Okay, you’ve decided to build a home gym. Great choice. But do you have space for one? Well, the short answer is: it depends, but probably. The long answer is that it depends on what sort of gym you want to build.
Let’s assume that, like me, you want a barbell-based home gym. More specifically, we’ll assume that you want to be able to do (at least) the big three: bench press, squats, and deadlifts. With that in mind…
Minimum gym dimensions
If you want to do basic barbell movements, and do them safely, you’ll want a power rack, or at least a squat stand. And maybe a platform. No, a platform isn’t required, but you can bolt your rack to it and it also protects the floor.
The standard diy weightlifting platform, which is plenty big for a power rack like the Rogue R-3 or the Titan T-3, measures 8 x 8 feet. So that’s sort of your minimum, though you’ll probably want some extra space around it.
How much space for gym?
A standard Olympic barbell is 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) long, which fits inside an 8 x 8 platform. You will, however, need to access both ends to add/remove plates, etc. And you’ll probably want need a bit of storage space.
Honestly, you could do a lot with 10 x 10 feet of space. A bit less might still be workable, and more would really open up your options. Like I said above, it all depends on what sort of gym you want to build.
Would you like to include a rack of dumbbells, rowing machine, power tower, glute-ham developer, cable machine, or other gear? Anything is possible with the right amount of space — and a sufficiently large budget.
Another important consideration is headroom, especially if you’re tall. While most power racks will fit in a room with standard 8-foot ceilings, you may not be able to do overhead work without a good bit more clearance.
Consider, for example, that I’m 6’5″ and can touch an 8-foot ceiling with my fingertips when standing flat-footed. Thus, I need at least 9-foot ceilings (and maybe a bit more) to do a proper overhead press.
Yes, there are workarounds if you don’t have sufficient space, but… Finding yourself at least 10 x 10 feet of free space with ample headroom is a great starting point when thinking about building a home gym.