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Pumping Iron In Posh Surroundings

Gym Aficionados Create Ideal Workout Spaces To Sweat

Adam Colberg is a former U.S. Marine, and one of the most sought after fitness and boxing coaches in the country. His clients include professional athletes and television personalities — many who call Greenwich home. Part of his service includes helping clients design the perfect home-based gym.

One of the greatest mistakes that people make in creating a home gym is to purchase a stable of expensive equipment that they may not need. Colberg recommends consulting with a personal trainer earlier rather than later. As the trainer works with the client on developing a plan and goals, the design of the gym will become more evident.

A great piece of cardio equipment is essential, Colberg suggested. Beyond that, the workout goals will dictate the other investments. Popular choices include a rack of dumbbells, a Bosu ball and competition-grade kettle bells, which he noted are formed differently and more kind to forearms than massmarket kettle bells. A pull-up bar is also a must.

Colberg’s workouts are custom designed for the client, but comprise five basic concepts: Push, pull, squat, lunge and stabilization. The exercises and equipment are all based on these common kinetic movements.

“More than half of my clients like to box,” Colberg said. “But some don’t have the space to put in a full-sized boxing ring. Still, I can design a gym that gives a client the feel of being in a real boxing gym with all the strength and conditioning components.”

Latest and greatest

Carlos Lopez is the store manager for Greenwich’s GymSource, a retailer of fitness equipment. “We can help with the customization of in-home gyms, designing the space from the ground up,” Lopez said. If a homeowner is going to invest in equipment, it’s wise to buy the best because with gym equipment, you get what you pay for.

“We pick and choose which manufacturers we’ll align with — only the best-rated and most-innovative lines. We deliver and install everything ourselves, and we service and support that equipment for the life of your ownership,” Lopez explained.

The two most popular pieces of equipment going into Greenwich homes lately are the Cybex Arc Trainer and Octane Fitness’ Zero Runner, according to Lopez. “The Arc Trainer is like an elliptical but much more. It’s a crosstrainer with five machines in one,” he explained.

The Zero Runner is also one of the best pieces of equipment available right now, Lopez said. “It’s a hybrid between a treadmill and an elliptical. ... A lot of people who do a lot of outdoor running find their bodies take an absolute beating,” he said. “So for someone who maybe wants to train for a marathon or triathlon, for example, he or she can run on this without the impact and get better results.”

Rob Johnson is a Realtor with Halstead Property in Greenwich, and he concurs with Lopez’s advice to invest in only high-end equipment for the home-based space. “Buy the best equipment you can afford,” he said. “Mediocre machines get very little use and end up being a false economy.”

Finding your workout zen

When it comes to creating a home gym, Colberg says, “Less is better!” To be conducive to working out, the space should be free of clutter, and if possible, have plenty of windows and a high ceiling for a “lofty feel.”

A good, forgiving floor is a must have. Colberg likes Zebra Mats, which come in an array of firmness, but multitask for a range of activities — everything from strength training to yoga to boxing.

At Gym Source, clients can choose from a variety of flooring substrates, including non-virgin rubber — created from retired tires, for example — virgin rubber, imported from Europe, or more feng shui materials, like wood often found in a Pilates or yoga studio, according to Lopez.

Otherwise, the aesthetics and color palette are more a reflection of personal preferences, Colberg noted, and technology placement, like big screen TVs, should directly relate to where the cardio equipment resides. TVs can be used for instructional DVDs, and make long stationary bike rides and runs more entertaining.

Also, plenty of light, windows and glass-paned doors are ideal, and the space should have at least one mirror, if not two on opposing walls, Lopez said. “Glass walls separating the gym space and the rest of the lower level have become popular in high-end new construction,” Johnson said. The space has to be inviting, a place where the homeowners want to spend time.

“If someone isn’t motivated, they’re not going to work out. That’s why the space is so essential,” Colberg concluded.

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