Garage gym ideas are about more than just cramming your garage with home gym equipment. A home gym in a garage also requires design decisions, as well as decisions about appropriate storage, the right flooring, and counteracting the darkness that tends to be an issue. 

So, these ideas for garage gyms tackle both the practical and the design questions. If all you have currently is an empty garage and lots of home gym ideas that don’t necessarily translate well into this space, these garage-specific examples should give you plenty of inspiration.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

Can You Build a Gym in Your Garage?

Building your gym inside your garage takes at least one of those excuses away. You most likely won’t need more than one parking space if you plan well. If you’re looking to create a complete setup, you’ll want to dedicate more space.

Can You Work Out in a Garage?

Working out in a stuffy hot garage will be truly tiring and exhausting that you may even give up. Most importantly, you may even be at risk of heat exhaustion and stroke if you work out in a hot gym. Luckily, this can be easily avoided by simply ensuring your garage home gym has proper ventilation.

Do You Need Planning Permission to Convert a Garage Into a Gym?

If you’re converting your garage into a home gym, there should be no need for you to obtain planning permission. This will almost certainly be the case if you choose to leave the original garage doors in place, as the building structure will remain unchanged.

Is Building a Home Gym Worth It?

Not only can a home gym be just as effective as a commercial gym in keeping you fit, but it can prove more effective. Faster workouts, convenience, and the motivation to use something you’ve put so much money into can make you exercise more often. Keep in mind that “home gym” is a pretty broad term.

How Much Space Do You Need for a Garage Gym?

Regardless, your home gym size should be at least 10 ft x 10 ft of space for your CrossFit home gym. This will give you enough room for the pull-up bar and other essential equipment, with some breathing room to get into your workout. You don’t want your space to restrict your movement or make you uncomfortable.

Garage Gym Ideas: Why Build A Gym In A Garage?

How To Create A Gym In Your Garage 2

Ideas for a home gym typically come to people when they realise that a gym inside their home, even if it’s only a small gym idea, will not work. From potential floor damage to noise, as well as the lack of privacy in a busy family home, a traditional home does have its drawbacks.

Garages, on the other hand, seem made for gyms. founder of KTM Design explains that garage home gyms are so popular because they are ‘the perfect size for all the equipment you may need’, as well as delivering the much-desired ‘separation’ between home life and working out time, ‘giving you a designated space to focus with minimal noise disruption.’

Garages are also remarkably sturdy – after all, as points out, they are ‘built to take the weight of cars, so you don’t need to worry about the weight of the machines.’ You can easily fit all the home gym equipment you need in a garage without worrying too much about any negative impact on the floor/design of your home.

With this in mind, you do need to spend some time planning and designing your garage gym, especially if you are using your garage both as a home gym and for keeping your car in (this is called a half-garage gym).

Create A Multi-Purpose Space

If you convert an unused garage into a home gym, you will have enough room to create a multi-purpose space with several sensitive workout areas. The beauty of a garage gym is that it can easily accommodate a rowing machine and a yoga mat, as well as a dedicated corner for weightlifting or HIIT training. 

This multi-purpose space has been created by Garage Flex. We like how streamlined and uncluttered it is – more room for a more diverse selection of exercise equipment that’s spaced out enough to allow multiple people to do different types of exercise simultaneously. 

This layout is also suitable for half-garage gym ideas, where you’ll only be able to use part of your garage at a time.

Insulating a space, especially in an area with cold weather, is a must. It will help keep the climate in your garage and house more stable, but it’ll also help reduce the noise.

Insulation installation isn’t hard, but you should wear gloves, a mask, and long sleeves if you’re putting in fibreglass insulation yourself. If your garage door isn’t insulated, you can use a foam board insulation kit from Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Open Up The Space With Sliding Doors

The issue with many garage home gyms is that they can be quite dark. If you have the budget, consider opening up your garage conversion by installing bi-fold or sliding doors or even a glass roof. 

This garage home gym created by Patterson Custom Homes and Brandon Architects is one of the smartest we’ve ever seen. The space has been designed to form continuity with the decked area outside. The result is an airy and open-feeling home gym that will never be too dark.

Combine A Garage Gym Area With A Utility Area

A converted garage is an invaluable source of space for smaller homes, so it’s understandable if you don’t want to use all of that extra space just for the home gym. 

Because a garage is like a blank canvas, you can put whatever you want in there. A treadmill, a washing machine, and shoe storage? Why not? If most utility room ideas are out of reach for you due to a lack of space, combining a utility area with your garage gym may work.

Cheer Up The Space With Colorful Flooring

If you want a space that looks more exciting, invest in colourful home gym flooring. Vinyl flooring or resin flooring are good options for garage gyms, thanks to the durability of these materials. However, you may find your floors eventually scuffs, so go for richer, deeper colours rather than light ones. 

Options for adding flooring over concrete to reduce impact are almost endless. If you can put large puzzle pieces together, you can save some money and your joints by putting in some shock-absorbing flooring yourself. 

A bonus to a few types of these floor tiles is you can park on them too. You don’t have to permanently give up a parking space to have a place to work out.

Serious About Working Out? Use Every Inch Of Space

If your garage conversion ideas are gravitating towards a garage gym, you may as well get serious about full-body workouts. 

Nick Taylor, a professional personal trainer with over 15 years of experience, has created this highly sophisticated workout space in his garage. It’s not for the faint of heart, and no available space has been wasted. If you have big fitness goals, take inspiration from the sheer range of available equipment. 

Keep Your Garage Gym Tidy With Ample Storage

If your garage gym is a family workout space, you will need to invest in proper storage. We like how neat the space looks in this example by Garage Flex – the back wall has been lined with locker cabinets that keep all smaller items out of the way when not needed.

From the most basic hooks to hang ropes to commercial-grade racks that hold the heavy stuff, it’s really up to you how much space you want/has to dedicate to equipment.

We’ve used slat walls to store smaller pieces of equipment without problems, but everyone’s needs are different, so racks are a great option as well. 

Having open space to work is probably the most important part of getting set up, so putting a solid plan of an organisation together should be a priority. 

Make a space to easily put away the current equipment, then work the rest in as you accumulate new pieces.

Consider An All-White Design To Brighten Up The Gym

Another way to tackle the potential darkness of a garage gym is by painting it all white or cladding the interior with white panels. Add plenty of lighting panels or spotlights to brighten the space even more.

Create A Weight Lifting Station

If strength training is one of your fitness goals, you’ll want to invest in the best dumbbells. As you experiment with different types and weights, you will find that they accumulate quite quickly, so you’ll want to organise them properly in your garage gym. 

Nick Taylor’s organising of his dumbbells is exemplary – they are displayed in a multi-tier storage unit in a way that makes selecting and retrieving them very easy. 

Heating & Cooling

Heating and cooling your garage is a luxury, but if you can squeeze it into your budget, it will be a luxury you won’t regret splurging on. We’ve come across ductless units (sometimes referred to as mini-split systems), which are nice since they’re not running on your house’s heating/cooling unit and can be used only when you need them.

What Do I Need In A Garage Gym?

It’s good to be able to tick every box when it comes to a home gym. Those boxes are cardio training, resistance training, free weights training, and mobility/bodyweight/floor/core/functional work as the four main categories.

That is a lot to cover and would involve a lot of machinery. Mark recommends:

  • one piece of cardio equipment (ideally total body like a cross-trainer, but this also comes down to personal preference and, of course, budget)
  • a piece of equipment to facilitate resistance training like a cable machine or high-quality adaptable multigym
  • a free weights solution like a squat rack with complimentary bars and weight plates 
  • dumbbells or a squat rack hybrid

If you are using your whole garage as a home gym, this may well work fine. If space is limited, ‘you combine the squat rack and cable machine in one footprint.

Also, don’t forget that you’ll need ‘maximise floor space for the mobility/bodyweight/floor/core/functional work’ – so adequate vertical storage to keep the floor free is essential.

This part is less about storage and more about not buying more than you need. If you’re using your new space every day, you’ll need a few more items. Not everything has to be purchased on your first day, week, month, or even year.

Equipment pieces can be accumulated through time as you determine how much you need and use them. Having your basic equipment available doesn’t have to be expensive either.

Used equipment is available on Craigslist, Play-it-Again Sports, and local classified ads. Keeping an eye on sale ads (especially around January) also helps if you’re looking for something specific or has an expiration timeline.

Best Equipment For A Garage Gym

One of the hardest things when creating a gym at home is choosing the right equipment. We will share my top choices for affordable home gym equipment with you so you can build a garage gym even with a small budget. 

Basic Equipment For A Garage Gym: 

Weightlifting Barbell:

When it comes to a barbell, you should focus on a weightlifting barbell that can take the tear and wear for a long time to come. My best recommendation for a good quality barbell that will last you a long time is the CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar. 

Squat Rack With Pull-Up Bar Attached:

A great budget-friendly option for a squat rack is the Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage. It does a good job and is an excellent value for the price. If your budget allows you to spend a bit more, we recommend it.

Weight Plates:

You can either buy bumper plates or metal plates for weight plates. Although bumper plates are more expensive than metal plates, we recommend making that extra investment in bumper plates.

 Bumper plates are better for a garage gym as you can drop them without damaging the floor. If you do CrossFit, you will need to buy bumper plates.

If you don’t plan to do CrossFit or Olympic Weighlifting, you can save money by buying metal weight plates. You can also combine bumper and metal plates. CAP bumper plates are a good value for the money. 

And if you’re looking for metal plates, XMark Black Diamond Plates are good quality, and we like that they have a 1-year warranty (as opposed to a 30-day guarantee which is the case with many others). 

Sometimes you can score great used weight plates if you have some patience and look for some locally on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Bench Press:

A bench press will get a lot of use. Beyond bench pressing, you can use it for many upper and lower body movements. When it comes to a bench press, look for one that is versatile and portable in case it’s something you have to move around in your garage.

Tips For Installing The Garage Organization System

How To Create A Gym In Your Garage 1

  • Measure your space. Decide on which garage organisation system you will be installing. Then, measure that space to know what fits in that space.
  • Take into account what equipment you will want on your wall to plan the installation around that. Always leave some space for expansion as you may want to install more accessories or even more rails once you acquire more equipment.
  • Make a plan. It does not matter if you are good at drawing up plans; making a simple drawing somewhat in scale will help you figure out how to maximise the space and make sure you have a place for everything. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time! The great thing about doing this on paper is that you can change it around until you find the configuration that works the best for you.
  • Start with your rails. The hang rails are the backbone of my garage organisation system. The FastTrack rails are quick and easy to install. The heavy steel construction provides extra durability, and each rail holds up to 1,750 lbs.
  • Choose your accessories. There is a great variety of accessories that easily attach to the rail. You slide them; there is no need for screws. You can move them around to create a customised garage storage system that can change as you get more equipment, so everything is easy to move around.

When we finished setting up every gym accessory, we could not believe how spacious my garage felt, even though we have quite a few machines, including an air fan bike, a rowing machine, a squat rack, and gymnastic rings. 

We placed a lot of gear on the garage organisation system, including a mobility bar, a 45lb weight lifting bar, a weight lifting belt, dip belt, wrist straps, lock-jaw collars, spring collars, climbing rope, and gymnastic grips.

How Can I Make My Garage Gym Look Nice?

This is one of the most-asked questions people have about garage gyms because garages are not inherently pretty spaces. The main trouble is that they are often very dark – some are windowless.

So, good lighting should make most garage gyms look much nicer. The Sales Manager at Green Retreats recommends ‘choosing an LED lighting option that mimics natural daylight, such as an LED panel light, to brighten your home gym and energise your workout.’

Good flooring will also go a long way towards creating a nicer look for your garage gym. You don’t need to worry about the floor matching anything else in your garage so that a colourful floor can be a solution to an otherwise unremarkable-looking space.  

Finally, well-built storage lockers can elevate the look of your garage gym. Open shelving may be simpler, but for a more professional look, a purpose-built locker will deliver. 

Conclusion

Many people join the gym and sign up for a membership but cannot go daily. Now there is an option to say no to memberships and exercise daily!

Your garage is the one place in your house that has ample space and can be used for setting up a gym. If you set up a home gym in your garage, there will be no excuses to exercise daily. The idea of having a home gym in the garage is to follow a routine and ditch all the reasons for not going to the gym.

The garage is the best place in your house to set up a gym, and in this article, we will help you understand the procedure for setting it up quickly. Go through the seven easy steps, and voila, your garage is turned into a personal gym.

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