Kelly is a fitness instructor from Birmingham. Due to the pandemic, she was forced to make the transition to a home gym to continue her classes. Kelly has 3 years of teaching experience, previously delivering face-to-face classes in cardio & resistance and boxercise. Since she built her home gym in her kitchen, Kelly has been hosting online classes from home. This summer, she started teaching 5 times a week, with her sessions focusing mainly on weight training and cardio.
Where did you start your fitness journey?
About four years ago. I started off doing mainly cardio: running on the treadmill, walking outside, and I actually did do a bit of weight training. I loved running but after a while my knee injury started to limit me, and I learned quickly that weight training was better for me.
What were your goals and targets?
My main goal was weight loss, and also getting to a level of fitness where I felt healthy and comfortable.
“I was very, very overweight, I couldn’t even walk for anything near long distance.”
I lost a lot of weight and then started to build up to even more intense exercise. Nowadays, I do really enjoy lifting weights, but I still go for long distance walks and try and go for a walk every day on top of my regular cardio and weight classes.
Did you know you were going to end up working out from home?
No. I always loved going to the gym to train, take classes, and I actually taught classes also. I never really did anything at home but then lockdown happened and changed everything.
“It was either train at home or do nothing. And I wasn’t going to do nothing.”
How long did it take to finish building your home gym?
I was quite lucky in a sense. In the first lockdown a local gym to me sadly had to shut down due to the pandemic. I ended up buying quite a lot of their second-hand equipment to use in my home gym. I’ve got quite a few pairs of dumbbells that I’ve bought gradually over a year as I’ve got stronger. I used the lighter ones to help recover from my shoulder injury and then started moving onto heavier weights. The only thing I need now is a dumbbell rack to organise them all.
Roughly how much did your home gym cost?
It felt like a lot. But I think I did well when you realise how high most of the prices were in lockdown. I shopped around to find the cheapest options and good prices because some of the prices people were charging in lockdown were just unreal. I actually bought my 15kg dumbbells from you because they were the best value! I would say overall I’ve spent about £1000 over the year but now I’ve got everything that I need. I also don’t mind spending a bit more because I’ll make the money back from my online classes which is one of the main perks of having a home gym.
Is there anything you’d change?
I do get use out of everything I’ve got. There’s not really anything I’d change about my home gym build. I’ll need some more dumbbells in the future when I get stronger. I could’ve maybe bought dumbbells with smaller jumps in weight between them which maybe would’ve helped with some of my workouts, but it’s definitely not a major issue. I wouldn’t change anything.
What’s your favourite part about working out at home?
Convenience. I always found the process of getting to the gym the hardest part. When you’re working all the time it’s annoying having to get up, drive to the gym, drive back, and shower. Now all I have to do is wake up and train and I’m ready for the day ahead. Especially with my classes, I’d never go back to face-to-face teaching.
What’s a piece of equipment you think every home gym should have?
Definitely dumbbells, but I also think resistance bands are brilliant. Some of my clients need to use heavier dumbbells and they don’t have them, but they can use resistance bands. I show them how to make the exercise harder by gripping the band further away or doubling it over. They’re so cheap and so versatile. You can get the booty bands to go round your legs, the weighted resistance bands for different exercises; I also use some long bands that aren’t weighted for some exercises! A pair of dumbbells and a range of resistance bands should be a feature in every home gym.
Is there anything you would’ve done differently?
I don’t think there’s anything I would’ve done differently. If we had a bigger space it would be brilliant obviously. Because I work out in my kitchen, it’s quite small and means I can’t set up a circuit in there. Luckily, I have a garden I can do that in. But if there was one thing I could change, I’d want a bigger space.
Check out Kelly's Instagram: @ridders73