My Renovation Magazine Special Feature
Many people believe that home gyms are only for the rich and famous, but this simply isn’t true. It’s perfectly feasible to create a functional workout area in your garage with limited outlay and minimum fuss. Not only will a home gym save you travel time and changing room blushes but it will also put an end to those expensive monthly memberships.
The first thing that needs to be done is to clear out and clean up your garage because it is difficult to see the wood for the tress if the space is cluttered and messy.
You also need to decide if your garage is going to be 100% dedicated to your gym or whether it will still be home to things like the freezer, lawnmower and tools. By making these decisions you will be able to organise the area, throw out anything that isn’t needed and safely store what you want to keep.
If you’re going to have machines in your home gym you need to have the correct number of working power sockets. Do not be tempted to simply load up extension leads instead get an electrician to come and check everything is working correctly and fit new sockets if required.
Any decent gym comes complete with good lighting and yours shouldn’t be any different. If your garage is currently dark and dingy it would be beneficial to invest in new lighting to make your workout space usable and inviting.
Working out can be a hot and sweaty business so it is a good idea to sort out your ventilation. The majority of garages do not come with ceiling fans or air conditioning so do your research, work out what you need and install the best equipment you can afford.
Most garages are either bare brick or painted in dark, muted colours neither of which are particularly conducive to the interior of a gym. Go for light, cool colours which reflect the light.
Think about the floors you have seen in gyms and then look at what you have in your garage at the moment – probably concrete, right?
At Garageflex we offer a range of excellent floor tiles that provide the kind of a smart, low maintenance, tough finish a gym demands. These tiles not only look the part but are also fantastic insulators and sound absorbers. They provide traction for a non-slip surface, which is helpful when using gym equipment and reduce damage caused by abrasion, impact and vibration.
If your garage has no windows you can lighten things up by hanging mirrors in strategic positions. Not only will this is will ensure you can watch your moves as you exercise but it will also make the room appear larger and brighter.
It is pretty boring to work out without any music but what are you going to play it on? For some people an iPod is enough but if it’s motivation and a gym feel you are looking for then consider having a TV mounted on the wall, docking station on a dedicated unit or a complete sound system.
As well as installing cabinets and shelves for any household and garden items, you will probably want drawers and racks for your sports equipment. Garageflex have a range of storage solutions for everyone and as well as your weights and skipping ropes they also have options for bikes, rackets and balls.
With your garage ready to be transformed it is time to decide exactly what you want to put in your gym and how you want to workout.
Chris Hall from Hall Training Systems (www.personaltraineroxford.com) gave us a few handy tips:
“If you’re creating a home gym, I’d suggest buying these three pieces of kit, as they all favour a total body workout.
“For cardio, get a rower. Rowing is a great total body exercise. It’s good for developing the muscles down the back of the body, particularly the legs and the glutes, where many people lack strength. Another advantage of rowers is that they can be used for endurance as well as HIIT work. Many models are lightweight and foldable, so won’t take up a lot of room.
“For body weight exercises you can’t go wrong with a TRX suspension system. This is a multipurpose training device that can be attached to the stairway or doorframe, and wrapped up small for easy storage. This kit allows you to do body weight suspension exercises, and would help to build core stability and strength.
“Finally, for total body strength exercises I’d recommend power-blocks, which are a set of dumbbells on a rack that allows weight to be added and reduced at the turn of a button. This is great for those with limited space, because instead of having a range of dumbbells weighing 1kg-30kg, the turn of the button allows you to adjust the weight from one end of the scale to the other in a split second. You then have the freedom to complete traditional gym exercises at home.”
Before you buy anything make sure you measure the space and the potential purchases to ensure you have enough room. To get it right mark the position of each piece of equipment on the floor with chalk or tape and once you are happy the arrangement works, go shopping.
With your gym set up you will have no excuses left for not getting off the sofa, putting on your trainers and jumping onto the rowing machine. What are you waiting for?
Garageflex offers custom designed and installed garage ranges including storage, flooring, worktops and accessories that can help create a bespoke usable space for any home.