Like the idea of keeping fit, but not so keen on visiting the gym? A home gym could be the answer. And if you’re a bit short on space, converting your garage into a gym can be the perfect solution. Having carried out lots of these conversions, we know a thing or two about the most important things to think about. Below we’ve shared some of our top tips for ensuring garage gym success!
Garage gym flooring options
We always recommend black rubber matting as it’s tidy, relatively simple to install and cost effective. Grab a set square, liquid chalk pen and Stanley knife and you’re away.
15mm thickness is sufficient, unless you’re looking at dropping a bar or dumbbells from a waist height or above…in which case 30mm + is advised.
If a wood effect flooring is more your style, try an LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile). Again, as long as you are not dropping heavy weights, this commercial grade product is a good choice. Bear in mind this requires specialist flooring fitters and material costs are up to 100% more.
Equipment for your garage gym
What equipment should you invest in and where is there an opportunity to save?
We recommend spending less on items such as squat racks or benches where there is a limited amount of engineering and small components.
For machines, such as Dual Cable Pulleys, the quality of engineering really does affect the user experience, from the smoothness of the movement to the clunkiness of selecting the weights.
We always use commercial grade suppliers as you know you will get the longevity from your investment.
More entry level brands are MiraFit, mid-range are Origin Fitness and Primal Strength, top end are Watson, Life Fitness and Technogym.
Also, think about who will use the space. Will you need stations for two or three people to train simultaneously? Does the equipment selection reflect this? Are children going to have access to the garage and is it safe?
Tip: Try and avoid wall mounted heavy duty equipment such as boxing bags. We can suggest some clever alternatives which reduce the risk of fittings comings loose.
Lighting for your work out
Be wary of super bright spotlights or strip lighting. It can look great, until you have a hard workout when it can really blur your vision.
As a rule of thumb, every 100 square feet of your home gym needs around a 2,000 lumen output of light.
Neon lighting and coloured LEDs can make your garage gym feel totally unique, whilst adding to the transformative factor of disappearing into another world!
Getting your garage gym mirrors right
We suggest using a professional for this. Yes, there are lots of cheap and tempting options but ultimately if the wall isn’t flat, often they become distorted, much like a crazy mirror at a fair ground!
If a mirror is not flush to the wall and pressure is applied it can easily break.
Professionals will provide backed mirrors of sufficient thickness (6mm is about right), which look better and are safer.
Other uses of the garage
Of course, you need to think about how much space you really need for general household items, such as the bikes, freezers, tools and lawnmower.
Can you create a stud wall or storage to keep this out of sight? Ideally you want the gym to be clean space which doesn’t feel like a garage, but another room in the house.
Do you need the main garage door? If you have access through another doorway, putting a stud wall up will stop drafts coming through and provide another wall to use for equipment. Often you can lose the rail which enables the door to open inwards but restricts gym space considerably.
We’re here to help
The Gym People are passionate about training and the benefits it brings people. If you would like to discuss your garage gym conversion project or receive some no obligation advice, we’d be happy to help – simply get in touch!