Ultimate Garage Gym: Body Building at Home

For a convenient place to lose weight or just feel great, create your own garage gym or practical home fitness studio.

Step 1 - Plan It Out

Start by deciding what exactly you want to achieve. Do you to lose weight or to maintain your current level of fitness? Do some research to find out what kinds of machines and other equipment will help you realize your goals.

Once you know what kind of fitness tools you want and need, think about the space you have. Is the floor appropriate for a home gym? Do you have windows you should cover up, or do you want to install more windows? Is there enough lighting? Heat and cooling? Depending on the features of your garage, a conversion can be a small do-it-yourself job. If the project will require major remodeling, consider getting help from a local contractor.

Step 2 - Prepare

garage with shelving and supplies along one wall

Decide how much of your garage you will continue to devote to storage. Of course, you may need to continue to store certain items here, like tools, paint and bicycles. Get rid of whatever is left. Find another space to store winter coats and old toys. Consider hosting a yard sale for working lamps and speakers, and donate any clothes that are still in good condition. Throw away anything else. Once the clutter is gone, clean the floor and sweep the ceiling for cobwebs.

If your garage is not insulated, address this before you start work on walls or flooring. Look at different options for heating and cooling, like space heaters, fans, and window units.

Think about installing a sound system or a television to use while you exercise. Take care of all electrical work, mounting, and hookups before you move on.

Step 3 - Walls

man doing pushups on rubber flooring

You have the option of covering up the garage door with a dry wall, or take the garage door out completely and install some windows. This will allow natural light to come in and provide a nice view. If you have children, windows will allow you to keep an eye on them while they play outside. Keep in mind, however, that you—in all your sweaty, iron-pumping glory—may be visible to those passing by. If your walls are currently nothing more than exposed studs, you can add sheetrock and then texture and paint for a more finished look. By planning out wall space, you'll allow room to layout your home gym bench, weights, TV mounts, and other equipment.

Step 4 - Flooring

Most garages have concrete floors. These are perfect for heavy machines and can easily be repaired if damaged. If your floor is dirty, or if you want to liven up dark concrete, you can paint it and seal it.

If it's in your budget, you can also install laminate flooring. While carpets are soft, they can get damaged underneath heavy equipment. If you want carpet for floor exercises (as in yoga or Pilates), only install it in a small portion of the room. Otherwise, invest in a few yoga mats or other garage or exercise mats.