back of my treadmill to land upside down in a far corner, my legs up the wall. Maybe you had to have been there, but it was pretty hilarious.

Three words. Horse Stall Mats. Yep. You can save a ton of money by using these for your gym flooring versus more expensive commercially made gym mats and they are essentially the same thing! They look just as good and, bonus, your horse can poop on them. You can find them at pretty much any feed store or at the link above. They are very heavy though so shipping could get pricey. Look locally, if you can.

Horse Stall MatsGaragegyms.com

Another flooring option is carpet tiles. These have that less industrial "gymmy" feel and will definitely be softer underfoot. Their level of protection will be less though so if you drop that weight make sure the flooring underneath can handle it. Carpet tiles come in a multitude of colors and patterns so you can really go nuts. 

Madison Taylor Design


You might feel as though you will need those super-inspirational wall quotes that say things such as " Sweat is just fat squirting out of your pores," or  "No Hernia No Gain!" in fancy cursive letters, but please don't — unless that is really what makes you tick and then there is nothing I can say here to deter you. 

If you really want motivation then get some cool mirrors. Something like these below should do the trick. You will love seeing how awesome you are looking as you progress! If you do want something other than your mirrors (and you have the room) just hang some of your favorite pieces that make you happy. Just because it's a gym doesn't mean it has to be boring, predictable and cliché.



Common sense says overhead lighting is the best. The last thing you need is to be tripping over lamps and cords and such. Also, you will want to be well-lit so you can see your stunning new physique in those new mirrors. You're gonna want high-hat or recessed lighting. Or maybe a really good ceiling fan with a strong light depending on your AC situation. I took the ceiling fan out of my gym because I like to get all gross and sweaty. Ewwwwwww. 


There is no reason your home gym can't be both functional and gorgeous, like this gym by former Domino editor Michell Adams. My only concern is that in a gym this pretty, I would just want to just sit idly and stare at it. 

The Everygirl / Michelle Adams

And here is a more glam, modern look...

Irena Poliakova


I love the way this below gym by Thorp Interior Design incorporates the outdoor space to expand the usable gym area. If you have a smaller gym, this could also be a great option but I would replace those pebbles with a deck. This is my plan for my home gym in 2018. When that is ready, I will be sure to post about it. :)


Have you made getting in shape your 2018 goal? I hope that some of the info and images above have helped to inspire you. We would love to hear from you in the comments below. We also provide gym interior design services if you simply do not have the time or feel overwhelmed. 

Just give us a call at 786-769-3455 or 1-877-WINGNUT. 

Or email us at info@darlapowell.com 

See you next time and Happy New Year!

To subscribe, just text the word WINGNUT to 444999.