Our 6 Tips on How To Design A Home Gym Layout

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If you’re tired of racing with others for the last set of dumbbells or waiting in line to use the one available cable machine, it may be time to bite the bullet and start building your own home gym.  

There are a ton of advantages of moving your workout area from a commercial gym to one that you build in your own home: it’s more convenient, you don’t have to fight others for the use of equipment, and if it’s done well, it can even raise the resale value of your home! 

There’s a lot of forethought and planning involved in designing a home gym, so we’re breaking down how to design a home gym layout to create the most highly-functioning workout room of your dreams!

1. What kind of equipment do I need for my home gym?

The first thing to consider as you begin to design your home gym is what equipment you’ll actually need for your workouts. There are a ton of different home gym equipment options out there ranging from treadmills to TRX systems to all-in-one home gyms to traditional weight racks, so you’ll have to decide what will work best for your own goals and home gym area.  

The two main categories of workout equipment you should be looking for are resistance or weight-training systems and cardio equipment. As a general rule, you should consider the equipment that you know you’re likely to use the most and plan the rest of the gym around that.  

 You’ll have to account for the size of your room here, especially when it comes to the resistance training: do you have enough space for a full Smith machine or power rack for weightlifting, or will it make more sense to pare down to a smaller set of dumbbells? 

Cardio machines include treadmills, ellipticals, stair climber machines, and more, and your choice can be customized to the amount of space you have to work with. 

Additionally, some people also like to dedicate an area to stretching or bodyweight workouts. This area won’t have to be very large – as long as you have enough room for a full range of motion, you’ll be set.

2. How much room do I need for a home gym?

Knowing how much floor space you have is crucial, especially if you’re looking to add multiple pieces of exercise equipment and/or machines. 

Figure out the square footage of the space that you intend to use for your workout space and plan accordingly. It may be helpful to sketch out your room layout or use a floor plan designing software to determine how well things will fit into your space, rather than winging it and ending up with an overcrowded room. 

According to the American Council On Exercise, you’ll need anywhere from 50-200 square feet for a multistation gym. Luckily, most home gym equipment is designed to fit into smaller spaces, so you’ll have plenty of options as you shop around.

You should also consider any nooks or other irregular design features in your space. For example, a small nook in your basement might be the perfect place to put your cardio equipment, or it can house your weight equipment to get them out of the way. 

If you are short on space, consider some room-saving alternatives! For example, if you don’t have room for a pull up bar, consider installing a rock-climbing wall to maximize your bodyweight workouts.

3. How should I lay out my home gym?

Every room is going to present its own unique benefits and challenges as you design your home gym layout. Here are some key factors to consider as you begin to design your home gym: 

Spacing

One of the most important things to do as you design your home gym is to make sure there’s adequate space for all of your workout equipment and accessories. 

Not only does an over cluttered gym not give you enough space for a full range of motion, but it can also be dangerous. You don’t want to have to squeeze your way in between equipment or navigate around obstacles, especially if you’re holding heavy weights or are doing a high-intensity cardio workout. As you begin to lay out your home gym, make sure that you are leaving enough space around each element to navigate comfortably. 

Electricity

Another important consideration to keep in mind as you design your home gym is where your electrical outlets are. This is important for electronic workout equipment like treadmills that need to be plugged in to a power source and should also be considered for any sound systems or TVs that you’d like to add to your home gym. 

4. What should I do for storage in my home gym?

Adequate storage will play a big role in designing your home gym, especially if you’re going to be setting your home gym up in a smaller space. 

Here are some ideas for storage in your home gym: 

  • Use storage solutions specifically designed for home gyms. Free weights can be dangerous if not properly stored since they can present tripping hazards. Luckily, there are plenty of storage options that are specifically designed to organize these irregularly shaped and hard-to-store pieces of equipment.You can buy dumbbell racks to corral your free hand weights if you have several. You might also invest in a simple shelving unit to keep them off of the ground and within reach.

    If you have a barbell and a lot of weight plates, you will likely benefit from buying a weight tree to storage and to make them easier to grab and rerack. If you don’t want to buy a weight tree, you can also simply install some sturdy pegs for your weight plates to hang on the wall. 

  • Utilize your vertical space. If you don’t have a lot of square feet to spare, you might consider using your wall space for storage. Installing shelving and hooks onto your walls can be a great way to get your equipment off of the ground.Pegboards are also a good option for  hanging workout equipment like foam rollers and yoga mats.  
  • Baskets for organization. Baskets are a great low-maintenance solution for organization, especially for storing random equipment like resistance bands, weight belts, and cable machine handles. They can be stored on a shelving unit or stand alone in a corner of the room for versatility.

5. How should I lay out the flooring for my home gym?

If you’re planning on doing any weight training in your home gym, don’t skip this step: both your weights and your original flooring can easily become damaged if the weights are accidentally dropped. The right flooring is also crucial for providing a safe and non-slip surface for working out.  

There are several different material options for home gym flooring, including rubber tile mats, bigger rubber rolls, and carpet. 

You have two options for laying out your flooring: you can either choose all-over flooring to cover the entire surface of your room, or you can use smaller mats to cover certain sections.  The important thing is to make sure that there’s enough slip-resistant and shock-absorbent flooring in the most high-impact areas of your gym – for example, underneath your weight station or where you plan on doing high intensity interval training for cardio.

6. Other considerations when designing your home gym:

  • Lighting: It can be gloomy and downright dangerous to work out in an area that doesn’t get an adequate amount of lighting. If possible, set up your home gym in an area where you get some natural sunlight. If not, you may want to consider bright LED lighting to give both your mood and your workout a boost. 
  • Circulation. Similarly, your home gym should also be well-aerated, not stuffy. If you can’t crack a window or if the space you’re using for your home gym doesn’t have great circulation, you might consider bringing in a large electric fan in or installing a ceiling fan to keep the air moving. 
  • Mirrors: At virtually any commercial gym, you’ll notice that there’s a mirror near the free weights section. Besides being great for seeing your own progress, mirrors are also especially helpful for weightlifting and correcting your form. As an added bonus, large wall mirrors can also make a small room feel bigger!Consider adding a large mirror (or a couple of large vertical mirrors side by side) to one of the walls of your home gym to get the same benefits as a commercial gym. 
  • Chalkboards: One fun and functional way to decorate your home gym would be to paint one wall with chalkboard paint! Then you can keep track of your workouts, write out exercise plans, or even write some motivational quotes to keep you accountable.
  • Media: A great way to boost morale and make your home gym an area you want to work out in often is to have some kind of sound system for music. This can be as simple as a small Bluetooth speaker or as complex as a surround-sound system. 

With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can design a home gym in nearly any space. Have fun building the gym of your dreams! 

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