How Much Room Do You Need For a Home Gym?

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Now more than ever, home gyms are all the rage. With traditional gyms being shut down and more people trying to avoid going out into the public, you’ve probably seen people posting their home gym builds on social media and moving from their commercial gyms into their own garages or basements. 

But this can be a big endeavor – how do you know if you have enough space to fit in all the weights and machines you’d like? And it’s even more complicated if you’re only working with a small amount of space to begin with. 

The good news is that you can build an adequate home gym in a variety of different spaces. Here are some tips so you can figure out how much room you need for a home gym.

What should you be considering when measuring your home gym?

Floor space

This is the most obvious factor when building your home gym: how much equipment can you actually fit into your designated gym area? This is especially important if you want to invest in any big pieces of workout equipment like weight racks or all-in-one machines. The best way to determine how this will work for you is to have a measurement of the area in question, including length, width, and square feet.

Vertical space

 In addition to knowing your square footage, it’s also important to note how tall your home gym space is, especially if you are planning on investing in some taller equipment like weight racks and/or power towers. Vertical space can also be used to your advantage for storage – for example, you can invest in a shelving system or taller weight tower to maximize your floor space.

Room layout

 If you want to build your home gym but are working with an irregularly-shaped room, you’ll have to put a little more consideration into your gym layout. For example, if you have a slight alcove, that might be a good place to put your cardio equipment, or for a weight tree. In these cases, you’ll want to have good measurements of both the room itself and the equipment that you want to buy.

Storage

 If you’re working with a smaller area and plan on stowing away your equipment when it’s not in use, you’ll still need to figure out a decent storage solution for all of your workout gear. Having closets or dedicated shelving might be a good idea.

What is a good size room for a home gym?

This largely depends on how comprehensive you’d like your home gym to be. Ideally, you’ll want to have a medium- to large-sized room to fit in all of the “staple” pieces of gym equipment (weight racks, cardio equipment, any machines, etc). Garages and basements are usually ideal for these kinds of builds, although a large spare room can also be adequate. 

However, you can work with a smaller space (even your living room or bedroom would work!) as long as you buy compact pieces that can be stored away elsewhere. 

How many square feet do you need for a decent size home gym?

The answer to this depends on what pieces of equipment you want to add into your workout space. According to the American Council on Exercise:  

  • A single-station gym will need about 35 square feet 
  • Free weights will need anywhere from 20-50 square feet 
  • A multi-station gym will span roughly 50-200 square feet 

So the amount of square feet you’ll want for your home gym will vary depending on just how much equipment you want to buy!

How small can a home gym be?

Luckily, you can still get a decent workout without very much space if you have the right kind of equipment. 

Many people use a training area as small as their living room. The key for training in a small area is to buy compact and versatile equipment. You can also buy small and storage-friendly versions of workout equipment – think resistance bands instead of free weights, for example. 

To maximize your workout in a small space, you can utilize circuit and bodyweight training to get a good burn. Think of a typical fitness class at the gym – you don’t have much more space than a berth around your yoga mat, but you can still work up a good sweat by moving constantly.

What do I need for a small home gym: The Essentials

If you’re working with a smaller home gym area, you’ll want to pick these essentials:  

The first essential item that you’ll need for your home gym is a floor mat or yoga mat of some kind to protect your body and your flooring during your workout. 

You’ll also need some kind of weight system for building strength and muscle. These will vary widely, but some popular options for smaller areas include dumbbells and resistance bands. 

A good workout bench is also an essential piece of equipment for your home gym, since it can maximize the kinds of workouts you can do. If you have a sturdy piece of furniture like a chair or a couch, it can serve the same purpose. 

Cardio will round out your workout and increase your stamina, so you might also consider investing in cardio equipment . You can find several compact options like stationary bikes that can work with your small square footage, though if you don’t have enough space for that you can also just do circuit bodyweight training to get your heart rate up in a space as small as a yoga mat.

Home Gym Building Tips For Small And Large Spaces!

Small home gym ideas and tips!

  • Multi-use equipment is key for smaller gym spaces. Since you’re working with a tighter space, you should buy equipment that can serve multiple purposes. For example, you can invest in dumbbells that can connect and convert into a barbell to get more use out of one piece of workout equipment, or buy adjustable weight benches rather than fixed versions.
  • In addition, your workout equipment should be adjustable. You likely won’t have the space to store multiple versions of the same workout gear, so your best bet is to buy adjustable versions that can translate to different workouts in your routine. An adjustable dumbbell is more easily stored than a set of fixed dumbbells.
  • Find storage-friendly options. One of the best ways to make the most of your small gym space is to buy equipment that can be easily folded and stored away when not in use.
  • Utilize what you already have. Sometimes, you can make the furniture you have work for your workout, saving you both space and money. For example, you could use a sturdy chair or table to do tricep dips if you don’t have a bench or a power tower.
  • Get creative with your workout. Unfortunately, you simply won’t be able to do all of the exercises you would at a normal commercial gym if you’re only working with a very small area – so the key to getting a good workout is to switch it up and get creative! Incorporate more bodyweight exercises and circuit training to hit both your cardiovascular and resistance-training needs, and utilize your floor space – perform bridge presses on the ground instead of bench presses on a bench. 

Utilize resistance training instead of weight training. Resistance training with resistance bands instead of weights can offer a different challenge while being incredibly storage-friendly.

Large home gym ideas and tips!

  • Invest in one good, versatile piece of equipment. Since you have more space to work with, you can likely fit one big key piece of workout equipment that you can get the most out of. Good choices would be a Smith machine, a power rack, or an all-in-one Bowflex-style gym.
  • Set up different areas for different workouts, similar to a commercial gym. If you really have a good amount of space, you can divide your workout area with something as similar as different workout mats.
  • Get good cardio equipment. This is optional when it comes to home gyms, since you can probably walk, run, or bike outside to get your cardio, but investing in a good treadmill or stationary bike can do wonders for your workout routine, especially when the weather is bad.
  • Set up some entertainment. This is also optional (and more of a luxury!) but if you find that you benefit from having a TV or good music on at the gym, you might find that setting up some kind of entertainment system can help boost your mood and push you during your home gym workouts. 

So whether your intended room is big or small, you can easily map out a thorough and challenging home gym system with a little bit of planning. Happy training! 

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