Learn the tips and tricks to converting a garage to a home gym on a budget, including 15 examples of various garage gym sizes.
Have you asked yourself “Is it ok to work out in a garage?” because you want a home gym but have nowhere else to put it? How about “Is a garage gym worth it?” A garage offers a terrific workout space and converting a garage to a gym provides you with a free spot to work out, so you can save yourself the gym membership fees.
A home’s garage offers privacy, separation from the rest of the home, and construction that minimizes the noise disruption to the rest of the household. Because their concrete flooring design accommodates the weight of automobiles, you don’t need to worry about the equipment’s weight. The flooring can definitely handle it.
When developing a home gym and using the garage as available space, it can help to view some inspiring photos for ideas or how-to guides. Creating the perfect home gym doesn’t have to cost a lot nor does it need to involve a lot of work. I do recommend that if you choose a design that requires installing windows or running electrical, you hire a professional.
Let’s look at how to create a home gym space, something that doesn’t require design skills, but does take a little pre-planning.
Most of the 15 designs for garage gyms are featured here, which I choose for their simplicity. Most of these options require only cleaning out the garage and laying the proper type of exercise mat or carpeting.
A few options include the installation of a wallboard or painting. The rest consists of organizing your equipment properly, a necessity for single garage gym ideas.
Essential Steps or Tips to Getting Your Garage Gym Right
Converting a garage to a home gym does require a bit of planning. Follow these tips to come up with a workable design that offers a space for each machine or exercise, whether you want a squat rack or cardio equipment in it.
- Measure your space, especially if the garage only features one parking bay. Designs do exist that still accommodate parking a car inside the garage and working out there, too. This requires careful measuring and plotting out the space on paper or using software designed for the purpose.
- Add vertical storage along one wall or above using a system that fits into the rafters. These garage storage options make use of typically unutilized space and afford an out-of-the-way spot for workout gear and other items. This maximizes available space and offers ample room for storing weights, jump ropes, etc. This makes it simpler to clean your gym.
- Paint at least one wall to brighten the space and make it more festive. A gym needs to offer a positive vibe that makes you want to work out. In a small space, go with an all-white theme. Larger garages can handle an accent wall that offers a pop of color, such as blue, red, or yellow. Essential garage gym wall ideas add paneling with grooves for hanging equipment or use hearty wood ideal for bolting on hanging equipment.
- Replace garage bay doors with a frosted glass window or sliding glass doors. This adds light and opens up the space. Natural light adds to the positivity of the space. Try shopping at a Habitat for Humanity Re-store for deeply discounted yet brand-new materials.
- Upgrade the garage’s lighting. This doesn’t mean adding electrical or expensive fixtures. Use lamps, LED lighting, recessed lighting, track lighting, and portable spotlights to add lighting where the room throws shadows or remains dark. Those with the money to invest in upgrading the electrical lighting, do so with options that offer energy-efficient, yet bright, light.
- Update the flooring. The cement flooring in a garage provides too firm a surface for human feet to hit repeatedly. Cover your cement floor using resin or vinyl flooring, then add a thick exercise mat to cushion the area that will accommodate the heavy equipment and the area devoted to aerobic activity or yoga. If you have only a little to spend on updates, invest it in high-quality flooring for your home gym.
- Make a list of the exercises or workout areas that you want. The neighbor might install a weightlifting station, but you might want a yoga studio and somewhere to dance. Design for the exercises you’ll actually DO. Love the treadmill? It earns a new home in the garage gym. Use room design software to plan the space – placing machines and furnishings on paper to determine how they work with the available space.
- Add a ceiling fan or two. This helps circulate air in a room that doesn’t typically receive the ideal ventilation installation and HVAC. Also, consider a mini-split that will supply air conditioning and heat without requiring new ducts and vents cut into your home.
15 Garage Home Gym Ideas for Every Garage Size
Tips work great when someone can show you how to implement them. Since I can’t visit each of you reading this article, let’s look at a few photos together from real-life people who used these garage gym guidelines to convert or partially convert their garages. If you ask yourself, “How do I make my garage gym cozy?” – these photos offer pictorial answers.
These examples show the range of effort and complexity. The simpler options show that the essentials of cleaning out the garage, cleaning it, and organizing equipment will top the list. Many of these examples offer garage gym ideas on a budget and more than 10 provide gym ideas with car parking included.
Small Garage Gyms – Single Car Garages
A single-bay garage also called a one-car garage can easily become a gym. Some layouts even still accommodate parking a vehicle or motorcycle inside.
1. Use a system that bolts the equipment to the wall. Like a Murphy bed gym, you simply fold it down when needed, then fold it back up. It takes up little space when folded. This option leaves room for the vehicle. Adding foamy flooring and funky paneling can make your garage gym feel much less like a garage. Stashing the weights beneath the desk offers a spot to sit and record reps or plan workouts. The bench in the back affords you a place to sit, a weight bench area, and a spot to drop your bag.
2. Devote one corner of the garage to your gym equipment by using a single system, such as a Bowflex placed next to the window. The window provides natural light and the multi-exercise fold-up system uses only a tiny bit of space. This option also leaves room for the vehicle.
3. Convert the entire garage if you don’t own a car. Turn the entire garage into a gym. Paint the walls white to create an airy environment and add spring flooring to cushion your feet. Add at least one mirror, so you can check your form while lifting or hitting yoga poses.
4. Turn a single car space into a weight room by emptying out the entire space, then adding spring flooring. Space out the weight bench and weights. This option leaves space for a cardio machine, too, such as a stationary bike or treadmill. This option leaves plenty of room for lifting with a partner.
5. Pick a corner, any corner. Choose a cheerful paint color and treat both the corner walls with it. Paint the ceiling a contrasting color. This defines the gym space. Pick the corner with the back window to light your workout with natural light.
Medium Garage Gyms – Two-Car Garages
With a two-car garage, one bay can become a car park, the other bay can become a gym. Don’t need a place to park? Turn the other area into a utility space with a washing machine and dryer.
6. The basic and essential example of converting one garage bay to a gym and leaving the other side for car parking. Adding storage closets provides a spot for storage of gym equipment and car care needs. While the oak closets shown in this pic look great, you don’t have to spend that much. Paint a set of salvaged school lockers or install a Sauder or Ikea cabinet.
7. Although many examples show completely finished garages with full ceilings and crown molding, another great look leaves the ceiling joists exposed. Finish the walls using plywood instead of drywall for a woodsy look. A large, cushioned mat defines the space for the workout equipment.
8. Instead of converting your entire garage, just build a defining wall space like the wood background pictured above. The wall over the wall offers an improved area for attaching the gym equipment and weights to the wall for storage.
9. This simple design defines the gym side with a cushioned mat and the car side with street signs and artwork. It costs little but brightens the space. The athletic lockers at the rear of the workout space create ambiance and offer storage space. A rolling toolbox at the back of the parking side stores tools in an easily accessible area.
10. Take a cue from retail by installing slatted wallboard that makes storing bikes and other equipment easier. Install shelving above to organize items in clear plastic bins. This method leaves every inch of floor space in one bay for workout equipment.
Large Garage Gyms – Three or More Car Garages
Larger garages offer so much space for a gym that these designs can offer the same space as some professional gyms. Convert two or more bays, so long as that leaves space for parking a vehicle.
11. Although the original design pictured the couple built in their basement, this design also works for a garage. Here’s how to create this as a home garage gym. If you only need to park one vehicle or you have an especially large garage that avails you at least two garage bays to convert, close the garage bays up by replacing the doors with walls and adding just a few windows near the top of the ceiling. Use the wall space for weights storage and the bay’s space for a weight bench. Add a splash of color on the storage wall to define the gym space.
12. Replace the garage bay doors of the garage area with windows to flood the area with light. Paint the walls, even if they’re brick. Use a weights storage bench to store weights and divide the two bays. The pull-down weight bench bolts to the wall, while you devote the second bay to aerobics, jump rope, or bag work.
13. This design leaves all of the garage bay doors in place so you can open them to provide natural light. Room-sized cushioned padding defines the space and offers a suitable base for gym equipment. The vast double bay space affords the space for more than four machines, letting you work out with friends.
14. Erect a dividing wall that divides the parking bay from the workout area. This design uses two bays for workouts, devoting one to a fun aerobic area defined by an artificial Bermuda grass turf with a football theme. The second garage bay consists of a weight room and a storage closet at the rear.
15. This gym in Incredible Hulk green offers inspiration for a garage conversion. You can pick your favorite color and paint the trim and machines to match. A rubber exercise mat in matching green and black defines the area of the weight machines. The rest of the floor receives concrete paint.