Everything you need for a garden gym (2023)

Whilst we do generally prefer our gardens to be romantic, rambling spaces, there is something very tempting about having a garden gym tucked away somewhere. The idea of having a membership-free home gym which isn't constrained to opening hours or packed with sweaty strangers is really rather appealing. And here's the brilliant part: if you have room for any type of garden building, you have room for a garden gym. Sure, your garden tools might have to be kept elsewhere, but the freedom it'll grant is unmatched.

Garden rooms can add an average of £30,000 to your property's value, so building a bespoke workout space, yoga studio or summerhouse is a worthwhile investment.

Can I put a gym in my garden?

The all important question. To build anything in your garden, be it a garden office or a garden studio, you need to check your local Building Regulations guide and/or seek planning permission. Not all plots will need it but it's better to be safe than sorry.

How do you build a garden gym?

There are a few ways to approach building a bespoke garden gym. Depending on what home fitness equipment you want to purchase, you can opt for different specifications. If you want to invest in heavy cardio equipment like cross-trainers, treadmills and stationary exercise bikes, you may need to reinforce the floor in your outbuilding. Even with more space-friendly equipment, such as punching bags and weight lifting platforms, you might also need to do the same. Should you be opting for a pilates based spaces, with compact equipment like resistance bands, kettlebells and dumbbells, you will be able to use any space available without too much hassle.

What is the best gym equipment for a home gym?

The rowing machine

A high quality rowing machine can offer a full body workout without taking up too much space. It will improve your cardiovascular fitness, endurance and stamina without putting as much strain on your joints as running or cycling does. Our favourite in this category is the Hydrow Rower, which offers an immersive training session through its 22 inch HD touchscreen. With programmes designed to encourage and motivate, you can row against other Hydrow rowers in more than 3,000 live and on demand workouts. It boasts an impressive set of features, including: foot bed adjustment, dynamic monitors, a 10 roller system with drag mechanism and a roller seat. For a slightly more affordable option, the Echelon Row Smart Rowing Machine is a space efficient choice. You can access their specially designed fitness classes from just £19.99 a month, or simply create your own work out on the machine.

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Echelon Row Smart Rowing Machine

The exercise bike

Keen cyclists or attendees of spin classes will already be familiar with the full body benefits of getting on top of an exercise bike. It's brilliant for building up cardiovascular fitness but it's also excellent for muscle gain. Our bike of choice is Echelon's Smart Connect EX3 Max bikes, which (like the rowing machine) offers classes and sessions on their members pack. The bike itself has 32 resistance levels, so it's ready to challenge you. If you're not ready to invest in a super high tech, high spec bike, we suggest that you go for the Opti Folding Magnetic Exercise Bike from Argos. It's a folding bike which uses a magnetic resistance system to challenge and test you in your workout. It boats a screen that shows how long you've been working out for and the distance you've covered as well as your heart rate and calories burned. Another excellent choice would be the NOHrD Bike, which is self-described as a ‘striking newcomer' and promises all the capabilities of an exercise bike but in a more stylish package. With customisable pedal stroke resistance, adjustable handlebars with multiple grip options and wear-free magnetic brake technology, this bike has all the bells and whistles you could possibly need.

The treadmill

The gym stalwart that needs little introduction; the treadmill is one of the best things you can add in to your home gym. Top of its class, the Technogym MyRun is used in gyms up and down the country thanks to its built-in training programmes and feature rich software. It rivals the technical capabilites of the 'fancier' exercise bikes that have long been on the market that allow you to connect to virtual training apps. The Technogym MyRun can be linked up to Technogym Live, which offers a worthy amount of classes for free. For an affordable alternative, we'd opt for JTX's Sprint-5 running machine. It's a well made, foldable treadmill that doesn't take up too much room, making it great for gyms where space is at a premium. It offers 43 workout programmes, so you won't be short of fitness classes.

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Technogym MyRun

Everything you need for a garden gym (7)


The bench

A gym bench is a brilliant addition to any routine where the aim is to build muscle. It improves your posture whilst performing compound moves (think chest presses and bent-over rows), helping to reduce your chance of injury. Lie it flat and it can provide a base for crunches and other ab-centric activities. At the top of the range, Technogym's Adjustable Bench boasts integrated wheels for manoeuvrability and an ergonomic shape for maximum comfort. At the other end of the scale, the Positions Adjustable Fitness Workout Bench DW2161 costs just £59.99 and provides a great base for weight training exercises.

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Adjustable Bench

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Positions Adjustable Fitness Workout Bench DW2161

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The Workout Mirror

The Vaha X Fitness Mirror broke new ground when it was first released, getting you as close as you can get to an at-home fitness studio. Its interactive screen boasts personalised sessions for your body, mind and nutritional health. Thanks to its AI system, it can analyse your movements via an inbuilt camera and feeds back to you in real time on how to improve your workouts. If that’s not enough, one-on-one trainers are available to coach you across the aether at the touch of a button. The mirror is sleek and unobtrusive (one model can be mounted on a wall if you so desire), and it connects to Spotify, Firefox, Instagram, Skype, TikTok and Zoom, meaning it still has many uses even once you’ve wrapped up your exercise mat.

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Vaha X fitness mirror

The kettlebell

When is a kettlebell not just a kettlebell? When it looks as compelling as Spri’s vinyl number. The range of understated colour schemes makes this piece of equipment unobtrusive in any room of the house (a must when much at-home fitness gear looks like something from a Soviet interrogation chamber), and the vinyl coating prevents it from causing any scuff marks on the floor or walls. It comes in a variety of weights up to 22kg, which should be more than enough for most people.

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Spri Delux Vinyl Kettlebell

The workout mat

A workout mat is a home gym essential for anyone who wants to do pilates, yoga, stretching or ab routines. It offers some padding on a hard floor, providing cushioning for your back and coccyx which can easily get bruised when doing crunches or sit ups. Lulu Lemon has a lovely range in stylish patterns which will bring a pop of colour to what can otherwise be quite a bland space.

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Take Form Yoga Mat 5mm Marble

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The Reversible Mat 5mm

What is the best recovery equipment for a home gym?

The massage gun

Home fitness shouldn't be exclusively focussed on the work, but on the recovery too. If you do a lot of strength or weight training, investing in a Theragun will be well worth it. Held by the handle, the massage device pummels muscles to help aid relaxation and stop strain. They work so well that some spas are even incorporating them into their massages to offer deep tissue relaxation.

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Theragun elite

The foam roller

There isn't a sport in the world that doesn't need a post exercise warm down. Research suggests that cooling down post workout encourages gradual recovery for both heart rate and blood pressure, which helps to regulate blood flow. Lululemon's Release and Recover Ball Set allow you to massage your own muscles after your sessions, reducing soreness and risk of injury.

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Release and Recover Ball Set

£35 at Lulu Lemon


The ice bath

Focusing on sports recovery, Monk's smart ice bath can be controlled through an app, promising muscle recovery, immunity and improved focus and mental health at the click of a button. Monk's product is the first smart ice bath to hit the market and promises to make cold-water therapy more accessible–no longer is it solely the preserve of wild swimmers. Though that's only if you can afford the three grand price tag.

The ice bath isn't out yet but you can join the waitlist here.


How do you build a garden gym? ›

Here are our top tips for creating your dream workout space at the bottom of your own garden:
  1. Choose the right building. The Shore 5m x 4m Log Cabin can house gym equipment. ...
  2. Protect the floor. Lay rubber floor tiles to protect and insulate. ...
  3. Insulate and ventilate. ...
  4. Get connected. ...
  5. Find a storage solution. ...
  6. Kit it out. ...
  7. Lock it up.
21 Oct 2016

What do I need for a homemade gym? ›

The basics (inexpensive)
  1. An exercise mat or yoga mat.
  2. Resistance bands (light, medium, heavy).
  3. Stability ball.
  4. Bench, step bench or box (something to elevate you).
  5. Ab wheel.
  6. Gliding discs.
  7. Jump rope.
7 Jan 2021

What is a good size garden gym? ›

Garden Gym Building Size. A 5m x 4m space is optimal for most garden gyms, providing enough space for an array of equipment as well as space to stretch and warm down. You can scale this down to 3m x 3m if you're prepared to limit your equipment to a spin bike and weights.

What equipment do I need for a small gym? ›

A basic set-up, including essentials such as a bench, some dumbbells, and resistance bands, can still provide a great workout.
  • Training Bench. ...
  • Dumbbell Set. ...
  • Barbell Set. ...
  • Kettlebell Set. ...
  • Pull-Up Frame and Bar. ...
  • Treadmill. ...
  • Stationary Bicycle. ...
  • Rowing Machine.

Does a garden gym need to be insulated? ›

Insulate and ventilate your garden shed

If you wish to use your gym all year round (and let's face it, that is the aim), you will need both insulation and ventilation. Either you will invest in a ready-insulated garden room or do it yourself, insulating the walls with a sturdy insulator.

How much does it cost to build a backyard gym? ›

Cost to Build a Home Gym
Home Gym Cost
National average cost$13,500
Average range$3,500-$25,000
29 Sept 2021

How do you start a small gym place at home? ›

How To Create Your Home Gym In 4 Steps
  1. Choose a space to suit your workouts. There are three key points to consider when selecting a suitable area for your workouts: ...
  2. Choose home gym equipment to get started. ...
  3. Set up your space. ...
  4. Keep your space clean and safe.
6 Jun 2021

Does a garden gym add value? ›

“Not only does a garden room attract more buyers to your property, but a high-quality garden room can also boost the value of your home by 5% to 15%.” – Luke Jackson, Branch Partner – Michael Graham Buckingham Office.

What is the best legal structure for a gym? ›

Limited Liability Company or LLC

As the most common type of business entity, an LLC is fast, simple and inexpensive to set up and maintain. It protects your personal finances and assets and is a great way to start your personal training or gym business.

What is the average number of members for a small gym? ›

How many members do most gyms have? The average number of gym members is between 1,000 and 10,000, while boutique gyms (under 4,000 square feet) have 100–500 members.

What gym equipment should I buy first? ›

If you want to start with the basics and work on a budget I recommend getting a stability or "core" ball, a set of dumbbells, and some resistance tubing. Those pieces along with your own body weight and some imagination around the house are more than enough to get you started.

How big should a small gym be? ›

A good size for a home gym is about 150-250 square feet. This gives you enough room for both strength and cardio equipment. But you can build a home gym even if you don't have that much space available.

How much would it cost to build a small gym at home? ›

The average home gym cost is around $2,000 and typically runs between $300 and $15,000, depending on your training goals and how complex you want the setup to be. A simple home gym setup can consist of a couple of sets of dumbbells and a workout mat, while a more sophisticated one can include an entire weight room.

Why do gyms have green walls? ›

Green is among the most popular color used in gyms. It symbolizes nature, which not only relaxes the body but also refreshes it.

What temperature is too cold for a gym? ›

If the temperature dips below zero F (minus 18 C) or the wind chill is extreme, consider taking a break or choosing an indoor exercise instead. Consider putting off your workout if it's raining or snowing unless you have waterproof gear. Getting wet makes you more vulnerable to the cold.

Do garden rooms get hot? ›

Year Round Comfort

Sadly, not all garden rooms are particularly hospitable during the winter months. Cheaply made garden rooms, in particular, are hard to keep warm. They are often draughty and damp, making them unsuitable for year-round use.

How much money is needed for gym setup? ›

According to market analysis, a gym opening cost in India can range from anywhere between 5 lakh to 10 lakh rupees. And any big business investor wouldn't be agreeing to give out money without a sound business plan ready, so plan it beforehand.

How much space do you need for an outdoor gym? ›

You will need at least 300 square feet for a small fitness area and approximately 2000 square feet for a large fitness area.

Is it worth making your own gym? ›

Definitely! But it depends on how you place value on having your own gym setup at home. Some people will say that a gym membership is cheaper than buying a home gym. But people that have their own setup will tell you that the money they spent on the equipment was worth it in the end.

What is a good wall color for a gym? ›

MC Design founder Megan Dufresne adds, “Clean white walls are the go-to for home gyms. White walls minimize distraction, allowing you to do what you came there to do, work!

Do gyms make money? ›

So, do gyms make money? Yes, they certainly can. However, it is important to keep in mind that running a gym is a business, and like any business, there are costs associated with operating the business. In order to make a profit, gyms need to bring in enough revenue to cover all of their costs and then some.

How much do small gym owners make? ›

ZipRecruiter, an American jobs marketplace, reports that as of June 2022, the average annual pay for a gym owner in the United States is $69,472 a year.

Is it hard to start your own gym? ›

Opening a gym can be tough and the first year of running any small business is a steep learning curve, especially the first time of asking. There will be a lot of challenges and adversity along the way and moments where you feel like giving up.

Can a small gym make money? ›

After a year, a successful gym will generate at least $20,000 per month. According to the AFS 2016 Marketing Best Practices Research Report, a typical small fitness center in the U.S. makes $63 per SqFt., or up to $200,000 to $300,000 per year. Larger gyms can make up to 10 times as much money.

Whats a good size for a home gym? ›

The average size of a home gym is around 150 to 250 square feet. This provides adequate space for both muscle and cardio equipment. However, you are approaching the point where you will have to start making some adjustments at 250 square feet.

How much would it cost to build a gym from the ground up? ›

It can cost you anywhere from $8,000 for a studio to $50,000 for a large gym with all the equipment you could need. While investing in gym equipment make sure you look out for the best quality equipment so that you do not have to keep maintaining it.

Is a garden office tax deductible? ›

The short answer is yes, it can. However, it's unlikely you will be able to claim tax relief on the office itself as it would be classed as capital expenditure. And, as a structure (even if it's only a mobile one), it doesn't count as an allowable expense against your business profits.

How much land do you need for a gym? ›

The space required for a commercial gym with little to no equipment is 850 to 1,000 square feet. The space required for a commercial gym with a large membership and lots of equipment is 3,000 to 8,000 square feet.

Do you need a license to run a gym? ›

Like any other business, you will need a business license to own and operate your gym. Check your local ordinances to understand the licensing requirements for your area better.

What insurance does a gym owner need? ›

Public Liability

Provides insurance for gym owners if a member of the public is injured or suffers property damage and blames the gym. Public Liability provides the cover for the necessary legal fees associated with defending the gym in this instance.

What percentages of gyms fail? ›

According to the IHRSA, 81 percent of health and fitness studios fail within their first year. A gym is still a business and must be treated as such if it is to succeed. The surest way to set your new gym up for failure is to open it before you know what you're doing.

Which gender goes to the gym more? ›

One might assume that majority of gym members are male; however, statistics show this is no longer the case. More than half—50.5%—of gym-goers are now female (IHRSA, 2020).

Why do people quit the gym? ›

A new survey by Better has found that a lack of time and a lack of confidence are the main reasons people give for not going to the gym. Vanity reasons such as losing weight and toning up are important motivators to gym goers but over 11% are motivated by the positive impact exercise has on their mental health.

Can I build a gym in my garden? ›

Garden gyms are permitted developments, but your garden gym should be no larger than 10m x 10m, the eaves should be a maximum of 2.5 metres high, the overall height should be under 4 metres with a dual pitched roof or 3 metres with any other roof.

Do I need permission for a garden studio? ›

Most areas in the UK do not require planning permission for a garden office. If you live in a listed building, flat, maisonettes or SSSI (site of special scientific interest) then you will require planning permission for your building – otherwise you shouldn't need it.

Do you need planning permission for a workshop in your garden? ›

You must apply for full planning permission to erect a garden building, greenhouse or shed in your garden. This includes timber sheds.

How much does it cost to make a homemade gym? ›

The average home gym cost is around $2,000 and typically runs between $300 and $15,000, depending on your training goals and how complex you want the setup to be. A simple home gym setup can consist of a couple of sets of dumbbells and a workout mat, while a more sophisticated one can include an entire weight room.

How much money is needed for opening a gym? ›

According to market analysis, a gym opening cost in India can range from anywhere between 5 lakh to 10 lakh rupees. And any big business investor wouldn't be agreeing to give out money without a sound business plan ready, so plan it beforehand.

How profitable is a gym? ›

Multipurpose clubs had a median margin of 15.5%, while the fitness-only clubs registered a profit margin of 20%. Of course, the profit margin for your gym and fitness club will depend on factors like location, facility size, type of gym, and various other factors.

How much would it cost to build a small gym? ›

Think somewhere between $10,000 for a personal studio to $50,000 for a fully-equipped commercial gym. Be sure to shop around—and keep in mind you can often get a discount if you purchase the equipment in sets as a complete package. Certifications – having a professional, certified staff is a big plus.

Is it legal to sleep in a garden room? ›

Yes, you can sleep in a garden room but the same rules apply for living in a garden room: you will require the necessary planning permission.

Can I put a toilet in my garden room? ›

YES! A toilet can be installed in a garden room, as it does not need to meet building regulations approval due to its separation and size. Building regulations and planning permissions are not common for a garden room, so they are generally not required for installing a toilet.

How big can a garden studio be without planning? ›

You may build without planning permission if your garden room is located more than 20 metres from your main building and less than 10m x 10m in size. You may build a garden room larger than 10m x 10m with planning permission.

Do I need a permit to put electricity in my shed? ›

Yes, you'll need an electrical safety certificate." "Get a good local electrician to look at it, and talk you through the options. The works will need to be notified to your local Building Control as per Part P.

What can I build without permission? ›

23 Projects You Can Do Without Planning Permission
  • Interior renovations. ...
  • Single-storey extensions. ...
  • Build a conservatory without planning permission. ...
  • Erect a multi-storey extensions. ...
  • Repair, replace or add windows. ...
  • Loft conversion. ...
  • Replace roof. ...
  • Install rooflights.
20 Jan 2020

What's the biggest shed I can have without planning? ›

The shed must occupy less than 50% of the total area occupied by your property. Your shed isn't located in front of your house. The total floor area of the shed doesn't exceed 15m2. The height of the eaves of the shed doesn't exceed 2.5 metres and the building is single storey.


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