Can’t seem to get yourself to work out? Most Americans provide all sorts of excuses to skip a session at the local gym, from the traffic to the weather and crowd phobia. Access to fitness centers has also been significantly affected by frequent government shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic. An ultimate garage gym may be the ideal alternative you’ve been searching for to ensure that you keep your body fit.
While COVID-19 continues to upend lives at an unprecedented scale, it would be unfair not to admit that the pandemic has provided you a chance to reflect and appreciate what matters most to you. 2020 taught you the need to maintain your physical and mental health as part of your overall wellness. If nothing at all, the biggest lesson was that you need to invest heavily in your immune system.
With 60% of Americans setting New Year’s resolutions each year, it’s no surprise that fitness and a healthy lifestyle are among the top 10 most popular selections this year. To keep up with the promise you made to yourself, you may need more than just blanket motivation. You may need a dedicated area to conduct your exercise routines, with public gyms remaining a potential hazard.
Enter Unused Car Garages
Let’s be honest: not everyone uses their garages nowadays. For storage? Yes. For car parking? Probably not. The American Housing Survey says that 80% of households have a garage or a carport, yet only a few ever use it for parking. What if you could clean up the messy space and convert it to the ultimate garage gym? You can have all the barbells and treadmills you need for your family to work out during this pandemic.
While a home gym is an excellent idea, you may not have the finances to invest all at once, but that should not stop you from trying. Think of all the money you can save by canceling your annual gym subscription. Luckily, you can opt for the more cost-effective option of converting your used garage to a fitness room.
But how do you transform this storage space into the ultimate garage gym? Read on to get a step-by-step guide on exactly to achieve this considerable feat.
1. Clean and Organize
The first step to your garage conversion is to clear out the junk. The chances are that your garage is full of baby clothes, kids’ toys, garden tools, holiday decorations, and much more clutter. Cleaning and reorganizing the space allows you to make room for the gym equipment and exercise machines. You may start by sorting out the items into three categories- donation, sale, and throwing out.
You can hire a waste management service to help you dispose of the items you wish to get rid of. After donating others, you can then organize the rest and rearrange them effectively in different zones. You can also take the opportunity to make extra cash through a garage sale.
Your clean up ought to extend to the exterior. Are there branches hanging dangerously over the garage? Call in a tree trimming service to prune them. You can also have a roofing company inspect your shingles, ensuring there’s no water leaking through the roof.
2. Wire and Light Up Your Space
Most gym equipment and exercise machines are electrically powered and may require easy access to power sockets. The positioning of the different devices may be affected by the proximity to the wall plugs. Consequently, you may have to figure out your layout and gym design before proceeding with your wiring project.
Electricity is dangerous, and it is advisable to leave this work to the experts. The electrician can help you select the right lighting option for your space. Most garages across the country are windowless and may require artificial lighting. You should also consider the mount stations for your surround speakers and TV.
If you prefer natural lighting, you can tear down one wall and add a window. You can then install window blinds to add to your insulation options. Alternatively, you can redesign your roof with skylights, which can allow your ultimate garage gym to double up as a sunroom.
3. Sort Out Your Insulation
You may need to think of the best way to prevent loss of heat or intrusion of sound into your new fitness space. Insulation can help reduce energy costs, brighten up your interior, and prevent outside noise from interrupting your exercise routine.
You can start with a simple and cost-effective DIY project on your entryway. Retailers with garage door sales would be perfect for sourcing a new door if the current one is damaged. You can then go ahead to place the insulating material over the surface.
Different materials are available for use, including foam, fiberglass, and reflective cardboards. Foam and fiberglass are excellent insulation suits for steel doors. For homeowners with flat panel doors, reflective cardboards would be the best choice. Wooden doors are better of with foam as an insulator. At the same time, do not forget to inspect and repair your drywall. If the work scope is too much for you to handle, do not shy away from hiring professionals to handle the task.
4. Decide on Your Flooring
The next step to creating the ultimate garage gym is figuring out the right flooring. While hard concrete or stone masonry may not be the ideal option as a final layer, it is a perfect subfloor.
Remember, concrete does not absorb shock resulting from your high-impact movements as well as other materials. The surface may also be too slippery, which may be a risk for injuries.
You can look for rubber, foam, and epoxy as some of the alternatives you can use to resurface your floor. Epoxy is the most recommended option among the listed alternatives. To start with, you only need to layer the epoxy over your existing concrete floor.
Moreover, epoxy is chemical and abrasion-resistant, making it the most durable material on the list. It is also water-resistant and dustproof. These properties make it easy to clean your floors and lower your annual maintenance costs.
If you have moisture issues or live in an area that floods, you’ll need to involve a plumbing company during the renovation project. Not only will they help you find long-term solutions, but they can also inspect your garage plumbing and identify and repair any potential problems early.
5. Look into Your Heating and Cooling Options
You may need to ensure your ultimate garage gym is inviting and comfortable as a workout space. Cold winter months can create the perfect environment to skip on your morning routine. You may need to factor in your regional climate and choose the appropriate heating and cooling solution.
If your garage has a pre-existing HVAC unit, you may need to check if it still in good condition. You can arrange for HVAC repairs if your air conditioner is damaged. If too old, you may need to consider replacing the entire unit.
Depending on your location, you can choose either a portable air conditioner or a new fan. Cold regions may demand that you install wall mounted electric heaters to make it comfortable to work out during the frigid winter months. You can also opt to open up the garage doors during the hot summer afternoons for a cool breeze.
6. Maximize the Available Space
The standard garage size for a single car is approximately 12’ by 14’. You may need to make most of the area in your ultimate garage gym by maximizing the limited space. The best way to achieve it is through opting for garage organization systems.
There are plenty of custom storage systems available on the market today. Find a unit that will help you clear the clutter and increase your free space to exercise. You can opt for storage solutions such as cabinetry, shelving, drawers, and overhead racks.
Wall mounts are also popular options that you can use to hang your bike, resistance bands, jumping ropes, and yoga mats. You can also add wall-mounted bins to create additional space to keep some of the portable workout equipment. You can use the cabinets to place your disinfectant sprays, dumbbells, protein powders, and much more.
To add depth to your space, you can opt to install mirrors on your walls. Mirrors can compensate for windowless garages, brightening up the room. Besides, you can use them to watch yourself as you go on with your workouts. Through the reflection, you can make sure that you are performing the technique.
7. Pick the Right Equipment
The final and the most important step is getting to stock the room to make it the ultimate garage gym. The options are endless, which may leave you confused about which equipment to pick out first. Here is a little guide on how to purchase the right exercise machines and gym equipment.
Essential Equipment That Every Home Gym Should Have
You may need to remember that you do not have to start with equipment large enough to open a state-of-the-art fitness center. You can start small and build gradually, carefully selecting the sporting goods that you need most.
Jumping Rope and Gymnastic Rings
One of the most inexpensive pieces of equipment that your ultimate garage gym should not lack is a jump rope. According to Science Daily, jumping rope can achieve a burn rate of approximately 1300 calories per hour. Ten minutes of this aerobic exercise Is equivalent to running an eight-minute mile. It makes jumping rope an excellent choice for cardiovascular conditioning.
Gymnastic rings are another set of inexpensive equipment that you can start with. You may use them for push-ups, dips, rows, and pull-ups. However, you may need to ensure that your ceiling beams can bear your weight before fixing them.
Cardio Training Equipment
You can consider acquiring a treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike, or a rowing machine for your cardio workouts. You can opt to go with the equipment that you usually prefer when at your local gym. The rowing machine is a perfect choice for a full-body workout or fitness enthusiasts looking to lose weight. You can get a full range of motion when carrying out your training.
Exercise bikes can help you pedal to your weight loss. They are excellent for individuals who prefer to take it easy on their joints. If you prefer a sweet-inducing, heart-pumping workout, the elliptical machine is a perfect choice. It is an excellent piece of equipment if you are recovering from a nasty injury.
Resistant Training Equipment
There’s arguably no replacement for good old fashioned weight lifting. If your kid is looking forward to attending sports clinics next summer, building their physicality through resistance training would be a great place to start. There is a wide range of options that you can choose from. It all boils down to your tastes and preferences.
You can start with a simple set of dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. For your weight plates, it would be best to opt for bumper types. Though slightly more expensive than their iron counterparts, they will inflict less damage on your flooring if you drop them.
Your ultimate garage gym may not be complete without a weight bench. The sturdy units offer more versatility, not vital for bench presses. Opt for the adjustable bench over the flat-weight one. Adjustable benches will allow you to target specific muscles as well as fold them for storage. Flat-weight units are excellent when focusing on heavyweight loads. You may need to factor in the maximum load capacity you are currently or aiming to bench press.
You may need to prioritize your purchases, only buying essential items. Remember that a piece of equipment can be useful, good, or a favorite, but it may not be critical for your ultimate garage gym. You may also need to keep in mind your budget estimates. Transforming your garage may require a lot of cash up-front, and you may need more time to stock up the critical exercise equipment.
Ensure that you have enough space that can fit all your equipment purchases. You may need to have a design plan that allows you to have a convenient layout that accommodates every item in the new fitness room.
Get Started on Your Gym Today
Converting the car park space to the ultimate garage gym is a healthy investment for you and your family. It allows you to prioritize an active lifestyle without forking out thousands of dollars to gym memberships that you never attend. You now have no excuse for not achieving your New Year’s resolution to stay fit and healthy.