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    Building a Home Gym

    Hi all,

    My wife and I are building our first home, and we decided to outfit the downstairs of the garage as a dedicated home gym (with the actual garage/storage area upstairs). It's our first time doing anything like this, and would appreciate any thoughts or feedback.

    Here's a 3D drawing of how it would look (minus the large garage folding door, which we're not doing). The size is very good - about 680 square feet/63 square metres.
    About 6.3 metres (21 feet) wide and 10 metres (33 feet) long



    Below is a pic of our current progress compared to the house. At the moment, the garage is almost built up to the roof level. The current plan is for the ground floor to be uniformly 9 feet high, and upstairs to be 7 feet high, at its highest point. In terms of building materials, the lighter thermal blocks in the bottom row are designed to prevent damp/cold draft from transferring into the building, and there is thermal board built into the concrete floor for insulation, so I don't think another layer is needed except for the actual rubber gym flooring.




    We've already purchased a few bits of equipment that are currently sitting in storage:
    * Hit Fitness Power Rack F200 (about 7 feet high), with barbell, bench and bumper plates
    * Hit Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells (they can be adjusted from 5kg per hand, to 40kg per hand)
    * Hit Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike G8





    Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what equipment to prioritise next (we also have some random kettlebells/handgrippers/bands and I have an old Apple TV I was going to setup on one of the walls to play cardio classes on Youtube etc. (Was thinking of a treadmill or an eliptical machine, but new good-quality models seem extremely expensive so was also looking just getting a heavy punching bag).

    Also from a layout/construction perspective, has anyone got tips from experience in building similar projects from scratch? Or are there things about your home setup that you would change if you could? (e.g. is 9 feet ceiling high enough?)

    REALLY appreciate any advice/tips, many thanks
    Ollie
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    Registered User thedickus's Avatar
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    What type of training are you wanting to do? What kind of equipment would you normally use in a gym. I was always into bodybuilding, so the type of equipment I've outfitted my home gym with over the years allow me to still do that at home. I have a leverage machine that emulates a lot of the things I would do with Hammer Strength type of equipment, a smith machine, cable machine, leg press, dumbbells, etc. Depending on your location and budget there a lot of options that would fit your space. Here in the states I was able to get what I feel is a decent treadmill (good reviews) delivered inside my house for under $1K from Amazon. Costco has a really good functional trainer I got delivered for around $1300. Most of us have been buying equipment on the used market for years for a song. Prices are coming down, but for a while buying new was as expensive as buying used, so I've gone to buying new stuff.
    "It is my own fault for replying in a smith thread." deadwoodgregg

    Ordained Minister of Perpetual Consumption and all around righteous dude.

    My home gym pictures: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175136471&p=1632857623&viewfull=1#post1632857623

    My workout journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=120169181
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    Registered User grumpytude's Avatar
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    As was stated from Dickus, equipment is a personel choice. Everyone has different goals and or/limits of what they can or cannt do ( age/injuries etc.). Money?
    Bodybuilding. powerlifting. crossfit etc? Basic stuff is usually Barbells, weights, dumbells, some type of rack. functional trainer, cardio (bike, treadmill).
    So much to choose from equipment and brands wise for all bodyparts.
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    Regarding the equipment, looks like you have the basics covered. For additions, I'd add a bench that has a leg extension/leg curl/preacher curl (if you can't add one to yours), and a cable attachment with upper and lower pulleys (often simplified as Lat pull down attachments), but that's really for accessories; you already have the main lifts covered with your current equipment. I've never used a rower, but they are highly touted and considered one of if not the best cardio machines to have.

    Regarding your build, I'd personally go with at least a 10' ceiling. Your power rack is probably 88" tall, so a 9' (108") ceiling isn't terrible, but pushing it to 10' will give you some extra clearance and you won't have to worry about smoking your dome doing pull ups. This will also make the space feel a lot bigger in general, which you'll want.
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    Originally Posted by thedickus View Post
    What type of training are you wanting to do? What kind of equipment would you normally use in a gym. I was always into bodybuilding, so the type of equipment I've outfitted my home gym with over the years allow me to still do that at home. I have a leverage machine that emulates a lot of the things I would do with Hammer Strength type of equipment, a smith machine, cable machine, leg press, dumbbells, etc. Depending on your location and budget there a lot of options that would fit your space. Here in the states I was able to get what I feel is a decent treadmill (good reviews) delivered inside my house for under $1K from Amazon. Costco has a really good functional trainer I got delivered for around $1300. Most of us have been buying equipment on the used market for years for a song. Prices are coming down, but for a while buying new was as expensive as buying used, so I've gone to buying new stuff.

    @thedickus When I was in my early-mid 20s, I was always doing sports-specific workouts for football - so lunges, squats, step-ups, pushups, dips, and chin-ups, stuff like that. Then I got into long-distance running in my late 20s/early 30s and did a bunch of marathons. Now I'm nearly 36, 2 young kids, and have spent the last few years studying/working with very little exercise. Weight has ballooned up to about 280 lbs; I've tried to start up again but haven't really made it past a couple of months into a plan.

    I figure my sporting days are over, so my goals will be all based around health and improving my physique - starting with losing about 60 lbs.

    @grumpytude Without getting too deep into the money side, at the moment dropping €200 on a heavy bag https://www.mcsport.ie/collections/p...32660047495247 wouldn't be a problem, but €2000 on a treadmill would be painful https://www.mcsport.ie/search?type=product&q=treadmill These McSport guys would be the best guys in terms of Irish sports equipment suppliers. Am lucky in that I haven't any injuries or health problems, besides being out of shape. I have done powerlifting-style exercises in the past like Clean & Snatch, but I haven't ever delved into Crossfit.

    @JustinP72 It's just slightly lower - about 84 inches; I could push it up to 9.5 feet; kind of limited in that the "garage" is already only 5 feet lower than the house itself, which my wife is not overly pleased about I'll look into the cable machines as well for sure.

    I'm also curious, does anyone have any tips in terms of stuff like ventilating the workout area properly - like, a dehumidifiers or exhaust fans helpful in a situation where only 1-2 people are using the gym? Are there cheaper alternatives to regular gym flooring? (It would cost €1300 to cover the floor with new gym rubber flooring tiles from that McSport website) Are there anything in terms of construction that I should be thinking about also?

    Thanks for all the replies!
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    Originally Posted by therealocgamer View Post
    @thedickus When I was in my early-mid 20s, I was always doing sports-specific workouts for football - so lunges, squats, step-ups, pushups, dips, and chin-ups, stuff like that. Then I got into long-distance running in my late 20s/early 30s and did a bunch of marathons. Now I'm nearly 36, 2 young kids, and have spent the last few years studying/working with very little exercise. Weight has ballooned up to about 280 lbs; I've tried to start up again but haven't really made it past a couple of months into a plan.

    I figure my sporting days are over, so my goals will be all based around health and improving my physique - starting with losing about 60 lbs.

    @grumpytude Without getting too deep into the money side, at the moment dropping €200 on a heavy bag https://www.mcsport.ie/collections/p...32660047495247 wouldn't be a problem, but €2000 on a treadmill would be painful https://www.mcsport.ie/search?type=product&q=treadmill These McSport guys would be the best guys in terms of Irish sports equipment suppliers. Am lucky in that I haven't any injuries or health problems, besides being out of shape. I have done powerlifting-style exercises in the past like Clean & Snatch, but I haven't ever delved into Crossfit.

    @JustinP72 It's just slightly lower - about 84 inches; I could push it up to 9.5 feet; kind of limited in that the "garage" is already only 5 feet lower than the house itself, which my wife is not overly pleased about I'll look into the cable machines as well for sure.

    I'm also curious, does anyone have any tips in terms of stuff like ventilating the workout area properly - like, a dehumidifiers or exhaust fans helpful in a situation where only 1-2 people are using the gym? Are there cheaper alternatives to regular gym flooring? (It would cost €1300 to cover the floor with new gym rubber flooring tiles from that McSport website) Are there anything in terms of construction that I should be thinking about also?

    Thanks for all the replies!
    I am about your age and my main focus is being able to exercise for the longer term and not acquiring any injuries. I have some spine issues so I have to be careful. I work out only at home.

    My main exercise is indoor rowing on a concept 2. Its a nice low impact activity that can build up some muscle while burning immense calories. It can be as hard as you want it to be, and can give you a decent overall physique without doing much supplemental stuff. The trick is mostly rowing at lower ratings <20 SPM and still going for faster paces <2:10/500 for decent distances/time. Also setting drag factor lever at 4 to 5 to reduce strain. If you are taller, or just exceptionally motivated, you might have a shot at some of the online competition rankings as well.

    Besides the rower, I have ironmaster dumbbells, ironmaster bench, some bands and kettlebells, and a cybex commercial stationary recumbent bike.
    Last edited by ampire; 07-25-2022 at 10:40 AM.
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    Registered User JustinP72's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by therealocgamer View Post
    I'm also curious, does anyone have any tips in terms of stuff like ventilating the workout area properly - like, a dehumidifiers or exhaust fans helpful in a situation where only 1-2 people are using the gym? Are there cheaper alternatives to regular gym flooring? (It would cost €1300 to cover the floor with new gym rubber flooring tiles from that McSport website) Are there anything in terms of construction that I should be thinking about also?
    You'll definitely want a couple ceiling fans, which you'll want to hang with the 6"-8" arm they come with; if you flush mount them, they won't move air well.

    Wall racks for bars. Shelving for towels, phones, etc. Wall mounts for plate storage if you prefer. In ceiling speakers.

    As far as dehumidifiers/exhaust, really depends on your climate. If you can have the door open, I don't see it being a need. If it gets cold, you might consider some ceiling or wall mounted heaters.
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    Making some progress; the walls are finished. Not quite 10 feet, but once some kind of gym flooring goes in, the ceiling height on the ground floor will shake out at about 9 feet, 3 inches. Roof going on this week!




    Originally Posted by JustinP72 View Post
    You'll definitely want a couple ceiling fans, which you'll want to hang with the 6"-8" arm they come with; if you flush mount them, they won't move air well.

    Wall racks for bars. Shelving for towels, phones, etc. Wall mounts for plate storage if you prefer. In ceiling speakers.

    As far as dehumidifiers/exhaust, really depends on your climate. If you can have the door open, I don't see it being a need. If it gets cold, you might consider some ceiling or wall mounted heaters.
    @JustinP72 The reason why I was talking about dehumidifiers/exhaust was that I'm using the upstairs to store used electronics that I repair and sell on eBay. I was thinking that with the sweat/steam from working out on the ground floor, there might be a chance of condensed water vapor rising through the ceiling and causing rot/mold growth in the attic where that stuff is being stored. Not sure how realistic that is though, with only a couple of people using the gym - has anyone on here experienced this? Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by therealocgamer View Post
    @JustinP72 The reason why I was talking about dehumidifiers/exhaust was that I'm using the upstairs to store used electronics that I repair and sell on eBay. I was thinking that with the sweat/steam from working out on the ground floor, there might be a chance of condensed water vapor rising through the ceiling and causing rot/mold growth in the attic where that stuff is being stored. Not sure how realistic that is though, with only a couple of people using the gym - has anyone on here experienced this? Thanks!
    DampRid makes some "moisture absorbers" - I've used both the tubs and hang-able packs in a utility shed and they work really well. I highly doubt it will be an issue, but I'd give these a shot and see what (if anything) they catch, then go from there. I'd ask your builder what the cost of adding some type of system during construction vs. post-construction if needed, but I'd imagine the cost for a basic exhaust system wouldn't significantly change.
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    Originally Posted by therealocgamer View Post
    @JustinP72 The reason why I was talking about dehumidifiers/exhaust was that I'm using the upstairs to store used electronics that I repair and sell on eBay. I was thinking that with the sweat/steam from working out on the ground floor, there might be a chance of condensed water vapor rising through the ceiling and causing rot/mold growth in the attic where that stuff is being stored. Not sure how realistic that is though, with only a couple of people using the gym - has anyone on here experienced this? Thanks!
    What is going to be generating steam? No matter how much you sweat during your workout, I can't imagine there will be an issue. That said, proper attic ventilation is important regardless of what's going on in the rest of the house, so make sure they get that right.
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    Interesting building technique. Is the roof slate? Is the roof structure stick built or trusses? What country is that if I can ask?
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    I’m assuming your getting a cable machine OP? I’m for a lat pull machine and lots of accessories .
    I used a product called StoreWall to mount my bars, wouldn’t recommend for barbells though .
    I like variety ,so I collected a few



    Not sure if your aware of MAGs , there the ones to the right . Great lat bars imo

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    Smile

    Nice to have a blank canvas to start with, you can't beat a decent set off cables in my opinion for a home gym they are second to a decent set of free weight. There is a lot you can do with them. Something like the Body-Solid GDCC200 or any decent functional trainers. Can get quite a lot of stuff from Amazon these day or sites like powerhouse-fitness.co.uk or homefitnesscorp.com have some decent stuff depending on where you live.
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    Sorry for the radio silence; last few weeks have been crazy busy....

    Hoping to have the structure of the gym finished this week - right now we have the joists about 2/3 finished, so we know that the finished ceiling is going to be just under 9 and a half feet once a layer of vapor barrier is installed in the ceiling.





    Also the final floor dimensions are going to be approx. 31 feet long x 18 feet wide, so just under 560 square feet
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    Interesting building technique. Is the roof slate? Is the roof structure stick built or trusses? What country is that if I can ask?
    @Greybird2 We're based in Ireland and yes it's going to be a slate roof.

    The roof isn't using pre-engineered trusses so everything is cut by the carpenters on-site before they go up.
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    Originally Posted by MajorTendonitis View Post
    I’m assuming your getting a cable machine OP? I’m for a lat pull machine and lots of accessories .
    I used a product called StoreWall to mount my bars, wouldn’t recommend for barbells though .
    I like variety ,so I collected a few



    Not sure if your aware of MAGs , there the ones to the right . Great lat bars imo

    @MajorTendonitis Definitely want to incorporate cable work into this setup, but not exactly sure what the most cost-efficient/space-efficient way to go about it is?

    If money were no issue, I'd probably get the latest-and-greatest multi-gym and use the cable attachments on that. I think that the power rack I have is compatible with some cable attachment add-ons, but these would be using regular plates as opposed to those cable machine weights that move up-and-down in a fixed position. Would appreciate any ideas in this area for sure
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    Originally Posted by BobTinkler View Post
    Nice to have a blank canvas to start with, you can't beat a decent set off cables in my opinion for a home gym they are second to a decent set of free weight. There is a lot you can do with them. Something like the Body-Solid GDCC200 or any decent functional trainers. Can get quite a lot of stuff from Amazon these day or sites like powerhouse-fitness.co.uk or homefitnesscorp.com have some decent stuff depending on where you live.
    @BobTinkler that would be pretty sweet; I think I might to find a cheaper alternative to the GDCC200 though Do they come up for sale second hand very often?
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