How to Design a Home Gym

More than ever, people are looking into creating a workout space right in their own home. This option is convenient, safe and long term cost effective especially if there are multiple people in the household utilizing the equipment. A home gym could even increase your motivation by taking out deterrence's, such as weather and time constraints. We summarized the most important factors when designing the ultimate home gym.



Perhaps the most important consideration is the size of the space.

The required square footage is very dependent on the type of workouts you plan on doing.

For example, if the plan is for a piece of cardio equipment and a multi-gym, make sure you have additional space for stretching or floor exercises like push-ups and jumping rope. A space that is too small can make for a cluttered and unsafe environment that may result in injury. It can also dissuade you and others from remaining committed to a workout program.

If you have a large space to work with, great! If not, don't worry. There are plenty of products on the market today that are multi-purpose, which helps save space and some pieces of equipment may store upright or fold up.

Ceiling Height

Many people underestimate the need for ceiling clearance when deciding on equipment or type of workouts. 

If your plan is to do exercises such as chin-ups and overhead bar-presses, ensure that you have enough clearance on top of your machines to do these exercises. If the plan is for pull-ups, then ensure you have approximately a foot of clearance above the pull-up bar for your head. Choose your pull-up apparatus based on this general rule.

For tall users, you may also want to consider exercises like overhead press movements. Take some measurements by extending your arms straight overhead and add 8-10 inches for the top diameter of the plate on the bar. This will help you to decide an appropriate space for your gym.

 At the very least, ensure open floor joists, so your head can move up and down between joists. Even cardio equipment like treadmills and elliptical trainers can pose a problem for very tall users.

As a very general guideline, add one foot to your tallest user’s height for the clearance required.

Power Outlets

Bedrooms will usually have an outlet on each main wall, which should be sufficient for your gym room. If you are designing the room from scratch in the basement, it doesn’t hurt to add a couple of extra outlets so that you don’t have to worry about where you place your cardio equipment that requires power.

It is recommended to have your treadmill, elliptical or cycle plugged directly into the wall outlet and not run through extension cords or power bars. In particular a treadmill needs an exclusive outlet to ensure enough power output for top performance of the motor.


Mirrors are more of a nice to have, rather than a need to have, although some would argue that you need mirrors to properly perform certain exercises. Adding mirrors to your gym will add that extra touch and really make you feel like you're in a gym

They allow exercisers to watch their form and technique. Make sure the mirrors are large enough so that you can see from your head to your feet. If you don’t plan to have mirrors span a whole wall or two, ensure that any strength pieces (squat rack, dumbbell bench) are in front of the mirrors.


Regardless of whether you are converting an extra bedroom or utilizing a portion of the rec-room, a rubber based floor is preferred.

Many home gyms have a full room rubber floor. The rubber floor will protect the underlying floor from weights being dropped, but will also save your weights and accessories from the undue wear and tear of a cement floor.

At the very least, major pieces of equipment should be under its own mat to protect the underlying floor. There are mats specifically cut for under treadmills and bikes. It is also recommended to have a bench and weight set on top of a mat.

If your plan is to be doing Olympic style lifting, this will likely entail dropping loaded bars onto your floor. In this case, it is highly recommended to have extra absorption flooring. Extra layering of rubber flooring can help with this. There are also special drop mats available for this type of lifting.

We have plenty of options for flooring including 4 x 6 rubber mats, 2 x 2 interlocking tiles and more.


Most people buy a dumbbell rack for dumbbells and a plate tree for weight plate, but what about gloves, belts and cable attachments? These items can clutter a clean and well designed gym room. If you're tight on space, some racks come with plate and bar storage, which may be a consideration when choosing a rack.

Proper storage will help keep your space neat and tidy. We have plenty of options for storing all types of equipment, or if you're the handy type you could look into installing hooks and shelves on the walls.


Obviously your budget is going to be one of the biggest factors in what kind of equipment you're able to put in your home gym. Keep in mind quality over quantity. If you want this to be a long term investment, there is something to be said about choosing high quality, durable equipment. Working with an equipment consultant will help with navigating what type of equipment will be best in your budget.

Equipment Selection

This is probably the hardest section to summarize. Start by thinking about what your goals will be and what type of equipment you will need to reach these goals. This gets a little more complicated if there are multiple people using the gym. For example, if you want to build strength and lift heavy you will need a squat rack with safeties and enough plate to move up in weight. If you're looking to improve stamina, you will need a cardio machine. These are just a few examples. In an ideal situation, I would recommend having at least one piece for cardio and one piece for strength so you can create a well rounded workout routine. 

Work With An Equipment Consultant

Our equipment consultants want to help. We enjoy seeing someone's dream home gym come to life. Even if you already know the exact type of equipment you want, a consultant may bring factors to your attention that you may not have thought of, such as warranty, upgrading in the future, features on equipment that you may not know about and more. 

 Check out this video to see how Caroline Drury's home gym changed her life!