Our Little (Really Little) Home Gym

June 14, 2017  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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It’s been a few months since we put a small home gym in our basement (sharing a space with the storage room, no less!) and we have been loving having the dedicated space to sweat it out, slightly away from the rest of the house. We have even been able to cancel our gym memberships! I haven’t shared photos because, honestly, it’s not the most photogenic space we’ve ever put together, nor did we attempt to make it so. However, this is a purely functional area of the house for us that we have been enjoying so thoroughly, we couldn’t not share it any longer. There’s a lot packed in the 7×7 space.

We started with just a treadmill. Brand new treadmills are $$$$, so we immediately went to Craigslist. There always seems to be 100 people ready to sell you their treadmill, but during our search, we found there was actually a warehouse in our area that sold slightly used, refurbished or factory extras for 30-70% retail (Quality Home Fitness in Idaho Falls, for you locals) and we were able to pick up this NordicTrack for a steal. It even has a TV that we plugged a Roku stick into, so we can stream Netflix or Hulu while working out, which is pretty much my only motivation to get on it 8 months pregnant.

Across from the treadmill, Chris hung a speed bag (attached to this speed bag platform)–which I’m embarassingly bad at. And below, there’s a fold down bench that’s actually a shower seat!

It folds up and out of the way when we want it to, or down when we need a quick rest or a place to sit.

The interlocking exercise mats we laid down on the floor add an extra cushion when we’re using the stability ball, working the speed bag, doing a few burpees or even using the ab roller.

We keep smaller exercise gear including the ab roller, ab straps (that we use with the pull-up bar) and weights tucked away in a basket on the shelf–plenty of those in here. The last major piece of equipment we managed to squeeze in was a pull-up bar. Luckily we have a strong joist running right through this space that we mounted the bar directly to.

As a finishing touch, we mounted a few frameless cheap mirrors to the wall to watch for proper form. Is it weird working out among seasonal storage? Haha, not really. We’re just grateful we were able to maximize this room so much in the past few months, first by adding the shelves and now this little gym area. And because the room is tucked away (under the kitchen area upstairs), we can come down early in the morning, turn on some music and workout without disturbing anyone. Anyone else have a home gym? Or do you prefer to go into the gym? Does this even count as a home gym?


Wall Color: Benjamin Moore White Dove | Floor Paint: Benjamin Moore Ice Breakers | Wall-Mounted Seat | Pull Up Bar | Ab Straps | Interlocking Exercise Mat Floor Tiles | Speed Bag | Speed Bag Platform | Speed Bad Gloves | Roku Stick | Stability Ball | Ab Roller | Frameless Mirrors | Door Knob | Ceiling Light




What do you think?

  1. Kristinah says:

    This space is awesomely efficient!!! Love the shower seat idea!

  2. jenn says:

    A little off topic but what emergency food do you use and where do you buy it? We live in Texas with hurricanes and I’m researching some options now and would love the name of the brand you use and where you buy it. Thanks!

  3. Gretchen says:

    Shower seat = genius! I’ve been wanting a folding seat in our small kitchen but never figured out how to make it happen.

  4. AlisonG says:

    How is the bathroom progress going? Now that is a well used small space!

    • Julia says:

      It’s going! We had the last of the faucets arrive today and hopefully we’ll have a tile update for you next week.

      • AlisonG says:

        Wow, that has been a major project. It must be hard using one bathroom for bathing for so long.

      • Julia says:

        It’s definitely thrown us a lot of curveballs. It’s been harder on the girls to have to come upstairs to use the restroom, as their bathroom never had a tub to begin with, but we’re anxious to get it working for them and are hoping to have it completely DONE by the first week in July. We can do it!

      • AlisonG says:

        oops hit wrong reply, I hope it goes smoother from here on out.

  5. Amber says:

    What a perfect little space! You maxed it out so well. Further proving my point that I need a storage room! I love classes at the gym so much, but since I teach them it makes it hard to get a workout of my own in. Plus members like to talk to me while I am trying to work out lol. Great job!

  6. Tiffany says:

    My husband built a Murphy bed in our guest room so now it doubles as my workout room. I love having my own space where I can keep my equipment and not have to clean up a million toys before working out. The only problem is when we have guest over and I want to exercise.

  7. Ashley says:

    I moved to the bay area a few years ago into a duplex that faces another duplex with a shared drive way and 4 garages – ya’ll its a concrete jungle out here. For some reason, people in CA do not use their garage to park their car so even if we wanted to use ours, there isn’t enough drive way space to get in and out without hitting another car. Everyone just parks along the sides of the houses in front of their porches. For that reason, we decided to turn our garage into a gym (and the fact that gym membership costs are absurd out here) and I’m so happy with it. We have a weight rack and bench that we purchased used off craigslist, jump ropes, a pull up bar and a few free weights. I got this foam flooring from costco so that it’s nice and soft and we’re not setting the weights on concrete. Never in my life have I been this consistent with my work outs – I’ve worked out 3 days a week for 3 years and have only missed a work out when I was on vacation. I don’t think i’ll ever be able to live in a place that doesn’t have a room for this type of set up because it is such a benefit for my health. I can also multi-task with laundry or cooking or throwing the ball for my dog while i’m resting between sets. I do miss going to classes but it’s so hard to justify the time spent in traffic and cost when I have a gym I LOVE at home.

  8. Becky says:

    How do you like the floor tiles? We have some similar ones in our home gym but they tend to come apart when doing floor exercises like planks. Do yours stay interlocked well?

  9. Brooke says:

    This is a great post to show that you can make the most of any space! Love it! Also, thanks for the heads up about the exercise equipment in Idaho Falls. We were just looking at treadmills and we were dying over the price!

  10. Kari says:

    This is so great! You’ve packed a ton of function into a small space. What’s the ventilation like? All I can imagine is needing the door open constantly.

  11. Gladys says:

    I love this! I have a garage gym. I find it so convenient, I usually workout while making dinner ????

  12. Victoria says:

    You’re right, it’s not glamorous at all, but you’ve managed to fit so much into the space without compromising access to the storage area. I guess it’s a little more friendly when the tv is on? I think I would probably want to add some colour, maybe inspirational art? Otherwise, go you for using the space well and being prepared to show us!

  13. Heidi says:

    We have a make shift gym in our storage room as well. It’s so convenient to be able to throw on anything and go down after my daughter goes to bed. I’m much more motivated – especially since I’m hooked on a couple Netflix shows that I’ll only let myself watch on the treadmill. We had to mount a fan on the wall for air circulation but it still seems stuffy some days since there’s no window. Do you have an air purifier or don’t have this issue?

    • Julia says:

      No windows in here either. Although the treadmill has a few pretty powerful fans and we also have an oscillating tower fan we run on, if need be, too.

  14. Jenn(ifer) says:

    Our second guest room is also a home gym.
    We love having it, even without kids it’s so much easer to get the neccessary excercise done this way!
    Congrats on your home gym!

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