The idea of having a home gym sounds quite tempting but the only reason why a lot of people still hesitate to create their own workout space at home is the non-availability of enough space. Further, many of them also worry that lifting weights at home can damage their flooring and even the foundation. Some believe the final cost of setting up a home gym will be much more than they had expected.
Well, we agree with your concerns. Setting up a home gym is not as easy as it sounds. You will have to do a lot of hard work to protect your floor, insulate the workout space, and choose the equipment that you genuinely need. You will have to visit your local hardware store multiple times. And, you will have to spend your weekends working the flooring and buying stuff.
Having a personal home gym provides you the comfort and flexibility of exercising at your own pace. It also helps you exercise in privacy instead of getting wrongly influenced by toxic gym cultures.
At Home Gym Strength, we encourage people to try building a personal workout space for themselves no matter what their fitness goals are. You don’t really need a huge space and you don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment. With some brainstorming, you will be able to create an enviable home gym with whatever space and budget you have.
See the below image where someone has created a really space-efficient workout corner in his home.
Image Source: Pinterest
To help you make a good start, we have already created detailed step-by-step guides on how to build a home gym and basement and how you can create a safe and functional home gym on the second floor of your home.
In this article, we will brief you on how you can build a shed gym on a budget. We will provide you with all necessary information like how to prepare the floor, how to ensure that you stay cool inside during summer, which equipment to buy, etc.
So, let's get started!
How much space do you need to build a shed gym?
It depends on the type of workouts you want to do and the equipment you want to use. If you have a standard size 8’ X 8’ gym shed, you can use it for creating a yoga studio and a cardio station by adding an elliptical, a treadmill, a rowing machine, and a fitness deck. You may set up a kickboxing area. But, that's the max you can accommodate in it.
If you want to create a weight-training station with a full-size power cage and lots of weights, you will need a larger home gym shed.
Our article on ‘How Much Space Do You Need for a Home Gym’ will help you understand the amount of space your shed gym should have so you can buy the equipment of your choice.
Please note: While deciding upon the space, make sure you keep in mind that you may have to leave around 60% free space for movement and stretching. Only 40% space should be used for keeping the equipment. Having ample free space will reduce the chances of accidents.
How to prepare the floor of your backyard gym shed?
Image Source: Waltons
Most garden sheds have floors made of wooden planks. The standard dimensions for those planks are 2” X 4” and usually, they are rated to hold up to 1000lbs of weight.
The wooden floors are great for yoga but they won’t last if you want to use them for heavy weight training. If you are lifting less than 200lbs, you may just install a weightlifting platform on the wooden floor. But, if you want to lift heavy, you should hire a professional to get rid of it, lay down a concrete slab, and then install a weightlifting platform on it.
You might wonder if a weightlifting platform is needed at all on a concrete floor because concrete is the strongest possible flooring material.
Our answer is yes, absolutely. Concrete is slippery. Plus, it provides no cushioning to your joints. No matter how strong it is, concrete too can crack under weight. It can even damage your equipment. That's why you must invest in a proper weightlifting platform.
Although they have a very strong rubbery smell, horse stall mats are totally safe for home use. You just need to clean them thoroughly before use. Here is our detailed guide on ‘how to clean horse stall mats to get rid of their smell’.
Not planning to lift heavy? Here are some home gym flooring options that you can consider.
How to weather-proof your shed gym?
This is probably going to be the toughest part of building a workout shed. You need to insulate it so you can workout comfortably during harsh weather conditions. You also need to secure it against rain and humidity so your equipment doesn’t get damaged.
If you don’t have a shed yet, you can buy a readymade insulated, weather-proof one. This will probably be the easiest option.
If you already have a well-maintained shed, you can hire a professional to insulate and ventilate it for you. People on a low budget may do it themselves by using bubble wraps, rockwool, PIR insulation board, fiberglass, plasterboard, or hardboard.
If you want to do it yourself, you may watch the below video and check out numerous other Youtube tutorials. Plus, you can buy DIY insulation kits to make your work much easier.
Other than insulation, you will also have to ensure proper ventilation.
Exercising in an unventilated shed gym can deprive you of oxygen, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, and even unconsciousness. Plus, if you are taking health supplements such as creatine, you may suffer from creatine headaches.
The easiest way to ensure ventilation is to have some windows in your gym shed. But, the windows may interfere with the insulation. Plus, you can’t use windows during harsh weather. That’s why you may want to install an exhaust fan or a portable air conditioner like the one Black and Decker 14000 BTU portable AC. If you live in an area where humidity isn’t an issue, you may want to use desert coolers such as Hessaire Portable Evaporative Cooler or a floor fan such as the Commercial Electric 16 Inch Turbo Floor Fan.
Worried about working out in your shed gym during freezing cold temperature? Don’t worry; it is totally safe to exercise even outdoors. Read our article on ‘What Temperature is Too Cold to Workout in Your Garage or Outside Gym’ to know more.
How to get power supply to your shed gym?
Most sheds do not have any power supply or have just a single outlet for a bulb. You will have to hire an electrician so he can run an underground cable from your house. If you want to save electrical costs, you may power your gym using solar electricity.
Do not overload the single outlet by using a multiplug adaptor or else you could end up damaging your equipment due to power fluctuation. It is better to seek professional help here.
Need help with the lighting? Here is an article on ‘How To Have the Best Home Gym Lighting’.
What equipment to buy for a home gym shed?
You can buy any equipment of your choice provided they leave ample free space to do your workouts.
Usually, garden sheds have a low ceiling height. So, you should look for squat racks that are 70-85” tall such as the Rogue SML Monster lite series squat racks. If you don’t have space to accommodate a full rack or half rack, you can go with squat stands instead such as the Titan T-3 Series Independent Squat Stand and Rogue S-4 Squat Stand 2.0.
Just make sure you don’t buy the wall-mounted squat racks such as the ETHOS Folding Wall Rack because the frame of the shed is not strong enough to bear such heavy weight.
If you have a really small shed gym, you should go for all-in-one home gyms such as Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym and Total Gym XLS. These products have a very compact footprint and yet, they are designed in a way that you can use them to exercise all major muscle groups of your body.
BTW, did you know you can create a full-fledged home gym using only resistance bands such as the Rogue resistance bands.
We hope we have provided all the necessary details that you need to set up a home gym in a shed. If we missed something, please leave a comment so we can update the article. If it helps you build your own workout space, do share the picture with us so, together, we can motivate others.
Best of luck!