Let’s face it, we all think that it would be pretty cool to own our own gym. But where do you start? Where do you purchase the equipment? How much will it cost? These are all questions that have caused us to not decide to build our own sanctuaries but don’t worry, we have done the research for you and will tell you everything you need to know to build your own garage gym. The first few things you need to consider are:
- What size garage do you have to work with?
- What equipment is absolutely necessary?
- How much do you have to spend?
Believe it or not, building your own gym will not force you to take out a loan. With some careful financial and architectural planning, you can build an affordable home gym.
The best part is that you don’t even need to own a home to build your garage gym. You can find a local garage or small space that someone is leasing and turn your gym into a business and start charging for memberships. The reason why this article is about a garage gym and not a commercial gym is because it cost too much money for most of us to open up a commercial gym and most franchise gyms require us to have a ridiculous net worth from the start.
So even if your dream goal is to open your own big commercial gym, you need to start somewhere and a garage gym is the perfect place to start and when you eventually outgrow your space, you will have generated enough capital to open up a bigger gym.
Disclaimer: all outbound links are affiliate links in which if you do decide to make a purchase, I will make a commission off of the sale at no additional cost to you. I’m just trying to get pay off my tuition. Thanks!
You don’t need to be a carpenter to do flooring, especially gym flooring. The good part about a garage gym is that the flooring is concrete therefore all you need to is buy rubber floor mats.
Why do you need gym flooring? Well, first off you don’t want to damage your floor and you also don’t want to damage your equipment e.g. dumbells and plates.
The first thing you need to do is measure the square footage of your space. How do you do this? Well, if you don’t remember from high school or if you didn’t go to high school, you can just measure the length and width of the room and multiply. If you can’t do math either, fear not; check out this square footage calculator.
So let’s say you have a two car garage. The average two car garage is 24 feet by 24 feet therefore you will need approximately 576 square feet of flooring.
Home Depot offers has the best bang for your buck. They have rubber tile flooring and each tile is 16.5 inches by 16.5 inches therefore cover 272.25 square inches. Now you just need to convert the square footage of your garage into square inches so 576*12 inches=6,912 square inches. Now we divide the total square inches of your floor by the amount of square inches in 1 tile to determine how many tiles we need to purchase; 6,912/272.25=25.38 tiles or at least 26 tiles.
Home depot offers 6 tiles in a case for only $39.97 so you will have to buy 5 cases (26 tiles/6 tiles per case) that will only cost you $199.85. You will also have 4 extra tiles which is good just in case you need to replace any in the future.
There are a few things that are an absolute must in your garage gym and there are other things which we will leave up to you to decide if they are necessary (no…a smith machine is not necessary). So here is our list of absolutely necessary equipment for the sickest garage gym:
- Power Rack
- Flat Bench
- Bench Press
- Adjustable Bench
- Seated Bench
- Cable Crossover Machine
- Plates, dumbbells, barbells and collars
Power Rack Recommendation
Amazon sells this power rack for only $369.99 shipping included. The reviews all rave about this product and we like the versatility in it. You can use it for squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups, and yes…even curls. This is an excellent option if you are looking to save space and don’t have the room for too much equipment.
Flat Bench Recommendation
Amazon sells this awesome Adidas flat bench rated 4.5/5.0 for only $92.67. Reviews rave about its durability and stability and ease of assembly. You can use this for bench pressing by putting it inside the power rack if you don’t have the space or money to buy an actual bench press.
Bench Press Recommendation
Here is a solid bench press that is also affordable at only $215. You will want to get this in addition to your power rack (even if you plan on benching in the squat rack) if you plan on having multiple people working out at the same time. This way if somebody wants to squat, somebody else can do bench work.
Adjustable Bench Press Recommendation
The Bowflex Adjustable Bench 5.1 is our top choice for its price, reviews, and features. It comes with a removable leg hold-down brace which works wonders for skullcrushers. At only $208 bucks, you’ll be making all kinds of gains with this bench. You can also put this baby in the power rack for incline bench press!
Seated Bench Recommendation
The PowerBlock Utility Bench is simple and affordable at only $120 shipped. We like the fact that it doesn’t have those leg rests that stick out from the bottom and the back pad isn’t so high up that you can’t do dumbbell tricep extensions.
Cable Crossover Recommendation
The Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover is the best cable crossover that you can buy that doesn’t cost $3000. In fact, this baby only cost $500 including shipping. The only con is that it doesn’t come with a stack of weights and you will have to use plates and collars for any exercise. If a stack of plates are an absolute must for you, then we recommend you buy the Body Solid Pro Clubline Cable Crossover for a little over $2000.
You might also want to pick up a cable attachments package which includes a rope attachment, v-bar, and single grip handles for only $63 shipped!
The best price we could find for plates averaged $1/pound so you can pick them up individually from walmart.com and the price includes free shipping which can sometimes get costly considering the fact that shipping companies usually charge by weight. Don’t forget to get this $40 plate rack either!
- 45 lb plate gray or black
- 35 lb plate gray or black
- 25 lb plate gray or black
- 10 lb plate gray or black
- 5 lb plate gray or black
- 2.5 lb plate gray or black
If you prefer bumper plates because you drop heavy shit from overhead then we have also done your homework and found the best price for you.
- 50 lb bumper plate set
- 45 lb bumper plate set
- 35 lb bumper plate set
- 25 lb bumper plate set
- 10 lb bumper plate set
If you want any size plates smaller than 10 lbs, we suggest you actually start lifting first before you build your gym…or just use the olympic plates because they won’t come in contact with the ground anyway.
Amazon has a nice 7 foot olympic bar with a 1000 lb weight capacity for around $127 shipped. Unless you are among the 10% of lifters who squat and are among the .1% of lifters who squat over 1000 lbs, then this is your best bet. Don’t forget about collars either so all that weight you put on the bar doesn’t slide off!
You have two options when it comes to buying dumbbells. You can either get a pair of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells that go up to 90 lbs which will cost about $550 shipping included. Or you can buy individual dumbbells at each incremental weight:
- flooring $199.85
- power rack $369.99
- flat bench $92.67
- bench press $215.00
- adjustable bench $208.00
- seated bench $120.00
- cable crossover $500.00
- (8) 45 lb plates $372.96
- (6) 35 lb plates $207.18
- (6) 25 lb plates $148.02
- (6) 10 lb plates $59.22
- (4) 5 lb plates $19.72
- (4) 2.5 lb plates $9.88
- pair of dumbbells in 5 lb increments from 10 lbs to 100 lbs $1841.76
- (2) barbells $254.00
- (4) collars $9.82
- dumbbell rack $137.98
- plate rack $40.00
total cost is only $4,806.05!
As you can see, you don’t have to have a crazy amount of money to build the ultimate garage gym. Heck, you can even charge people like $25 a month and if you have 25 people using it then your making $625 bucks a month. Over the course of a year, you will have made $7,500 dollars which is way more than the initial investment. Of course, you will probably have other overhead expenses but you can still build your garage gym with very little money in the bank!