Top 75 Best Garage Gym Ideas – Home Fitness Center Designs
Never having to leave the comfort and privacy of your own home to get in your daily workout regimen may seem like something for the privileged classes, but think again.
The garage gym has set the new standard in turning an old (and often unused) space into nothing short of a luxury sports club.
These top 75 best garage gym ideas allow you to exercise in your own personalized environment, from music to décor to the actual equipment, with all the conveniences of your home on hand. You can start by assessing what your fitness needs are, the equipment required, and how to properly implement them without compromising any special restrictions.
Flooring, such as rubber and durable wall-to-wall carpeting, are ideal for the indoor gym, and you’ll want plenty of air circulation in the form of a ceiling fan or two. Once the practicalities are taken care of, you can really take matters into your own hands, and design the gym of your dreams.
Let’s face it, sometimes the hardest part about working out is getting yourself out the door in the first place. The cumbersome gym gear and back-and-forth commute, to say nothing of hefty membership fees and shared spaces with perfect strangers, don’t exactly act as motivators. Imagine the luxurious convenience of being able to wake up in the morning and head to the garage at your leisure, with everything you need right where you left it, and a space all to yourself to get into shape the elite way–no go make it happen!
1. Inspirational Walls for Garage Gym Ideas
Before you start building your gym, think about how you’ll decorate the walls. It’s easier to paint when your garage is empty than when it’s full of equipment. Color plays an important role in moods, so painting the walls can help you stay focused and motivated. It can also transform your space from a garage to a home gym.
You could choose your favorite color, but this might do your workout a disservice. Consider painting your gym red. The color red has the longest wavelength and represents power. It invigorates and can help energize you.
Be careful: Too much red, and it can become overwhelming. Then it’s associated with aggression and high blood pressure. To balance this, try using red in one area where you plan to push yourself and then another color in the rest of the gym.
Another option is to hang decorations that inspire you. By hanging reminders of your passions, you can associate that passion with your workout. This will help you push harder.
2. Lighting Ideas for Your Garage Gym
Right now, your garage probably lacks lighting. This means you’ll be spending your workout in the dark, or at best, in the shadows. This is a problem because our bodies take signals from the amount of light surrounding us, so dimmed light signals to your body that it’s time for bed. Now you’re fighting against biology to stay motivated during your workout.
Now, you’re probably thinking, it’s a garage, I’ll just open the door. This works during the summer when days are longer. But it won’t work when winter comes, and it gets dark earlier, or it’s too cold to keep the garage door open.
You need to install lighting that mimics the sun, so choose bright overhead light. Skip the old school fluorescent lights and instead opt for LED lighting. These lights are flexible, cost-effective, long-lasting, and mimic daylight. Try to install your fixtures throughout your workout space, so you have an even wash of light.
If you have the freedom to do a more in-depth install, consider recessed and track lighting. Recessed lighting will give your home gym a luxury feel and can help turn your garage into a legitimate gym. Track lighting will give you the freedom to custom design your lighting. You can move the lights around and angle them as you organize the gym. This will ensure you’re equipment is always well lit.
3. Garage Gym Heating and Cooling Ideas
Depending on where you live, your gym can become unbearably hot in summer or freezing cold during winter. This will make working out uncomfortable. So to address this, you need to think about how you plan to heat or cool your gym.
Depending on the size of your gym, you could use a portable option such as a fan or space heater. This should be plenty for smaller gyms. You should also consider installing insulation. This will help your garage to maintain the perfect temperature better. Don’t forget to insulate your garage door. This is commonly overlooked and one of the biggest weak points when it comes to regulating your garage temperature.
If you want to take your gym up a notch, you could install a forced-air or infrared heater. Both of these allow you to direct the heat exactly where you want it to go.
4. Flooring Ideas for Garage Gym
The concrete floor of your garage isn’t an ideal surface for your home gym. It’s tough on both your equipment and your body. The best flooring you can have is a layer of rubber. It’s durable and can support the heavy weight of your equipment. The rubber mat solution you choose will depend on the size of your gym and your budget.
Rubber tiles are easy to install yourself and let you create a custom-sized workout area. Another option is rubber rolls. These are good for covering large areas because they’re more affordable per square foot than the tiles. You’ll need to be careful with them though, they can shift and create gaps.
A third option is to lay individual mats under each piece of equipment. This works well if you’re on a budget. Check out rubber horse stall mats as they’re just as effective as rubber gym mats but more affordable.
5. Required Floor Space for Your Garage Gym Ideas
Before you start buying equipment, you need to know how much space you’re working with. Can you devote your entire garage to your gym? Are you limited to using only half of your garage? Either way, start by measuring the square footage. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have enough room remaining in your garage for your other needs.
A garage gym can be as little as 36 square feet if you plan to do workouts that require little to no equipment. This includes yoga, jumping rope, bodyweight, and HIIT workouts.
If you’re a cardio junkie, then plan to use 10 to 30 square feet for each piece of equipment. This is a lot of square footage, so most people either skip the cardio machine or choose one that they absolutely love. Here are some average dimensions to give you an idea of the required space.
- Treadmill: 64 x 28 inches
- Elliptical: 72 x 30 inches
- Stationary Bike: 35-48 x 18-26 inches
- Rowing Machine: about 72 inches long
For those that prefer to lift weights, plan on having 20 to 50 square feet. This will vary depending on if you use dumbbells and a weight bench or a single station home gym apparatus.
- Weight Bench: 50 x 19 inches
- Single Station Gym: 55 x 60 inches
6. Multi-use Garage Gym Equipment Ideas
Now that you know how much space you have to work with, you can start selecting equipment. Look for equipment that can perform more than one function. This will help you maximize your space while also reaching your fitness goals.
There is no one piece of equipment that every gym must include. This is because everyone’s workout style and fitness goals are different. For some, this means having a squat rack and bumper plates; for others, it means having a cable system setup.
Whatever setup you choose, try to choose equipment that lets you do more than one exercise. You also want to consider its size. Squat and power racks come in a variety of footprint sizes and heights. Measure before you buy to ensure your equipment will comfortably fit.
7. Minimalist Garage Gym
Do not overstock your garage gym. While it can be tempting, putting too much into your gym will leave it feeling cluttered and crowded. This creates a level of stress and limits your ability to move about. You need to leave enough room around the equipment to be able to move and actually work out.
You should be able to freely walk between each exercise station. Your movements shouldn’t be limited while using each piece. You also need an open space for working out when not on the equipment.
Think about your typical workout and the equipment you regularly use. Prioritize this list so that you get the most important machines or gear first. Then work your way down the list, stopping when your gym reaches capacity.
8. Racks and Shelving Garage Gym Ideas
One way you can keep your gym neat and organized is to use racks and shelving. This will help you keep smaller equipment pieces together. If you plan to have dumbbells, a rack is a must to avoid having them lying on the floor. Use a rack mounted on the wall to hang your bars and grips on. Keeping everything in one place will also help your workout go by faster as you’ll spend less time searching for the things you need.
If you don’t want to purchase a rack, you can mount hooks on the wall. These will work for a variety of items, from grips to resistance bands.
9. Vertical Use Ideas for Garage Gyms
Don’t let yourself become so focused on the floorplan that you forget to look up. You can maximize your use of the space by using the area above you. This eliminates the need for more floor space to use as storage. It also allows you to install more exercise equipment that you may previously have thought you couldn’t use.
Consider mounting a pull-up bar, rings, or a rope to the ceiling. Just be sure that you mount them into supporting beams. Otherwise, you’ll risk having the whole thing come crashing down mid-workout.
You can also use the vertical space for your equipment storage. Instead of having long dumbbell racks along the ground, you can go vertical with them. There are racks that will store four rows of dumbbells of increasing weight. The lightest ones go on the top and they get progressively heavier the closer to the ground that they get.
10. Garage Gym Technology Ideas
The beauty of having your own gym is that you have the only say in what’s on the TV or the music choice. While you don’t have to have technology in your gym, it can make it more enjoyable. Music is incredibly motivating and can help get you into the right headspace to push yourself beyond that plateau you’ve been struggling with.
For your gym, decide if you want to have a TV, music, or both. If you want a TV, you’ll need to figure out the wiring and what you plan to play on it. This could be as easy as plugging it in and air casting or it could be a bit more complicated with a cable box.
When it comes to having music, a simple Bluetooth speaker may do the job. This works well for a smaller space. If you want something a bit more advanced, consider placing speakers around the gym for a surround sound effect. Just keep in mind that your neighbors may not appreciate your musical preferences if you plan to work out with the garage door open.
11. Progress Tracking Ideas for Your Garage Gym
Instead of trying to remember specific reps and weight, why not create a workout plan that remains posted on your wall? This will help you stay focused on your goal and track your progress. You can plan your workouts for the coming weeks, or you could track milestones that you achieve.
The simplest way of doing this is to hang a calendar on the wall. Then make notes on each day. Another option is to hang a dry erase board to write notes on.
If you want to get creative, you can use chalkboard paint to paint a section of a wall. Then you have an entire chalkboard to track progress and make notes. This gives you the most freedom and space to track anything and everything. Then, with it boldly written on the wall, you’ll see the notes and be reminded. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
Garage Gym FAQs
Do I need to buy expensive equipment to outfit my gym?
No, you can get creative with outfitting your gym and find affordable alternatives to expensive gym equipment. Just make sure that whatever you use is safe.
What’s the smallest amount of space I need?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on what you’re looking to do. At the bare minimum, you need just enough space for a treadmill, stationary bike, function trainer, or fixed-press machine.
How do I maintain my garage gym?
You’ll want to regularly wipe down and disinfect all of your equipment. This will keep it clean. Any equipment with moving parts needs to be free of dust, dirt, and debris. You should also regularly lubricate them to keep everything gliding smoothly. Then check the rest of your equipment for signs of wear and needing replacement.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.