Did you know that your exercise environment has a direct impact on your desire to workout? And when your motivation is low, that atmosphere can be the make or break between idleness and ‘I did it!’.
Indeed, while so many of us resent going to that mediocre yet over-priced gym, so few ask the question; what if we could have your own? A private gym sounds like such a luxury, but all you need is a garage, a few pieces of equipment or even just some free weights, and voila, you have yourself a gym. Of course, it’s not quite that easy, but with our help, that dream can become a reality. Here’s how; our 10 IDEAL tips for turning your garage into a home gym.
No matter how hard you try to fence off the space and keep it tidy, garages inevitably end up becoming a dumping ground for all your junk. So, before you even consider a few reps out there, start by decluttering and clearing out the space so it’s fit for purpose. Donate, recycle, sell or throw away whatever you don’t need. Starting with a clear space and clear mind will allow you to maximise the potential of the real estate when designing.
More often than not, garages have concrete floors, which aren’t ideal for a gym. And that’s putting it mildly. Instead, you’ll require softer flooring that can absorb high impact. If you’re converting your garage into a gym, you’ll want flexible flooring such as that made from epoxy. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t crack under high pressure, making it perfect for home gyms.
INSTALL COMPACT DOORS
Declutter done, new flooring considered, now it’s time to replace that bulky, space-consuming door with a compact alternative. Ideally, you’ll want a garage door that’s convenient to operate (unless wrestling with one is part of your workout plan) and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. Dedicated companies, such as Associated Garage Doors, offer an extensive range of space-saving garage doors at highly competitive prices. We think a sectional, vertically opening garage door is perfectly suited for a home gym.
Environmental concerns should be at the forefront of any and all thinking when in the process of building and renovation, and in order to create an energy-saving gym, you’ll need to invest in proper insulation. From insulated walls to inlayed garage doors, this measure will prevent energy wastage. As such, your gym will retain heat during the winters and keep things cool in summer.
PRIORITISE VERSATILE EQUIPMENT
When you’re turning your garage into a gym, the space you’re working within is, of course, limited. That’s why it’s important to make smart choices when it comes to choosing gym equipment. Don’t cramp the space with too many equipment, as this will be counterintuitive to a productive workflow. Instead, prioritise versatile workout equipment which caters to several exercise needs simultaneously.
A power rack is the smartest investment you can make here; a multi-purpose structure which if used right can give all your muscles a good going over with a fine variety of lifts and squats. Safety is at the heart of the structure (look for dual mounted safety bars with ‘J’ hooks) which is vital in the home gym setting when gym buddies are scant for spotting. Those with pull-up capabilities are a real bonus; goodbye dodgy, dangerous pull-up bar slung between your bedroom door frame. These racks (sometimes referred to as cages) needn’t cost a bomb; you can find some very capable ones in the £400 region.
MAKE IT WELL LIT
Garages are notorious for being dingy and clammy, which isn’t exactly motivating. What’s more, that low lighting could put you at greater risk of injury. Sure, we get that ‘prisoner’ aesthetic, working out against the odds in a tight, restrictive space, but if your budget allows it, then consider installing a window to let in natural light. However, if that’s not possible, then illuminate it well with light fixtures to make your workout experience safer and more productive.
Working out in complete silence can make you (us, we mean us) quickly lose interest. That’s the reason why commercial gyms have television and music systems installed, often blaring at irritatingly high volume. To recreate this ambience (the positive parts) invest in good quality speakers or a small television screen. Upbeat, fast-paced music will encourage to push yourself and work harder, and the best bit? You, and you alone, will have control of the tunes!
Yep, we’re thinking about that small space again. But hear us out; installing a mirror wall is an easy way to create the illusion of a much larger room and reflect light. Also, mirrors allow you to make sure that you’re practicing correct techniques, and, ahem, admire those gains, too, right? The good thing is that your mirror doesn’t have to be glass, you can install an acrylic mirror sheets are an ideal alternative to using glass mirrors in a home gym.
Garages are usually quite stuffy, and no one wants to feel suffocated when they’re exercising. It’s imperative, then, to make the necessary changes to your garage space to ensure proper ventilation. In addition, installing a fan will circulate air and prevent mugginess.
USE WHAT’S THERE
Of course, you could still create a home gym in your garage without having to invest in any equipment at all. There are plenty of resourceful ways to use what you’ve already got as weights and equipment. We’ve written loads on the subject already, so check out our 5 IDEAL tips for creating a free home gym with items you already own over here. You won’t regret it!