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Designing a home gym – Equipment and space planning tips

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Having an exercise space at home makes staying fit on your schedule. But creating a functional, motivating home gym takes careful planning. Choose the types of exercise and overall goals you wish to achieve. Do you plan to use cardio machines, strength training, stretch, take classes or a combination? Decide which activities take priority to determine equipment needs. Consider observing your gym habits or watching tutorials if you’re not sure. Consider the spaces in your home that could house a gym, like a spare bedroom, finished basement, or garage. Measure the area’s footprint and ceiling height, accounting for protrusions like pipes and ductwork. A small bedroom only fits a yoga mat and some free weights, while a garage could hold a full setup. 

Save square footage by looking into foldable or wall-mounted options. Also, you need to reduce your ambitions to fit the available space. For cardio equipment like treadmills, exercise bikes, and elliptical, choose an area removed from bedrooms to keep noise away from sleeping areas. Basements help muffle noise if ceiling height accommodates equipment.  Check if rooms share ductwork that transmits noise and vibration throughout the home. Place equipment on thick padding in basements and upper levels to reduce sound transmission through the floor. Cover your workout space’s windows if you exercise with family or guests around.

Most exercise equipment requires dedicated electrical circuits to avoid overloading and tripping breakers. Have an electrician evaluate your electrical system’s capacity and add new circuits if needed. Install ample grounded outlets spaced around the room so equipment plugs in conveniently. Consider adding a subpanel during gym build-out to provide extra circuit capacity just for the fitness space. Include surge protectors and enterprise-grade outlets to protect expensive equipment from power fluctuations. Exercise equipment concentrates substantial impact and vibration onto the flooring. Choose a rigid, resilient material like rubber or polyurethane tile to support equipment weight and use. Laminate and engineered hardwood also work if installed appropriately over a plywood subfloor. Vinyl and carpet are not durable and allow equipment to move around. Make sure flooring extends several feet beyond machines to support free weight lifts. Include luxurious throw rugs for stretching areas. Internet users are aware of the latest home gym news.

Select equipment

  • Cardio Machines – Treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers give an intense full-body cardiovascular workout. Choose durable commercial-grade machines with shock absorption if your budget allows. Folding options maximize space.
  • Strength Equipment – Squat racks, cable crossover machines, and multi-functional power towers build functional strength. Additionally, dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells strengthen and tone muscles. Include weight benches, racks, and other accessories. 
  • Smart Tech – Interactive mirrors, virtual classes, and wearable trackers make exercising more fun and effective. Mirrors like Tonal and Tempo combine a reflective display with trainer guidance and digital resistance for strength, cardio, and flexibility workouts.
  • Recovery Tools – Foam rollers, massage tools, yoga bolsters, wedge blocks, and therapy balls loosen tight muscles before and after training. Mats provide cushioning for floor work.
  • Optional Extras – Consider a punching bag, indoor rower, climbing wall, suspension trainer, or other specialty gear if it supports your program. But don’t overbuy more than you’ll realistically use.

Structure your space into zones for each type of exercise. Place cardio machines together along a lengthy wall or perimeter with adequate surrounding space for safe mounting/dismounting. For maximum clearance when lifting, place strength equipment like squat racks and benches in the centre of the room. Define a mat area for stretching, floor exercises, and recovery equipped with a wall mirror.

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