You want a home gym but need that room to house guests sometimes? That’s a problem quite a few people face and I found out how to solve it.
Combining a home gym with a guest bedroom is possible although compromises will have to be made in both uses. Folding gym equipment and a folding bed are the key to combining the two uses. Adding removable gym flooring to the gym part of the room will help with hygiene and smells.
There might be more possible with the right equipment and furniture than you think. But executing this idea so both the home gym and the guest room are comfortable and functional requires some careful planning. Don’t make any mistakes that ruin this possibly winning combination.
How to plan for a guest room gym
Something can be two things but not always at the same time. A home gym and a guest room are both spaces that will be unused for most of the time for either use. That means that with some rearranging it might be possible to switch uses.
Make a choice
The first thing to consider is, what has priority? Do you want it to be a hardcore gym where someone can also sleep? Or is it a guest room where you work out sometimes? Knowing what you want is going to be essential when planning this room. Either way, you will have to make some compromises to both uses of the room.
Get the right equipment
Equipment and furniture that’s easily moved or retracted is key here. And that goes for everything. Here are the biggest pieces:
- Power rack
Bed: Since the room will probably be used more often as a gym than a guest room, the bed is the biggest piece of furniture that’s used the least. It would be very nice if we could find a way to get rid of it while it’s a gym. But at the same time it has to be easily deployed when necessary.
A folding bed is the answer. In less than a minute, you’ll free up about 75% of floor space the bed was using. In cramped rooms that’s a huge area you can use for training. Most fold away beds even come with wheels so they’re moved around easily.
Power rack: The most important piece of any gym. Together with the bed this is another item that just soaks up space. Although it’s a little bit better since it’s open in the middle. But still, most small to medium sized bedrooms won’t be able to accommodate both a bed and a power rack while being able to walk around.
The answer for this problem is the fold away power rack. This awesome one from Rogue fitness is probably the best you can get at the moment. Stowed away, it only protrudes 5” into the room. Your guests will barely know it’s there.
Treadmill: At this point you might be discovering a pattern; fold away. And yes, there are fold away treadmills. Often, treadmills are placed in a corner anyways so they might not form a problem. But if it does, a fold away treadmill is going to be the solution. Like the bed, once folded away, it takes up so much less space.
Unless you’ve got tons of space, I think a fold away treadmill would be great for any home gym. You just save a lot of space that can be used to do other exercises.
Flooring: It’s not the biggest problem if you have gym flooring in the guest room. At least it’s soft for your feet. One possible problem is hygiene. You sweat a lot during workouts. Some of that sweat will end up on the floor. Sweaty floors are not great for a guest room.
If you use gym flooring in strategic positions, you can remove it when necessary.
The places where you really need gym flooring is;
- Where you sweat the most. You don’t want that to soak into the carpet.
- Where you lift weights. To protect the floor and dampen noise.
If you use some interlocking rubber tiles or smaller mats, it’ll do its job while still removable.
Storage: To give your guest room a cleaner and tidier appearance, it’s important to have some place to store all the loose equipment. A neat dumbbell rack is not a problem but barbells and weights tend to look a bit messy. And since you might be using the fold away power rack, it’s not possible to store the bar and weights on the rack.
A normal closet that’s big enough will probably do the job. You might want to take out the bottom if it’s not a super sturdy one. Put some gym flooring on the bottom to protect the insides. You don’t need anything special here, as long as it can hold all the loose pieces of gym.
What’s the best equipment for a guest room gym?
Since you’ll likely be short on space, it’s important to go for machines that are light, movable or foldable. On the guest room side you want a fold away bed and some normal furniture like lights, desk and wardrobe.
In short that means;
- Folding bed
- Folding power rack
- Foam gym flooring tiles
- Folding treadmill
The best piece of equipment is the one that makes the puzzle work. Because it is a bit of a puzzle to get both things in one room.
That said, here are my recommendations for the furniture named above:
Inofia Folding bed. This bed is perfect for the home gym guest room purpose. It’s a twin size so a bit smaller than a double bed. It can fold up so it takes up little floor space. It comes with a 5” memory foam mattress so it’s definitely comfortable. The wheels on the frame make it easy to move around when folded up. You can get it here for a great price on Amazon.
Rogue fitness fold away power rack. Rogue fitness is one of the top brands for strength and powerlifting equipment. All their stuff is amazingly well built and made in the USA. They’re also one of the few manufacturers that make a fold away power rack. The RML-3W has that same Rogue quality and is just the best fold away rack on the market.
Interlocking tile gym flooring. The ProSourceFit gym flooring is what you’re looking for. Great quality, easily removable and protects your floor. The tiles are 24” by 24” so you can shape it to your needs. Buy your gym floor here on Amazon.
Xtrerra TR150 Fold away treadmill. This treadmill is small and simple but covers everything you need in a treadmill. It does everything you want it to do for a very good price. And on top of that it folds away very easily when you don’t need it. You can complete your gym by buying it on Amazon.
The only drawback of the TR150 is the weight limit of 250lbs. If that’s not enough for you, you can upgrade to the TRX3500. This model has a higher load limit of 350lbs and has more functionality while still folding away. It is a bit bigger though so make sure it fits your purpose. If you’re a bigger person, the TRX3500 is available here on Amazon.
Will guests be bothered by gym equipment?
I don’t know how picky your guests are of course. Most people will be grateful that they have a bed to sleep in under your roof and will understand that you also use the room to work out. As long as they have a bed, a little space to walk around the bed and some places to put their stuff, most people will be happy. Of course your guests might be a bit more demanding than mine.
That said, you can make it as comfortable for your guests as possible with some easy actions:
- Make sure everything is clean and doesn’t smell like sweat.
- Clean up any loose gym equipment. E.g. cable attachments, loose dumbells, weight plates, etc. Anything that makes the room look messy and you can hit your toe on when going to the toilet at night.
- Push all gym equipment into a corner when having guests over.
- Fold the power rack and treadmill.
- Warn your guests before they arrive. This way you can shape their expectations a little.
Will a hybrid guest room gym be the worst of both worlds?
It can be but it doesn’t have to be. If you did your planning and got the right equipment and furniture, it can certainly be a good use of your space.
It also depends on how often you have guests over. Since you can’t use the gym while guests are staying in that room, it might become a nuisance. If you’ve got guests over a couple of times a year, this is not a big problem. But if you entertain guests every weekend, it’ll become tiring very quickly to have to move everything around every time.
So, only attempt this hybrid if you don’t have too many guests. Otherwise you’ll feel like you’ve spent a lot of money on gym equipment you can’t even use.
Will my guest room smell like sweat if I use it as a gym? No, it doesn’t have to. Clean up after every time you use the gym. Make sure the gym flooring is removable so you can take it out when you’ve got guests coming. The floor is the part you probably deposit the most sweat.
Can I just put a bed in my home gym for guests? Yes, if you’re guests are OK with that it’s perfectly fine. Make sure everything is clean and there are no lingering smells. Push any movable equipment into a corner. Also make sure there are no loose gym objects people can trip over at night.
Favorite home gym tools
Many people often forget a few important pieces of their home gym that isn’t directly gym equipment. Here are my favorite home gym tools.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and all types of other workouts, the GymNext Flex is easily the best and easiest to use.
- Mirrors: Fab & Glass (Amazon link) makes the best large mirror sheets so you can see your exercise form.
- Flooring: American Floor Mats gym flooring (Amazon) or equipment mats make your gym quieter, easier to clean and keeps your floor and equipment safe.
- Fan: The Rowenta VU5670 (Amazon) is a great way to stay cool while working out.