We're all more focused on our health and wellbeing than ever before, and working out has become much more mainstream in the past decade.
Commercial gyms can be great, but when compared to garage gyms there are several negatives. Memberships are often expensive, travel to them isn’t practical for everyone and others value privacy when working out.
Home gyms have become more common, and people are converting unused space in their homes into a useful training area. Garages can often become dumping grounds for junk, but its worthwhile using them as a gym or exercise space.
In this guide, we'll help explain how to turn your garage into a gym and provide you with some tips and tricks to make it as epic as possible.
Table of Contents
- How To Turn Your Garage Into An Awesome Gym
- Cost Considerations When Converting A Garage Into A Gym
- Garage Gym Layout Ideas
- Common Questions About Converting Garage Into Gyms
How To Turn Your Garage Into An Awesome Gym
A garage provides the perfect location for a gym, and it's actually less work than converting a basement or other space in your home.
Here are the steps you need to take to bring your garage gym to life and then some ideas of how you can lay your gym out.
1. Install Insulation
Garages are an extension of your home, but they aren’t built to the same standards.
Most garages aren’t designed to be year-round usable spaces and have much less insulation.
This can make them too cold to be of practical use, and if you want to build a garage gym, you’ll have to do some work to improve the insulation.
Installing fiberglass insulation in the walls is the best way to keep the heat in and the cold out.
You can also get bonded plasterboard that fits your walls and provides insulation around the garage.
You can also get insulation kits for your garage door, which will keep a lot of the heat in.
2. Make The Garage Comfortable
Once it's insulated, you need to go about making the room more comfortable.
This is important for taking the gym to the next level and making it an enjoyable place to be in, rather than a chore.
Start by investing in some quality flooring. You can buy these rubber panels fairly cheaply online. We have a separate guide on flooring for home gyms.
These will help keep the heat in, make the floor more comfortable, and provide noise insulation when you're lifting weights.
They'll also give the gym a much better look than a concrete floor.
Wall coverings are also a great way to make the space look better. These will provide extra insulation, and you can get wall coverings that make it easier to store equipment.
It's usually easy enough to install this yourself, and you can buy all the materials online or in a hardware store.
Consider the humidity levels and explore the idea of purchasing a dehumidifier if your space is higher than 70 on a humidity sensor.
Finally, you need to consider the temperature within the room. Heating in winter and cooling solutions for summer will keep you comfortable while you work out, and they're essential.
You can spend a little or a lot but investing in a good fan which can be used for heating and cooling your space is worth every cent.
3. Plan The Space
This is potentially the most important step and one you need to dedicate a lot of time to.
Start by measuring the entire space you have available so you can understand the dimensions of the garage properly.
Make sure you’ve measured only the part of the garage you’ll be using and not any other sections which need to be kept separate.
Take into account doorways and other limiting factors so you can truly understand your options.
You next need to determine what needs to remain in the garage and what can be moved out.
In a modern home, there can often be limited storage space, so you need to be practical.
You may be able to install some effective storage solutions in the space once you know what needs to be housed there.
The next step is deciding what the focus of your gym is. For example, if you want to focus on cardio, you must dedicate more space to that equipment.
If you want to focus on powerlifting and strength training, you'll have to allow space for that.
Understanding your goals and what you want to get from using the space will help inform your decision.
Once you've determined the type of equipment you need, you should plan the layout of the gym. Look up the equipment that you want and get the dimensions written down.
Make a plan and draw out where everything fits together, like a jigsaw puzzle, so you can see to best lay your gym out.
Remember to consider electrical outlets in your plans because many gym equipment will rely on them.
You should hopefully now have a well-considered, planned layout garage gym, and you know where everything will go.
This can take some time but don't be afraid to pause and really consider your options. If possible, you can speak to people you know with home gyms and see if they have any wisdom to share.
4. Choose Your Equipment
You've laid the groundwork and you've planned your space, now is the time to order your equipment.
You want to get a good balance of cost and durability but remember that you probably don't need commercial gym quality equipment if it's just you using it.
That being said, don't be afraid to spend a little more on something which will last longer and give you better long-term value.
When selecting your equipment, you should carefully consider the dimensions and storage options.
Your planning should have given you a clear idea of what you can fit, but some treadmills and other gym equipment can fold up and be stored when it's not in use.
This will help you to maximize your space and influence your storage options.
You can even invest in complete garage gym packages, which are really helpful when designing a garage gym. It's the easiest all-in-one solution even though it costs a bit more.
Depending on the gym brands that you're buying from, delivery can take a few weeks. Ordering at this point in the process should leave you with enough time to perform any finishing touches and get everything else ready before it arrives.
Related Article - Garage Gym Ideas For Small Budgets
5. Install Storage
Whether it’s for gym equipment or for other things currently being stored in your garage, every home gym needs storage.
One of the best options is to install slat walls which is the material you'll see in the aisles of shops.
These allow you to hang up gym equipment when it's not in use, and you can put hooks or racks straight onto it. This will let you hang up bikes and larger equipment easily.
It's worth installing some deep shelves in your garage gym too. These can store heavier items or boxes of equipment to keep it organized and out of the way.
You can also look at some ceiling storage options to move bulkier objects out of the way.
Remember, garage gym storage is all about keeping your valuable floor space clear. This allows you to house more equipment and makes your garage gym more useful.
Installing storage options is usually an easy enough DIY job, but you need to allow some time for it.
Don't be afraid to ask a local professional to help you out if you’re unsure because setting up your garage gym properly is worth paying a little extra.
6. Set Up Your Gym
You should hopefully now be in a position where you have a warm, comfortable gym space with storage options.
As your gym equipment arrives, consult your plan and move it into the appropriate place.
Set up all the gym equipment and make sure it's in working order and that it fits as you planned.
You may be able to reconfigure slightly if you need to, but it's good to sort it now so you can get on with using the garage gym.
This is an enjoyable step where you get to see all your hard work pay off. You'll probably start to have ideas of other bits and pieces you can add but try to resist.
Make sure you have everything set up first before you start trying to squeeze in more.
7. Make Sure It’s Secure
In your final step, you need to make sure the garage gym is as secure as the rest of your house.
Make sure that your garage door is kept locked, and look to add an electric lock if possible.
You can also install a monitor, so you are notified by email or SMS when it opens, and a camera so you can see what's going on.
Your gym equipment can be expensive, so it's worth protecting. Having some security features will stop you from accidentally leaving the door open or deter anyone from trying to break in.
Cost Considerations When Converting A Garage Into A Gym
As with everything, the budget you have will impact how much you can do with your garage gym.
A garage gym can cost between $500-$15000+, depending on your setup and what equipment you want.
The majority of that cost will be on equipment, and you may want to consider some used gym equipment which is often considerably cheaper.
The rest of the costs will be incurred getting your garage ready for use.
If your garage is in a reasonable condition, and you are willing to do the work yourself, this may only cost you $500-$1,500. If you have more work to do, then it will be more.
An advanced home gym will cost you considerably more than a basic one, so it's worth understanding your budget before you start so you can be realistic about what's achievable.
Garage Gym Layout Ideas
Single Car Garage Gym
A standard single garage gym is generally 12 feet wide and 22 feet deep.
This may sound like a lot, but it can get cramped quite quickly.
In the example, you can see how space has been used to allow cardio and weightlifting equipment, giving users some options.
By selecting smaller cardio equipment, like an exercise bike and a rower, it leaves enough available space for the rack on the far side.
Storage on the walls helps to keep smaller items out of the way and protect the limited floor space so it can be used.
The trick with smaller gyms is to keep the central space as free as possible. This gives you more room to work out properly and prevents the area from feeling cramped.
Plywood covers and plastic floorboards will help to insulate the room and make it more practical to use. It also helps keep the noise in the room, so you don't disturb anyone else at home.
As the image shows, the key to getting the most from a single car garage is not getting too much equipment.
Versatile equipment suitable for a range of exercises is best, and it's best to go for multi-functional equipment like a weight rack.
Be realistic, and you can still end up with a great garage gym.
Two Car Garage Gym
Two car garage gyms give a lot more space to plan around, and you can design a really effective home gym.
In the example here, you can see how the homeowner has introduced a lot of equipment but prevented it from becoming cluttered.
This means there are many different pieces to choose from and enough training space to use them properly.
This homeowner has introduced some deep shelving at the back of the gym along with some wall storage for various gym equipment.
This helps keep the floor clear and leave the majority of the room usable.
The rack and weights offer ample space for lifting and bodyweight exercises like pull ups.
There's also a separate area for the barbell so you can train with a bit more freedom.
There are several compact cardio machines too, which have clearly been chosen because they don't take up much room.
In this example, you can tell that every piece has been picked to fit in that area.
They've successfully planned and designed the space, so there are separate areas for each bit of equipment.
This, combined with the wall storage, makes it easy to use, and it's a suitable space for several users at a time.
Cross-Fit Garage Gym
CrossFit is all about high-intensity training, which improves your conditioning and the functionality of your body.
It's massively popular and offers an alternative way to train which has been proven to give a lot of benefits.
You can see the homeowner here has taken a more minimalist approach to setting up their gym.
They've installed ropes and high pull up bars which are helpful for cross-fitters, with some more traditional weights and machines to build overall strength.
They have still thought about storage, though, and used wall hooks to move bulky items (like the ladder) out of the way.
CrossFit exercises focus more on bodyweight exercises, so you need less equipment and more space.
In your garage gym, you need to try and maximize your floor space but still keep a wide enough variety of different equipment so you can mix up your routine.
This is what the homeowner has done here and what you should try and do if you want a cross-fit home gym.
Other Garage Gym Layout Ideas
Garage gyms come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are 16 x 6, and others are 24 x 24.
You may have appliances and boilers in the middle or walls, impacting your choices. It can be a bit more challenging, but there are still options for everyone.
In the image here, you can see it's narrow but deep, which limits some of the options.
They've used effective storage solutions to move larger items, like bikes, out of the way and overhead storage for accessories.
They've invested in a lot of practical equipment, but it's mostly kept tidied away until it's needed.
This helps to stop the small space from becoming untidy and protects your training area.
Remember to work with the space you have, not the space you think you have. Be practical and focused because you won’t be able to fit everything in.
Common Questions About Converting Garage Into Gyms
Do I need permission to turn my garage into a gym?
No, in all likelihood, you won't need any planning permission to convert your garage into a gym if you own your home. However, if you are undertaking any structural work, you may need some planning permission, so it may be worth checking your local restrictions.
Are garage gyms safe?
Garage gyms are perfectly safe if you invest in good quality equipment and test it properly. Make sure you take all standard precautions when working out and use a spotter when you're lifting heavy.
Can you have a garage gym and still park your car inside?
Yes, technically, if you have enough space, you can partition your garage, so you have a gym on one side and a car on the other. The challenge is usually the garage door, as many people block it up to better insulate the garage and make it more secure. You'll need to consider your options and see what's practical, but it might be challenging to get your car in and out.
What are the main benefits of having a garage gym?
Garage gyms can save you a lot of money in the long run as you won't have to pay any membership fees. They also make exercise more convenient with no need to travel to work out. This makes fitness a lot more accessible to everyone.
Most homeowners have a garage that barely sees any practical use, but it's the perfect place for a home gym.
Converting your garage into a gym does take some work, but if you put in the effort, you can end up with an epic space that you actually get excited to use.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some clear instructions on designing and building your garage gym.
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Last Updated on January 2, 2023