The TV can be the finishing touch to your home gym. But which size is suitable? Keep reading to find out.
In a 250 sq. ft. gym the distance to the screen is likely to be about 8’ away from the screen. A 55” TV would be optimal for that distance. For a smaller home gym +-45″ is suitable. Gym TV’s can be used for many things besides watching TV like following along with online workouts.
The complete answer is a bit more complicated. Find out how to calculate the optimal screen size for your gym TV below.
How big should a home gym TV be?
There is not a single answer to that question since it depends on a few different factors.
The two most important factors are;
- Your gym size
- The purpose of the TV in your gym
Besides that, money is also an important consideration for many people although that doesn’t influence what is optimal.
The optimal size of the TV depends on the size of your home gym. And not necessarily the square footage. What’s important is how far you are away from your TV. In general you’ll be further away from the screen in a bigger gym but not necessarily. The distance to the screen decides what the optimal screen size is.
Here’s what you need to do to find out your optimal gym TV size;
- Where will you mount the TV? Usually On the wall. Other options are possible but a bit more vulnerable in a home gym.
- From where will you look at the screen the most often? Which place in your gym do you spend the most time? And where do you spend the most time AND you can pay attention. Often this will be a cardio machine.
- What’s the distance between those two points? Simply measure.
- Plug your numbers into this simple calculator: https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/by-size/size-to-distance-relationship
Let’s say you have a 250 sq. ft. home gym. That’s by no means large but big enough to do everything you want. That gym could be 12.5’ X 20’. Let’s say you put a treadmill along the short wall and mount a TV on the wall in front of it. You never walk on the rear of a treadmill so you’ll be about 8’ away from the screen. According to the calculator above, you’d need a 55” TV.
The number from that calculator is for a home theater or similar. A gym isn’t a home theater. While it might be nice to have a TV of that size, that might not be necessary. It really depends on the second deciding factor, the purpose of that TV.
If you don’t expect a home cinema experience, you can easily get a TV that’s one or two sizes smaller than that without any problems. That would mean a TV with a screen size of +- 43” to 50” will work for most purposes.
TV purpose in home gym
There are many people that often use the TV in their home gym.
- Background music/noise
- Listening to podcasts
- Following along with workout videos
- Having something to watch during rest periods.
- Watching a movie/TV series
Most of those purposes don’t actually require a really big screen. Watching a movie or TV series is better if the screen is sized properly but for all the other purposes you can easily get away with a smaller TV.
If you want to play music at a decent volume level, it’s a good idea to hook the TV up to a bigger sound system. Read more about home gym audio here.
The purpose of the TV in your home gym largely depends on your workout style. People that are powerlifting or bodybuilding can’t really concentrate on watching TV during their sets. That means only the rest periods between two sets can be used to watch TV. Those rest periods will be at different places in the gym as well. This person is probably not going to concentrate on a whole movie but have the news or other shorter videos on the screen. A big TV isn’t necessary in this case.
The other extreme is someone who’s doing low intensity steady state cardio for a couple of hours every day. During cardio you stay in one place, you’ve got more time and a distraction is even welcomed. That means a bigger screen is likely to be very welcome and might even make your workouts a bit more comfortable.
Decide for yourself what applies to you. Either way, it isn’t necessary to go bigger than you found in the calculator linked above. Too big has it’s downsides too.
Recommended gym TV
So which TV’s would be a good fit for your weight room? Since a lot of home gyms are 100 to 250 square feet, there are two sizes TV that are suitable.
Which features do you want from a TV in a weight room? Looking at the purposes above, you want at least the following features;
- Decent built in speakers
- Smart functionality
- Fitness tracking options
Since you’re not going to use this for home theater purposes, a 4k screen is not really necessary. Especially because the screen sizes for a home gym aren’t that big. That said, 4k is the standard nowadays so you don’t really save much money by going for a TV with lower resolution.
Cheap and small
If you’re just looking for some background noise and visuals in your home gym you just need something small and simple. It might not be the optimal size but especially in a smaller weight room, you don’t need that much.
TLC makes decent TV’s for a good price. They tend not to have super smooth software but it’s all functional and the value for money you get is hard to beat.
This 49″ 1080P TV is cheap, simple does everything you want to have in a gym TV including smart functionality. It’s not the latest tech but it’s great for what it is. Check it out on Amazon
Great home gym TV
If you do a lot of cardio you might want something a little better than the previous one because you spend a lot of time looking at it. For you this is a good option;
This TV has great picture quality, and everything else. the design is very clean and Samsung has quite a few fitness apps in their app store. You can also cast your Fitbit coach workouts to the TV to make it easier to follow along.
In a gym, you don’t want to have a large piece of furniture taking up space just to have a place to put the TV on. Mounting it on the wall is the way to go. On the wall it doesn’t take up any space on the floor and it’s out of harms way. Mounting it a bit higher is safer in a home gym even if it’s not optimal for watch comfort.
TV mounting hardware is cheap and readily available. Check out this one on Amazon for example. It’s cheap and will easily hold both TV’s mentioned above.
Downsides to wrong size TV
What is the problem if you get a TV that’s too big or small for your gym?
While it’s certainly not the end of the world, there are a few downsides to having a TV that’s the wrong size.
- Being too close to a big screen makes it difficult to see the whole picture.
- A TV that’s too big is easily damaged during a workout. Especially in a smaller gym
- A TV that’s too small can stress your eyes.
As said, all of those things aren’t horrible although they can be irritating.
Of course there is a range of TV sizes that are ‘right’ As long as you don’t get a 100” TV where 40 is appropriate, you’ll be fine. In the end the TV in your gym is likely not as important as the one in your living or bedroom. The times you’ll be watching a full movie in your home gym will probably be pretty limited.
Fort that reason, if you want to save some money, it’s absolutely fine to get a slightly smaller TV than optimal. The sound quality and level is going to be more important for most people than the size of the screen.
But it’s all about your priorities. If you’re doing steady state cardio for 2 hours a day, you might want to get a bigger TV because you’ll spend a lot of time in front of it and you have time to actually pay attention.
If you’re powerlifting, there isn’t much time during your workout you can actually look at the TV. You can only really pay attention to the TV during your rest periods. In that case it’s less likely you’re going to watch a complete movie but are more likely to watch something like the news. That means a smaller TV is fine.
So think about what you do in your gym, when you can watch your TV and if you want to spend money on a bigger TV than necessary.
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How high should you mount a home gym TV? The best mounting height for a TV in your home gym is 5’11 (180cm). This is for an average height man (5’9/175cm) on a treadmill. This height is the most comfortable and safest. If you’re taller or shorter you might have to adjust accordingly.
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.