How to Plan a Home Workout Room

Some of the workout rooms in hotel chains are very small yet they include a treadmill, a television, a
stationary bike or two and possibly a rowing machine. Keeping this concept in mind, creating a home workout room should be easy. The challenge will come in making it your own space, inviting and warm, not a corner in your basement or garage where you’ll set up the equipment and never use it again.

Every year workout rooms get larger and larger. Homes are being designed with rooms designated for work outs. “Many upscale homes are designating a room as a workout area and include it in the building plans”, said John Lingnofski, Exercise Physiologist. He recommends adding equipment piece by piece.


The benefits of a home workout room are simple, no crowds to fight, convenient access, environmental simplicity, health benefits of using your own equipment and the ability to choose your own equipment according to your individual tastes and needs.


No one thinks twice about spending $1 or 2,000 for a flat screen TV, but $2,000 on a treadmill or home gym is another story. The average home workout room buyer in 1994 was a 25 to 40-year-old with a family, according to Joe Spychala, Fitness Proprietor.

Today your age and fitness level are of little concern. The appeal is that you can set your own pace, your own hours and meet your budget level. Saving gas, time and money are more of a concern in today’s fast-paced world and slow-paced economy.

According to Consumer Reports a treadmill runs $300 to 700 on the low-end; $800 to 1800 mid-range and a $2,000 to 3,500 on the high-end.

“Don’t start with a whole room,” Lingnofski says. “Create an atmosphere you will enjoy working out in. Take time to explore your current fitness goals and activities.”


Popular equipment choices are treadmills for aerobic exercise and multi-station gyms for anaerobic exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine defines aerobic exercise as “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” Anaerobic exercise is “brief, strength-based activity, such as sprinting or bodybuilding” according to Science Daily.

“Your workout room’s contents will depend on your interests and limitations,” says Lingnofski, “but many choices are available from rowers to skiers to bikes to stair climbers and more.”

The key is that you MUST derive some benefit from your equipment choice and you MUST enjoy it for 20 to 30 minutes. If you enjoy the activity, then you will be more likely to work out.

Cardio-equipment could include a stationary bike, compact elliptical, or foldaway treadmill. Many have hydraulic lifts where you just press a button and it easily folds up giving you extra home gym space.

Today’s workout rooms are even including climbing walls, closets to hide away equipment while doing your aerobic floor workouts and multi-media centers with cozy seating arrangements.

Inexpensive equipment includes resistance toning bands, exercise balls, exercise mats. a jump rope and a rebounder.


Whatever your choice, pick hefty, not light equipment, if you want it to last. The exception would be in very small workout spaces as described below.

These days you might want to add a Wii (pronounce wee) for an electronic workout. The Wii is from Nintendo and
would include console software and hardware. It has two units you hold in your hands and is an interactive game
where you actually move to play sports or do exercises.

Also, include several workout DVDs and a music element. Workouts will go more smoothly if you add variety to your routine. You can strap on the running shoes and head out the door for a jog, then return to the weight room to complete your sequences or jog in place, use the stationary bike or treadmill on cold, wintry days.

For the do-it-yourselfer, another option is to build your own equipment, such as floor mats, push-up bars, and chin-up bars.


Ceiling height will be important to know if you are adding a multi-gym or jungle gym unit. There needs to be adequate clearance around 82 to 84″ high. Most homes have 8′ ceilings and so the height would not be a problem. Where one might find difficulties is in renovating the basement.

In small rooms you’ll be able to fit one jungle gym unit. It is best to stick to lighter equipment in this case, such as push up bars, sit up mats, and dumbbells. Large weight racks containing barbells would take up too much room and should be avoided in small spaces.

Basement gyms are usually large but low on ceiling clearance. Avoid placing equipment near stairs. To purify the air, consider larger air purifying units, and artificial air for ventilation, such as air conditioners or dehumidifiers with air temperature settings. Fresh air can then easily rotate through the room.

In larger, higher end rooms place equipment in areas by segments. Put a treadmill in one corner, a jungle gym in another, a punching bag in a third. Leave the center of the room open with mats for calisthenics and aerobics and include a free wall for full length mirrors. A more elaborate room might include a sauna, hot tub, lap or full-size pool and separate shower facility.

Set your priorities. Your body is worth the extra money. Working out at home in this economy makes sense and you’ll feel good about yourself, lose weight and increase your self-esteem. Making exercise number one should be a goal for everyone.

Simple or elaborate, a workout room can be made to fit your style, income and tastes. It is a great alternative to the crowded and expensive gym membership.

Science Daily

Consumer Reports

American College of Sports Medicine

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