96 SqFt Home Gym Layouts [8’x12’]

Many people have smaller spaces available to build their home gym. In this post, I’ll show you what you can do in a 96-square-foot area. I’ve created 2D and 3D floor plans to give you a clear idea of what’s possible.

A space of 8′ by 12′ is large enough to create a full weightlifting home gym. If you choose your equipment wisely, this space can comfortably accommodate a power cage/half rack, a barbell, weight plates, a bench, and dumbbells. However, a cable station is also an option.

Below you can find three different floor plans with 3D renders of what these layouts will look like. Take a look and hopefully, you can find the inspiration to start building soon.

8’x12′ Home Gym Floor Plans: The Basics

This home gym is a simple setup with free weights and a rack—a popular choice for many folks. It’s awesome for building muscles, getting stronger, and even doing CrossFit.

With both barbells and dumbbells, you can do a bunch of different exercises. Having these options lets you customize your workouts for the best results in strength and muscle growth. This gym is designed specifically for getting stronger and building muscle; there’s no cardio machine, but there are a few kettlebells that can be used for intense workouts (like HIIT), although they’re not quite the same as a bike or treadmill.

The plate trees are on the wall, saving floor space since there’s enough room next to the barbell for easy movement. This design makes the gym feel more spacious compared to using a standing plate tree. You’ll have plenty of space to move around, whether you’re doing kettlebell exercises, bodyweight workouts, or stretching in front of the power rack.

Home gym floor plan 2d. 8' x 12'. Free weights basics.
A great basic free weights setup that fits well in an 8′ x 12′ space.
Home gym floor plan 3d. 8' x 12'. Free weights basics.
A 3D render of the same free weights setup.
Home gym floor plan 3d. 8' x 12'. Free weights basics.
Another 3D render of the same free weights setup from another angle.

What’s In This Gym?

  • Rogue RML-390C Power Rack
  • Wall-mounted plate trees
  • 3-Tier Dumbbell Rack
  • Adjustable Bench
  • Kettlebells

Got a much bigger space? Check out these floor plans;

8’x12′ Gym Layout: Well Rounded

This second gym layout is a bit different from the first one. Instead of the dumbbell rack, I’ve put in adjustable Powerblocks, which don’t take up much space. This change allows us to add an exercise bike to the mix. Now, the gym is more well-rounded—you can use it to build muscles and strength, plus work on cardio, endurance, and weight loss.

For this setup, it’s smart to go for a lightweight and compact exercise bike. This makes it easy to move around and tuck into a corner when you’re not using it. Doing this gives you more open floor space for other activities, which might otherwise be a bit limited.

This gym setup is quite complete and suitable for everyone, despite being on the smaller side. Keep in mind that having a lot of equipment can make it feel a bit crowded. If lifting with a barbell isn’t a top priority, you can save space by using a shallow wall-mounted rack.

Home gym floor plan 2d. 8' x 12'. Barbell, dumbbells and exercise bike.
A well-rounded gym setup with free weights and a cardio machine that fits in this compact space.
Home gym floor plan 3d. 8' x 12'. Barbell, dumbbells and exercise bike.
A 3D render of what the floor plan above would look like.

What’s In This Gym?

  • Power Rack
  • Adjustable Bench
  • Powerblock Adjustable dumbbells
  • Wall-mounted Plate Trees
  • Spin Bike

Packed Full of Goodies

If you’re not a fan of barbells, no worries! This floor plan has got you covered. Instead of a power rack and barbell, there’s a functional trainer or cable crossover. This means you’ll be doing cable exercises instead of barbell ones. It’s a great option for those who prefer not to use barbells, and cable exercises are still effective for building muscle and strength without the risks of heavy bar use.

This setup is designed to be approachable and not intimidating, making it comfortable for most people to use. This is especially handy if you want other people in your household to use it too.

There’s still a pair of Powerblock dumbbells to maintain some exercise variety lost by ditching the barbell. They can be used for movements like deadlifts and stiff-legged deadlifts, providing a good alternative to barbell exercises, even though you can’t lift as heavy.

For cardio, there’s an exercise bike, known for being one of the smaller cardio machines that easily fits into this setup. Larger options like elliptical trainers can work too, as long as they’re not too wide. Rowing machines are a bit too long, and treadmills are too wide for this space. If you squeeze in a treadmill, there might not be enough room in front of the functional trainer to use it properly.

Home gym floor plan 2d. 8' x 12'. functional trainer, bench, dumbbells and exercise bike.
A gym layout that is great for full-body workouts but doesn’t use a barbell.
Home gym floor plan 3d. 8' x 12'. functional trainer, bench, dumbbells and exercise bike.
A 3D render of what the layout from above would look like.
Home gym floor plan 3d. 8' x 12'. functional trainer, bench, dumbbells and exercise bike.
Another 3D render of the same gym from a different angle.

What’s In This Gym?

  • Functional Trainer
  • Powerblock Adjustable Dumbbells
  • Exercise Bike
  • Adjustable Bench
  • Kettlebells

Recommended Equipment For These Setups

Not all equipment for home gyms is compact or good value for money. And in an 8’x12′ space, you definitely need compact equipment although this doesn’t mean you get bad stuff. If you pick the right pieces, you can get high-quality yet compact gym equipment that provides great value for money.

Power Rack

In the floor plans, I’ve used the Rogue RML-390C which is a very solid and compact power rack. However, there are some more affordable options that are just as compact. Here is a link to an article describing the best 3 options.

Dumbbell Rack

If you want a rack of dumbbells you’ve got two good choices; affordable and decent or expensive and great.

The first choice is the Signature Fitness 5-50 lbs. set with rack (Amazon link). These are a great deal for such a set of dumbbells. You get 10 pairs of dumbbells on a 3-tier rack. The dumbbells are decent quality with a nice handle but not the highest quality. The rack is a bit wobbly. That doesn’t sound too great until you see the price, this is a deal that’s hard to dismiss.

The second choice is a high-quality set of dumbbells from REP Fitness (Amazon link). A company with a reputation for great products and amazing customer service. In the pictures, the set looks very similar to the first option but the dumbbells are nicer and the rack is rock solid. You also have the option of extending the set up to 100-pound dumbbells, an option Signature doesn’t offer.

Adjustable Dumbbells

Powerblock and Bowflex both make great adjustable dumbbells. Powerblocks are a bit sturdier but they are bulkier than the Bowflex options which makes them a bit more difficult to use. However, where the Powerblocks (Amazon link) win is by being extendable. You can start out with a set that is adjustable from 5-50 lbs and then add the 55-70 pound and 70-90 pound options onto the same set.

If you’re looking for a Powerblock stand like in the floor plans, here are some options (Amazon).

Adjustable Bench

There are tons of adjustable benches out there but a few stand out.

If you want something super solid, versatile and with a good warranty and customer service, go for the REP Fitness AB-3000 (Amazon link). It’s built like a tank has nice features and isn’t too big.

The REP bench is a bit pricey though. For a cheaper option, look at the Lusper benches. This model (Amazon link) is affordable, can handle up to 800 pounds, and folds completely flat. It won’t be as sturdy and solid as the first option but it’s a lot cheaper.

Functional Trainer

You need a compact functional trainer to make the layout above work. The most compact functional trainers worth buying are the Inspire Fitness FTX (Amazon) and the REP Fitness FT-3000 2.0 (Amazon)

The FT-3000 2.0 is the most compact functional trainer on the market at the moment. It’s also very well finished and has heavier weight stacks. It’s the better functional trainer however, the FTX is a bit cheaper. If your budget can stretch to the FT-3000, it’s a better choice if not, the FTX is also a great machine.

Exercise Bike

For a compact and sturdy exercise bike that doesn’t break the bank, look no further than the YOSUDA spin bikes. They are very popular and for good reason, you get a lot for your money while also being nice to use and durable. The only downside is that the display resembles an old Casio digital watch. Spend a bit extra on the magnetic resistance model (click here to find it on Amazon). Magnetic resistance provides a smoother ride, easier to adjust, and more consistent resistance, and requires less maintenance.

For an exercise bike with a better display, better hardware, and an overall nicer feel, look at the Schwinn IC4 (Amazon link). It’s basically a Peloton bike for half the price and is even compatible with the same app.

Optional Extras

Even in a small gym like this, there are some things you can add to improve your workouts.

  • Flooring: Flooring helps with noise, hygiene, safety, and comfort. And for such a small space, it’s quite cheap to cover the whole floor so this is a no-brainer.
  • Mirror: A mirror is useful for checking your form but also makes your space look bigger!
  • Pull-up bar: Pull-ups are a great exercise and hard to replace. A doorway-mounted pull-up bar is easy to put up or take down and adds a few great exercise options.
  • Fan: Small spaces get uncomfortable quickly when working out. A wall-mounted fan helps while not taking up any floor space.
  • Kettlebells: Great for adding exercise options that are completely different from barbell and dumbbell exercises.

By adding those to any of the gyms above, it will improve the looks, functionality, and comfort of your home gym.

Limitations Of 96 Sq Ft Home Gyms

There are some issues with building a home gym in such a small space. While it can be done as you can see above, there are some significant drawbacks. Here are the four biggest problems;

  • Cramped: It’s obviously going to be quite cramped. While you can get some equipment in there and do some exercises, you’re always close to a wall or piece of equipment. This will feel quite claustrophobic and can make it difficult to motivate yourself.
  • Ventilation: Small spaces like this usually don’t have windows and limited ventilation. The door likely has to stay open to keep the air somewhat comfortable during a workout. It’ll also have to stay open after the workout for a while to drop the humidity.
  • Limited Equipment Choice: It’s important to be very careful when picking your equipment. Some things will fit while others won’t. Compact versions of gym equipment are relatively rare.
  • No Barbells: You can’t use barbells in a space like this, you’ll need 10′ of width at a minimum. Even a 6′ long barbell only leaves 1 foot of free space on both sides which makes it very difficult to load and unload plates.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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