Designing Your Basement Home Gym: Step by Step Guide

December 18th, 2009

Your basement is the perfetc place to build that dream home gym.

Have you been skipping your daily exercise routines for lack of time or motivation to go to the gym? Are you tired of paying membership fees only to find out that you have to wait in line for a chance to use your favorite workout equipment?

Maybe you are just someone who would love to get serious about your health but doesn’t feel comfortable in a gym environment.

Did you ever think of building your own personal gym ?

If you have an unfinished basement, you can turn it into your dream home gym in a matter of days and, depending on your choices of equipment, quite affordably too.

The advantages of having your own home gym include:

  • Family, friends and roommates can work out too: there’s no need for everyone to pay membership fees.
  • Work out at your own pace and enjoy complete privacy
  • There’s no need to share equipment with strangers.
  • You can work out at any time, with no need to worry about getting to the gym before it closes.
  • You can add features you would not normally find in typical gym (spa, meditation room, massage chair, flat screen TV or media center)

Step by Step Plan

1 – Measuring:

Take rough measurements of your basement, (your basement remodeling contractor will take the final measurements anyway). Sketch it on a piece of paper, and mark the place and measurements of any fixtures (utilities, stairs, windows and egress windows, doors, walls, pillars, appliances).

2 – Sketching:

Use paper or a simple free online tool like the Floor Planner, to plan your basement home gym. Build the walls, and place all the existing fixtures where they belong.

3 – Picking your equipment

There are three types of workout equipment.

A-    Cardiovascular workout equipment: mainly used to help you burn calories and fat, improve circulation and strengthen your heart. They make you burn fat by raising your heart rate, accelerating your metabolism, and causing your body to burn stored fat. Tread mills and recumbent bikes are in this category.

B-    Body building equipment: used to strengthen and define body musculature. Weight and utility benches are examples of equipment in this category

C-    Multifunction/combination equipment: some modern machines provide two types of workout and may include features that will focus on individual areas of the body (upper body, abdominal muscles, legs, thighs, hips, arms).

Consult your doctor, a personal trainer, or a fitness expert and establish clear workout goals and a feasible plan based on your current age, physical fitness, body type, health, daily work schedule, needs, and expectations. There is no “one-size-fits-all” plan when it comes to workout, and you don’t want to spend money on equipment that’s not right for you.

Start researching fitness equipment over the Internet, to have an idea of the dimensions. Some machines are very bulky and take up a lot of space and some models are very compact or can be easily stored when not in use. Make your choices based on the available space as well.

4- Shopping for Fitness Equipment

Prices for fitness equipment can range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. However, you can get very good deals if you are willing to shop for used items.

Browse Ebay listings for bargains. You may find good deals on your local GoodWill or Salvation Army Thrift Shops, and money spent there supports important community programs and worthy causes.

Tag sales and garage sales are also great places to find deals in gym equipment.

Alternatively, you can join your local Freecycle community and get the equipment for free!


5- Enroll the help of your basement finishing contractor.


Call [dealer] for a free design consultation in [cities]. Let your dealer go over the basement measurements with you, and guide you through the process of designing your {basement gym/basement fitness center}, advising you on the best finishing materials and layouts.

Show your design specialist your sketch, and give him an idea of the kind of equipment you’ll be using. Work with the contractor until you’re 100% confident that you have just what you want.

Pay attention to details such as lighting, the number of power outlets you will need, and whether or not you will need an egress window. Make sure you include extra outlets for things like your cell phone charger or a cooler.

Your contractor will inform you about any needed permits, and in most cases, they will be the ones making sure all the proper permits are issued before the work starts.

After the design consultation, you’ll be given a detailed, written estimate and will have a good idea of what your finished basement will look like.

5 – Finishing the Basement


TBF Basement Finishing systems can be installed in a matter of 7 to 10 days, with minimal disruption. Expect consistent updates and a courteous crew, as well as excellent workmanship.

6 – Bring in the equipment.


As soon as the TBF crew finishes installation, you can bring in, assemble, and install your gym equipment. Male sure all the parts are safely attached, and verify that all the electronic equipment is plugged, and that the cords are neatly tucked out of people’s way to avoid accidents. Add a few nice details like motivational posters or pictures of your loved ones to remind you of why you’re working so hard to stay fit and healthy.  A scale and mirrors will allow you to evaluate your progress.

With careful planning, the TBF Systems, and the right equipment choices, your ugly unfinished basement could become your beautiful and comfortable home gym in as little as 5 days!

Pat yourself in the back, even before you start working out. Building a basement gym is a great way to reinforce your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s a wonderful way to inspire your family and friends to do the same!

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