You want a home weight room but aren’t sure if you’ve got enough space. In this post, I’ll give an example of what you can do in a 100 square feet space.
A 10′ by 10′ (305 x 305 cm) space is big enough to build a complete weightlifting home gym. If the equipment is picked carefully, this is plenty of space to fit and use a: Power cage/half rack, barbell, weight plates, bench and dumbbells. In some cases it’s also possible to place a rowing machine.
Those pieces of equipment are all you need for lifting free weights and fit in a 10′ x 10′ space. Below there will be two example floor plans you can use as inspiration for your home gym.
- 1 100 Square Feet Home Gym Floor Plans
- 2 What can you do in this 100 Sq. Ft. home gym?
- 3 Related questions
- 4 Favorite home gym tools
100 Square Feet Home Gym Floor Plans
This example free weights gym is has a total floor space of 100 square feet. The dimensions of the space are 10’ x 10’. Of course your similar sized can have different dimensions but 10’ x 10 is not uncommon. If your space has different measurements, you might still be able to fit all the same equipment but have to move it around a little bit.
Suggested post: How much space do you need for lifting free weights?
This gym is meant to be a weightlifting gym. Everything you need to lift free weights is available. There is no cardio machine although you could probably use a jump rope even in this limited amount of space.
Free weights 10′ x 10′ home gym layout #1
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What’s in this 100 Sq. Ft. home gym?
There are the basic pieces of equipment I’ve outlined in this post: What do you need for the big 5 lifts (Squat, Dead lift, Bench, Rows, Overhead Press). These lifts can create a strong base from which you can build more strength and muscles. Of course with this equipment you can do way more than just those 5 lifts.
Since this space is quite small, I’ve chosen to get a half rack instead of a full power rack. This saves a bit of space that’s necessary to be able to do other exercises outside of the rack. It also makes doing bench presses a bit easier in the available space. A half rack has pretty much all of the functionality a full rack has although it might not be quite as safe.
- Half rack
- Adjustable bench (Click here to find my recommended bench)
- Full length 7’2 Olympic barbell
- Weight plates
- Dumbbell rack + Dumbbells
Just those 5 pieces of equipment will allow you to do all the important free weights lifts to build an awesome body. More on that below.
Free weights 10′ x 10′ home gym layout #2
For this setup we did things a little differently. Instead of a half rack there is a full power cage and there is a rowing machine.
It’s possible to put a compact full power rack in this amount of space although it will be a bit more cramped. Especially with the rowing machine there as well, it’s tight.
However, if you get the right rowing machine (click here for more information), you can fold them up. The slide rail can be folded up which frees up a lot of space in front of the power rack.
So in this example there is;
- Full power rack
- Weight plates (store on power cage)
- Rowing machine
- Rack of dumbbells
|Squat stands||Cap Barbell||FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack||Buy on Amazon|
|Ajdustable bench||Fitness Reality||1000 Super Max||Buy on Amazon|
|Barbell||XMark||Crowbar 7' Olympic barbell||Buy on Amazon|
|Weight plates||XMark||Texas star 275 lbs. weight plates set||Buy on Amazon|
|Dumbbell set||Cap Barbell||Rubber Hex Dumbbell Weight Set, 550 lb||Buy on Amazon|
What you might not be able to see in these floor plans are the mirrors and the flooring.
In a gym of this size, a single large mirror behind the power rack will be sufficient. A mirror is mainly for seeing your lift form to prevent injuries. However, since this is a small space, having a large mirror can also help you create the illusion that the room is bigger than it actually is.
Suggested post: Home Gym Mirrors: What Do You Need?
Since the gym isn’t very large, it’s not too difficult to put gym flooring down in this space. While you don’t strictly need gym flooring, it’ll make your floor and equipment last longer. Also, since the space is quite small, and lowering weights often creates noise, some noise damping is very welcome. Gym flooring is soft and dampens noise and prevents your equipment from getting damaged.
Suggested post: Everything You Need To Know About Gym Flooring?
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There are some things you could still add to the setup showed above even though you don’t have a whole lot of space.
- Resistance band set
- Low/High pulley power rack add-on
Those things don’t take up a lot of space at all and can add a good bit of functionality to your gym. Just those two options can allow you to many more exercises than with just the equipment in the layout. These things aren’t essential for lifting free weights however so that’s why they’re optional.
What can you do in this 100 Sq. Ft. home gym?
As said, the layout and equipment of this gym is meant to be used for lifting free weights. While to some that might sound limited, you can build an amazing body just lifting free weights.
This setup allows you to do almost every exercise you can do with a barbell or dumbbells. Just some examples;
- Overhead Press
- Bench press
- Incline bench
- Rack pulls
- DB rows
- Bicep curls
- Pull ups
- Chin ups
And that’s just a very small part of the possible lifts with this setup. These are some of the most popular lifts in all gyms around the world. There are many more lifts and exercises that you can do in this gym but there are just too many to list.
All these exercises can create an awesome body if you know how to program correctly. If you don’t know or are just getting started, there are a whole lot of free programs available online that can help you get started. For beginners, Starting strength or 5 x 5 are both great places to get started.
What can you NOT do in a 100 Sq. Ft. home gym?
Of course the space is limited and there are things you can’t do with this setup;
- No separate machines to isolate muscles. Although pretty much every machine is easily replaced with a free weight exercise which is possible in this gym.
- There is no cable station. Cable exercises are awesome for many reasons. Cable stations take up a ton of space which is just not available in this hypothetical space. Some power racks allow for a pulley add-on or possibly you can find space for a wall mounted pulley although these don’t provide anywhere near the same functionality as a full cable station.
- Suggested post: Why you need a cable station in your home gym
So while there are some things missing, if lifting weights and building muscle is your goal, this gym is effective.
Can you build muscle with free weights? Yes, free weights are the best tools for building muscle. While you have to be careful with your form, free weights can be more effective than machines. Barbells and dumbbells are great for lifting heavy, which is one of the cornerstones of building mass.
Are dumbbells essential in a home gym? While you can do many lifts and exercises with just a barbell and weight plates, dumbbells allow for more flexibility and can be used for more lifts and to isolate smaller muscles. Dumbbells also require your arms to move separately which can prevent muscle imbalances.
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.