Creating the Perfect Home Gym, Part I: Space

Posted on 14 Aug, 2012

From  Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings to Oscar Pistorius, the Olympics have got me inspired! Don’t get me wrong. I have no illusions of obtaining the physique of an Olympic athlete, but there’s no doubt more exercise would help me tackle and better enjoy everyday activities. Carving out time to visit a gym, however, is a problem. That’s why I’m thinking of the perfect home gym!

Home gyms save time, increase convenience and in today’s health-conscious society, can even increase the value of your home. But how do you transform a treadmill that serves as a clothes hanger into a gym? Here’s how!

Today’s blog is the first in a four part series on creating the perfect home gym. And by “perfect,” I mean one that meets your needs, budget and preferences. There are four essential elements to consider: space, equipment, flooring and inspiring décor. First up, is space!

Space. Needless to say, you can’t have a home gym if you don’t have the space. But converting a guest bedroom, game room or seldom used room into a home gym is usually a more effective and beneficial use of the space than previously designed. You will need plenty of room for equipment as well as open space to perform exercises such as pushups and crunches.

If exercise machines will be included in the room, the space needs to accommodate the footprint of the machines along with extra space around them so they can be accessed easily and used safely. The height of the room should also be considered. Make sure you have enough clearance to use the machine without bumping your head on the ceiling or a light fixture.

Measure all equipment and use newspaper, cut and taped together, to replicate the equipment’s footprint prior to purchase or placement. Use the newspaper footprints to create a layout plan for the equipment in the room. Rearrange or omit equipment to allow for ample exercise space.

The following are helpful space guidelines recommended by the American Council on Exercise:

Treadmill—30 sq. ft.
Stationary bike—10 sq. ft.
Free weights—20-50 sq. ft.
Single-station gym—35 sq. ft.
Rowing machine—20 sq. ft.
Stair climber—10-20 sq. ft.
Multi-station gym—50-200 sq. ft.

Check back soon for Creating the Perfect Home Gym, Part II: Flooring!

Image sources: 1) Ryan Pierse/Getty Images, 2) HGTV, 3) Specialty Fitness.

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