5 Considerations for Planning a Home Gym
Many of the homes we build today include a dedicate space for a home gym. This allows you to keep your bedrooms available for guests and eliminates the need for monthly memberships to get your workout in. As with any area of your new home, there are a few considerations when planning your gym that will help you create the perfect space for your needs.
When considering where to put your home gym, think about what time of day you prefer to work out, and what activities you normally do before and after. For example, if you like to exercise in the evening while your favorite TV show is on, and afterward shower and get ready for bed, then placing the gym in or near the Owner's Suite makes sense. Or, if you like to start first thing in the morning and afterward enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast, then locating it off the kitchen might be better for your needs. Another consideration for placement is what other members of your family will need access to the gym. If you have several people who will use it, then a more public location near off the mudroom or the kitchen works well.
Now that you know what general location will work best for your gym, it's important to size it correctly. Make an inventory of the equipment you have, or plan to have, and note the dimensions of each item. This is a good time to note the electrical requirements of any machines you have to be sure the proper wiring is in place for you. Be sure to leave room for additional equipment you might add in the future, as well as a space to stretch and do any floor exercises. This will help you determine the minimum space you need, and as you consider additional options below, add them to this amount to decide on the final size.
A hard surface flooring is the best choice for any home gym. Tile provides an easy to clean floor, but dropping weights on tile can cause it to crack. Vinyl plank flooring provides a more forgiving surface that can dent but won't crack or split and is also very easy to clean. Vinyl plank also resists water damage, so any spills in the gym won't hurt the floor. Rubber flooring is a wonderful choice for home gyms, as it is easy to clean, but provides some support for your joints and won't be harmed by items that are dropped.
Consider any plumbing items you might want in your gym. Do you want a full bath with a shower? Or perhaps you've always dreamed of a sauna in your home. Many people prefer a small beverage bar with a sink and under-counter refrigeration. This allows you to store juice, water bottles, or supplement shakes right where you work out. Elkay's water bottle fillers are a built-in source for filtered water on demand, or you can use a full-size refrigerator with an icemaker for storage.
Gyms are relatively simple rooms, but there are still accessories you might want to create the perfect space for your needs. Installing mirror panels on the walls not only helps you keep proper form, but it also makes the room feel bigger. Adding additional blocking in the walls or ceiling for equipment or bars adds safety and a secure foundation. High-velocity fans are a welcome addition to an intense workout, and LED recessed can lighting spread around the room keeps everything well lit. You might also consider a built-in locker area or even a closet where you can organize smaller items like mats, bands, and workout gear. Having a space for a wall-mounted TV and speakers for music is another great option to keep you entertained while exercising.
Whether a small space or a huge room, having a dedicated home gym allows you to include items you wouldn't necessarily do if just converting over a bedroom. Our health is one of our greatest blessings, and a well-planned home gym is an excellent motivator to keep up healthy habits! With a few careful considerations, you can create the perfect space for your needs.