Consider a lot of things before building your home gym. Some of them are the type of equipment, different flooring options, and the space required for the gym.
After a couple of years in my fitness career, I built my first home gym. I remember having the same question about how much space I needed, and I found the most comprehensive answer.
Below, we will mention different sizes of home gyms and estimate, based on equipment and other factors, how much space you will need.
- You need at least 100 to 250 square feet to make a functional home gym.
- Always aim to use adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells to optimize your home gym space.
- You may consider buying your fitness home gym equipment in phases to visualize better how your gym might look like and cut expenses.
How Much Space Is Required for Your Equipment?
How much space is required for your equipment will depend on your type of equipment.
For example, a power cage needs at least 70 ft2, while a squat stand requires 16 – 20 ft2.
You can estimate how much space you need for your home gym based on what equipment you plan to put in.
Below, you can find one of the most common home gym pieces of equipment and the square footage required for each of them:
- Squat stand: 15 - 20 ft2
- Storage racks for free weights: 15 - 55 ft2
- Bench: 5 - 10 ft2
- Power cage: 70 ft2
- Treadmill: 35 ft2
- Spin bike: 6 - 11 ft2
- Lifting platform: 32 ft2 - 64 ft2
- Multi-station gym: 40 - 200 ft2
- Plyo box: 5 ft2
- Single-station machines: 35 - 40 ft2
- You will need room for squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing comfortably.
- You will need space on the sides of a squat rack to load it easily.
Most of the barbells are around 7' long. In addition, the sleeves extend for two feet past the squat rack's edges.
Understanding Your Floor Plans
It doesn't matter if you have a large or a small room where you plan to build your home gym because you can make the space work for you.
The size of your room will dictate how you are supposed to arrange the room and which exercises you can perform.
Let's go over some floor plans so you can better understand the equipment you can put in.
"If you’ve got the space and a bit of a starter budget, you’re in luck. Building a home gym isn’t as hard or as intimidating as it might sound. When you’re working out at home, you don’t have to deal with the potential drawbacks of commercial gym fitness life."
- Alex Polish, Certified Personal Trainer
500 Square Foot Home Gym
There are many gym equipment options when you have a 500 square foot ready for your home gym.
This is because there will be enough space for cardio and strength equipment while having room to work out with your family and friends.
You can fit a large squat or power rack, kettlebell and dumbbell racks, flat bench, plyo box, isolation machines, plates, and more.
In addition, you could also fit a couple of high-quality cardio machines while still maintaining plenty of space to do exercises on the floor and walk around.
400 Square Foot Home Gym
Here we have enough space to fit in a power cage or a squat rack, storage racks for dumbbells and kettlebells, plates, a plyo box, and a couple of barbells.
You can also put multiple cardio machines and isolation machines.
Some include a leg press, cable station, and a lat pulldown machine.
In addition, you will still have enough space to train with other people because there will be enough space for everyone.
300 Square Foot Home Gym
You will have enough space to put a power cage, kettlebell and dumbbell storage racks, one bench, a plyo box, and one of the bodybuilding machines.
However, if you plan your gym adequately, you can fit cardio equipment such as rowers and treadmills.
250 Square Foot Home Gym
Now we must start making some sacrifices since 250 square feet isn't enough for everything.
You will need to be more selective and only choose the machines and gym equipment most essential to you.
In addition, you can still fit a power cage in a 250-square-foot gym, but that will limit the addition of other machines, such as cardio equipment and isolation machines.
You can fit a multi-station machine depending on how large it is.
However, there is less chance of fitting a squat stand, single station machines, or a power cage.
200 Square Foot Home Gym
For a 200-square-foot home gym, we can fit a power cage. However, consider a squat stand for more floor space for other exercises.
In addition, you may get a wall-mounted foldable squat rack because they take less space when fully extended.
This will give you more room for HIIT and CrossFit workouts.
If you take a wall-mounted foldable squat rack, you can fit other cardio equipment, such as a treadmill or even a few isolation machines.
150 Square Foot Home Gym
Home gyms that are supposed to fit in less than 200 square feet can only have the essential equipment.
You won't be able to fit many isolation machines, so you will need to stick to the free weights for your resistance training.
However, there will still be enough floor space to fit a rower or a squat rack, but the room will feel cramped.
You may also consider a squat stand because a power cage takes up much more space. In addition, adjustable kettlebells and dumbbells are essential for a 200 square foot home gym or less.
120 Square Foot Home Gym
In a 120-square-foot home gym, you will have space for:
- Flat bench
- Squat stand
- Cardio machine
A treadmill could possibly fit. Consider some things like a small elliptical or a spin bike. If you are a CrossFitter, the Echo bike will not be able to fit in this much space.
However, if you are a fan of endurance-based workouts, you can still fit in a treadmill and leave out a squat rack.
100 Square Foot Home Gym
One hundred square feet is the least space I would choose to build a home gym in.
It is still possible to add some essential equipment, but isolation machines and a power cage wouldn't be able to fit in.
This is where you need to be more creative with your dumbbell, kettlebell, and barbell workouts.
You can possibly fit in a squat stand and a pull-up bar. However, if you are a big fan of cardio equipment, get a spin bike since it is the only cardio machine able to fit in this much space.
Related: 10 Best Compact Home Gym Machines
What Is an Average Home Gym Size?
The average home gym size is from 150 to 250 square feet. This square footage provides enough space for both cardio and muscle equipment.
However, below 250 square feet, you will need to make certain adjustments since not all isolation and cardio machines can fit in.
The best solution for home gyms under 250 square feet is adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells since they can be used for numerous exercises while saving space.
8 Tips for Organizing Your Small Home Gym
Here are the 8 organization tips and ideas for your small home gym so that you can enjoy your workouts more.
1. Arranging Your Equipment (Where and How)
Even though most people decide to build a home gym in the garage or basement, putting your equipment in the living room, bedroom, or dining room is always an option.
This is if you don't mind storing your fitness equipment in these living places.
If you are a CrossFitter, you may want to arrange your equipment to have enough space around the barbell for cleans and jerks.
Also, for everyone else, putting all your essential equipment as close to each other as possible is the best practice.
This allows you to keep your most important equipment in a central area of your home gym.
2. Measure Carefully
It's not a big deal if you make a mistake when measuring your gym, but only if you have a large space to work with.
This is because you will have more flexibility in placing your equipment.
However, when you have a small gym, you must double-check your measurements so as not to end up with equipment too big for your current space.
You can avoid this by reading your equipment dimensions when ordering.
3. Consider What You’ll Be Storing in Your Gym Space
You may have other stuff and belongings in your home gym room unless it is meant exclusively for that.
This is why you will need to rearrange some of your furniture or change the utilization of the space. Imagine you are building a home gym in the garage.
Did you think about the room left for your car to be parked?
Also, always move your most essential items from the gym room since dropping free weights, and a barbell can damage them.
4. Buy Your Equipment in Phases
This is the most overlooked part of building your home gym, and it is one of the best options for cutting your costs down.
In addition, you will be able to visualize how your gym may look while slowly adding extra equipment.
You may decide to buy dumbbells and plates in different stages. Remember that most equipment has another piece that can mimic the same exercise.
For example, dumbbells or kettlebells can also perform a barbell row, but the latter will take up less space.
5. Space-Saving Solutions
If you have a small gym area, you will need to find alternative ways to maximize every inch of your space to train more effectively.
Consider buying a squat stand instead of a power cage since they have similar features, but the first takes up less space.
A squat collapse rack is a better solution because you can fold it up against the wall when you finish exercising.
Adjustable kettlebells and dumbbells are always a go-to option and my personal favorites because of their space optimization features.
"The most important thing to consider when you go about picking your gear is getting the best options for your space and interests. Why pick out a random piece of equipment you'd never use? Don't be hoodwinked by special sales or flashy trends—opt for gear you've used before that you can see yourself turning to again and again."
- Ebenezer Samuel, Certified Personal Trainer.
6. Protect Your Floors
Always make sure your floors can support the weight of a particular activity. Think about heavy squats, deadlifts, and rows.
The best option is to purchase a lifting platform because it absorbs the shock from dropped free weights and helps reduce extra noise.
This is one of the most crucial things if you live with others.
If you cannot get a platform for whatever reason, you should purchase a pair of crash pads that can also reduce noise and absorb shock. In addition, they are easier to move around.
7. Double-Check the Construction of Your Walls
The wall-mounted power rack and pull-up bars need your walls to handle their weight.
You may experience many unnecessary problems if you don't double-check it.
You can contact a general contractor or a carpenter to inspect your walls.
Squat rack manufacturers always recommend using stringers when bolting racks to your walls.
8. Room for Heaters and Fans
Basements, attics, or garages that aren't well-insulated will eventually require heaters and fans to warm up the space in the winter and circulate air in the summer.
Haters and fans don't take much space, but you will need to ensure you have enough room to fit them, so you can keep the desired temperature while exercising.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Home Gym Workouts
If you have ever been exercising at home, you know how difficult it is to make progress due to a lack of equipment, space, and similar factors.
That’s why you must implement the principle of progressive overload, which is increasing the total training volume, intensity, and things such as sets, reps, and external resistance each following workout .
However, if you exercise too much or frequently, you may enter the state of so-called overtraining syndrome .
When you overtrain, you fail to progress strength and hypertrophy-wise, and you feel weaker and more tired than ever.
To avoid overtraining, you must implement enough rest between each workout session and get enough sleep .
Lastly, eating enough carbs and proteins after the workout can make all the difference in strength and recovery-wise.
I suggest sticking with 1 g of protein per pound of body weight daily to get the most out of your workout .
How Much Space Do You Need for a Home Crossfit Gym?
You need at least 10 ft x 10 ft of space for a home CrossFit gym. This will ensure enough room for the pull-up bar and other essential exercise equipment.
How Much Space Do You Need to Do Bodyweight Exercises?
You need at least 4 feet wide space to do bodyweight exercises. Exercises that can be performed in such space include squats, push-ups, lunges, bodyweight single deadlifts, and bodyweight rows.
How Do I Maximize My Home Gym Space?
To maximize your home gym space, buy adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells. Also, you may consider buying equipment such as a squat collapse rack or a squat stand instead of a power rack to optimize your home gym space further.
How Do You Fit a Home Gym in a Small Space?
To fit a home gym in a small space, arrange your equipment as close to each other as possible, and consider buying gear in phases. Also, place some of the equipment in the room next door to further free up the space.
How to Choose the Best Equipment for Your Home Gym?
To choose the best equipment for your gym, you must evaluate the essential equipment you will need for most of your workouts.
In addition, you will need to choose equipment that will save up most of the space, as we did in our guide on the best compact home gym machines.
After reading the guide, you will be able to decide what is the perfect machine for your home gym.
Let us know which equipment you are going to choose for your floor plan and why.
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