The garage rules as the number one space for conversion into someting more useful. Sure, shelter for a car is useful, but don’t most garages have wasted and disused space too?
Not everyone has the room to have their own home gym. In fact, not many people have the room to even store a treadmill or a set of weights.
But if you have a garage that is not being used then there are a couple of things that you can do to try and take advantage of this space. Your garage? Your garage rules!
The New Order of Garage Rules
Your Own Private Gym
When you convert your garage into a gym, you essentially have your own fitness room that you can use all-year round, for free.
You’ll never have to worry about braving the wind and the snow just to get your cardio in and you won’t have to think about fitting time in after work either.
You can workout whenever you want, whether it is in the middle of the night or even in the early hours of the morning.
That being said, transforming your garage isn’t without its challenges and a lot of planning will be required if you want to get the best result out of your design and your daily workout.
Design and Features
The main thing that you have to think about when transforming your garage is the door. If you have an overhead garage door then this will limit overhead storage space.
If you don’t have a lot of floor space either, this can present a huge range of challenges. Tilt garage doors are a great option here as it means you can easily gain access to the room without having to worry about the overhead space being taken up too much.
If you don’t have a lot of floor space then it’s important to utilise wall space. Consider having punching bags hanging from a bracket on the wall as opposed to the roof, and use shelving to store weights at a higher level.
This not only gives you a steady surface, but it also gives you the chance to store any elasticated cables, sweatbands and more without them taking up space.
Drawers are also ideal if you need to store away towels and other accessories.
If you plan on turning your garage into a gym then it’s very important to make sure that it is insulated. If your garage is not insulated then you should get this done.
You’ll never be able to raise your body temperature efficiently if you are constantly working out in what feels like the Alaskan wilderness.
You should also make sure that the garage door is insulated as well, if this is a possibility. When it comes to the heating in your garage, it helps to have a portable heater placed near the door.
The door is where you are going to lose most of your heat, and it is also a space where you probably can’t put any equipment. Spatial efficiency is everything here.
If you have a lot of headroom then having pull-up bars are a must. You may also benefit from having a high-lift garage door installed as well, as this will add on even more space to the height of the room.
A garage with a higher roof is also ideal because it means that you can have jump ropes and other equipment in there as well.
This equipment doesn’t take up a lot of space, but it will give you a lot of variation when it comes to your workout routine.
Now you have your fitness equipment planned out and you have an idea of where you are going to put it, you now need to make sure that your garage is completely secure.
It helps to have a remote control to open the door in this instance, because after a workout, you may not want to be messing around with a jammed garage door for half an hour.
You also won’t have to worry about where you have put the keys either, and this is a great way for you to ensure that you have the best experience when using your home gym.
Some remote locks even tell you when the garage door has been left open, so you won’t have to worry about it being freezing one morning just because the door was slightly ajar when you last used your home gym.
The last thing you want is to kneel down on a concrete floor when you are doing your workout. You won’t want to have carpet installed here and that is because a spilt drink or even sweat from your workout will stain it.
You’ll want to have a quality, waterproof flooring installed and you may even need to get some supportive foam pads installed as well.
The main reason for this is because heavy equipment such as treadmills and even exercise bikes can dig into the floor and cause permanent indentations, something that you’ll probably want to avoid if you have just had the floor installed.
If you want to avoid this then supportive foam pads are the way to go and there are plenty of them available. They help to absorb shock as well, so you can keep your gym flooring completely protected, all-year round. As for the colour of flooring in your gym, you’ll want to opt for clean colours.
Going with red may seem like a fiery option but it won’t make the gym feel clean or well-kept, and when your gym is in your garage, you’ll want this to be the case. Consider going for white, grey or any other standard colour you see in your neighbourhood gyms.
With the lighting, consider one or two, high-quality overhead lights if possible. If you have wall lighting, it may take up space you want to use for mirrors or equipment. When you are installing electrical fixtures and fittings, use a qualified electrican and be mindful of where wires are running.
A lot of people choose to have dimmers installed, so you can set the mood for a midnight workout while also having plenty of control over the general theme of the room.
Of course, no home gym would be complete without a sound system so a docking station is the ideal solution for those who have little space.
Listen to our podcast with author of ‘The Fity Busy Mum’ Rosemary Marchese for her great tips on fitting in exercise and creating weekly meal plans for your family.