Ever since the events of 2020, more and more people have been opting for a home gym. Aside from the financial (saving money on gym memberships) and fitness benefits, many people just like having the comfort of having a gym in their own homes.
Theoretically, you put a home gym anywhere, but most people usually for their garage since they tend to have the room and because it is isolated from the rest of the home.
A great idea is to have a half garage setup. This way, you have plenty of space for your gym equipment while still having space for storage or a car if needed. In this guide, we will go over some of my best half garage gym ideas to give you inspiration and get you started.
1. Measure Your Space
Before you get all excited and start buying equipment, you should first take the time to measure exactly how much space you have.
Once you have determined this, I would go online and look at the footprint for all the equipment you want and plan it out. Feel free to sketch out your layout to get a general feel for how everything will come together.
You do not want to make the mistake of buying expensive equipment, just to have it not fit into your constraints.
2. Decide On Your Budget Early
If you are not careful, the costs of a garage gym can start to add up very quickly. I would pick on a number and then start subtracting from based on which equipment I want the most.
For example, I would start off by budgeting for a barbell, power rack, and weight plates and then see what I have left over for extras.
If you find that your budget simply is not working, you have some cheaper options:
Buy Used Equipment
If I was limited on budget, I would be searching all over Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and Craigslist to find used gym gear.
This gym gear is often cheap, barely used, and perfect for your garage gym.
Your second option is to simply make the equipment yourself. If you are handy, this can be a great choice for you.
But even if you are not handy, there are plenty of online tutorials for DIY wooden squat racks, horse stall mat deadlift platforms, and much more.
These projects are often fun, easy, and cheap.
3. Set Up A Proper Floor
One of the essentials you will need for a garage gym is some kind of flooring for your workout space. While you may have a concrete floor, repeated exposure to dropper weights will eventually cause it to crack.
You have a number of options here, but these are the most common options:
4. Choose The Right Equipment For Your Goals
Since you have limited space, you are going to need to prioritize your goals accordingly. At the end of the day, the equipment you get is up to you but here are some quick guides based on your goals:
Classic Home Gym
This gym design is for those that have no particular goal and simply want to able to have a similar workout at home that they can at a home gym. The workout gear provides a nice balance of weights and cardio training.
If you are passionate about bodybuilding, you are going to want the ability to isolate more muscles at home.
Dumbbells (Adjustable is fine)
If you like competing or find that you prioritize strength over all else, you will need some extra equipment to change strength curves and add more variation
Adjustable Bench (Preferably one with a wider pad)
Barbells (Deadlift Bar and some specialty bars)
Chains and Resistance Bands
Maybe you do not plan on solely training in your home gym and are just look for a place to get a quick workout when needed. If this sounds like yo, I would recommend this exercise equipment:
Pull up bar (The ones that attach to a doorway work fine)
Cardio Equipment (Whichever you like : Treadmill, Row Machines, Stair Master)
5. Get A Sound System
My personal favorite home gym perk is getting to to blast whatever music I want in my gym space. Since it is a small space, any Bluetooth speaker you have around will generally work fine.
But if you want a home gym pro tip, use a soundbar. Soundbars are usually used for TVs but they have amazing surround sounds, are easy to set up, and are very easy to hide so they do not get in the way.
It is no secret that people love training in front of mirrors. Not only so we can admire our pump but also because it makes it very easy to spot improper form.
Feel free to install mirrors wherever you like. I personally have one right behind my squat rack.
7. Heating And Cooling
If you live up north or anywhere a garage gym would be unusable during the winter months, consider installing a heater.
Likewise, if you live in a very hot area, I would get some fans so that you can get some proper ventilation during your workouts.
Also, if you live in a humid area like me, it is worth getting a dehumidifier for your garage. This is not for you but more so for your equipment. Over time, humidity can lead to rust so you want to slow that process down as much as possible.
You are going to need some lighting so you can see properly and so you can get the best gym selfies.
I think the easiest option is to just attach a bunch of LED strips on your ceiling or around your squat rack, but you can do whatever fits your needs.
9. Make The Space Feel Bigger
Just because floor space is small, does not mean it needs to feel that way. I always open up my garage door when I train and have even seen some people install sliding doors in their garage gym.
It may seem minor but these small things do a lot to feel like you have some extra space.
10. Invest In Your Gym Over Time
With the money you save from not having a gym membership and driving to the gym, you can invest it into your gym.
It does not have to be a big purchase, just small upgrades over time. This really adds up and you will have a quality gym in just a few months.
Limited space is no excuse for not starting a home gym. Plenty of people have probably made it work with even less space than you have available.
Get planning and budgeting and I promise that you can have your home gym up and running in no time.
How do I convert my half garage into a gym?
Start by measuring how much space you have and then planning the layout. Prioritize which equipment you need within your budget (Rack, Barbells, etc). Once you have your desired equipment, the last thing you have to do is protect your floor. You can use plywood or rubber of some form, you just need something to prevent damage.
Is a garage gym worth it?
Garage gyms save you money in the long run by avoiding gas costs and membership fees. Furthermore, garage gyms have the added convenience of being available at all times within your own home. For most people, it is probably worth it if they can afford the initial investment.
Is it OK to workout in a garage?
Yes, it is fine to workout within a garage. Just be sure to stay hydrates and to clean so that your garage remains free of bacteria.