Types of home gyms

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When you are designing a home gym, there are different things to consider.  This includes the size of the area, equipment used, as well as funds to purchase the equipment needed. Here we will cover these as well as other factors.


Space & Location

The amount of space that you have to put a home gym is very important for the following reasons.

  • It will determine the type of equipment you are able to use.
  • Is a factor on the type of training you can do.
  • Should be comfortable and safely laid out.
  • A good source of lighting is needed.


Equipment Needed

The equipment that you will need to complete your workouts is a key factor when designing your home gym for some of the following reasons.

    • It will determine the type of gym you are able to use
    • The main factor is the total space available.
    • Equipment may be too large for the area, but other exercises can be used as substitutes.


The environment of a gym plays a important role when starting a gym and should be looked at for the following reasons.

  • Make sure you have a source for music which is a motivational tool.
  • Visual factors assist in motivation so a TV is important to have.
  • Both video and music will assist you with your workouts as a source of motivation, and make them more enjoyable.


The flooring that is used or available is important for the following reasons.

  • Proper flooring will decrease the damage seen to both the floor and equipment.
  • A hard concrete based floor is advised.
  • Padding is important in order to help absorb any shock from weights being dropped.


The budget or funds that you have is a key factor when starting a home gym for many different reasons. Some of these include:

  • Will determine the type of equipment used
  • Can determine the type of gym one is able to build
  • Can determine the quality of equipment used

Although the above factors  are true concerning the equipment used, quality, durability, as well as guarantee of any equipment should be considered. Purchasing lower quality used equipment may be an option if you don’t have the funds available, then you may be able to get the better equipment later on.


Garage gym

Out of the three types of gyms mentioned, a garage gym is the most basic of the three. If you are starting a garage gym, you will need only the very basic equipment. One factor when starting a garage gym is that there are certain pieces of equipment that you will not be able to use. This includes things such as a squat cage due to its size, as well as a set of dumbbells. This is why it is best to go for the option of using a squat rack, as well as a compact set of dumbbells for home use.

Apartment gym

Concerning an apartment gym, you probably have a few more choices when compared to a garage gym. If you need equipment for an apartment gym, you will probably be able to use an extra piece of aerobic equipment such as an elliptical machine or treadmill. The main factor that I would be concerned about when starting an apartment gym is the use of free weights. Due to the weights probably being dropped, I recommend having a unit on the first floor.

Basement gym

If you are going to start a basement gym, this gives you the most choices of the three. Unlike a garage or apartment gym, a basement gym gives you much more space. This allows for additional pieces of equipment such as a lifting platform, squat cage, as well as a set of dumbbells if needed. If you are starting a gym and have the space, I recommend a basement gym due to the flexibility that you have.

Overall, of the three types of home gyms mentioned, each will give you the results that you are looking for concerning your goals. Also, regardless of the type of gym you are designing, it comes at a very affordable cost. There are numerous layouts that can be used depending on the area you have. I recommend setting the equipment up so that if you wanted to do any circuit training this could be done.  Below is a video of a program that is available which will assist you when designing your home gym. This information provided will help you start the best home gym for your personal fitness goals.

Click here to learn more about this program


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20 thoughts on “Types of home gyms

  1. Personally speaking a apartment setup would be the best .the only factor would the dropping of free weights so yes some form of padding would be definitely necessary. Iam not so sure about a garage .If you have to do a workout outside Why not just set it up your back yard .Ideally the basement gym would be the best since more space and you drop the weights without disturbing any one .Excellent article keep up the good work

    1. Thanks, I’m trying to put as much helpful information out as possible. I agree with you too on the having a gym in the yard, that would be nice. You’d just need a place to store everything, or at least the expensive things. Also, the basement would be the best place especially if its a livable area, but either way you’d have more space. Thanks for the reply.

  2. I am glad you mentioned the basement gym. We are planning to build a small gym in the house, but we are not sure if it is going to be in the basement (just part of our basement) or the garage. Now, we know where we`re going to have it.
    But, I am only thinking basic ones, not sure about the squat cage though.
    Thanks for your article.
    All the best!

  3. I have an apartment with an extra bedroom and have been looking for ways to turn it into an exercise room. Personally, I prefer strength training over cardio. I saw that you mentioned free weights, but do you have any other suggestions for strength training equipment?

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Colleen,

      That’s A good idea as far as using the bedroom is concerned if that is your only option. If you have a limited amount of space, then you could use a multi purpose gym that comes with different exercises to do. This would fit your basic needs concerning strength training. I have some posts concerning a few of these pieces of equipment. They shouldn’t be too hard to find. Also, if you wanted to use some adjustable dumbbells, they take up only a very small space. I hope this has helped. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. This is a very comprehensive plan for designing a gym, it’s very helpful. What type of equipment would be suitable for 55 – 85 year old ladies? I personally like the inversion table, is that considered gym equipment or does that fall under therapy machines…? Thank you for this post.

    1. Hi Kimberleigh,

      I believe that the inversion table probably falls more under a therapy category. It is good to use as far as enlongation of the spine is concerned. For someone in the age range you mentioned, it is safe to use dumbbells if you use the correct form. This works muscles that a machine which isolates the muscle would not. You can also use a multi purpose gym which has multiple exercises to do. This comes in the form of using a stack of weights, or with some you can use free weights. I hope I have answered your questions. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  5. After reading this article, I feel inspired to create my gym at home. I know the feeling, a mix of excitement but nervousness with the hope that everything goes smoothly. The truth is, a gym at home can become very expensive if you don’t know exactly what to look for. This article filled me with the knowledge and courage to take on this daunting project!
    Thank you for your good work.

    1. Hi Tina,

      I’m glad that I was able to help you in your progress of creating a home gym. There is a lot involved in the process, so I hope you are able to get what you need and have a great home gym that fits your goals that you have. Let me know if I can help any.

  6. Thank you for the post. Actually, my husband is a arm wrestler, we are traveling all over Europe and US for competitions. He won a second place in 200 lb category a few years ago in Malaysia in World Armwrestling Competition. As you discovered we have a lot of different kind of equipments but they are not very good organized. I’ll take your advice about the music also, we want to rent a house with big sunroom so, we can make it as a gym. Is it good Idea? The houses in GA state don’t have basements.

  7. I would say that using a sun room is a very good idea for a gym at home. That’s great and must be an experience being able to travel. I hope you’re able to make a good gym with everything that you need from the information that I was able to come up with. Let me know how things go and if you have any more questions.

  8. At this time all I have for home exercise equipment is a treadmill and some small weights for when I go for walks around the yard and neighborhood. Do you think having a home gym is worth it for a single older person. I do have an extra bedroom for equipment, I just do not want to spend a lot for something I would be the only person using it.

  9. I would suggest that if you want to just maintain your strength and not have to go to the gym, maybe getting a assembled home gym like a bowflex or one with weight stacks may be a good option. There are quite a few that are a reasonable cost. Although you can do more with those, if you wanted just to get a bench and an adjustable set of dumbbells, you could get a good workout with just that too.

  10. You gave some great information on creating your own home gym. I kind of thought you would be basically limited to whatever space you had to work with. However, you clearly showed there are different things that should be considered.

  11. Excellent article! I agree that the environment, music/video make a huge impact on motivation! A garage gym is how I started. I don’t have to be outside in the winter and it protects the equipment. My equipment grew and now I have some inside too. It’s okay, though I have to be careful with my weights, as you pointed out. I love the idea of using that app to design your gym. I wish I’d come across this article sooner! I’ll check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  12. wow man I am loving all the info with this. Makes me want to start building my own home gym in my garage for those days I can’t make it to the gym!! I’d love to throw up a free standing pull up bar and a squat rack to get those gains.

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful information. I would like to start my own home gym at some point as well since it’s not that expensive. All you need is the space. There are so many different pieces of equipment out there though that it’s hard to know which one is right. Glad this helped.

  13. I enjoyed reading your article. My husband and I are working on putting together a home gym and have been trying to decide on the best placement. We finally settled on using the garage so we can dedicate the space and not have to worry about constantly moving equipment out of the way. I found your tips really useful. Thank you!

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