Society is paying increased attention to fitness and wellness today. Consequently, there has been a significant rise in gym memberships. However, rather than having to regularly commute to a public gym, pay outrageous gym membership fees, how about training conveniently and effectively in a home gym? Your garage is one perfect space to convert into a fitness room.
You can convert a garage into a fitness room by remodeling and procuring befitting fitness equipment. This would require clearing the garage, upgrading the flooring, and then working on your heating and ventilation. Then depending on your budget and fitness objectives, you can go on to buy fitness equipment like dumbbells, barbells, or cardio machines.
Budgeting is critical when converting your garage into a fitness room. If this is done wrongly or inaccurately identifying what you are training for, you may end up blowing away a massive amount of money. What budget-friendly tools should you get for limited space like your garage? How much would you spend on the remodeling, and would such gym add to your home value? Let us find out.
Preparing for Your Garage Gym
To transform your garage into a befitting fitness room, you need to ask yourself first what your fitness goals are. Are you just training to get fitter and stronger? Or are you doing it for competitive purposes like powerlifting?
This will enable you to correctly fathom your budget and what you should buy. This entails whether going for simple tools like gymnastic rings or investing or extensive fitness solutions like cardio machines.
Great, now you have to factor how the layout of your garage gym to maximize the space. You can plan the overhead space for the storage of your fitness tools. Concerning space, will you be leaving your garage door open or you would close it? Closing it could give you increased privacy and focus.
The layout of your garage gym should allow for a reasonable headroom. There should be adequate vertical space to accommodate workouts like pull-ups, standing shoulder presses, or other overhead exercises like jumping ropes. If you are also going to have benches, there should be sufficient space behind your head.
Would you willing to buy used fitness materials to save more or you prefer entirely going for new ones? Aside from the cost of the equipment proper, you will spend on expenditures like your heating and insulation, as well as upgrading the flooring.
You could also need to spend on elevated storage cabinets. Let us now delve into the process of turning your garage into a home gym.
Steps for Turning Your Garage into A Home Gym
The transformation of your garage would be procedural, divided into several phases, as you may not be able to foot every expense at once. There are some equipment like medicinal balls, cardio machines (like treadmills and stationary bikes) that can wait. However, there are some fundamental upgrades and tools you must start with to get the best value from your home gym.
You will need to work on the flooring
We will point out here that if you are extremely financially constrained, you can leave your garage floor bare. However, this is not advisable. An exposed concrete floor is not only unsightly and demotivating, it is also unhealthy – especially during the cold winter. If you can’t buy significant flooring materials, you can just spend a bit on coating the floor.
You can transform the appearance and allure of your concrete garage floor by just adding premium Floortex™ coating. This will get it looking more professional. Also, such coating is famed for its durability and chemical resistance, as well as its resilience to heavy foot traffic. This is not difficult to clean either. There are many color variations for you to pick from.
Next, you will have to store your stuff
Ground storage isn’t optimal for garage gyms as you don’t want to stuff the place. To avoid clutter, we will recommend you leverage a Slatwall storage system that makes the best of vertical storage. Here your hooks can be stored in deep shelves while your baskets can handle other smaller equipment.
Note that while we advocated reasonable overhead space, this shouldn’t be excessive as such could kind of shrink your garage gym. The open floor space should be balanced with your overhead space. You can go for foldable equipment to maximize space like foldable bikes and treadmills. These equipment can be vertically stored when you are not using them.
Tidiness and organization are two core components of having a great garage gym. We will advise you to go for storage cabinetries that are easy to clean. Avoid the reckless habit of throwing things about when you are done with them. Rather, try your best to keep them in their designated storage positions.
You can’t ignore your heating and insulation
When winter comes in, you don’t want your garage to get too cold. You will need heating devices to moderate the temperature in your garage. A garage heater can be optimal. This can be installed close to your garage door. If your garage walls have already been insulated, that is great. In most cases, such insulation, however, doesn’t extend to the garage walls. You may need to upgrade such doors to insulated steel.
Great, now get the tools you need
Your garage should now be ready for your equipment. How much can you spend at first? This must correlate with your fitness objectives. If tied, start with the essentials first, then later on, when more money becomes available, you can upgrade or expand your collection. We have seen that most home gym owners tend to focus on resistance training.
If this is true for you, we can recommend you buy the basics first like a one-squat rack, a sizable barbell, a weight bench, and a couple of weight plates. These tools can suffice for basic muscular workouts, including excellent compound lifts like power cleaning and bench pressing.
Over time, you could need to add more tools like a pull-up bar, a couple of adjustable dumbbells, a stationary bike, or other cardio machines like a treadmill and some kettlebells.
Home Gym Equipments
Here we will point out some of the best home gym equipment out there in the market.
Let us start with the best treadmill you should get
Treadmills are very important for those thinking of cardio machines. If you are very enthused about running and have got a good budget, you should go for the 3G Cardio Elite Treadmill. While not the cheapest, this treadmill assures you of the full value for your investment.
There are a handful of things to be excited about with this treadmill. The built-in speakers, wireless heart rate belt, as well as the cooling fans, are top features you rarely see in one treadmill. You will also be able to view your stats as you run.
For tall runners, you will be impressed with the 62-inch long platform. The steadiness and the smoothness of the 3G Cardio Elite Treadmill is premium courtesy of its top-class suspension system. You can run at your convenience as this treadmill gives you the flexibility to choose from eight built-in programs. Typically, the 3G Cardio Elite Treadmill has a one-touch speed range of 0.5 to 12 mph.
Admittedly, this treadmill is a bit high-end and would cost you as much as $3,450. If you don’t have that much to spend, you can go for cheaper (yet quality) alternatives like the NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill ,which is around the region of $1,000.
Let us talk about your workout machine
For an encompassing muscular workout machine that does it all, we will recommend the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym. This workout machine is fitting for both newbies to muscle workouts and experts. It has about 210 pounds of resistance.
There are a variety of exercises like aerobic rowing workout or general resistance training. Typically the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym has over 58 gym-quality exercises cutting through five ab exercises, 16 arm exercises, and 13 leg exercises.
The variety of exercises of this machine makes it more interesting as you readily swap between resistance levels. However, take note that the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym would be too big if your home gym has minimal space.
Which stationary bike should you get?
If we would go for a budget-friendly stationary bike, the optimal choice will be the Exerpeutic Folding Upright Bike. This is one of the most effective stationary bikes in the market today. Indeed, you may not get all those flamboyant features from the Exerpeutic Folding Upright Bike, but this stationary bike gets the necessary job done.
You can have accurate statistics on the calories you have burned, the distance you have covered, heart rate, and time expended. There is intense competitiveness with this bike, as there are eight levels of resistance to beat.
While durability is one common problem we have seen gym owners complain about for their stationary bikes, the Exerpeutic Folding Upright Bike is one of the few stationary bikes out there that will stand the test of time. You will like their sturdiness.
This bike allows you to save your home gym space, easily folding up when you are not using it. The tension levels are impressive, and the seat is accommodating.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home Gym?
The question of how much a home gym cost is quite a popular one. There is no definitive price for a home gym. It all depends on your budget, what fitness goals you are aiming for, and even your personality. These are the determinants of what you will spend.
It is ridiculous that you can spend as low as $500 in building a home gym or on the other side spend as much as $25,000. Here, we will try to create a great home gym on budget while not excessively sacrificing quality for affordability.
Let us start with how much you could spend on your lighting
Many people would ignore their lighting. However, from our experience, lighting is very consequential. Training in a poorly lit home gym is not only dangerous (in terms of your susceptibility to injury), it is also demoralizing. You need a well-illuminated home gym to get the best result and enjoy positive vibes when training.
If you want natural lighting, you can get good 5000k led lighting for not more than $100. If you have more to spend, you can go for track lighting. This could cost you about $500.
Next, you will have to take care of your flooring
We have earlier on admitted that leaving your concrete floor bare is an option, although we discouraged it because of its unsightliness and unhealthiness. If you don’t want to coat your cement floor as we earlier prescribed, you can resort to carpet upgrades.
It is possible to get such carpets for less than $100. If you want more class and quality, you can go for low odor rubber tiles. This would cost you about $4 per square foot.
How about your barbells and your rack?
If you are weight training, it will be unwise to ignore your power rack. While new racks can cost as much as $390, you can get a used one at a fair price of around $210. There is the temptation to go for much cheaper racks at new racks of about $200 (or the used ones at about $60). You can be sure they will not last in addition to the safety risk.
For your barbell, you don’t need to spend much. For as little as $85, you can get a good bar. If you don’t spend more than three days on your bench weekly, you wouldn’t need to pay significantly for your barbells. However, should you want something premium for your bar, prepare to spend around $320.
Your dumbbells and weights
You will agree that weights are essential. You can go low and spend as little as $70 on used iron plates.
For your dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells are the best you can get for your home gym. Adjustable dumbbells go for 10 cents per pound on the resale option. If you go for used ones, you can spend about $100 on a nicely matched set.
You will definitely need a bench
If you are going to use racks, barbells, and dumbbells, then you will need a bench. The bench is critical for that support for your lifting, giving you the necessary safety and foundation to last longer. While benches can be as expensive as $900, you can yet get good ones for about $300.
Does a Home Gym Add Value?
It is normal to think about the resale value of your home after spending heftily on a home gym will increase. This is given that you can’t readily move the equipment out. However, the truth is a home gym will not add value to your home.
The reality is that not everyone homebuyer is interested in fitness training. Even the few that do may not be as enthused about the idea of home training as you do.
Also, bear in mind that your choice of equipment will not always correlate with that of the homebuyer. Possibly, your fitness objectives may contrast. He may even have far higher to spend than you on the home gym and overhaul the whole gym structure you have put in place.
Nonetheless, while a home gym will not add value to your home, it could increase the desirability of your home to a specific category of fitness-enthusiastic buyers. Thus while not necessarily hiking its value, some buyers may be more attracted to your property because of the home gym. This could end up speeding up the purchase process.
What Should Every Home Gym Have?
There are some essentials your home gym can’t do without. Let us touch on these things that every home gym should have optimally.
Dumbbells and trainers
If you want to get serious with your home fitness regimen, you have to get your adjustable dumbbells, which you can modify with a variety of weights as you get stronger. For trainers, you can go for BOSU (Both Sides Up or Both Sides Utilized, depending on who you ask) trainers. These are great options for those who want versatility. They can help you improve your stability and in the long run, enhancing your balance.
You also need a cardio machine
For sustainable fitness training, you can’t bypass the importance of cardiovascular exercise. Spending on cardio machines is a wise option. Factoring in the limited space of your home gym, some comfy cardio machines to go for include elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and stair climbers.
Stability balls and jump ropes
Admittedly, cardio machines are expensive, and not everyone can afford them. For this category of persons, you can recourse to jump ropes if you primarily want to keep fit. Training with jump ropes may not be comprehensive, yet it is effective.
A typical 10 minutes workout with jump ropes can burn as much as 100 calories. This is great for those guys who will not be spending tangible time in their gym.
For more versatility, you can use stability balls. Stability balls are excellent for working on your upper body or when you want to focus on the leg muscles.
How Much Space Do I Need for a Home Gym?
Space is a critical factor in your home gym. The layout of your gym and your choice of equipment can help you maximize the space giving you enough vertical clearance (between your head and the ceiling) while yet avoiding clutter. There are some standard space requirements from the American council of exercise for your fitness equipment.
A treadmill will need about 30 square feet which is the same space requirement for a standard elliptical trainer. For a stationary bike, you will need 10 square feet while a rowing machine will take twice that at 20 square feet. Free weights can take as little as 10 square feet and as much as 50 square feet. Overall, a single-station gym will take 35 square feet while a multi-station gym can take as much as 200 square feet.
Does the Home Gym Really Work?
There is that stereotype that serious fitness training can’t be done in a home gym. This is incorrect. Agreed, using home gyms require more discipline as no professional gym instructor is stretching your tolerance levels. However, if you are dedicated and can get the right equipment, home gyms can work excellently for your fitness goals.
With revolutionary technology, you can sync with other trainers in their own home gyms via streaming technology. This will keep your motivation levels up. You can even remotely connect with a personal trainer in your home gym when you need personalized advice.
Do Free Weights Build More Muscle?
Free weights are more effective than machine exercises if you are seeking muscle activation. If you want to gain strength within a shorter period, then you should train more with free weights than machines. Using machine training requires lesser coordination and balance compared to when you train with free weights.
This way, free weights are better at recruiting more muscle groups than you would get when using resistance machines. Most variable resistance machines, rather than recruit more muscle fibers, end up isolating some selected muscles.
If you use a simple barbell back squat, you could enjoy over 40% more total muscle activation compared to what you would get from a Smith machine squat within the same time interval.
Machines are a better choice when you notice that you have some lagging muscle groups. Therefore it is better to focus on free weights for increased muscle activation and possibly complement your free weight exercises with machine exercises when you want to grow lagging muscles.