A well-equipped home gym beats all other alternatives for beginner to intermediate-level lifters and fitness enthusiasts. Nothing can be more accessible, affordable, and customizable than your own home gym.
We know a home gym setup has its advantages but can we fit a functional gym in a small apartment? The gym equipment needs significant space, strong walls, and flooring, and there is the issue of noise while you work out. So, is there a way to overcome these obstacles?
The answer is, Yes. A little spatial planning, better equipment selection, and some small modifications to the furniture would enable you to fit a gym in a space as small as a studio apartment.
A small apartment home gym needn’t be limited to just one treadmill or some cardio equipment. There are ways to build an apartment gym for powerlifting too.
So, if you want to fit a fully functional home gym in your condo, keep on reading, here we have explained how to do it without sacrificing too much on the living space or installed furniture.
Can You Have Gym Equipment In An Apartment?
There is no legal restriction on setting up a gym in an apartment if that’s what you are worried about. And one basically needs just a little more space than the size of a bathroom to set up a home gym, which most apartments can spare.
But one should be more considerate of the neighbors and the sustainability of the building structure while building up a gym in an apartment. As opposed to individual homes, the noise and vibrations of the gym equipment would affect more significantly the neighbors and building structure in the case of apartments.
So, if you can manage the noise and vibrations, there is no reason you can’t have a gym in an apartment.
How To Set Up A Home Gym In An Apartment
Whether it is a small apartment home gym or a garage gym, you start setting it up by designing the floor plan for gym machines, accessories, and exercise space. If you are able to do it on paper, you can definitely do it in action.
After the rough draft of floor planning, you can select some versatile gym machines and other equipment that would help you fulfill your fitness goals. Buy these items, bring them home, and install them at the designated places.
Seems easy, right? It is easy, but you just have to take care of some finer details like the overall dimension of the equipment, storage space needed, adjustability, foldability, and functionality. Not doing that might end up in you having bought the things that either don’t fit in your condo or it doesn’t suit your requirement.
To avoid such mishaps, please go through the ten guidelines explained below before starting to take any action on your plan to set up and home gym in your apartment.
Select A Space To Workout
The space you select for work out depends on factors like how big is the apartment, which machines you want to fit in, type of floor, power supply availability, and ventilation.
If your condo has one more bedroom than you need or any other room that you can spare for setting up the gym, then that spare room would be the ideal space to work out.
If you have a studio apartment, it would be the living area out of which you would need to spare the space for workouts. You can opt for foldable gym equipment and movable furniture, in this case, to utilize the floor space better.
The selection of the space to workout should be such that you would have enough floor space and ceiling height to fit the necessary equipment and enough room to move your arms, legs, and whole-body freely without hitting any furniture while working out.
Place Heavier Items Near The Walls
Among the many things to consider while making the floor plan for the apartment home gym, the placement of the big equipment is the most important. The heavier gym machines or racks that carry heavier weights put too much stress and transfers vibrations to the floor.
As in an apartment, you will most probably be placing your gym equipment on someone else’s roof, you need to be watchful. In order to keep the floor under the equipment safe, you should plan the equipment placement in such a way that the heavier and bigger equipment ends up near the walls.
The floor near the walls being the strongest will be able to withstand the load of the equipment and impacts while you work out on it. This also provides with you an option to bolt the equipment with the wall for added stability.
Add Transportation Wheels To Furniture
No, we are not asking you to move all the furniture and set up the gym equipment every time you want to work out. It will be too much work, and you might end up discarding the idea of a home gym altogether.
But you should add the transportation wheels to your stationary furniture around the home gym setup to allow yourself to avail yourself of some extra space to freely move without worrying about injuring yourself.
The furniture around the gym machines should have transport wheels for moving it around with ease. You can opt for fixed wheels on the furniture or can use the furniture lifter roller tool.
Look For Foldable Equipment With Transportation Wheels
After you have selected the space for setting up your home gym in the studio apartment, you do have an exact idea about how much space you have. Now you need to plan for the type and number of machines you wish to buy.
Considering your fitness goals, you would be choosing the gym machines. Select the type of machines that are multifunctional to save on space and at the same time allowing you to perform a variety of exercises.
As we have to fit all the needed equipment in a small space, the foldable and easily movable versions of each piece of equipment should be considered. Consider the folded dimensions of the equipment for storage purposes and extended dimensions for keeping the machines in the workout area.
Squat Stand Or Folding Wall Mounted Squat Rack Or All In One Home Gym
These squat racks or all-in-one gyms are typically big size equipment but in order to have a complete gym experience, one of these must be included in your home gym setup.
This is a great option for availing weightlifting station without sacrificing too much floor space. These are also available in split type, if you want an option to store your squat stand in a smaller space after work out, you can go for the split ones. The height of the squat stand is mostly less than two meters making it suitable for apartments having small ceiling heights.
Wall Mount Power Rack:
If your apartment has enough ceiling height to accommodate a wall mount power rack, it would be the best option for a small apartment gym. When folded it is just five to seven inches from the wall. With so little storage space requirement it provides you the safety and versatility of a power cage.
All In One Gym:
This single machine can fulfill all your exercise needs. It will be expensivebut we strongly suggest you fit one in your apartment gym. Almost all exercises you can perform in a commercial gym can be performed on an all-in-one gym machine. It is mostly a big size machine but suitable for apartment gyms as it eliminates the need for any other machine.
Olympic Barbell, Plates & Wall Mount Barbell Storage
No gym setup can be complete without an Olympic barbell and weight plates. Arguably the best way for resistance training is to train with free weights as it works on stabilizing muscles along with the target muscle groups.
For serious weightlifting, one might need more than one barbell and a lot of weight plates of different weights. All these if scattered without order can look messy in a small studio apartment and take up too much space.
If you are going to have an all-in-one gym or power rack, it would most probably have a plate and barbell storage option. Otherwise, to keep these in order, maintain the aesthetics, and save space a wall mount barbell and weight plate storage system can help.
Dumbbells allow you to perform unilateral resistance exercises and hence you cannot skip on them. And the good news is you don’t need to buy too many dumbbells to exercise with different resistance. You can just go for adjustable ones.
There are many popular workout equipment brands that offer dumbbells on which you can adjust the weight from 5 pounds up to 100 pounds. some of them even allow increments as small as 2.5 pounds.
May it be a small apartment gym or a spacious garage gym the bench should be adjustable. The height and angle adjustment of the bench is necessary to utilize a single bench to target different muscles using the variations of the exercise.
If you are not going for the all-in-one gym, an adjustable bench with a dual leg developer will enhance your apartment gym capabilities. This bench won’t only allow you to work on your chest and abs from every angle but also provide a platform to resistance train your hams and quads.
If your fitness goal is to stay lean and healthy and doesn’t involve bodybuilding or powerlifting then an elliptical trainer can be the best choice for a small apartment home gym. You can just get an elliptical trainer and call it your home gym setup, as it can offer full body work out.
With pedal moving in a smooth elliptical motion and handles reciprocating in a jerk-free manner, an elliptical trainer can provide a full-body workout without any significant stress on your joints.
Compared to a treadmill, an elliptical offers you a low-impact workout. It is also a lot quieter than the treadmill so you can work out at any hour of the day in your condo without disturbing the neighbors.
Plywood, Gym Floor Mat & Crash Cushion
Even if you drop a five-pound dumbbell on the floor the people living a floor down from you would feel a big bang. Not only the noise, but you may generate heavy vibrations too in the flooring.
We can’t have this in an apartment. It is not only disturbing but also destructive for the floor.
A plywood sheet, floor mat, or crash cushion can be used to protect the floor and reduce the noise at the same time. Here are a few of the best mats and crash cushions you can find in the market.
- Rogue Individual Mat
- SuperMats High Density Commercial Grade Solid Equipment Mat
- Rogue Fitness Crash Cushion
- Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pads
It’s not too easy to own or rent an independent house in big cities. But just because you live in a small apartment it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good home gym setup.
With some little tweaks in the common practices of choosing and installing the home gym equipment, you can easily set up a fully functional gym in your apartment. You can also utilize the suggested products in this article to save time on searching for gym equipment suitable for a condo.