Home gyms continue to evolve

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Gone are the days of the bulky workout machines filling entire spare rooms in homes.

Exercise and fitness have become increasingly popular concepts over the past 20 years. More and more people hit sporting goods stores to begin assembling their versions of home gyms with collections of equipment based on the idea that convenience will promote increased activity and cardio workouts.

But often times these collections of equipment represent unfulfilled plans of working out. The large and typically cumbersome machines become draped in clothes while the designated workout rooms turn to more functional laundry rooms.

Recently, trends have shifted. Workout machines have evolved, as has the concept of exercising outside of a typical gym. Triathlon coach Jim Kirwan has been involved in fitness for decades and has been part of the evolution of exercise. He recommends alternative methods rather than the typical indoor cardio machines for various reasons and promotes the ideas to the athletes he trains. “As a general rule, I don't like using machines for aerobic activity at all,” Kirwan said. “It becomes boring and I think people lose interest, unless they're a very disciplined person.”

Strength machines still have a purpose, but for many weight training has transitioned toward new methods of freestanding weights and resistance workouts.

The treadmills, elliptical machines and bikes are still in homes but have decreased in size and evolved technically to now provide workout plans and statistics that are organized to encourage working out. “The machines became another piece of furniture. A white elephant,” Kirwan said. “Machines are useful, especially for strength training, but more and more fitness experts are going down the road of circuit training.”

I like to encourage people to use their own body weight to do exercise.”

Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook

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