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Old 02-09-07, 01:13 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Converting a dining room into a home gym

This summer, I am thinking of converting my dining room into an exercise spot. My daughter goes off to college so I'll give her my dining room table and chairs for that first apartment, and I rarely eat in the dining room anyway.

The room is about 11 x 13 feet with just over 8 foot ceilings. I currently keep two bikes there on a gravity rack along one wall, and two cruisers in one corner, in addition to the table and chairs. Once the table is gone, the room will be fairly empty. The floor is tile so I'll probably put some kind of mat down. Recommendations on that?

I can bring a Total Gym in from my bedroom upstairs, or sell that and get a weight bench and some dumbbells. I'm thinking of a getting a trainer for rainy days. I will have the ability to see the TV in the living room from most of the dining room. But what I'm most interested in is the resistance training, not the cardio. I basically want what Dnvr has in his basement, only my space is much smaller!

Any ideas or suggestions anyone might have? Maybe go Bowflex? But then again, isn't the ceiling too low for that?
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Old 02-09-07, 02:07 PM   #2
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With 8 foot ceiling I would think that anything would fit.
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Old 02-09-07, 03:01 PM   #3
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Is there a basement? How about a swimming pool?
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Old 02-09-07, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottogo
Is there a basement? How about a swimming pool?
I hadn't thought about that! I could excavate the dining room, which is on the first floor, and install a pool. Cool!

Think I need to run that by the landlord?
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Old 02-09-07, 03:57 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great idea- But as you have a bike- Why not just get a trainer. Then when you have finished exercising and you want to invite a few guests round, the bike can go back on the rack and the trainer can be slipped under the table. Failing that- why not start a Gym up in the basement of the block of flats. One of my Co-Workers has this in his block- 12 flats and they all chipped in to take a corner of the Basement and they have about 6 different machines in there.
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Old 02-09-07, 05:40 PM   #6
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Sounds like a great idea- But as you have a bike- Why not just get a trainer. Then when you have finished exercising and you want to invite a few guests round, the bike can go back on the rack and the trainer can be slipped under the table. Failing that- why not start a Gym up in the basement of the block of flats. One of my Co-Workers has this in his block- 12 flats and they all chipped in to take a corner of the Basement and they have about 6 different machines in there.
There is no basement. This is Southern California, and with rare exceptions, there are no basements.
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Old 02-09-07, 05:52 PM   #7
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Okay, let's talk a bit about my basement, pictured below, which is highly extravagant in its use of space, as I have 1100 sq ft of finished space in the basement, and another 900 not finished.



So, before moving to this house, I did pretty good in a small area of a room on the 2nd story of my old house. You don't need a lot of room.

What you need depends a lot on your goals. I like to lift "heavy," and after a certain amount of weight it can become dangerous to lift "heavy" without some protections, which is the reason for the safety cage. It provides protection in case I were to drop the barbell, so that I don't die from 190 pounds crushing my neck.

The "cage" also has a lat attachment and a "row" attachemnt, and I also have fashioned an attachment out of pipes for "dips."



I use "Olympic" training bars, but they are not necessary.

For lesser weights, you can do fine with a "Wal-Mart" standard set and bench. That is where i started, and I still have and use it.

And, there are all sorts of other devices that require resistance training. Some folks like Bowflex, kettle balls are the "in" thing right now, and good old body weight is great - pushups, crunches (do them REAL slow, and to the left and to the right), pullups, and the latest thing is to suck your belly button in, which is supposed to strength the really inner Abs.

You don't need a lot of equipment and you don't need to spend a lot of money to get started. I got most of my first equipment at garage sales, and some free from neighbors, etc.
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Old 02-09-07, 05:54 PM   #8
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Dnvr, is that gray "thing" a mat, or a piece of carpet? And if it's a mat, where did you get it?
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Old 02-09-07, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Dnvr, is that gray "thing" a mat, or a piece of carpet? And if it's a mat, where did you get it?
Cheap carpet from Lowes.
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Old 02-09-07, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
This summer, I am thinking of converting my dining room into an exercise spot.
I'd agree. Eating is overrated.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I currently keep two bikes there on a gravity rack along one wall, and two cruisers in one corner, in addition to the table and chairs.
I always wondered: What happens when you turn off the gravity??



Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I'm thinking of a getting a trainer for rainy days.
Which gender would that be??
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Old 02-09-07, 09:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
... an exercise spot ... with just over 8 foot ceilings. Any ideas or suggestions anyone might have? Maybe go Bowflex? But then again, isn't the ceiling too low for that?
DG, my basement is 80 inches high, and I've had a Bowflex (Power Pro) down there for a dozen years.

I ordered a Bowflex Revolution last week, and should be getting it around February 20th. Its dimensions are 112" L x 63" W x 73" H ... but the machine has a very low spoke count (note the biking dialog). I've read good reviews about the Revolution, but I have read complaints from short people about it being hard to get in some of the prescribed exercising positions.

I could keep you posted on how well the machine exercises, if you like.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorad
DG, my basement is 80 inches high, and I've had a Bowflex (Power Pro) down there for a dozen years.

I ordered a Bowflex Revolution last week, and should be getting it around February 20th. Its dimensions are 112" L x 63" W x 73" H ... but the machine has a very low spoke count (note the biking dialog). I've read good reviews about the Revolution, but I have read complaints from short people about it being hard to get in some of the prescribed exercising positions.

I could keep you posted on how well the machine exercises, if you like.
That would be great! Either here, or PM me if you like. Thanks! I'm going to go look up the Revolution now.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:42 PM   #13
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Another key point I should mention, which I almost forgot to mention when I ordered my Revolution: returning Bowflex customers get a 1,000 dollar "upgrade" rebate if they have your name on their files. I bought my Power Pro over ten years ago, and my purchase was still in their files. The bumper price for the Revolution went from 2800 to 1800 dollars.

There is also a listserv service you can subscribe to: "Owner's Club". I joined it, to hear war stories and success stories from other Revolution owners ... especially from the short owners. I think there's a 50 dollar annual membership fee.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:29 PM   #14
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My setup:

1- Bowflex Elite (purchased at Costco 2 years ago for less than $1000)
2- bicycle on trainer
3- Nordic Track skier for the occaisional time I want different cardio than the trainer
4- in an ideal world I would also add adjustable dumbbells, such as http://sportblock.com/

I prefer to ride outside for my workout regime, and if given the choice (weather and time permitting; I have two small children and a 3rd on the way), I would do that almost exclusively. During the winter I'm on my Bowflex 2 - 3 times per week, during the summer when I can ride every day I cut the Bowflex way back to 3 - 4 times per month.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I hadn't thought about that! I could excavate the dining room, which is on the first floor, and install a pool. Cool!

Think I need to run that by the landlord?

Not necessary man. California is home of the laid back landlords. He'll think of it as an improvement. Maybe it will even start a trend.
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Old 02-10-07, 06:18 AM   #16
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Gary, I would suggest a book and program,

"Body For Life" by Bill Phillips. This is an excellent program to build a fitness base, including nutrition, cardio and strength.

http://www.bodyforlife.com/

My wife and I both went through the program, and liked it. It will give you a solid foundation for future progress.

However, I did not use any of their supplements. They gave me the runs!

The program we went through was sponsored by our local rec center and included several hours with a personal trainer. It cost about $150 each
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Old 02-10-07, 07:22 AM   #17
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What I currently have and use is a Bowflex, the Total Gym, an Elliptical, and a bike on a trainer. I use my elliptical the most. Have another bike on a trainer in my office that I "ride" sometimes at noon. I actually use the bowflex the least and am thinking of giving it to my son.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:30 AM   #18
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"I basically want what Dnvr has in his basement, only my space is much smaller".
DG, Just move in with Dnvr.
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Old 02-10-07, 01:41 PM   #19
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This is the room I'm talking about. The bike rack can easily be moved anywhere (it's not even bolted in). You can see Click and Clack, the cruisers, over on the right, and The Diego leaning against the sliding glass door (which i rarely use). The view is from the kitchen.

To the left is some unseen open space to the living room, with a pretty good view of the TV, which, however, is small (20" screen).

Anyway, the table and chairs go, as does the rug. Room will be essentially empty then. Oh, and no chandelier to get in the way, either. There's a fixture in the ceiling.

I think it's funny to see the reflections on my cycling shoes, lower left.
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Old 02-10-07, 02:34 PM   #20
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You may have to keep the Trek even if you don't like it...just because it looks so cool in your living room!
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Old 02-10-07, 02:46 PM   #21
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Total gym. Folds flat and out of the way when not in use.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:32 PM   #22
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Like DnvrFox, I have a power cage with olympic weights, several bars and adjustable dumbells- in (my wife totally hates this)... the bedroom. Anyway, we have 8.5' ceilings, and there's plenty of room to spare. I'm a free-weight guy, so I'm sort of biased against Bowflex and machines, but not that I have a major problem with these- I just prefer working in 3-D space, not a 2-D plane like most machines force you to.

Anyway, Gary- is that ceramic tile on your DR floor? If so, I'd recommend getting a lifting mat,something like this: http://www.performbetter.com/SearchR...tegoryID_E_182. Even with a machinee, you'll run the risk of chipping those tiles (been there, alas).

BTW, BFL is a good program, even if it is constantly denigrated by my BB buds (and that's mainly because of the supplements, which are cheaper when you by generic) and Bill Phillips' seemingly shameless self-promotion for a program that is really just you basic progression routine with pyramids and good dieting advice thrown in. Still, I recommend it if you're looking for a simpler, easy to remember 12-week program to get you goin'. You'll be cut and buff in time for summer.

Good luck!
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Old 02-10-07, 07:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
This summer, I am thinking of converting my dining room into an exercise spot.
Of the millions of currently married men on this planet, not one ever wrote or uttered a sentence even remotely similar to the one above. Go DG!
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Old 02-10-07, 07:55 PM   #24
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Of the millions of currently married men on this planet, not one ever wrote or uttered a sentence even remotely similar to the one above. Go DG!
I'm sure that's true! You know, I've been single for nearly a decade, and in all that time, I've kept my apartment looking as close to a conventional "home" as I could, AND in all that time, I've never quite understood why. I live alone. I can use the space any way I want, and I don't have to impress anyone, ask anyone, or please anyone -- except me.

I finally think I get the concept. Of course, the moment I make this conversion I will meet someone out of the blue, and she will no doubt have something to say about my former dining room. I'll cross that bridge if and when it comes. Meantime, my space is MY space.
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Old 02-10-07, 08:08 PM   #25
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Have you thought this through?

If you turn your dining room into a gym, where are you going to work on your bikes?
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