Garage Gym Ideas: How to Turn Your Garage Into a Gym


Gym memberships could cost anywhere between $10 to $100 a month. Add class fees, initiation fees and cancellation fees, and you’re looking at a fat gym membership bill at the end of the year. The membership will especially feel pricey if you rarely head to the gym because of a busy schedule. But your fitness regimen doesn’t have to be costly — not with the right garage gym ideas.

Can I Put a Gym in the Garage?

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The most obvious concern here is where do you park your car if you’re turning the garage into a workout room?

A one-car garage may have enough space left for you to install some gym equipment. Naturally, if you have a two-car garage but drive only one vehicle, you’ll have more than sufficient space to apply the right half-garage gym ideas. So yes, you can put a gym in a garage.

Before you do, consider the following:

  • The space of your garage
  • The size of your vehicle
  • The dimensions of the equipment you want to get

For example, a decent-sized one-car garage may have 10’ x 8’ left for a small cardio machine, like a stationary bike. If you’ve started to run as training for a marathon and bad weather keeps you from going out, the half garage gym idea would be a good solution.

What Should be in a Garage Gym?

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When you look at garage gym pictures, most will have weights, benches and treadmills. These gym essentials would not take up too much space, but they’ll still provide you with the necessary strength and functional training. But what you put in your garage gym will depend on your fitness goals.

Do you want to improve speed and agility? Although most equipment for this training requires space, like agility cones and ladder, one equipment makes for the perfect half gym garage idea: jump rope.

Are you looking to lose excess pounds? Cardio equipment works well for weight loss goals: rowing machine, stationary exercise bike or a treadmill.

Do you want to bulk up? Body weight training doesn’t need equipment since you can do lunges, squats, sit ups and planks. But you could also bring in equipment to bulk up, like free weights (e.g., dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells), resistance bands and battle ropes.

10 Easy Garage Gym Ideas

  1. Start small with a small space for your garage gym

If your garage doesn’t have enough space, invest in one or two gym equipment pieces. Maybe a treadmill for cardio and bench rack for strength building. Once you’re comfortable with your fitness routine, you can add to the space.

  1. Plan the layout

Before you clear stuff out and think about your home gym decor, make sure you know how the space will function. Which part of the garage will work as your gym? Where do you put the equipment? Do you see the garage gym expanding?

  1. Clear out the clutter in your garage

Most garages become a storage space as well as a parking space. Some even function as a utility room, with the washer and dryer installed. So before you bring in the workout equipment, get rid of what isn’t necessary and figure out what must stay.

  1. Think safety for your home gym

Gym injuries are bound to happen when you workout without warming up or cooling down. The same can be said for garage gyms that aren’t designed for safety. A garage will typically have a concrete surface, so install a rubber floor. A rubber surface absorbs shock, protecting you from injuries.

  1. Use the right lighting

For home gym ideas on a budget, you can workout during the day with the garage door open. But if you have cash to burn and prefer to workout at night, install track lighting to customize the lighting design. Alternatively, use recessed lighting to mimic a gym feel to your gym workout space.

  1. Install a heating and cooling system in your garage gym

Ideally, you’ll be able to insulate your garage gym and add HVAC. No matter what type of workout you do, you’ll be sweating. And excessive sweat is not going to be comfortable, forcing you to cut your fitness routine short. A good heating and cooling system will allow you to spend more time in the garage gym.

One of the most appealing small garage gym ideas for families is how comfortable it’s going to be. If you’re hoping to encourage your spouse or kids to get into fitness without leaving the house, an HVAC system would be a good addition to the garage gym.

  1. Buy gym equipment that will last

When you’re serious about working out at home, you must have quality equipment. Good fitness machines are not just going to last a long time; they’ll also ensure a safe fitness routine. They’re not likely to break down or get damaged while you’re using them.

  • Good gym equipment doesn’t have to be pricey. How do you get quality equipment on a budget?
  • Buy equipment that allow for multiple types of training without taking up space
  • Get your gym equipment from one reliable business to save on shipping; multiple equipment from different sellers means multiple shipping costs
  • Scour the internet for great deals on used equipment; some people may be clearing their home gyms and others may just be getting rid of equipment they barely used.
  • If you’d rather not get second-hand, wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Gym equipment from the best brands typically go for 50 percent to 70 percent less.
  1. Maximize the limited square footage by using vertical space

Not all gym equipment takes up square footage, or floor space; some allow you to use vertical space, maximizing a limited room.

If you look at gym photos online, some walls may be installed with bodyweight training systems. One of which is the TRX Suspension Trainer, rooted in NAVY Seals training. It features straps that anchor to a door, post or a beam in your garage (or anywhere in your home). The full body suspension training system also comes with adjustable cradles, durable handles, carabiner clips and other safety tools.

Another way to maximize limited space and still park a large car in your garage is to choose gym equipment that folds away. Some treadmills and power rack may be folded and hidden away when you’re not using them. So they don’t take up floor space.

  1. Brighten up the garage gym

A garage can be dark and dingy, even with lighting. When you work out, the space must be appealing —not just safe and functional. Strategic lighting placement helps brighten up any space, but lights could get pricey. An alternative would be to choose the right paint colors for the garage. Although white and neutral tones make a dim garage brighter, other colors enliven the home gym as well.

Choosing the perfect paint color is one of the most affordable garage gym ideas to apply.

For calming, focused workouts (e.g., yoga, pilates, tai chi):

  • Natural, neutral greens
  • Light lavenders
  • Hints of blues

For energetic, high-impact fitness (e.g., cycling, bodyweight training, running)

  • Vermilions
  • Fiery reds
  • Pops of orange

The right paint color will get you in the mood for the type of workout you’ll do. And it’ll turn a drab garage gym into an attractive home workout space.

You could also do a wall feature that not only brightens up the room, but also creates visual impact for an easy home gym décor.

  1. Optimize your storage space

Any small space will seem bigger than it is when it’s organized; everything must have a place. This is especially when you use the space for more than just as a parking space and a fitness room. Cabinets are the usual storage equipment, but they will take up floor space.

Try the following solutions:

  • Clips and brackets for hanging storage, which can keep wires, ropes and cables, among others
  • Floating shelves save space and keep the garage gym from seeming too small
  • Peg boards hold multiple items, but they have weight limits

Are Garage Gyms Worth It?

Fitness doesn’t have to be expensive, or a hassle if your gym happens to require a commute. The best fitness routines make it easy for you to follow every day or every week. And turning your garage into a home gym is the smart way to go. About your fitness goals.

With the right layout, proper planning and good gym equipment, a garage gym will be worth it.

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