Designing your own home gym
For many people, training at home is the only practical option because of time constraints, membership cost at a fitness facility, or both. Many people simply prefer to train in their own homes. If you want to train at home, you need to consider several basic home gym equipment and space issues.
First you have to create a designated area in your home to train – a basement workout room, the garage. It should be somewhere that provides a good atmosphere for training, similar to a gym.
- Buy good-quality equipment – try it out before you buy
- Keep this space as a home gym – don’t use it for storage
- Create a gym atmosphere – play music, hang mirrors and pictures on the wall and put rubber mats on the floor to prevent damage from the weights
- Make your home gym a “real” gym
Room Location and Design
When selecting a place to train at home, begin by determining a suitable area for storing equipment as well as working out. The location should be out of the way of the main travel routes in your home. It should be well ventilated and well lit, and it needs at least one electrical outlet. It should also be securable if you have young children or pets. An electrical outlet offers the opportunity to plug in an mp3 player, radio, or maybe a treadmill or stair-stepping machine. If you have a choice, select an area that has a high ceiling.
Garage is a great place to create your home gym. But garage gyms don’t need to be in a garage – they can go anywhere:
- Spare bedrooms;
- Front yards;
- Car-ports… anywhere
Just like anything else in life, you do what you can with what you’ve got. Same logic applies for designing your own home gym.
The floor of a home facility is commonly carpet-covered concrete. Such a surface is better than tile or uncovered concrete because both can be slippery and easily damaged from dropping barbells and dumbbells or moving equipment. Also, arrange the tallest pieces of equipment next to the walls, but allow at least a 6-inch (15 cm) space. If you have more than one machine or bench, give yourself at least 18 inches (46 cm) between them for easy access.
Basic Equipment Requirements
Once you have carved out some space, it’s time to start getting equipment in place.
If you are thinking of setting up a home gym in your garage then here are the essentials that we would recommend for a multitude of exercises:
- Squat rack or power rack
- Olympic bar and collars
- Dumbbell handles (Olympic)
- Olympic weight plate set
- Adjustable bench (flat /incline/ decline option)
- Doorway pull-up (chinning) bar (if you have purchased a power rack then you already have something similar)
- Stability ball (optional)
- TRX system (optional)
On the other hand, if you are looking for something even simpler, more affordable, or smaller then here is our recommended list for the spare room:
- Adjustable dumbbells (such as those made by PowerBlock)
- Stability ball
- Exercise bands or tubing
Obviously the less exercise equipment you have the more you will need to use your imagination to keep coming up with routines that are varied enough to be both challenging and interesting.
Creative Home Gyms Ideas
Discover new home gym ideas, designs, decor and layouts to enhance your exercise routine. Home gyms are not just for the rich and a famous. A savvy and functional workout area can be added to your home without much fuss.
Closing thoughts: Designing your own home gym
Designing your own home gym will largely be dependent on space and what type of training you plan to do. Those wanting to undertake some fairly serious strength training will need a reasonable amount of space – a single car garage with a high enough roof is usually sufficient. For those looking for something a little more basic, it is reasonably cheap and easy to buy some kit to use in a spare room or outside.