The best room for a home gym usually depends on what is available, be it a bonus room, extra bedroom, or a garage with extra space. The home workout room is almost always an afterthought in an existing house, so that space has to be created and there may be compromises you have to make. Of course, if you are building a home and have the resources to include a gym in your plans, more power to you! But for most of us, we will have to adapt one of the lesser-used spaces in our home for our own workout nirvana. Therefore, here are some conditions that certainly make one room preferable to another, and it’s up to you to decide how these are prioritized for the space you are considering for a transformation:
- Size of the room
You need sufficient space for safe freedom of movement, especially if there will be more than one person working out in the room.
- Sturdiness of the room
Weights are, of course, very heavy and the equipment to hold weights, as well as treadmills and other equipment, can be very very heavy. Consider the structural load and you may realize the bonus room does not work for your needs. Maybe you could move the TV room into the bonus room, however, and use that space for your workouts.
- Noise abatement
Consider both other members of the family and your neighbors if you are in close quarters. Would you want to hear the pounding of a treadmill or the slamming of weights if your neighbor built her home gym over your bedroom?
- Floor material
You’ll want as durable a floor as possible, and one that you can easily clean. Wood floors will get torn up by equipment and get slippery when wet. Carpeting retains odor and this may not work in the long run (although some commercial grade carpeting works well). Consider using a concrete surface with exercise pads covering, which can be easily cleaned and replaced. These types of coverings also greatly reduce noise.
- Air circulation
It’s a fact. We all sweat. So make sure you have plenty of good air circulation. Large, floor standing fans are perfect for this use, in addition to ceiling fans and wall-mounted fans. You can’t have enough air circulation is the general rule.
This is a personal preference. If you are doing yoga or stretching, or even watching a video while you run, you may want a darker room. If you are doing complicated exercises, you would certainly want more light. What is not in doubt is that you’ll want to use ceiling lighting for this purpose, since it gives good coverage and obviously does not get in the way. Consider flush-mount or even LED lighting that has minimal depth.
Again, privacy is a personal issue, but you probably don’t want your home gym to have open windows looking out into your neighbor’s house. While you don’t have to workout in a cave, and natural lighting is great for workouts, consider paper or opaque shades if you have lots of windows. You don’t want to put on a show!