Gyms around the world are downsizing, closing, re-configuring and changing course because of COVID-19 standards. Some gyms and health clubs are doing very well. Some personal trainers and fitness pros just want to build a garage gym and keep things simple….. and keep more money.
We discuss the global trend here.
We asked our fans of the NESTA Facebook page and MMA Conditioning Association Facebook page for their opinion on what should be considered when building a garage gym. We’ll get to their advice in just a minute.
First, we want to quickly talk about the benefits of having a garage/home gym business.
Here they are in no particular order:
- You save time because you have no commute
- You can enjoy considerable tax benefits
- You save money on gas and wear and tear on your car
- You become far more productive because of time savings
- You can spend more time with your family
- Your clients come to you
- You can work less and keep more money
Here is the advice from our FB fans to help you build your perfect garage gym:
In no particular order….
- Make it a place you love to go, not just a place to workout
- Get exactly what you want the first time, so you don’t regret it and don’t have what you need
- Think safety
- Avoid buying a single-use piece of equipment. Get equipment that can be used for multiple exercises. It’s better use of limited space.
- Make sure there is proper ventilation. Cross ventilation is preferred.
- Keep it simple
- A power cage or squat rack gives you many options in a single space
- Proper flooring is essential. Harder rubber mats are great for most lifting.
- If you are teaching martial arts, make sure you have the correct type of flooring or mats for your style of martial arts. As an example, flooring for tae kwon do is very different than flooring for jiu jitsu.
- Make sure your flooring is complete BEFORE you get all your weights
- Rogue makes great equipment
- Kettlebells give you dozens of exercise options with very little space required
- Functional training can be superior due to more options in the same space
- Low tech = high effect
- Barbells and bumper plates have a big bang for the buck
- Dedicate one wall to various types of connection points (anchors) for straps, bands, tubes and suspension training devices
- If the walls have drywall, make sure you have a stud finder
- Check to see if any building regulations will limit what you can do
- If you live in certain communities, there may be rules that limit what you can do (CC&Rs and HOAs)
- Consider how you can arrange the equipment so you can still park a car inside
- Build it with passion
- Get a pull-up bar
- Rock climbing holds can be placed on walls and the ceiling
- Consider how 2 or more people training at the same time can move safely
- A full length 100-pound punching bag (Muay Thai bag) gives you more overall options than a boxing bag (50 pounds) for roughly the same floor space
- Suspending a heavy bag by 2 small/strong springs can reduce vibration to the rest of the house by 50%
- If you are using TRX or similar suspension training systems, have a hook on the wall to get it out of the way during other exercises
- Get a small dumbbell rack to keep things organized and get the weights off the floor
- A medicine ball gives you 100+ exercises
- A Swiss ball gives you 100+ exercises
- Always think of ways to have multiple uses for each square foot
- You can teach 3 or 4 people yoga in your garage and you only need a clean environment, good music and mats
- Always keep it clean
- Place fans up high and out of the way
- If you live in a really hot area, you can get an inexpensive portable A/C unit or swamp cooler
- You can often buy used equipment for a huge discount
- A single sandbag is useful for multiple functional exercises
- Buy a Bluetooth speaker from Amazon and use Pandora for music from your phone
- Always think of ways to reduce excess noise (aside from moderate levels of music)
- If you do grappling, make sure you have an area clear for potential collision with weights
- If you do grappling, you may consider padding a wall
- Speed bags (for boxing) make too much noise in most cases
- A ballet bar has many uses outside of ballet. It can be made of wood or metal.
- If you decide to do carpeting in your garage gym, consider an indoor-outdoor carpet, which is often used in enclosed patios. Some of them have an impregnated rubber backing, yet it’s firm. Lowes or Home Depot often sell this by the linear foot. It’s very affordable.
- Paint is affordable and it makes everything look better
- You can buy “chalkboard paint” and have a chalkboard wall to show PRs, and celebrate personal victories
- Have a dedicated stretching area
- You will be surprised how many rock climbing training devices are awesome for a garage gym
- Avoid fluorescent lights. They are not healthy and not motivating.
- Always be considerate of your neighbors
- Ceiling fans can get in the way
- Use proper cleaning/sanitizing techniques just as you would at a public gym
Yes, you have so many options. And, it can be a simple, profitable and fun fitness business lifestyle. If you live next to a park, school, lake or beach, you can also do sprints, hikes, walks, runs and SAQ drills outdoors as part of your home fitness business.