The humble shed has been a bastion of garden storage for decades. Home to rakes, shovels, lawn mowers and the odd spider the size of a house cat, the garden shed is a hoarder’s paradise keeping safe the eternal secrets of the green-fingered.
Similar to the shed is the indoor garage. A hermit’s cove of ‘you never know’ and ‘just-in-case’ items, festooned across boxes, drawers and cabinets. Decades of tidbits from ghosts of Christmas presents past or garden furniture longing for its three months back in the sun.
But the time has come to reclaim these under-used spaces! Your wooden shed and home garage could be so much more! That’s why Easystore is launching a new series of blogs aimed at exploring all the ways you can reclaim these spaces, and of course, how you can then re-store them with us, your friendly neighbourhood self-storage firm – Easystore.
How to turn your shed into a gym
We’ve all been there. The scales are reading a little higher than they used to, those shirts and jeans just don’t fit as well as they once did… perhaps it’s time to get out and get a little more exercise. You sign up to a gym, pay the extortionate membership fee that charges you whether you attend or not, and then pledge to go three times a week.
Then, life happens. You get home from work late, you have meals to prepare, extra work to do, television to watch! It can be hard getting changed and then driving all the way to a gym to feel uncomfortable and hot with 30 other strangers.
Wouldn’t it be good if you had a gym at home? That way, you can throw on your workout clothes and stroll to your shed or garage to get your quick 30-minute blast. Perhaps you want to be able to get a quick gym session in the mornings before work, but just don’t trust those gym showers? The answer lies in your home storage space!
The simple garden shed or garage can be transformed into a fortitude of fitness, an exemplar of exercise – or at the very least it will look impressive when you have friends over for a Chinese!
But how do you turn your lawn-mower mansion into a cardio cabin? Here are the important points you are going to need to consider when converting your garage or shed into a gym.
1. Clear it out
First and foremost you need to clear out the space ready for your shiny new gym equipment. You may be tempted to leave some items in there, especially if they are on the wall or out of the way. However, in order to prepare your space for the rigours of gym-life you are going to have to do a bit of work to the walls and floor. Therefore, it’s important to get everything out. “But what should I do with my lifetime of loot?” I hear you cry. Well, now is as good a time as any to recycle and throw away your junk and useless items – think about it, over the last year, how often have you needed or used an item? If the answer is zero, get rid of it.
For everything else, you can make use of other home storage spaces, or you can pop into your local self storage firm who will be able to keep it safe, secured and insured.
2. The flooring
The floor of your gym is going to take a serious battering. Whether it’s free weights, machine weights or cardio equipment, you are going to need flooring that is strong enough to stand up to the task, but flexible enough in that it won’t crack under the pressure. There are several ‘place and click’ rubber floor tiles available for home gyms, but they can be pricey if looking to cover a large floor – so it’s worth shopping around.
Another option is to coat your flooring in something like an epoxy-seal which will give it some protection – though it is best when combined with some form of rubber or foam floor cover.
In terms of walls, it depends on the material. If you are in a wooden shed, your standard wood preserver will be fine, but for garage-style concrete walls, perhaps think of using something like a waterproof liquid membrane such as used in showers or wet rooms.
If you are doing anything right gym-wise, you are going to need to breathe! So too will your gym if it is to remain a pleasant place to spend a few calories.
If you are converting the garden shed, think about adding in some windows, if you don’t already have any. The natural light is also vital for sanity, otherwise, you may feel as though you are exercising in an underground bunker – handy for when the world ends, but not so good when trying to work off last night’s bhuna.
Failing a window, opt for a double air vent: one aimed at taking out moisture, the other at letting cool air in.
Insulation is also a vital factor for the winter months – lest you be unable to let go of the Olympic bar at the end of your set! Again, your bog-standard shed insulators will work; bubble wrap if you are short of cash, or your standard rockwool.
4. Get the right equipment
Once you have your space, it’s time to think about the right equipment. For this, you are going to need to decide what it is you want to do. If you just want to have a space for some cardio equipment, then this is going to be fairly simple. However, if your goal is to tone up or increase muscle mass, you are going to need free or machine weights – and they are going to need a lot more space.
A good quality and sturdy bench will be essential for a variety of exercises that address the shoulders, back, chest and arms. If you have space and cash to add something like a power cage, you will be able to handle just about any resistance exercise you need.
It’s prudent to set aside a corner of your shed or garage for storing the free weights. There are nifty weight trees you can get that should have plenty of storage for a one-person gym.
For cardio equipment, there isn’t really much substitute for quality. A good, well-reviewed running machine or bike will stand the test of time and be worth the investment. Unfortunately, cheaper alternatives can easily break or feel too flimsy to really push yourself on.
Much like equipment, power is going to be goal-dependant. If you are looking to just use free-weights, then battery operated lights may be sufficient for a basic work-out space. But, if you want to use most of the decent cardio machines, or you just want to exercise somewhere that doesn’t feel like 1980s Beirut, then you are going to need power.
This will again be largely dependant on the location of your space – a shed at the bottom of the garden may be a little more tricky than a garage attached to your house.
For the former, you can either run underground PVC conduit cables, or you can track cable along fencing, etc. The best bet is to get further advice online – or if in doubt, seek a local electrician.
For garages, you will certainly need a qualified electrician to run power to an indoor outlet – just as you would if building an extension onto your house. This requires a lot of fuss, but the benefits are huge. As well as the mains powered cardio equipment you can now use, you can also install a television, radio, heater or fan.
So there you have it – how to turn your garage or shed into a fully-functioning gym!
For those of you that would like some further reading, there are some excellent guides available online:
If you’re considering setting up a home gym in your shed or garage then you’ll inevitably need somewhere to put your contents that are currently inhabiting that space. If you live in South Wales, then why not consider Easystore Self Storage? With storage units in Cardiff and Bridgend, we offer a number of residential storage options, such as storage for garden furniture or Christmas decorations. Contact us or get a quote online today!