Sometimes, we just feel like getting up, leaving the sedentary lifestyle behind, and being active for once. But it just so happens that once in a while, life gets in the way, or the nearest gym is a 30 or 40-minute drive away.
There are all kinds of reasons you might not have been exercising, however much you want to. If anything else is the reason, that is a different challenge altogether.
Now, if you’re unable to go to the gym, how about bringing the gym to you?
That’s what we are going to go over today. If you have a small garage space, you can turn it into an amazingly convenient home gym and exercise in the comfort of your home.
Let’s get right into it.
Also read: Best steering wheel cleaner.
Can I use the garage as a gym?
Sure, you can. But there’s more to making your garage usable as a gym than just stuffing your workout equipment in there. It takes planning, preparation, repairs(such as garage door repair), and improvements to bring the best gym out of your garage.
And this is mostly the case if you have a small one-car garage and you want to make the most out of it.
The garage is hands down among the most under-used spaces in most homes. If you have been skimping on exercise, then this could be all you need to turn your life around as far as fitness.
But then, most homeowners have one daunting question that keeps them scratching their heads…
Just how much does it cost to turn your garage into a gym?
The cost of setting up a home gym in your garage will come down to several factors, and so the amount of money different people have to put into the project will differ.
Some do not have a problem with seriously splurging (we’re talking thousands of dollars here) and building a fancy setup. Some prefer a more barebones; basic setup provided it has everything they need.
If you are pinching pennies, however, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get your garage gym functional. The best way to go about this is to plan and have everything fit within your budget.
And if you have a way with tools, then you should be able to save even more with DIY projects. Anything you can build yourself and get to save money, go for it.
However, you’ll still have to front a basic cost for some essentials like renovations, flooring, power, ventilation, and equipment that you can’t practically build yourself.
So, is a garage gym worth it?
Sure, you will have to fork out some cash for the initial cost of setup and equipment. A garage gym might seem daunting at first, especially if your plan doesn’t seem to fit within your budget. And then there’s the aspect of time.
Even then, once you consider the money you can save on gym fees, the upfront cost doesn’t look all that bad. Besides, the gym fees aren’t the only long-term cost you will push to the side once your gym is functional.
You will also get to cut costs on gas money, not to mention the amount of time you could otherwise spend in traffic, especially if the nearest gym is several miles away.
Did I mention that nothing quite beats the convenience of having your gym right at home? Yes, you can get down there at midnight and hit several hours of exercise. There are not many gyms around town where you can just walk up to the entrance past midnight and still find them open.
So yeah, even when your work schedule seems to chop off a large chunk of time out of your day, you can still make the most of any few minutes you get and exercise.
Does this sound practical to you now? Well then, let’s answer the next important question.
What do I need for a garage gym?
Once you have your mind made up to go through with setting up a gym in your small garage, it’s time to get down to the plan. Even before you can get to the exercise equipment you will need for your gym, you need to hit the setup right.
Of course, you might need other fixes, and you’ll need to pick the right equipment to add to your gym once all the renovation work is over and done with.
Again, you don’t have any set-in-stone rules to stick by here. Your decisions should come down to such crucial factors as;
- Your budget
- The condition of your garage
- The size of your garage
- The exercises you’ll be doing
- What is readily available and what’s not
- How frequent is maintenance necessary
With all the boxes ticked and everything ready, let’s deal with the big question…
How do you turn a one-car garage into a gym?
The hard part is over now, at least the theory part. It’s time to put your plan into action. So let’s get on with it right away;
Start by clearing the space
In most homes, garages often double as storerooms, from garden tools, old furniture, auto accessories, spare parts, sports equipment…name it.
You will need to get as much space as you can out of the garage to make it double as a gym. So yeah, consider getting all the clutter out of the way before going to work. Dry your garage and start cleaning it.
This will also make life easier for you during the project, and help avoid injuries or damage.
Get the layout well planned
Now that you have all the room you need, it’s time to get the layout for your gym planned. This is the time to decide what equipment will go where. So, you need a solid plan for the equipment you will get for the gym at this stage.
A clever way to minimize space here is to have most equipments go on the wall, which helps create more floor room. You will need every square inch of real estate you can get with a small one-car garage – so make it count.
But then, remember that your choice of equipment and the layout also boils down to the type of exercise you love doing. Just plan and allocate the space to how you can use it best.
With that done, here are some of the fixes you can work on;
Heating and cooling
This will depend on where you live. If you are in an area with unforgiving winters, then heating will make all the difference for you. If the climate in your area is hot, then a cooling option is priceless.
This isn’t about luxury, but a little comfort when working out will help keep you motivated and enable you to exercise for longer – with better gains.
Such equipment as heaters or air conditioners will make one heck of a change that you will wonder what you would have done without them.
Also, ensure there is convenient air circulation in your garage, you can do some renovations to windows or ventilation for this.
Let there be light
Remember what we said about being able to train even during the night? Well, you can bet that will be virtually impossible without any form of lighting in your garage gym. A reliable lighting option is an indispensable addition to your garage at this stage.
If all your garage has is a single light bulb that isn’t even bright enough, consider working on that. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune on this either, LED lights can be a lifesaver. They are very bright, hardly ever cost much, and won’t cost you much in power bills.
By default, the garage floor is often just concrete. However, this is not very ideal for a gym setup – tough as it might seem, concrete isn’t very suitable for dropping weights on.
Getting a form of flooring (like rubber mats) work wonders in helping protect the floor beneath, protect your equipment, and muffle most of the noise – from dropping weights, for instance.
Speaking of which, a bit of soundproofing can be of help. But if you live in the home alone, with no next-door neighbors, then this might not be all that necessary.
The point here is to keep as much noise from the others in the house or neighbors. Also, keeping the outside noise outside can help you concentrate better on your workouts.
What you choose to do with the walls will depend on the condition they are in, to begin with, and how fancy you want your gym to be.
Maybe the paint on your garage walls is in bad shape or is too dull (or too bright) for your liking now that you will be spending more time there, you can give it a retouch and leave it that.
Some will go the extra mile of installing insulation, soundproofing, and even mirrors…how far you can go with this is down to how far you can flex your budget and the practicality of the additions… I will leave that to you to decide.
Remember, you don’t have to do these in this exact order. Planning is crucial so you do everything in the right sequence.
For instance, if you are going to install a ceiling, an air conditioner, cut out a window on the wall, and do an overall paint job, you need to do work on the ceiling, AC, and the window first before doing the painting.
After all that is done, then you can now focus on laying your rubber mats on the floor before you haul in any equipment.
It’s a no-brainer really, follow a well-outlined schedule to avoid any unnecessary back and forth with the different stages of the project.
And now, for the fun part…
With everything done, you can now bring in your gym equipment. Now that you have the layout set, and you know where everything is going, this should be easy and fast.
And no, you don’t have to get stretched thin to get all the equipment you need in one go. You can start with a few basic ones (or ones you can afford at the onset) and then add others over time.
Now that wasn’t as tough as it seemed, is it? When it comes to setting up a gym in a small one-car garage, you don’t have to pull your hair off your head.
The most important thing here is to get the plan right, set everything up right, leave room for what you might have to buy later, and just have fun exercising in your home garage.
Lastly, always pay close attention to safety, when planning or laying out different equipment – more so if you have kids who can stray into the garage gym in your absence.
From here on out, it should be just a matter of adding what you feel will help improve your fitness journey and maintain your equipment.