Creating a garage gym isn’t about shoving as much exercise equipment in there as possible, in the hope that it will encourage you to work out more. It’s about creating a space where you have privacy to work out effectively and consistently and be free from any distractions like the washing machine beeping in the background.
Garages are ideal spaces to build your own gym – square, sturdy and a stone’s throw away from your shower. Since a garage gym is designed to fit your needs, there’s nothing to stop you from training in a way that works for you.
Why should I build a garage gym?
There are many benefits to having your own garage gym, including:
- having a mental and physical separation between your home and workout space
- more privacy to work out than inside your home
- more motivation to work out consistently
- no waiting around to use a certain piece of equipment
- saving time travelling to and from a public gym
- no distractions
What equipment do I need in a garage gym?
For floor exercises, exercise mats are a must. They can protect your joints from strain and impact, and help correct your form. For high-impact strength workouts like Pilates and core strength exercises, thicker exercise mats are key. If yoga is your preferred workout, a thinner mat will do.
A power rack is an essential part of a garage gym. It can be used for many types of strength and endurance exercises – squats, bench presses, pull-ups and dips. Power racks can also help make your workouts safer, especially if you’re using heavy weights. Such a large piece of equipment can also make planning the layout of your garage gym easier, as you’ll have a fixed point to work around.
If you’re sticking to a budget and want to get the most bang for your buck, it’s worth considering buying a single cardio machine that works your whole body. Of course, what cardio machine you buy for your garage gym depends on personal preference, so you could consider an exercise bike or a rowing machine to get your heart rate up.
Shopping for weights can be a bit like shopping for shoes – you need a pair for everything. As you become fitter and stronger, you’ll need heavier weights to continue making progress, and different types of weights work best for certain exercises – check out these kettlebells, dumbbells, plates and medicine balls. The more of a collection you build, the more variety you can have in your workouts.
Like having a variety of weights, a weight bench can help you switch up your workout. They can be used for more than just bench pressing, such as stretching and working specific parts of your body. Flat benches are great for when bench pressing heavier weights, but an adjustable weight bench offers more versatility.
Storing your weights correctly is the easier way to avoid accidents and keep your garage gym looking swish and professional. Freestanding kettlebell storage takes up very little floor space and can also support your growing dumbbell collection, but if there isn’t enough floor space to go around, you could consider handy wall-mounted storage solutions for your bars and weight plates.
Conditioning exercises aim to improve your cardiovascular performance and stamina by increasing your heart rate and working your muscles. Conditioning can take many forms – boxing, cardio (circuits, super sets), yoga and Pilates, and skipping.
The best way to condition your body is to have a variety of equipment that works out all parts of your body – think core exercise sliders, battle ropes, weighted hula hoops, skipping ropes and plyo boxes. Used all together in one session over time, you can build a comprehensive workout that will guarantee results.
What else do I need to remember for a garage gym conversion?
Putting down the right flooring is an important part of doing a garage gym conversion. Not only can having the right flooring make your workouts safer but can also protect your garage and you from any damage, unintentional or not.
If you’ve got stuff all over your garage walls that might make painting them too much of a task, why not add your pop of colour to the space with some fun flooring? Vinyl and resin flooring are durable and easy enough to install and can be bought in a range of vibrant colours. If you want to hide all the scuff marks and dents that’ll inevitably appear over time, opt for darker, richer colours like navy or green.
Did you know that listening to music while exercising can lead to reduced fatigue and make you work out harder without even realising it?
Headphones are great to use in the gym or in the park to block out distractions and help push you through your reps, but when you’re working out in your garage gym, why not invest in a decent speaker system that can blast your workout playlist? Many speakers come with Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can still keep your phone close whilst sprinting to ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Garages are one of the cooler areas of a house, making them the perfect space to get your blood pumping. In the warmer months, open the windows or the garage door just a crack to let in a refreshing breeze and keep most of the sun out. But when it gets colder, a plug-in space heater in the corner can really boost your motivation to get moving. Turn it on 15 minutes before you plan to work out and leave your hoodie in the wardrobe.
Before undertaking a garage gym conversion, it’s important to make sure your garage is secure. Gym equipment can be costly, making it an easy target for thieves.
Make sure that your garage door is secure and can’t be accessed without a key, and that your internal door is lockable from inside the house – you don’t want any little ones or pets mistaking your equipment for toys!
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