Garage Gym Ideas for Half a Garage

Published by Jason Narog on


“Hey, guy who builds garage gyms…I need to build a garage gym but also need to store x,y,z in there as well…any ideas on how to have both a garage and a garage gym at the same time?”

Of course I do! The first garage gym I built was also a pool house, meaning all the plumbing, sand filter, salt cell, and gazillions of pool chemicals had to be stored in the garage at the same time as having a fully functional gym that could house multiple clients at one time. It also had a pull down staircase complete with loft area to store all the seasonal stuff (Christmas & Halloween lawn decorations, pool floats, camping stuff, etc, etc.)

The second gym I completed needed to double as a workshop / hold gardening equipment. This required lumber and a lot of storage purchases from The Home Depot to get the vertical space I needed to store everything without tripping over everything without working out.

Questions to ask yourself before building your garage gym

In terms of working out, what exercises / modalities of fitness do you lean more towards?

If you’re a kettlebell person, its a lot easier to just store some kettlebells along a wall and throw down some horse stall mats in your area than if you’re training MMA in your garage and have a variety of bags and sparring dummies scattered throughout the room. Start by determining the list of things you really want to have in your garage gym, then move on to the next question.

In terms of other garage activities, what must stay in the garage?

Are you a motorcycle person? Car person? Tool person? Do you have a brewery or hydroponics lab in your garage? How’s the weather? Rainy? Cold? Hot? If its rainy or hot you probably don’t want to take your prized Corvette out of the garage to work out, so think about what items in your garage are in a “fixed position” vs what things you can roll out of there if you need some extra room. Likewise, think about how much effort you want to put into getting your garage set up each time you want to work out. Pulling the car out so you can get your wall mounted squat rack out might turn into a pain in the neck if there’s rain or snow outside and you’ll end up not working out.

How much money do I have to spend on garage gym equipment?

This might move you from a Rogue gym owner to a Titan gym owner (I own ALOT of Titan stuff.) Or you might just need to go jump on Facebook Marketplace to look for deals from the guy whose moving / never used his garage gym. Your budget is also going to determine what sort of storage you can buy.

Don’t be afraid of buying storage that meets your needs now but can be given away later (if its cheap enough.) Amazon storage racks work in a pinch, they’re cheap, and people will take them off your hands when you upgrade. Just be mindful of the weight limits.

How much space do I have for a garage gym?

Take out your trusty measuring tape. You’ll want to measure both sides of your garage, the side that’ll store your gym, and the side that’ll store everything else. Take inventory of everything you’ll want, while also noting needed floor space to move around. I drilled into the concrete to mount a squat rack on my first build before considering how I could use the pull up bar in the back / safely spot someone benching, so make sure you account for space around your equipment, front / back / sides.

Take out some painters tape to give visuals on the floor of where your equipment is going to go. Mark a few spots of minimums / maximums where this equipment will sit so you can start mapping out the rest of the space. This is very important when dealing with things like squat racks or heavy bag stands as they take up more space than you first initially think. A Muay Thai banana bag (the really tall ones) swing quite a bit when you kick or teep them, so remember, you need space for that bag to move about. Last thing you want to do is teep your heavy bag into your prized Corvette….

Garage gym ideas & concepts

Add or subtract the gear you want / need based on your budget and space (a 1 car garage and an oversized 1 car garage are two totally different sizes…)

  • Strength Conditioning Studio
    • Treadmill, rowing machine, or bike
    • Kettlebells, sandbags, medicine balls, Bulgarian bags
    • Agility ladder
    • Storage for said items
  • Cardio Theatre
    • Treadmill
    • Rowing Machine
    • Bike
  • Hypertrophy Studio
    • Squat Rack
    • Bench
    • Plate and bar storage
    • Accessory bands
  • Mobility / Flexibility Studio
    • Yoga mats
    • PVC pipes or expensive fitness gear that look like PVC pipes
    • TRX equipment (you’ll probably want a stud finder, a drill, and some heavy duty wall anchors)
    • Chirp wheel
    • Foam roller

What garage gym ideas do you have? Share them in the comments below!

Categories: Garage Gym

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