Nowadays, with the uncertainty surrounding gym openings and social distancing, many of you are looking for an alternative.
Working out at home is the obvious alternative. Unfortunately building muscle and getting fit in your living room is not ideal. Maybe converting your garage into a home gym is the better solution.
If you want to learn how to convert your garage into a gym continue reading as we have provided plenty of useful information for you below.[toc]
Advantages Of A Garage Gym
Benefits of having a garage gym include:
- There is no commute. With the gym just yards from your home you can simply walk to it whatever the weather. There really is no excuse not to get some regular workout time put in every week.
- It is open 24/7. With a home gym, there are no closing times, no holidays, and no days off. You can workout whenever, and for however long you want.
- No lines or distractions. You won’t have to wait for your favorite piece of equipment to become available, nor will you be distracted by other gym-goers wanting a chat.
- You make your own rules. If you want to make noise or drop the weights that is up to you. There is no one to tell you otherwise.
- You can make it yours. It is your gym, so you can set it up as you want, with the equipment you want to achieve your own goals.
- It can potentially save you money. Maybe not in the short term, but over time a home gym will be a more affordable option than a gym membership.
- It should be cleaner. With 100s, potentially 1,000s of members at your local gym there is an increased risk of encountering germs and illnesses. With a home gym, only you will be using it so less risk of contracting anything.
Potential Problems With A Garage Gym
Even though there are plenty of benefits to having a garage gym, there are also some drawbacks too:
- Limited equipment. Unless you have an endless amount of money then you are simply not going to afford the same quality of equipment found in your local gym.
- A lack of space. You are going to be limited to what you can get in your garage. Plus, if your garage is small it is doubtful you will have room for both your gym and your car.
- Variable temperature. Your garage will likely get hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. Both situations may leave you feeling as though you should skip your next training session.
- It’s your responsibility. If anything breaks then it is your responsibility to fix it.
- Distractions. While having a home gym is convenient this is potentially a drawback too. With it being so close it will be hard to leave your responsibilities to go and train.
How To Convert A Garage Into A Home Gym?
The first thing you will need to do before you convert your garage into a home gym is to tidy up the garage.
Make sure you remove any junk that you no longer need as no one would like to workout in a cluttered and messy space. If you don’t clean up then you will not want to train, nor will you have enough room to train either.
Next, you will need to make a plan for the process.
You need to ask yourself what kind of training you are going to be doing, plus what equipment you will need in order to perform this training. Map out the space available to you, and then read on to look at the specifics.
What Is The Best Flooring For Garage Gym?
The hard concrete floor found in most garages is not ideal for working out on as it won’t absorb the shock of any high-intensity exercise.
Dust can also be an issue, so it will be a good idea to cover the floor in an epoxy first before considering some other flooring too.
Epoxy is a resin coating that is painted directly onto the concrete. It is durable, water-resistant, and dust-proof. It can also withstand a lot of foot traffic.
Once the epoxy has been used you may want to consider some carpet or rubber tiles to help cushion any impact on your muscles and joints.
How Do I Insulate My Garage Gym?
There are numerous reasons why you should look to insulate your garage before you start using it as a home gym:
- It helps to reduce energy costs
- Reduces outside noise
- Helps to brighten the interior of the garage
- Offers better climate control for year-round use
Insulation will help keep the temperature regulated year-round, whatever the weather.
If you still find yourself hot in the summer and cold in the winter then investing in a fan and heater could be a good idea.
Do You Need Any Entertainment In Your Garage Gym?
Working out without any music is not going to be very exciting, and while there are going to portable options such as Spotify and some good quality headphones these can sometimes be an unwanted distraction.
Another option would be a portable speaker or a television mounted on your wall.
Of course, this extra equipment will cost money, so it will be worthwhile to make sure your garage is secure and is locked up when not in use.
What Equipment Do I Need For My Garage Gym?
The equipment you need for a garage gym will depend on the kind of training you are hoping to perform.
The following are some essential pieces of gym equipment you may want to consider:
A weight bench is important for your home gym as without it you are going to have to perform the bench press and other exercises on the floor, which is less than ideal.
If the budget allows I would recommend buying an adjustable weight bench. Perhaps one with both an incline and decline setting, as this will allow you to hit your chest, back, and shoulders from various angles.
If you are planning on lifting weights in your garage gym then you should invest in a barbell.
They will allow you to perform the main compound movements, such as the bench press, squat, and deadlift. Compound movements use lots of your muscle groups simultaneously, so is perfect for building muscle.
A barbell will allow the weight to be distributed evenly when lifted, which will give you more stability when lifting.
If you have bought a barbell then you will need some weight plates too. Otherwise, you won’t have much weight to lift (a standard Olympic barbell only weights 20kg).
Personally I would opt for an Olympic barbell and plates, as these are a more stable option and are safer and easier to load onto the bar.
Along with the barbell, you may want to invest in a couple of dumbbells, or preferably a few different pairs of dumbbells at various weights.
One of the main benefits of dumbbells is that they are less stable than a barbell, so will allow you to work on any muscle imbalances you may have. This will ultimately help improve your strength and allow you to lift heavier over time.
When it comes to cardio, many of you may prefer the treadmill. Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse.
Running may be good for your legs and cardiovascular endurance, but it is not exactly my idea of fun. Especially when stuck inside a garage not being able to see anything but the wall in front of you.
I am not a massive fan of cardio (who is?). However, if I were to choose one machine to improve my cardio I would opt for a rower. The reason for this is that as well as being able to improve your cardiovascular endurance, it also helps build the muscle in both your legs and upper body. Something the treadmill is not able to do.
What Storage Do You Need For Your Garage Gym?
Storage is essential in any home gym to maximize the space available to you.
You can use the walls and ceiling to store any equipment that is not in use, for example, any resistance bands, foam rollers, dumbbells, or yoga mats.
If you have the money then a dumbbell rack or a weight storage tree could be a good investment to keep hold of any spare weights. Once organized they will be able easy to find when needed too.
For those on a budget, and with a bit of DIY experience you can even make your own storage, such as this DIY weight plate rack:
Buying Gym Equipment
Of course, we would all love to be able to fill up our home gym with the latest and best gym equipment. Unfortunately, unless you are Mark Wahlberg or The Rock this is unlikely due to the cost involved.
A better and more affordable option would be to look at buying used gym equipment.
There are plenty of online marketplaces available where you can pick up a bargain. Here are some of the best places to look:
- Facebook Marketplace
Just make sure that you always view the equipment before you send any money. There are plenty of people online these days who are looking to scam you.
Another option for you would be to check out your local newspaper listings or flea markets/garage sales too.
Other Considerations For Your Garage Gym
You most certainly won’t want to spend time working out in a dirty dreary-looking garage, so spending a little money sprucing it up is something I would suggest.
Personally I would pick a lighter color for the walls, rather than leaving bare brick exposed.
A mirror or two wouldn’t go amiss either, as they can help you ensure your technique is up to scratch. Poor form is one of the leading causes of injury in the gym so it is definitely something to consider.
Lighting is also important, no one wants to be working out in near darkness. Not only will it make working out less appealing, but it also makes it more dangerous too.
The final thing to consider, which is especially important if you are planning on having a treadmill or elliptical in your garage gym. Is to ensure you have the power available to use them.
Even if you have power sockets available you should not rely on extension leads. Call-out an electrician and make sure everything is safe, plus make sure you today away any leads to avoid any potential hazards.
How Much Does It Cost To Turn Your Garage Into A Gym?
The cost of turning your garage into a gym will depend entirely on what equipment you buy.
Typically a garage gym will need a training bench, some free weights, perhaps a pull-up bar, and a cardio machine of your choosing.
Of these pieces of equipment, the cardio machine will likely cost the most, with a rower, treadmill, or stationary bike costing upwards of $500.
How Can I Make A Home Gym With No Money?
If you do not have any money then making a home gym will be difficult.
Your only real option is to focus on bodyweight exercises until you are able to save up enough funds to afford some second-hand equipment.
Is It Bad To Workout In The Garage?
There are a few issues you need to be aware of when working out in your garage:
- Radon build-up – This is an invisible, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the ground when uranium breaks down. It can be harmful if the area you are working out has high concentrations but is not properly ventilated.
- Fumes from chemicals – Chances are you are storing chemicals in your garage. If they are not sealed properly and the garage is not ventilated then you may experience light-headedness or dizziness. If you smell any chemicals or gas while working out then the area is probably not safe.
- Pests – Your garage may be warm and humid (especially in the summer months), which is the ideal breeding ground for pests and germs such as cockroaches. They can spread illness-causing bacteria so you should look to lower the humidity in your garage by making sure it is ventilated.
- Mold and fungus – This can also grow in a moisture-rich environment, which can cause breathing problems, headaches, stuffiness, and infections. Told can be cleaned up with soap and water, although presentation will require your garage is well ventilated, with low humidity.
Can I Keep Treadmill In Garage?
Most treadmill manufacturers would advise against keeping a treadmill in the garage.
The reason for this is that the dirt and dust can get into the parts and grooves of the treadmill, potentially into the motor, which can ruin it.
If you do use a treadmill in your garage gym you will need to take steps to keep the areas clean and warm.
Can You Keep Elliptical In Garage?
You can keep an elliptical in your garage, but you must ensure the garage is warm and is kept clean.
A cold and dirty environment could lead to corrosion and premature failure of important parts.
Will Gym Equipment Rust In A Garage?
Gym equipment can rust in a garage, especially if it is particularly humid.
To prevent this rusting you will need to lower the humidity by keeping the area warm and well-ventilated.
How Much Space Do I Need For A Garage Gym?
The space you need for a garage gym will depend on what equipment you have and what kind of training you are going to be performing.
If you only have a single flat bench and a couple of dumbbells then you will obviously need a lot less room than if you had a full power rack, a barbell, a load of free weights, and a set of dumbbells to choose from.
Conclusion: Is A Garage Gym A Good Investment?
Your garage is the ideal place for a home gym. If you have space then you can tailor it to your own specific needs, goals, and preferences.
You won’t have to travel to get to it, nor will you have to wait patiently for someone to finish their workout before you can start.
The only problem is the initial cost of setting up the garage gym. However, if you start small, and buy second-hand equipment then it really is cost-effective and over time will be a much cheaper option than signing up for a gym membership.