Indoor Space 5 Tips for Setting Up a Home Gym in the Desert


Before a pandemic changed our collective routine, Mark Hamilton and Juan Francisco trained regularly at World Gym 10 minutes from their Palm Springs home. When COVID restrictions closed the gym, they converted a bay in their three-car garage into a home gym, complete with carpet flooring, air conditioning, free weights, and a multipurpose exercise machine.

When the gym reopened, fitness enthusiasts returned to the gym, where they have access to equipment that offers a greater range of options than their home setup.

“If my schedule is busy and I have 45 minutes to exercise, it’s more efficient to work out at home,” Hamilton says. “But variety is really important, because I get bored easily. Instead of one or two chest or leg exercises [on a single machine]there are a dozen or two [at World Gym].” A desire for variety is also, in part, why he seeks the professional guidance of his personal trainer Dan Donahue three times a week. The other reason is to create a commitment for itself.

“Whether [a session] isn’t on my schedule, I might go run errands, and then the morning disappears,” he says. “Having a coach gives me the discipline I’m looking for.”

Francisco had to be fit in his old role as a firefighter, then hired Donahue to help him train for the bodybuilding competition. Passion fuels his dedication to training. Something else motivates Hamilton.

“I see so many people who don’t exercise, and everyday things are harder for them to do. If I could skip the workouts, I would; but it’s the best way to stay active.


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