It’s 6 a.m. You have to be at the office in three hours, but you promised yourself you’d squeeze in a pilates workout.
After sweating it out, you stretch for 30 minutes in a warm, soothingly lit and responsive room. You turn off all the equipment from your smartphone and head to the bathroom to shower and clean up. Then, you snag a smoothie and head out.
Working out has never been so simple and so enjoyable. That’s why connected fitness equipment (aka gym automation equipment) ownership is booming.
So, how do you create your own automated gym in your smart home? We’ll give you the rundown, and you can craft your special space at your own pace.
Interested in automating your entire home one room at a time? Check out our guide to room-by-room automation.
Consider Your Ideal Automated Gym Design
We all know gym memberships aren’t cheap, which is why home gym automation is spectacular — you save time and money. Plus, you can work out privately, participate in virtual fitness classes or do both, according to your mood.
You’ve got hundreds, if not thousands, of equipment and connectivity options. With that in mind, dreaming of all your gym automation possibilities is fun, and you should indulge in it!
Go with the bare basics or go all-out. You’ve got dozens of midpoints between those two extremes — that’s part of the beauty of smart tech.
Of course, you’ll also need to consider your existing smart tech (if any), your area’s available options and more. Remembering your target spending, let’s go through the key factors you should take into account first.
[Related: Home AV Systems: Planning for Expansion]
You have three major elements to study: space, equipment and time.
First, note your home’s layout. Where would you like to build your smart gym? Do you have a dedicated room, or would you rather carve out a special place elsewhere?
Although Internet of Things (IoT) systems can accommodate areas from tiny corners to sprawling rooms, pinpoint where you’ll create your automated gym.
Next, jot down what smart tech equipment your home already has. You’ll need networking as a bedrock so your systems, equipment and devices communicate seamlessly.
Imagine your pilates routine streaming on the big screen topped with surround sound.
Finally, determine how much time you want to spend on your smart gym. You might take it piecemeal — say, get networking, a smart bike and smart gadgets yourself.
Then, you could call an audiovisual (AV) consultant later. They’ll offer advice and recommend other automated gym equipment, setups and add-ons.
Or you can go all-in and hire an AV technician to install your entire smart gym at once.
Like we noted, there are many degrees between those two options!
How soon you start using your smart gym hinges on how much time and money you dedicate to creating it. Naturally, an AV company does the work quickly — and technicians make sure your automated gym is top-notch.
Note: If you’re doing a major overhaul, we suggest contacting an AV installation company. If you’re aiming for an entirely new room, of course, construction will be necessary. Enlist a contractor and an architect for the best results.
Let’s say you’ve outlined those basics above. We’ll offer a practical example.
Imagine you’d like an automated gym instead of what’s currently a guest bedroom. (This is a good example of a midline point between piecemeal and all-in.)
Now, make a list of your must-haves. Try using the MoSCoW method — it’s less complicated than it looks.
You write out what you must have, should have, could have and won’t have (or MoSCoW for short). The list is yours, and it’s flexible. If your priorities shift, the list shifts, too.
Let’s return to that “guest bedroom to automated gym” example. We’ll assume you have networking (if not, put it under “must have”). Here’s a possible MoSCoW list:
|Must Have||Should Have||Could Have||Won’t Have|
|Smart exercise bike||High-performance audio||Smart treadmill||Heated flooring|
|Smart speaker||Smart TV||Lighting control system||Additional bathroom with shower|
|Smart weights/dumbbells||Smart mirror||Climate control system||Renovated floor plan|
Prioritize your purchases per what you want ASAP. With those needs in mind, tackling gym automation doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
You can also buy (or add) devices and systems along the line. Because you know your unique circumstances, you control the momentum — from quick-fix to long-term project.
Note: If you speak with an AV consultant, you may find that climate control or lighting control is something you simply can’t do without. No worries — many companies offer packages that streamline home automation. Plus, the long-term savings help your budget overall!
[Related: 8 Ways Climate Control Improves Your Home]
Assemble Your Gym Automation Equipment and Apps
You’ve set aside your smart gym space. You know what you want right now, and you’ve sorted through your priorities.
Now, it’s time to put together your personal automated gym.
If you want to guarantee you start off on the right foot, call an AV company beforehand. Technicians will measure your space, consider your budget and select smart equipment with your input. And that equipment will not only fit your space but also align with your health goals.
In fact, you may discover options you didn’t know you had.
[Related: Smart Home Systems: Where To Begin?]
Smart Gym Equipment: Examples
When you search for smart exercise equipment, you may feel drowned in the results.
That’s where your MoSCoW list really comes in handy — you can go straight to your gym automation must-haves first.
Here are some of the top exercise equipment brands to explore:
- NordicTrack — treadmills, rowing machines, strength training systems and more
- Peloton — bikes and treadmills
- Tonal — strength training systems
- Mirror by Lululemon — interactive smart mirror systems
- Tempo — strength and cardio training systems
- Echelon — bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and more
Like all smart tech systems, you’ll see that models and brands range widely in their price points.
The key is ensuring whatever equipment you get comes with sensors, connectivity capabilities and an interactive system (like a touchscreen). These IoT elements are what make it smart! And they’ll all ideally have an accompanying smart gym app, too.
Depending on your equipment, you can track your progress, change settings, attend virtual classes and much more. As a tip, pair in-home equipment with wearable fitness devices. It’s an effective (and affordable) way to reach your health goals.
Wearable smart fitness devices usually come in the form of watches, like Fitbit or Garmin. You can also find budget-friendly brands that connect to your smart gym.
And in terms of desired features and space concerns, some products, like smart mirrors, really save room if you’re working in a compact area. Others offer flexible gear, like treadmills that incline for step training.
Note: We’re big fans of Wirecutter’s gym automation articles (part of The New York Times). Whether you’re looking for lists, prices or opinions, its writers meticulously lay out smart exercise tech. You can even read up on smart water bottles.
Smart Gym App: Examples
When planning an automated gym, you may have heard the term “gym automation system.” But let’s clear up any potential confusion.
Usually, a gym automation system works for a commercial gym, not a home gym. In other words, unless you plan to convert your home gym into a business, a gym automation system is unnecessary.
A smart gym app is a different beast altogether.
Smart exercise equipment usually comes with a smart gym app. You’ll often see these app types as “fitness apps” or “workout apps.” Many fitness apps work alone, and others work alongside automated gym equipment.
Once again, you have tons of options … and many degrees of complexity. Here are some of the best fitness apps that work as (or with) a smart gym app:
- Alo Moves
- Peloton (alone or paired with the brand’s equipment)
A good smart gym app tracks movement, monitors progress and offers virtual or on-demand fitness classes. A great one also offers nutritional guidance, meal planning and even community forums.
Remember: Using a smart gym app can be an integral part of maintaining your fitness and optimizing your automated gym. You can maximize your health needs both at home and outside.
Note: Puzzled about where to start? You can also find scads of online guides, and a fitness app should come with easy-to-follow setup instructions. If you have trouble, just search for “how to pair [app] with [device]” on your go-to search engine.
Connect, Review and Get Comfortable
We know you’ve got this process down, but let’s return to our hypothetical scenario.
You’ve transformed your old guest bedroom into a sweet new automated gym. You have your smart speaker, smart bike and smart weights ready. You’ve downloaded and set up your favorite fitness and/or smart gym app.
Check your budget. Now, look over those should-haves and could-haves. Can you add them now, or do you need to wait a while?
If you’re looking for specific extra benefits, you might reshuffle your priorities list.
For example, high-performance audio gets your blood pumping and matches your mood to your moves. A smart TV offers touch-free entertainment, and a smart mirror blends form and function. Perhaps most importantly, they keep your mind occupied.
With lighting control, you can nix piercing sunlight and late-night darkness, whether you’re an early bird or night owl. Climate control is easily a top pick. You can cool down or warm up with a simple voice command or app tap (ever heard of hot yoga?).
Here’s our main point.
Gym automation is fantastic, but sometimes working out isn’t the first thing you want to do. In fact, it might be the last. But with smart theater, audio, climate and lighting systems, you can take what might be miserable and make it magnificent.
So instead of overlooking those could-haves and should-haves, scoot add-ons like motorized window treatments and heated floors over to must-haves when the time’s right.
Note: Smart climate and lighting systems have accompanying apps that you control remotely. Coming home to a warm, ambient gym after a hard day’s work is simple.
[Related: Smart Home Trends To Watch in 2023]
Get Pumped in Your Automated Gym With AV Smart Solutions
Are you ready to join the future of fitness?
At AV Smart Solutions, we know all about smoothly connecting hardware with software. When you’d like to get started with gym automation, get in touch.
We’ll take care of installation and connectivity, and your home will stay as pristine as when we entered. Plus, you’ll have an automated gym ready for use! We’re also here with around-the-clock tech support — you won’t miss a step.
Give us a call at (425) 655-5052, or complete our online inquiry form. We’ll get back to you quickly!
Featured image via Pexels