Feel the Burn

Create an at-home gym that maximizes your workouts

Exercise equipment is a big seller in January, thanks to New Year’s resolutions. Every year, homeowners rush out to buy the latest and greatest machine that often ends up serving as a clothes hanger just months later.

Personal trainer Brandon Fougnies’ at-home gym rivals some of the best in the Valley. The Gilbert resident and owner of Strict Vision Athletics began building his workout mecca in his Morrison Ranch garage eight years ago. “All of this equipment is really reflective of the methodology I use when I am creating a program for somebody,” he says.  

The eye-catching blue-and-yellow space is jam-packed with just about everything a serious athlete could ever want. There’s a power rack with all the attachments, a HIT Axel, battle ropes, resistance bands, dumbbells and kettlebells, medicine balls and so much more. While some pieces, such as the Air Runner, cost thousands of dollars, there are others that are just as effective and ideal for the at-home user.   

“There are a lot of small, almost miscellaneous pieces of equipment, like an Inertia Wave, flywheel or Indian clubs, that people probably don’t know about that will make a big different in training and won’t break the bank,” Fougnies explains.

Mirrors play a big role in Fougnies’ — and any — gym’s efficacy. He says, “With a lot of the form techniques that I implement for my clients, it’s important that they see themselves in the mirror so they can understand the technique aspect.”

When not working out in his own garage, Fougnies consults on home gym design. He notes that the average home gym he helps create costs about $25,000 and includes a half-dozen pieces of equipment. “I would recommend getting with a trainer before investing in a home gym,” he explains. “That should be something you do last because it’s such a big investment.”

Whether you’re looking to create your own at-home workout or are simply planning on joining your local global gym, Fougnies cautions on being realistic with your goals. “There’s nothing magical or mystical about Jan. 1,” he says. “This is a journey in chapters of months and years, not days and weeks. A year may seem unfathomable at the beginning, but just take it day by day and week by week. You’ll transform your whole lifestyle.  

Brandon Fougnies’ Gym Essentials

Whether you’re interesting in starting a new workout routine or building a dedicated home gym, here are some items to keep you moving.

01 // Inertia Wave. Similar to battle ropes, these lightweight oscillating tubes provide a unique low-impact conditioning workout that can be performed outdoors. Here, Fougnies performs the Hero Wave, which features alternating hand movements.

02 // Dumbells. Build strength and muscle by lifting weights. Dumbbells are one of the most widely used at-home pieces of exercise equipment. Start with a set that has light, medium and heavy weights to accommodate any exercises you wish to perform.

03 // Air Runner. Forego the traditional treadmill in favor of an Air Runner. This self-powered machine packs an intense workout into a small package. The added effort to run on the motorless curved surface means you burn up to 30% more calories.

04 // Resistance training. You don’t need fancy equipment to work out. Use your body’s own weight to burn calories and increase muscle strength. Squats, lunges, pushups and pull-ups are some of the best strength-training exercises for beginners.

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