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View Full Version : Ideas for layout of my home gym (it's a long read)



huskybear
07-04-2009, 08:49 AM
Okay, the time is finally coming for me to start my home gym preparation.

I'm hoping that you all can give me some feed back and ideas based on what I've got planned here as I really feel more confused than anything through most of the reading I've done.

To start, I have an 11' x 11' room that will be my gym. It's currently just the studs and concrete floor in my basement, and has a large closet, 2' x 8', framed in as it was to be a spare bedroom (the wife said "I'd rather you make it a gym so you can use it whenever you want, and then I can't stop you from going anymore").

That said, the only equipment I currently have is an old Northern Lights olympic bench which is like this... http://www.nlfit.com/product.asp?category_name=benches&product_id=513

I also have the lat pull/low pulley attachment for it which should prove useful.

The bench also is adjustable in-so-far as moving the upright bars in for dips so, pretty good versatility.

I also have a 7' olympic bar and 300lbs of weight with it.

Now, the bench is useless for squatting as to get under the bar you risk imminent death lol.

My plan so far is to cover the floor in the puzzle style rubber mats as a base floor and then build a deadlift platform, to which I can add either a power rack or squat stands... which brings me to my next question...

I can't afford a power rack at this point, so I was thinking of making squat stands and parallettes (http://www.geocities.com/fightraining/safety.html) using black pipe which would stay on the platform... good idea?

I was also thinking I could make some dumbbell handles and then just buy cheap iron plates from walmart and garage sales/craigslist type places.

I figured i could also build in a chin-up bar from the ceiling floor joists again using black pipe, put some u-bolts on the platform to act as band pegs, and build this ghetto GHR (http://rosstraining.com/blog/2009/02/14/homemade-hamstring-training/)

Now for cheap sound proofing i've got this idea of filling the walls with large farmer's egg cartons and actually getting sound proofing type ceiling insulation and the 8xdensity sheet rock for the ceiling, and and walls so that I can use the gym whenever I want, including when I get home at 2-3am after work and the family is asleep.

I know it's a long read, but any ideas and feedback on my ideas and plans would greatly appreciated. Not sure if I've got this planned out well or missing anything...

slashkills
07-04-2009, 10:56 AM
That sounds like a good plan. It would definitely be a sweet set up and pretty cheap.

I would still keep an eye on craigslist incase a good deal on a cage comes up. Maybe you could sell your bench to get a package deal with bench, weight, rack. I got this with bench and weight for 200$ on craigslist. I can squat, bench, and do rack pulls
http://www.bodysolid.com/Home/item.cfm?id=493

huskybear
07-04-2009, 10:39 PM
thanks slash... I like the idea, and I've actually considered it, I just think that I can also get a power rack eventually and like that I have the pulley system with the bench already... it's probably being a little greedy... My alterior motive, which I should have mentioned originally, was to build up a decently equiped gym too as I have two boys that I want to have access to good equipment as they get older and raise them with the idea that training is a way of life... I figure if I'm alway down there putting in the work that they can see, they'll want to train too and it will be good for them in the long run... does it make sense that I can make the squat stands and parallettes in the short-term and wait to get a true cage and keep the bench?

Goodwinm
07-05-2009, 01:37 AM
If strapped for cash make some sandbags.

I've got loads and probably cost me 40 in total and got over half a tonne of weight!

making your own equipment is always the cheaper option. Borrow a welder of someone and make your own power rack. ;)
go to the scrap metal yard and dig for some heavy ass duty metal.

or

Buy and old banger of a car that is only just drivable so you can get it home. Strip the car of all its contents leaving just the frame and engine and things. Now flip that beast like there is no tomorrow!

slashkills
07-05-2009, 10:01 AM
thanks slash... I like the idea, and I've actually considered it, I just think that I can also get a power rack eventually and like that I have the pulley system with the bench already... it's probably being a little greedy... My alterior motive, which I should have mentioned originally, was to build up a decently equiped gym too as I have two boys that I want to have access to good equipment as they get older and raise them with the idea that training is a way of life... I figure if I'm alway down there putting in the work that they can see, they'll want to train too and it will be good for them in the long run... does it make sense that I can make the squat stands and parallettes in the short-term and wait to get a true cage and keep the bench?

Ok i see what you want to do and yea that does make sense. It should be a solid setup for you and your boys to train in.

Brian C
07-05-2009, 12:57 PM
I got a cage on craigslist or 150, just need a place to put it..keep looking

huskybear
07-06-2009, 10:18 AM
I got a cage on craigslist or 150, just need a place to put it..keep looking

there's not much out there that looks worth while so far, but you're right, need to keep checking here...

What are peoples opinion of the half rack? Seems like a cheap alternative that would be just as good... ?

Kenny Powers
07-06-2009, 10:32 AM
power racks are sold pretty cheap if you look at the right places online. new york barbell has good prices and quality stuff. most cages will come with a chin bar so who needs the lat attachment?

iirc ive seen cages for about 300 bucks on there, most of which have free shipping. id wait till i could afford that becuase imo anything less than a cage will have you regretting not getting one in the first place.

Kenny Powers
07-06-2009, 10:51 AM
http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/92563.html

slashkills
07-06-2009, 11:18 AM
there's not much out there that looks worth while so far, but you're right, need to keep checking here...

What are peoples opinion of the half rack? Seems like a cheap alternative that would be just as good... ?

That will work well also.

Tim K
07-06-2009, 12:31 PM
If you want an inexpensive rubber floor, look for stall mats. I found some made of recycled rubber at my local feed store. Word of warning though, if it is recycled rubber, it will take some time to air out. I bought 6 mats and covered a 12' x 12' area.

killxswitch
07-07-2009, 10:59 AM
I haven't built mine yet, but definitely watch Craigs List. I had to wait for about 9 months but I found a guy selling a power rack, oly barbell, 300 lbs. of weight, curl bar, and bench, and he took $225 for it.

huskybear
07-07-2009, 12:35 PM
If you want an inexpensive rubber floor, look for stall mats. I found some made of recycled rubber at my local feed store. Word of warning though, if it is recycled rubber, it will take some time to air out. I bought 6 mats and covered a 12' x 12' area.

Thanks Tim... I didn't even think to use these for the floor, was only thinking of using them for my platform, so this sounds like a great idea!

huskybear
07-07-2009, 12:39 PM
I haven't built mine yet, but definitely watch Craigs List. I had to wait for about 9 months but I found a guy selling a power rack, oly barbell, 300 lbs. of weight, curl bar, and bench, and he took $225 for it.

this sounds like it's going to be my new obsession lol... I spent an hour yesterday looking, and I'll be able to get together quite a lot of weight and accessories for sure, now here's hoping I can get the rack!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Once I get it going, I'll post up pics with the results! and feel free to add anything you all come up with! definitely going to steal some ideas from Kiaran's video of his home gym too!

MarcusWild
07-07-2009, 01:16 PM
Definitely keep watching craigslist. Usually when someone is selling a power rack, they are desperate to get rid of it (usually because the wife is nagging about how much space it takes up in the garage). It's your best bet to find weights cheap too. I second the horse stall mats. They are half the price of 3/8" gym mats, and twice as thick. We use them in our gym.

Is this going to be on a concrete floor? If not, then you may want to be careful deadlifting. We made some deadlift boxes with 3/4" plywood and 2x6s on 6" centers. They got busted up pretty fast. I could see deadlifting destroying a house floor. That's usually 1/2" OSB and much greater distance between centers.

huskybear
07-08-2009, 12:39 AM
Is this going to be on a concrete floor? If not, then you may want to be careful deadlifting. We made some deadlift boxes with 3/4" plywood and 2x6s on 6" centers. They got busted up pretty fast. I could see deadlifting destroying a house floor. That's usually 1/2" OSB and much greater distance between centers.

Thanks Marcus! it is going to be on the concrete floor as a base... I was planning on putting down the rubber mats, and then building a deadlifting platform that the rack would be attached to over the mats... then I'd have a large area for deadlifting or other stuff in side and out of the rack with out messing up my floor... good call?

thegreatone
07-08-2009, 02:37 AM
I can't afford a power rack at this point, so I was thinking of making squat stands and parallettes (http://www.geocities.com/fightraining/safety.html) using black pipe which would stay on the platform... good idea?


These are $40 @ home depot and are rated for 1000lbs
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/c5/c5325a94-022f-4ce1-b86c-da2839c03a68_300.jpg

MarcusWild
07-08-2009, 10:14 AM
If you can put a rubber mat directly on the concrete, then that'd be the best way to go.

Reko
07-08-2009, 11:37 AM
how much money are you putting into the insulation/ceiling/sound proofing? Is noise going to be that big of an issue you can't put that towards a used rack?

Reko
07-08-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks Marcus! it is going to be on the concrete floor as a base... I was planning on putting down the rubber mats, and then building a deadlifting platform that the rack would be attached to over the mats... then I'd have a large area for deadlifting or other stuff in side and out of the rack with out messing up my floor... good call?

With a DL platform (2 sheets plywood and 1 rubber mat thickness) I think we did ok pulling on a concrete floor. Ask/PM Ben Moore as it was in his basement/platform.

huskybear
07-09-2009, 01:07 AM
how much money are you putting into the insulation/ceiling/sound proofing? Is noise going to be that big of an issue you can't put that towards a used rack?

it is as we want to finish the room so it's easily converted to a bedroom should we sell... and it going to be under my boys bedrooms, so as i will be lifting mostly at night, minimizing the sound will be paramount to keeping the wife off my back :D

I want to really invest into an Elite 2x2 build your own, but for the stuff I want it's $1300, plus at least another $300 shipping minimum to the frozen north here, so add in duties and taxes and it starts to get pricey... so that's why I figure some of these cheap fixes in the in term may work, or if I can get a decent used rack all the better... even been looking at metal tubing and considering doing the fabrication myself... but bottom line, I do have to apply my money to certain things in phases so it is a bit of a deal:thumbup: