How To Build A Home Gym

The time has come. You’ve committed to building a home gym, but you’re not sure where to start. You’ve even weighed the pros and cons of a home gym vs a commercial gym. There are tons of benefits of working out at home, so here’s our guide on how to build a home gym and how to make sure you have all the gear you need to make it happen.

What are the benefits of building a home gym?

  • No commute (and excuses)
  • Saving money
  • Workout 24/7/365
  • No longer waiting for equipment to free up
  • Wear whatever you want, do whatever you want
  • Quality family time
  • Vitamin D (depending where you’re located)

With all of these benefits in mind, here is how to build a home gym for yourself:

1. pick your space for your home gym

You don’t need a lot of space to begin with, but of course the more space you have the more options you have. Figure out how much space you have. Here are some ideas of places to build your home gym:

Extra room
Whether it’s a spare home office, bedroom, or closet you don’t use, this will be the easiest option to build a home gym. Maybe it’s a bedroom that’s awkwardly laid out or isn’t occupied. Your other option would be to get creative. Turn your office into an office/gym hybrid or add a gym to your sun room.

Garage (attached or detached, covered or uncovered)
Nothing beats a garage for a gym. You have more space to work in, more light if you open the door, and it’s far away enough from the house to be able to play music. Whether it’s a one car garage or three car garage, there are still ways to have a gym and still be able to park your cars. And in comparison to a carpeted bedroom, hard floors are more advantageous for rubber flooring.

Fully or partially converting your living room
Living in a small space or apartment? Turn half of your living space into a home gym and optionally store your equipment on your patio. There are many ways you can creatively store away equipment.

Building a shed
If there’s no space in the house, bring it outside. You can build a wooden shed, detached space, barn, covered patio, or something less permanent like a tent. This will all depend on budget, but these are great options that can be customized from the get go.

Basement
If you have the luxury of a basement in your home, this is also a great place to build a home gym. One thing to keep in mind is the height constraints because that can affect the equipment you purchase. Other than that, a basement (or a section of one) is a great space to set up shop.

Patio
Have a large patio? Ideally you want one that’s covered and has a strong foundation like concrete. Otherwise it’s pretty simple to store gym equipment and protect everything from the elements.

Backyard
Your setup can also live in your backyard. We typically recommend hard floors vs grass, but whatever floats your boat. The backyard can also be a place to set up for your workout and easily tuck away your gym equipment.

2. DETERMINE YOUR TRAINING STYLE

Just because you lift weights doesn’t mean you need every piece of equipment imaginable. First figure out your training style and then you can determine what equipment you need. Here are some training styles and typical exercises:

Strength training

  • Squat
  • Bench press
  • Lunges
  • Rows
  • Shoulder press
  • Curls
  • Leg extensions
  • Deadlift
  • Olympic lifts

Plyometric training

  • Jumps
  • Explosive movements
  • Long jumps
  • Burpees

Continuous Training/Cardio

  • Biking
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • HIIT
  • Interval training
  • Kickboxing
  • Jump roping
  • Circuit training

3. PICK THE RIGHT GYM EQUIPMENT

Once you figure out what type of training and exercises you plan on doing, you can also determine your budget. Refer to this post that we put together that breaks down the cost of owning a home gym. Here’s the different levels from a simple setup to a more elaborate one:

Starter

These items will allow you to accomplish most strength training movements such as a bench press, overhead press, deadlift, squat, rows, curls, and other presses. For plyometric training, get plyo boxes, jump rope, hurdles, cones, ladders, or a sled. For cardio or interval training, that usually involves equipment like a rower, bike, treadmill, slam balls, or battle rope.

Intermediate

Advanced

4. FLOORING AND WALLS

In any gym, the flooring and walls should be durable and most importantly, easy to clean. Depending on where your home gym is located, it can get dirty pretty quickly. We recommend rubber flooring, whether that be rubber tiles, stall mats, or rolls. Stall mats will typically be the most durable and cost effective. You don’t necessarily need to cover the entire room or space, but enough of an area to workout in. 

Not into rubber flooring? You can get away with concrete, hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring. Just keep in mind that if you are dropping weights on the floor for exercises like deadlifts, snatches, and cleans, those movements will damage your equipment and your flooring.

For walls we typically recommend that they have insulation and some type of material to cover them such as drywall. If you plan on painting them, go for an eggshell sheen so it’s easier to clean. This step is optional, but adding mirrors makes the space feel larger and helps you check your form while you’re working out.

As far as decorating your home gym, here are some other ideas to spruce up your space:

  • Mural
  • Inspirational quotes and artwork
  • Flags
  • Favorite team memorabilia
  • Accent wall
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • TV
  • Whatever motivates you

5. lighting

The most neglected part of a home gym is lighting. You don’t need to light your space like a commercial gym, but having good lighting definitely makes a difference. Even the light temperature makes a huge difference. The basic rule of thumb is that the more light you have the better, whether it’s natural or artificial.

Color temperature should ideally range anywhere from 2200 K (warmer) to 6500 K (daylight). Here’s what you should look for in home gym lighting:

  • Doesn’t produce a lot of heat
  • LED for energy efficiency
  • Takes up little overhead space
  • Lights the entire space well and diffuses light well

You can also take your space to the next level with smart lighting and strips. That way you can change the color, temperature, and brightness. Line your deadlift platform, throw it behind your power rack, or simply swap out bulbs.

6. Complete your home gym

The whole idea with building a home gym is to save time, money, and effort. And the best part about building a home gym is truly making a space your own––and most importantly one that motivates you. Your gym is a work in progress and you’ll be able to build it over time as your needs and strength changes.

Hopefully this guide was helpful and if you have questions on how to build a home gym, reach out to us at [email protected] or give us a call at (909) 638-1470 and we can definitely help. For more inspiration for home gyms, follow us on Instagram.

About Griffin Fitness:
Griffin Fitness builds premium gym equipment for the community, by the community and is based out of Ontario, CA. Griffin Fitness ships all over the United States and our product lineup includes power racks, rack attachments, benches, barbells, bumper plates, kettlebells, and more.

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