How to Build a Concept2 Home Gym

Dec 21, 2018

A home gym can be your own fitness oasis. Whether it is in the corner of your basement, a spare bedroom, converted office or in your living room, a home gym offers convenience and can be an affordable alternative to gym membership fees. Concept2 ergs all offer great value, both in terms of being efficient workouts and reasonably priced.

How to Get Started

First, figure out a location. It can be a temporary or converted space if you’re able to store your equipment away while not in use. Or you can set up a dedicated space complete with sweat-protecting flooring and inspirational wall posters. In either case, you’ll want to be sure you equipment is protected from outdoor elements such as moisture and extreme temperatures, which can affect the Performance Monitor. We sell a dust cover for indoor protection.

Minimalists may not need many extra comforts to start racking up meters on a Concept2 RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg; others may want to consider additional conveniences. Access to natural light, fan and air circulation, temperature control, entertainment and sound systems can make a home gym feel more like a visit to a fitness studio.

Concept2 ergs are suitable for most floor surfaces. Some athletes like to provide extra protection for their flooring with a mat, but it not a necessity. The Performance Monitors on all Concept2 ergs run off your exercise energy to power up, with a back-up source of two D-cell batteries. You don’t need to be near an electrical source! Caster wheels also help make it easy to move our ergs around.

Which Erg?

The Concept2 Model D is our best-selling indoor rower and is a high calorie burning workout. It offers a cardiovascular workout suitable for all ages and abilities. Since it is a complete exercise, working all major muscle groups through a wide range of motion, you may not need to add much else to your workout space. A few weights are helpful for weight-training and a comfortable spot for stretching complete the set-up.

The Model E is a suitable option for anyone who has trouble getting up and down to a low seat height. It can be a great solution for those with mobility issues for whom a visit to and from a health club is difficult. The Model E offers the same workout as the Model D, all while sitting up at a higher height.

The Dynamic offers benefits for on water athletes; it belongs in a boathouse or in a master rower’s house. (The Dynamic is not recommended for general fitness.) It requires a dedicated space for use since it cannot separate for storage.

The Concept2 SkiErg offers a distinct workout; it is complementary to rowing and engages legs, core and arms. The unique feel of the double-pole action makes the SkiErg a great cardio and strength workout unlike most others.

For a smooth, quiet, indoor ride, the Concept2 BikeErg offers a close simulation to riding outdoors with a clutch-based system and high range of “gearing” options. Stationary bike riding, like rowing and skiing, is low-impact and a great choice for home use.

All Three?

The Model D, SkiErg and BikeErg used together provide a wide range of activities to keep you fit and combat boredom. If you have room, using all three together helps balance out muscle groups while also allowing you to push through all possible ranges of intensity. The Performance Monitor is similar on all three machines, allowing you to easily track your fitness.

We recommend arranging the ergs toward a central viewpoint. For some athletes, this may be looking out a window, like we do in the Concept2 fitness room. The PM5 monitor is backlit so it can be easy to read in the shadows. Others prefer to focus on the Performance Monitor or a computer screen, so row in dim light or with windows behind them. Whatever you choose to focus on, make sure your ergs are arranged so you can easily walk around and between them with no tripping hazards. (We often create multi-erg workouts here at Concept2, so we like to keep the machines near to one another but not too close.)

Space and Storage Considerations

Concept2 RowErgs require a footprint of approximately nine feet by four feet. This gives a little “elbow room” for the athlete during the rowing stroke. It is important to give the flywheel a little extra space so that the drag factor isn’t affected by closing off the air circulation. The Models D and E separate easily for storage (see second video), and the parts can be nested together compactly.

The SkiErg is a wonderful fit for spaces with small footprints. When mounted to a wall, it requires approximately 19” x 20.5” x 16” of floor space for use. The height is 83.5”, so be sure to measure to your ceiling. (Hardware is included for attaching the SkIErg to a wall with 16” wooden stud spacing. For mounting to other types of wall construction like metal or concrete, please consult with a building professional.) When on a floor stand, the SkiErg is easy to move around. It is unable to separate for storage, so when assembled is 23.5” x 50” x 85”.

The BikeErg is compact to fit most house spaces: 48” x 24”. It can be easily moved on its caster wheels but doesn’t separate or fold for storage.

Entertainment

There are many apps available to use with Concept2 ergs, find what motivates you! Our smartphone cradle allows you to use ErgData or watch your phone while exercising.

If you have room to set up a TV or screen, take into account the different eye levels on the RowErg (low), SkiErg (standing) and BikeErg (seated up high). For sound, keep in mind that the flywheel creates a breezy, airy noise (the decibels will vary depending on how hard you work). While none of our machines are reported as “noisy” most athletes turn up the volume while working out. Wireless headphones can also be a great option.

Ready, Set, Go!

Our complete line of sport-based ergometers offers an efficient way to create a home gym. Grab your workout clothes, a water bottle, and your smartphone for a convenient connected workout anytime. 

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