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Adding a Basement Gym to Your Home

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basement home gym
Turn your unused basement into your very own gymnasium

We all want to stay fit and healthy but sometimes we don’t have enough time to drive to the gym or neighborhood fitness room for our daily workout. But how about setting up a home gym? “I don’t have enough space,” many people would say. But how about turning that old, dark, creepy basement into an attractive gym?

Setting up a gym in your finished or unfinished basement is one of the best things you can do to make use of your unused or underused space and get the benefits of a gym without having to pay for a gym membership. And if you’re thinking that this basement remodeling project is going to burn holes in your pocket, then you’re wrong. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can turn your basement into a gym for an investment anyone can make. You can spend zero to thousands of dollars. You decided. Let’s begin!

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Why Should You Turn Your Basement Into A Gym?

A basement is the most ignored part of our homes. It is mostly used for storing the things which we never use such as spare furniture, equipment and things we haven’t looked at in 10 years. But if you think smartly, you can turn this unpleasant space into a useful workout space which will give you two benefits: 1. You’ll be able to make a better use out of that creepy basement and 2. You’ll have your own personal workout space.

If you’re still not convinced, here are a few good reasons for having a basement gym:

  • You can keep multiple pieces of workout equipment including the large and heavy ones in your basement. Because basements have strong concrete floors, they can handle extremely heavy exercise equipment. Putting heavy equipment on the other floors of you home may not be possible.
  • Basements are slightly cooler making them an ideal workout environment.
  • Once setup, your basement gym is free. Gym memberships cost you money every month or year, whether or not you use them. If you ever bought a gym membership because you were setting your New Year’s resolution, only to find yourself not going anymore after January was over, you understand the problem with paid memberships.
  • Your basement gym is close to home. In fact, it is your home. You don’t have to get dressed, drive to the gym, battle the parking lot and fight for a spot on your favorite machine. In your own basement gym, you are there in seconds, and you can workout any hour of any day you desire.

How To Turn An Unused Basement Into A Home Gym

unfinished basement gym

The amount of remodeling required to transform your basement into a gymnasium will vary depending on your basement’s current condition and how polished you want your workout area to be when you are done. If you’ve got an unfinished basement, you’ll have to make some extra efforts if you want a more finished gym when you are done. However, if you’ve got a finished basement already, you can turn it into a gym in just a day or two. We have gathered a few tips and ideas which you can use to easily build your workout space in the basement.

Basement Renovation

As we already discussed, a finished basement will not require any renovation. You can simply start off with setting up your workout equipment. However, if the basement is unfinished, you have to consider its renovation. Again, renovation totally depends on your budget and requirements. You can make as many or as few changes as you want.

We suggest installing drywall in the room you plan to transform. A good idea is to paint the walls with colors you enjoy to make the space uplifting and encouraging for the days when you don’t feeling like working out.

Keep in mind that your basement may not have much, if any, electrical wiring in place. Before you install drywall, you’ll probably want to wire your basement.

To save money, you can leave the concrete floor as it is for now (more on flooring below). However, if you are ready to fully finish the room or entire basement, a remodeling contractor can help you pick the right flooring for a gym room.

Although you don’t need to install an entire HVAC system just to have a gym, if your budget allows then you can go for it. Otherwise, you can install some good fans and they’ll do the job to keep you cool. If you get cold during the Winter, a small plug-in heater may be all you need to stay warm. Your exercise will likely warm you enough, however.

Add Plenty Of Lights

Basements are often dark, and don’t have enough light fixtures, especially if the basement is unfinished. So, consider installing good lights to brighten up the space. Ceiling lights and recessed lighting are great options to consider if you have a good budget. But if you’re looking for some cost-effective ways then get yourself a few high-brightness LED bulbs and install them on the existing fixtures.

Basement Flooring Options

gym flooring

Most basements have strong concrete floors that are often cold and cause injuries if you exercise on them directly. Hence, a good idea is to add some sort of flooring. It will not only offer you the right amount of comfort while you exercise, but will also reduce the chances of injuries and protect your equipment. Even if your basement floor is finished, you can add a protective layer on top.

Below are some of the best flooring ideas you can consider :

Rubber Mats

Rubber mats are one of the most versatile and popular flooring options for a gym. These mats offer great comfort under your feet and can withstand a fair amount of stress and strain. These mats are generally available in roll-able format, all you need is to lay them flat in any desired space. Some rubber flooring also comes in the form of interlocking tiles which needs to be installed in the room.

Foam Tiles

Foam tiles are getting very popular these days. They offer the required comfort and great shock resistance which makes them an ideal gym flooring option. If you mostly perform low impact workouts such as Pilates, yoga or bodyweight training, then foam tiles are a great option for you. However, we don’t recommend them for heavy equipment and weights.

Vinyl Panels

Vinyl floor panels are a great alternative to the rubber mats which are a bit expensive. While these panels are not as durable as rubber, they offer great resistance and shock absorption. So, you can use them under heavy machines also. The best part is, vinyl panels are very affordable, you can get them between $1 to $4 per square foot.

So, these are the best gym flooring options. But if you’re not planning to install heavy machines and weights, then you don’t necessarily need to consider these flooring options. You can use some good quality yoga mats for performing light workouts. Yoga mats are available in a wide range of materials, thickness and sizes. We suggest you get a slightly thick and large size mat as the basement floors are slightly cooler.

Remnant Carpet

If you need to go “super budget” check a local carpet company for some remnant carpeting. If you just need something to protect the floor and give a soft place to workout, a piece of leftover carpet is the perfect solution.

Choosing Your Home Gym Equipment

home gym basement

The most important part of setting up a basement gym is choosing the right gear and equipment. There is a wide variety of gym equipment and other tools to choose from. As you know, different machines and workouts have different health benefits. So, think about your fitness goals and then select the machines accordingly. Below is the most common equipment for a basement home gym:

  • Bench Press / Weight Bench
  • Kettlebells
  • Dumbbells
  • Ab Crunch Bench
  • Treadmill
  • Spin bike
  • Rowing Machine
  • Stair machine

Apart from these, there are other hefty machines and gym accessories you can consider getting depending upon your budget and what you want to accomplish.

Consider Second Hand Options

You don’t always need to purchase brand new fitness equipment. A good idea is to search for second-hand items. It will save you money and you can invest it on other important things.

Most gym equipment like kettlebells, dumbbells and other workout machines can be purchased from thrift stores, or search online on the numerous local marketplaces that have popped up in recent years. For example, Facebook Marketplace (see below) has a huge amount of exercise equipment being sold by people near you. You can even purchase second-hand furniture and storage items.

Exercise equipment on Facebook Marketplace
Inexpensive exercise equipment on Facebook Marketplace (click to enlarge)

You may also consider adding a TV with connected disc player or computer so you can watch workout videos. Make sure you have a good wi-fi signal in your basement, or you may need to install network cabling or upgrade your wi-fi equipment.

Exercising in front of a TV

Unclutter Your Basement

After selecting the fitness equipment, you will need to make enough space to set it up for your workouts. For this, you have to declutter the room as much as possible.

Here are a few tips on that :

Donate The Unwanted Things: If your basement is full of items that you’ll never use, then the best idea is to donate them instead of throwing them in the trash. Pack all the unwanted items in a box and save it for your local charity. In this way, you’ll be able to declutter your room while also helping the needy.

Get Rid of The Junk: The junk that can’t be donated or repaired, it’s better to get rid of it. If there are heavy things like broken furniture or damaged appliances, call a dumpster rental or junk removal company and get rid of your junk.

Relocate The Items: The items that can be repaired or used in the future can be kept in some other parts of your house. Another thing you can do is divide your basement into two portions and keep a smaller portion for storing your unused items. You can use some curtains or plywood for partitioning your room if necessary.

Storage Options For Your Basement Home Gym

You will need plenty of storage space for storing your gym equipment, accessories and other tools. Below are a few storage ideas you can consider for your basement gym :

Weight Racks: If you’re a strength training enthusiast and have a lot of free weights, a weight rack is the most essential thing to have.

basement home gym storage

Wall Storage: To keep things like gym accessories, yoga mats, magazines, towels and other items, consider installing a wall mount shelf. These are readily available in stores as well as online at cheap rates. You could also have your remodeling contractor install some custom built-in shelves, if you want to go first-class.

Have A Sitting Arrangement

After finishing your workout, you may want something to sit and relax on. Consider adding a couch, a sofa or even a few chairs. Your new workout space could also become an area to relax.

When Will You Get Started?

A basement gym is a wonderful use of the underutilized space you have in your home. Why not put that space to work for your health? You can get started without spending any money, if you just keep it simple. But you can also transform your basement into a luxurious workout area if you want to make it special. The choice is yours. It’s truly an investment in yourself.

Get Your Free Copy of The
Ultimate Basement Finishing Guide

Click to Get Your Free Guide Now

Let Halcyon Remodeling Build Your Basement Gym

If you are in the metro Atlanta area and are ready to install a basement gym in your home but don’t want to do it yourself, call an Atlanta basement remodeling company to get it done.

We can help you prepare a single room or partial refinishing in your basement for your gym, or refinish the entire basement. Add as much or as little as makes sense given your needs and your budget.

Check our reviews on Google then contact us to get a free consultation and free estimate.