Looking at an empty room and wondering if your ideal home gym will fit in there? I feel you, I had the same problem. I figured out how much space you need to get a good weightlifting workout at home.
How much space do you for weightlifting at home? To be able to lift weights at home you need at least 64ft2 (8’ x 8’) of floor space. That amount of space is enough to perform all the basic lifts and includes a power rack, barbell, weights and dumbbells. If you want more equipment in your home gym you will need more space.
How can you discover exactly how much space you need for the gym you have in mind? I’ve got some great resources that will help you to really get an idea if you can fit the gym you have in mind in the space you’ve got available.
How big is weightlifting equipment?
For this article I’m going to assume you’ll use free weights. Machines can be effective but take up a lot of space since most machines only train one movement. This means that you would need a lot of machines for a complete workout.
Alternatively you could get an all in one gym. Click here to find more about multi-gyms
So when talking about basic weightlifting equipment we’re talking about;
- Power rack
- Dumbbell (rack)
That seems simple enough but, there are a lot of choices for each piece of equipment. I’ve made a list of products I recommend to make shopping easier for you. Click here to find the equipment I recommend for home gyms.
So, how big are these things? Check out the table below. The table covers the sizes and weight of some of the most popular equipment in each category. I’ve also added a few machines that people might want to add to a weightlifting gym.
Popular Gym Equipment Sizes
|Treadmill||NordicTrack T6.5S||35.8"||73"||67.5"||193 lbs|
|Elliptical||Schwinn 411||24"||43"||66"||100 lbs|
|Recumbant bike||Marcy Recumbant ME-709||25"||55.5"||37.5"||60 lbs|
|Power rack||TITAN T-2 Short||48"||58"||71.5"||123 lbs|
|Barbell||86" At most||45 lbs|
|Dumbell rack||Marcy 3-Tier Dumbbell Rack DBR-86||32"||24.4"||37"||54.4 lbs|
|Bench||Bowflex adjustable bench||26"||56"||20"||59 lbs|
|Leg press||Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press||34"||83"||56"||331 lbs|
I included the heights in that table. That’s not important for floor space but some of you might be struggling with low ceilings. If you’re interested in how high your ceiling should be for weightlifting, check out this article.
Now we have to put all of this together in one space and make it a usable gym instead of just a pile of equipment. Getting all of that stuff into a room isn’t that difficult, still being able to use it is a bit more challenging. Some things to keep in mind;
- For comfortable deadlifting you need at least 8’ by 5’ of free space. Although part of the width depth can be inside the power rack. (head between the pins)
- You need about 5’ of depth in front of the power rack to move around and for the bench. This overlaps with the space you need for deadlifting
- You’ll want to keep some space free for bodyweight exercises and stretching. (Same space as for deadlifting is enough)
All that means you need a space of 8’ by 8’ (244cm x 244 cm) to have a basic but complete home weightlifting gym. That’s the minimum space requirement. A more comfortable setup would measure 10’ by 8’. (305cm x 244cm). That would add some extra space to move around and maybe add a small recumbent bike or elliptical.
In case you want to add any extra machines like a leg press or treadmill, you have to add that amount of space from the table above.
Example weightlifting home gym floor plans
With topics like this, it’s much easier to visualize it than trying to describe it in 1000 words. Here are some example floor plans for weightlifting gyms. One is an absolute minimally sized and the other one is small but comfortable. Of course bigger is always possible and gives you room to add some other equipment.
Home gym floor plan 64 square feet
Home gym floor plan 80 square feet
I’ve got an eBook that shows exactly what is possible in small spaces. Check it out here. It has 20+ floor plans that you can use.
How to organize your home gym efficiently?
There are a few ways to organize your home gym so you need less space. Most home gyms aren’t huge so it’s important to use the space you’ve got efficiently. There are a few ways to do this.
- Put your power rack next to a wall but keep some room on both sides to you can add weights.
- Keep some open space in front of your power rack for your; bench, lifts and stretching.
- Have a place to put the bench outside of the power rack.
- Be able to easily access your dumbbells and weights.
- Put the dumbbell rack in a place where you don’t have to walk far to the place you use them.
In short you want to be able to perform all the lifts and exercises you want without hitting anything else. It also shouldn’t be difficult to change weights on the bar. If you can do those things, you’re good.
What if I don’t have enough space?
Looking at all of this made you realize that you don’t have enough space to do everything you want? That’s a problem many people have. Here are two possible solutions:
Folding power rack
The power rack is the item that takes up the most floor space. It’s also the most versatile. That means you don’t want to get rid of it since it would limit your exercise options a lot. But what if it’s the only thing you can fit in your home gym?
A foldable power rack is your solution here. A foldable rack can be reduced to just some metal piping on the wall that barely takes up any space. Once you’re done with whatever you use the power rack for, fold it away and you’ve got a lot of room for other things. It’s the perfect solution for those in a small home gym.
If you’re using a foldable power rack, it’s important that you have space to put all your barbells and weights that you would store on the rack otherwise. Of course you can stack the weights in a corner so it doesn’t take up a lot of space but it’s something to keep in mind.
Another option to save money is to get adjustable dumbbells. You can adjust the weights on the dumbbells easily. That means you can go from low weights to high weights with just two dumbbells. The whole set with all the weights is just a little bigger than two heavy dumbbells. This saves you the space of at least 10 pairs of dumbbells. The only limitation is that the adjustable ones might not go up heavy enough for some people.
But with this BowFlex adjustable dumbbell set (Amazon link), you can go from 5 lbs. to 52.5. Lbs. That should be enough for most people. They’re not as expensive as you might think. Only a little bit more expensive than buying all the separate dumbbells. It’s actually a dumbbell set I recommend the majority of home gym owners get.
How can I add a treadmill to my gym without it taking up too much space? If you get a foldable treadmill, you can fold the deck away when not using it. This way you only use the space while using the treadmill. In a home gym you’re usually alone so you don’t need the other space when you’re on the treadmill.
How much space do I need for dead lifting? To dead lift you need at least 8’ by 5’. A comfortable space would be 9’ by 6’. A standard sized barbell is 7’ long. You need some space on both sides to clear the wall and put on weights. For width you need to be able to fit your body above the hips in the space.
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