Designing a home gym is more than simply trying to think of what equipment you’ll want to get. You have to consider the size of the room, it’s placement in the house, and then work your equipment around these parameters. Knowing the room dimensions of your home gym gives you a more accurate assessment of what you can do with it. Here are a few of the common dimensions of home gyms based on the types of rooms people usually convert into an exercise room, and some ideas for what you can do with them.
Primary Considerations – most people will at least take into account the floor space available when determining the room dimensions for their home gyms. However, you also have to take into account three other factors that help determine the room’s usability: One, consider the ceiling clearance. If you get equipment that’s too tall for your room, you’re in trouble. Two, consider the entry way of the room. Buying a piece of equipment that won’t even fit through the door of your gym room is a quick way to guarantee a headache. Three, look at the general shape of the room. This is generally where it gets tricky, and the entries below deal with some of the more difficult types encountered aside from the “average” room.
Small Rooms – generally small, apartment room sized places, these are square in size and can be walked across in a few quick paces. At best you’ll be able to fit ONE jungle gym unit here, given the room dimensions of this type of home gym, though for the sake of convenience it’s actually a better idea to stick to light, hand carryable equipment like push up bars, sit up mats, and dumbells. Avoid barbells which might require large weight racks, as this will take up too much space and can cause injury if the rack spills, as the small size of the room almost guarantees the heavy plates will fall on someone…
Expansive Rooms – this is not a problem. These are large square or rectangular rooms with lots of space. Allocating equipment based on the room dimensions of this type of home gym is pretty easy. Place your equipment in areas by segments. For example, a treadmill in one corner, a jungle gym in another, a punching bag in a third, etc. I’d recommend leaving the center of the room open with some mats for calisthenics and other exercises, and having one wall free of equipment and housing full length mirrors.
Basement Gyms – these gyms are converted from basements, and the dimensions of this type of home gym are usually “large” types too. However, two considerations must be taken regarding dimensions of basement rooms. One is that their entry points are marked by stairs. Avoid placing equipment near the stairs, as gym gear is often marked by the presence of a lot of heavy metal. People tripping down the stairs will suffer serious injury if they land on a barbell weight rack, for example. The second consideration is ventilation. Basements are underground, so there won’t be any windows. Use artificial air cyclers like an AC or basement dehumidifier with air temperature settings to keep air cycling fresh in the room.
Hallway Type Gyms – some people use portions of their house more akin to long, narrow hallways than actual rooms. The dimensions of this type of gym room are usually just wide enough for two people to walk comfortably abreast, and are long enough for a brief sprint. If this is your type of room, any sort of weights training equipment is off the list. Matting the room and using it for calisthenic exercises is the best idea, and if the length of the room is enough, you can practise brief sprints across it. For martial artists and fencers, this is an ideal specialized type of sparring room where lunging and retreating sparring can be practised exclusively as both fighters will be unable to use flanking and sidestepping techniques.
Odd Shaped Rooms – if your room dimensions for your planned home gym are irregular, with nooks and crannies where closets used to be and such, then plan your gym according to the average floor space of the main area itself. The smaller cubbyholes can be used for storing equipment like barbell racks, lockers for clothing, wate coolers, and the like, but restrict your plans for the main gym equipment to the floor and ceiling space of the main center of the room.
Garage Gyms – lastly, some people use their garage as a home gym. The dimensions of this type may seem roomy at first, but you have to consider that the garage will have other things occupying it, not the least of which will be the family car and any home improvement type work benches and their corresponding power tool racks. Take all of the extra items that will be in the garage into account before picking up any equipment. After all, you really don’t want to be pumping iron less than 5 feet away from your sedan…