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Tips for Converting Your Garage into a Workout Space on a Budget

When gyms closed due to the pandemic, a trend was launched that’s been bubbling in niche communities - garage gyms.

The benefits of exercising at home extend far beyond the convenience of avoiding crowded gyms or unpredictable weather. Home workouts offer a personalized and flexible approach to fitness, allowing individuals to tailor their routines to their specific goals and schedules.

Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, the advantages of working out within the comfort of your own space are numerous—embracing convenience, saving time, and fostering a comfortable environment that encourages consistency.

In this exploration of the benefits of a garage gym (or home gym), we delve into how this fitness paradigm shift can not only transform your physical well-being but also redefine your relationship with a healthier lifestyle.

So keep reading to find the benefits of converting your own garage into a fitness haven!



Garage Workout Space

Are garage gyms worth it?

While gym memberships offer access to a range of equipment and classes, there are potential downsides to consider. Here are some common drawbacks associated with gym memberships:


Gym memberships can be expensive, and the fees can add up over time. Additionally, some gyms require initiation fees or annual contracts, which can be a financial burden if you are unable to commit long-term.

Unused Memberships

Many people sign up for gym memberships with good intentions but end up not using them regularly. This results in wasted money for individuals who do not take full advantage of the facilities.

Crowded Facilities

Popular gyms can become crowded, especially during peak hours. This may lead to longer wait times for equipment and a less enjoyable workout experience.

Inconvenient Hours

Some gyms have limited operating hours, making it difficult for individuals with busy schedules to find a convenient time to work out.

Distance and Commute

If the gym is located far from your home or workplace, the time and effort required for the commute may serve as a barrier to regular attendance.

Intimidation Factor

For some individuals, especially beginners, the gym environment can be intimidating. Fear of judgment or lack of confidence may deter people from consistently attending.

Having your own gym at home is providing the freedom to exercise in privacy, with no queues, no matter the weather. But let's dive right into the subject.

Garage Workout Space

Can you put a gym in your garage?

It is first of all perfectly legal to create a garage gym in your own home. In fact, the garage is a good choice for when you decide on what part of your house you can convert into a gym. It’s probably the largest and most open space in your home, while also being the least developed.

Its hard, concrete floors can be covered with specialist gym mats, and dropping weights on them will not damage the floor like it would inside your house.

This gives you the greatest freedom to make adjustments to your home gym as you’d like but will also help you avoid expensive repairs if a wall (or some part of the garage) is damaged.

What’s more, is that concrete garage walls will make it much easier to keep your equipment stable and safe.

How can I convert my garage into a gym?

It is important to remember that this article talks exclusively about repurposing a garage as a gym without making long-term conversions, for example by replacing a garage door with a built wall.

Creating a habitable space in your garage requires permission and should comply with the latest building regulations around ventilation and insulation.

Here are some steps you can take to set up a gym in your garage:

  1. Clear and Clean the Space: Empty out the garage and clean the area thoroughly. This includes removing any clutter, organizing storage items, and ensuring the space is suitable for exercise.

  2. Flooring: Consider installing gym flooring to provide a comfortable and supportive surface for workouts. This can be rubber mats, interlocking tiles, or another type of flooring that suits your needs.

  3. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the garage. This may involve adding windows, fans, or other ventilation systems to maintain a comfortable workout environment.

  4. Insulation: Depending on your location and climate, you might need to insulate the garage to regulate temperature. This can involve adding insulation to the walls, ceiling, and garage door.

Garage Workout Space

Tip # 1: Know Your Goals

The first step to repurposing your garage as a home gym is to understand what you’re hoping to get out of your workout space.

This is because different goals will dictate what kind of exercises you’ll do which will also dictate what kind of equipment you need.

Most newbies will make the easy mistake of buying different kinds of equipment for many exercises but end up not using them.

Fitness goals change over time and most equipment is flexible enough to adhere to many kinds of goals but when just starting out, being clear with what you want to do makes it easier and cheaper.

Tip #2 Picking the Right Garage Gym Equipment

Once you’ve decided what you want to get out of the workout space, it’s now just a matter of knowing what equipment will get you there. If it’s general fitness, it’s worth looking at the best budget treadmills and some dumbbells, since you’ll use them often but won’t cost an arm and a leg.

If it’s for strength training, an adjustable bench, and adjustable dumbbells are enough to get you most exercises or some variation of them at home.

A common mistake here is to go the cheapest route. Instead of going for the cheapest equipment available, it’s better to pick out equipment that’s pricier.

If the equipment you’re getting is sturdy but costs a bit more, that saves you from having to replace it sooner rather than later.

This is especially true if this piece of equipment is something you’ll use often. That will increase its wear and tear and could be a safety hazard.

Tip #3 Decorating Your Garage Gym

Gym decorations aren’t often talked about but they’re an important part of your workout space. The reason is simple: ownership. Once you place your own piece of art, decoration or design onto a space, you’ve claimed ownership of that space.

The more you feel personally connected to working out, the more it becomes part of your identity which makes the whole process of fitness second nature.

Decorations don’t need to be fancy. What matters is that this is your personal touch. Some thrift store treasures might end up being your next wall decor if you’re looking for interior design ideas.

Tip #4 Use Versatile Equipment to make the most of small spaces

Versatile equipment, benches, storage devices, and wall mounts will help you make the most of your space. This allows you to invest in a piece of equipment/storage tool not just for one use but potentially for multiple uses.

Key examples of these are adjustable benches, adjustable dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, and weight racks. These home gym items can be used for a variety of different exercises.

A common trap to fall into is to buy gimmicks. Just because a piece of equipment is the latest and you find it everywhere on social media, that does not mean it’s the most useful or most effective. Gimmicky products will try to convince you their equipment can help you see results faster or provide multiple benefits at once.

The truth is, we have decades of experience and proof of people using the basics: dumbbells, benches, and barbells. Sticking to that will not only be cheaper but also has been proven to work.

Tip #5 Before You Buy, Research

As you’re evolving and hitting more fitness goals, you’ll want to start broadening your horizon. That means you could shift to different styles of training which means you’ll be using different exercises to meet those demands too.

While there are probably better tools (machines, cables, trainers) to achieve these new goals, try using your current equipment first and see how it feels. Free weights like dumbbells and barbells share similar benefits to machines.

Often, the exercise you want to do can be replicated, to a degree, by your current equipment. It might not be as stable as a machine but it might target the same muscles or achieve the same results.

This allows you to find out if you really need that new piece of equipment or if you can make do with what you have.

Garage Workout Space - Putting it all together

Always start with your goals. Once you know what kind of training you want to do in your workout space, everything else will follow. Don’t risk trying gimmicky equipment, go with the tried and tested. Make your space your own and you’ll find yourself going there more often.

Stay safe and enjoy your fitness journey!


Author: Sean Lynam is a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer by profession, and a freelance health and wellness writer by passion. Sean writes and shares his knowledge for a range of health, fitness, and nutrition brands.


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