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Jeremy Monts
Jeremy Monts's picture
Home Gym - How To?

Hi All!

I've got a 25x50 Garage that I'm looking to implement some long term home gym plans on.  I would like to know if you have a home gym and what you started with ETC.

Right now I'm looking at getting some floor padding and mirrors as my first purchases, then adding a hanging bag, a BOB type standing bag, and some weights.

Long term I plan on enclosing a good 30 ft of it to make a complete home dojo, keeping a small area for one car at the end.

Thanks in advance for all your input!

miket's picture

Jeremy, a good buddy of mine has a really nice setup in a garage smaller than what you describe.  Some things you might not have thought of: 1)  don't scrimp on the floor if you plan to stay here.  He did a full wood floor, then ended up covering it with full mats, so the hardwood was a waste he says. 2)  I don't know you climate:  Heat is an issue for him in the winter (he had to install a gas space heater), but no AC In teh summer (he opens the two vehicle doors and uses fans).

3)  Weapons racks, bins, etc. if you teach that.  Other gear storage:  bag gloves, mitts, shields,  and the like

4)  Solid wood anchoring in the walls for the mirrors and or uppercut bags and the like. 5)  another cold climate issue:  snow is a problem sometimes:  a place for brooms, shovels, student gear, winter coats, a place for wet boots, etc. 6.)  Spectators.  He gets by with a single locker room bench along one wall. 7)  I would not have thought of this personally but he actually has niceley framed artwork and prints of his in structors.  It gives the place a 'classy' dojo feel, decidedly 'not a garage'. 8)  Caging on the lights (sticks or what not).

9)  You can run into HUGE issues with your home insurance...  Best not to mention it?  Also local zoning ordinances can be a problem, be a good neighbor but more importantly, make sure anyone visiting your home is a good neiighbor... i.e. parking and the like.  :-)   The last thing you want is to invest $20,000 tuning up your garage, then have the city shut you down for 'running a commercial business in a residential location'. Anyway, I'm sure much of what I suggested will come down to your climate and what kind of feel you want to create.  good luck.  

Jr cook
Jr cook's picture

I have done the same with my garage (the part the wife has allowed me to have anyhow). A few things I would not be without are:

A good set of weights, with rubber plates if possible.

A squat rack wi\hich also includes a pullup bar at the top.

A bench. Mine conveniently folds for storage.

With these items you can do almost any weight training program you can imagine. Over the years I have added some other toys such as kettelbells, a jumprope, medicine balls and olympic rings. I have a heavy bag also that I use quite often.

I also have a nice, large digital timer now that I use all the time for circuits and rounds and such. I keep a notebook for all my workouts handy. And of course a radio/CD player. I have recently started using an iPad for all of these. There are good applications for exercise timers that are free and the notes and music are obvious parts of the software.

I like the idea of mirrors, this is a very nice addition that I would like to add at some point.

Jeremy Monts
Jeremy Monts's picture


Miket, this is for personal use only, not training others etc.  My whole family is taking Karate (Shotokan variant) right now, so I'd like a place for us all to be able to do full speed kata and practice in front of the mirrors so we can practice forms etc.

JR, what kind of flooring/plates do you have?  I've been looking at they're pretty expensive.

Good thought about the large timer, I hadn't considered that need.

Mr P
Mr P's picture

Good luck with your home dojo. Must admit I am a bit jealous. When the back garden is wet with rain or the washing is on the line full kata practice is not a safe option!

If I was able to do the same I would definatly have free standing punch bag, upper cut bag and a ground and pound dummy to beat up on the floor. Some free weights and a chin up bar.

Jr cook
Jr cook's picture


Mine is much more gym than it is dojo. there is simply not enough room so most of my kata etc. practice is done outside. The flooring is poured concrete for the whole garage. Over that, I have some rubber, interlocking mats that cover most of the Gym area. I got these from a local hardware store. They are sectional and can be esily replaced if damaged or worn. Not too expensive either. I just wanted something that was a little more comfortable than the cold concrete and it also provides some degree of traction and cushioning.

This is not exactly what I have but very similar. Again, I went to a local store and found them.


Jeremy Monts
Jeremy Monts's picture

Thanks JR!

I was looking at something similar for the base, but wasn't sure if I needed to put something down under it to keep it from being in direct contact with the concrete.

I'll probably end up getting something like that, and then picking up a few impact mats to put on top of it for throws and falls etc.

I also generally perform my kata, and most exercises, outside, but my wife is a little more bashful than I am, so she'd like a nice place to work out where all the neighbors can't see us! :D

organic's picture

My garage has slowly become a home gym much to my wifes dismay!! (although she is using it now)

I started out with a set of 10kg dumbells and a yoga mat on the dusty concrete floor. Decided to get the floor painted with rubber paint (From LIDLS I think) and the gym has now exploded into:

  • 45kg triple punchbag with interlocking mats underneath. (mats from here: http://www.cannonsuk.com/)
  • Weights bench (with heavy duty rubber mats underneath)
  • Squatrack (with spotters you can use for bench presses.)
  • Treadmill 
  • Various fixed rubber hex dumbells and spinlock dumbells ranging (2kg, 3kg, 4kg, 5kg, 9kg, 10kg, 15kg, 22.5kg, 27.5kg)
  • 2 x 6 ft bars, one for squatting one for bench press/deadlifts/rows
  • EZ curlbar
  • 2 x medicine balls (5kg, 8kg)
  • other bits: Wrist roller, shin conditioner, old karate belts used as leg stretchers over punchbag bracket, Homemade chi ishis, skipping rope
  • Just got a pull up bar, but not yet attached to roof. 

Should have just got a gym membership me thinks, but nice to have convenience at home. Garage is freezing just now though, but installing draught excluders on the doors this weekend which will hopefully help.

Kyoshi's picture

Hi there

I have been around quite a few places and some nice things i have found is:(beside what has already been mentioned)

1: Spectator bench, but with storeroom underneath, so you can open up the seating and store items underneath.

2: Video projektor - if you want to train to a video or record what your doing and play it - blast it up on one of the walls... really nice idea i saw in germany!!