How To create the perfect garage / home gym

Many of us would love to work out more but we find gyms rather commercial, overly crowded and just too sweaty and smelly. Perhaps we also find the travel time to get there a waste of time, sometimes it can even take longer than our actual workout itself.  Or maybe you are looking to save some money on your membership. If you are experiencing any of these issues, then building your own garage gym might very well be your answer!


Before you start purchasing every single piece of workout equipment for your gym it is important to assess if this is, in fact, the right move for you.  For one, many people find a great deal of motivation from exercising in a public gym setting where other people provide motivation to work hard. Gyms also offer professional classes, which most likely, your private gym, will not have.  However, for some people training alone can be just as effective.  If you have a family with young children, it can be an efficient way to avoid leaving them too often. Although, on the other hand, a gym outside of your home can provide a little get-away for some private time, while being at home can, of course, be full of distractions.

If you do decide that a private gym is right for you, then the first thing you will have to do is to create a budget. Often times, building a gym does not have to be very expensive at all. Many people purchase a lot of unnecessary cardio equipment, which is not all that useful, especially in a home space. And secondly, there are lots of places that sell used workout equipment. The internet is the ideal places with websites such as eBay as well as classified advertisements.  It is also important to remember that you will have to change up your gym as time passes, so start with the basics.


Once you have a set budget, you can start thinking about what kind of the atmosphere you want in your gym. This is definitely the most fun part of making your gym! Envision a gym that will motivate you and fill the area with items that will push you to reach your goals.

The next step is, of course, is choosing the right equipment.  There are some essential things that are needed in a gym to cover all parts of the body. The most effective workouts are not from flashy exercises, but rather from the classic traditional ones that remain today.

Firstly, a barbell and plate set is the most useful equipment you can buy. For the legs, you can use it for both front and back squats, as well as lunges and deadlifts. For your back you can do barbell rows, upright rows, as well as power cleans.  For your shoulder, you can do military press and also behind the neck.  For the chest, bench press, and for your arms, bicep curls, skull crushers, and close grip bench press! However, keep in mind that you most likely won’t have someone to spot you from your gym.


The next vital piece of equipment is a bench.  When choosing a bench, go for one that has an incline and decline option. Even if you do not use this all the time, if you do a split bodybuilding session it will be of great benefit.

 A rack is also a very significant part of your gym. Although usually the most expensive item, it cannot be forgotten.  Without a rack, a heavy workout can be extremely difficult, and it also provides a safer workout environment, since you’ll mostly be alone.

Another crucial part of building a gym is choosing the flooring. It must be one that protects your space and gives your gym a long life. A good floor will also make the room more sound-proof.

Kettlebells as well are important to have in a gym, as they are a very versatile piece of fitness equipment. They can do most of the exercises that are traditionally done with dumbbells, however, have the additional advantages of more momentum and functional training. There are in fact over 100 variations that can be done with kettlebells.


When it comes to cardio in a gym, it can be a little less clear cut. The truth is that long cardio workouts do not actually change your body very much, lifting weights are more effective in seeing significant changes. However, if you do want to seriously raise your heart rate, you can always take a run outside. And if the weather does not permit, there is always the staircase! And if you are willing to invest, the most efficient cardio machine would be a spin bike. It takes the least amount of space and it is ideal to watch tv or catch up on some phone calls at the same time.

Other than the essentials, there are of course a myriad of other equipment you can add to your personal gym.  A suspension trainer, also known as TRX training takes virtually no space and enables you to work your core muscles and complete a wide range of exercises that cannot be done with free weights. If you have space, then dumbbells are always a great option to include, and come in all weights, however not as useful as kettlebells, if you have to choose between the two.  A punching bag is another wonderful addition to your gym, for a high-intensity workout, as well as a stress-reliever. Just make sure you place the bag in a place that allows you to move in every direction.  Mirrors, although of course not fully needed, can offer many people motivation from seeing themselves.

Now that you have your very own gym, you better get to working out! However make sure that you have a safe and effective program, and that you are using correct techniques!