Turning your unused basement into a home gym is a great idea for people who value fitness. A basement is an ideal location for a home gym since the strong concrete floors will have no trouble supporting the weight of any exercise equipment, it's easy to get to any time, and there will be no need to pay ongoing gym fees.
As with any remodeling project, turning your basement into a home gym requires some upfront planning so that you will have the gym of your dreams. Here are some things you should consider when creating your own home gym (Fig 1).
Make the Available Space Work for You
The most important dimension is the amount of headroom available. 7-feet would normally be considered a good height to give you room to stretch and work on equipment like a treadmill or an elliptical trainer. For tall users, however, seven feet may not be enough to do overhead press movements without the plates hitting the ceiling. If your basement ceiling is too low, getting a good workout will be difficult.
Have a Good Air Flow
Heating and ventilation are also important. While you don't want your home gym to be too warm, it does need to be at a comfortable temperature (around 70°F). You also want fresh air in your gym, so be sure to include a window that can be opened and a fan to circulate the air.
Plan the Lighting
Working out in the dark is no fun, so be sure to design your gym with lots of light. Use as much natural light as possible in your design, but include lots of lighting fixtures to ensure that your gym is bright and pleasant (Fig. 1 and 2). Recessed or pot lights work well in a basement gym since they are out the way but still provide lots of light in a dim area.
So that the rest of your family doesn't suffer the noise of your workout, consider adding soundproofing to the ceiling of your home gym. Fiberglass insulation between the ceiling and floor joists will block some of the sound of your workout from the main floor. If you install a 5/8-inch sheet of soundproof drywall fastened to a soundproofing Hat channel, the combination will very well keep your gym noises downstairs.
Include lots of electrical outlets in your gym. Most workout equipment needs to be plugged in. If you don’t have enough outlets, you'll be limited to where you can position your workout equipment. Plus if your equipment is crowded together, your gym will look cramped and crowded.
Make your gym bright and attractive by painting the walls and ceiling with light-colored paints. Neutral colors such as white, light brown, and tan work well. They will energize you right away. Large mirrors (Fig. 3) on the walls will also brighten the area while making it seem larger.
Don't forget that you'll need some entertainment or distractions while working out at home. Have a good stereo system to play up-tempo music or television so you can watch your favorite shows or movies (Fig. 4).