As we exit the holiday season into a shiny new year, we enter January, also known to many as Weight Loss Awareness Month (like we needed to be made more aware of a roll or two in the mirror). Gone are all those delicious treats and feasts quickly replaced with renewed resolutions to lose 20 pounds by such-and-such date fueled by a determination this year will be different than all those other years.
Unfortunately, this Pandemic is not fading as hoped-in fact we are entering a heightened crisis level previously unknown with a hint of a vaccinated light visible at the end of the tunnel. Consequently, access to the all-important local gym has been restricted like so many other areas of public congregation. Even in good times grabbing sticky handles of exercise equipment recently used by someone else is less than appealing. As gym memberships slump, sales of home exercise equipment are enjoying a spike in sales previously unbeknownst to that industry.
Adding a new home gym is nothing new to the urban and suburban landscape but like our new year’s resolutions, this time we are really going to do it, or at least it feels that way. If you are one of those contemplating dedicating an area of your house as a home gym, what do you need to know to make sure it is electrically safe for both you and your family?
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR YOUR GYM
Choosing the right location for your home gym involves a number of key factors to consider. Primarily floor space will dictate the number and types of equipment coupled with ceiling heights, ventilation, and lighting, whether a low-profile ceiling-mounted fixture or recessed lighting. A wall-mounted television is also a good way to stay caught up on events while working out. As space comes at a premium, layout is key.
Examples of spaces commonly used for the home gym include the basement, a spare bedroom, or more recently, the garage. Yes, one and two-car garages have become a very popular alternative offering ample space for equipment of various sizes without feeling cluttered and compressed. However, with the choice of the garage comes lighting, electrical outlets, heating, and AC challenges that are not too difficult to overcome.
HOME GYM CEILING HEIGHT
Often overlooked in the design phase, the height of your ceiling is a critical factor especially if a universal gym or band resistance all-in-one trainers are to be installed. In order to perform chin-ups, pull-ups, and overhead pressing, as much as 9 feet vertically may be required. Treadmills and ellipticals elevate the user to heights requiring at least an 8-foot ceiling.
HOME GYM LIGHTING
Ample lighting is key for a multitude of reasons least of all ambiance. As in other work areas, bright is better than insufficient lighting-dimmers can always be used if necessary. A general rule a minimum of 40-50 foot candles in a gym.
Measure the square footage of the room (length x width), multiply that number by the 50-foot candles and you will have the total lumens required to illuminate that space.
A room measuring 16 feet by 12 feet has 192 square feet.
192 square feet multiplied by 50-foot candles is 9600 lumens
A standard 5” LED recessed light produces 12w (100w equivalent) = 1200 lumens
A total of 8-five inch recessed lights will be required to adequately light this office.
ELECTRICAL POWER FOR A HOME GYM
Whether the gym ends up in the basement or garage, GFCI receptacles are required by Code and can be lifesavers. Probably, existing outlets will most likely require upgrading to GFCI protection.
Factory-installed cords on each piece of equipment pose tripping hazards tempting users to run extension cords rather than have individual outlets placed strategically along the nearest wall.
Exercise equipment, often treadmills, require their own dedicated circuit to power both the tread itself and any motors utilized to elevate the level of inclination. Be sure to inquire with your salesperson the exact electrical requirements for each exercise device.
HEATING & COOLING FOR A HOME GYM
Assuming your new home gym is for year-round use, issues of adequate heat and air conditioning will come and go with the passing seasons. Thermostatically controlled electric baseboard heaters make for good even heat distribution when positioned correctly. AC window units will help you get through the summer months comfortably and may require their own dedicated circuit depending on the size.
An alternative consideration is a split AC unit with a small condenser outside and a blower unit mounted inside. Optional heat pumps are available that make this a one-and-done solution year-round.
INSTALLING A WALL-MOUNTED TV IN YOUR HOME GYM
Long muscle burning, sweat provoking workouts are made more tolerable with a diversion like television. TVs also provide a means of interacting with programmed exercise routines, whether subscription or CD based. Flat-panel TV’s mounted on the wall require special mounting brackets as well as recessed outlets positioned behind the TV will help keep cords hidden and TVs tight to the wall. Depending on your needs, additional enhancements like voice activation and/or speakers may be of interest.
Contacting Lippolis Electric, your one-stop-electrical-shop, will bring one of our trained, experienced project managers to your house to discuss options especially custom-designed for your dream exercise gym, bringing your New Year’s resolutions to within reach and keeping you safe now and for years to come.
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Lippolis Electric, Inc. | 538 Route 22, Pawling, NY 12564 | 845-855-1426 | lippoliselectric.com