The garage and the basement were the 2 locations I wanted to set up my home gym. They’re similar in size, but ultimately, I choose the basement. In this blog post, I’ll explain why.
Now, before I go on, my situation and my personal considerations might be different than yours. Some of it might apply to you, while others may not. Either way, I hope you find it helpful if you’re planning on setting up a home gym!
Benefits Of A Basement Home Gym
Floor Is Leveled
In my basement, the floor in the area where I train is level.
Because of the leveled floor, there’s no risk of a loaded barbell rolling on the ground and slamming into walls, equipment or anything else in my basement.
Furthermore, I don’t need to worry about building a sloped lifting platform or level my basement with self leveling cement. This would be an additional cost to my home gym, and a headache that I’d rather not deal with.
I can just lay down the horse stall mats, setup my equipment and begin training.
Temperature & Humidity Control
In the wintertime the basement will be warmer, and in the summertime, it will be a lot cooler compared to the garage because of the heat from furnace and cold air from the air conditioning unit. This will allow a more comfortable and consistent environment to train.
There are some people who prefer training in extreme temperatures. Personally, I’d rather keep this variable constant and focus on improving my strength. Getting stronger is my goal, tolerating varying temperatures while training is not.
Also, because of the stable temperature and humidity levels (with a dehumidifier), the Olympic plates, B&R bar and other metal equipment won’t be subject to varying temperatures and humidity levels, so they’ll less likely corrode.
I could be wrong, but I’m assuming sound proofing is a little bit better in the basement compared to the garage. At least with mine.
Dropping a deadlift with all-steel Olympic plates would only annoy anyone upstairs. Whereas in the garage, anyone within the general vicinity could probably hear the crashing of the weights onto the floor.
I’d prefer not deal with neighbors complaining about excessive noise.
Negatives Of A Basement Home Gym
No Fresh Air
The air in the basement feels a bit stale and stuffy. Also, all the sweating, huffing and puffing from exercise doesn’t exactly freshen up the air.
I could open up a small window in the basement to allow fresh air in and the perspiration-laced air out, but (depending on the weather) this would not be as effective as opening a garage door.
Also, the window is a little difficult to open (it’s located near the top of the wall, and I have to manually slide 2 windows), whereas I can just push a button to open and close the garage door.
It is, was, and will be a pain in the ass to move all the equipment to the basement.
Exercise equipment isn’t exactly light, and much of it is long and awkward to carry, which makes it quite a challenge when trying to move everything downstairs without damaging the walls and floors. The good thing is I only have to do it once (or twice if I decided to move out).
Moving 10 pieces of 4’x6’ dirty stall mats weighing about 100lbs each from the garage to the basement was challenging. Moving 700lbs Olympic plates was hard labor. Long, rectangular boxes filled with metal pieces for my power rack wasn’t fun either.
If I had my home gym in the garage, it would be a lot easier to move equipment in and out.
As mentioned in my previous article, standing overhead press with two 45lbs plates on each side is not an issue for me because of my height (5’4”).
Someone who is 6’ or taller probably could not do this in a basement with a ceiling that’s just above 7’ high.
Jump squats and other plyometric exercises wouldn’t be a good idea in my basement either.
Ideally, I would have preferred my home gym to be in the garage, but decided on the basement because the floor was level. For me, it would be less of a hassle to move equipment downstairs into the basement than to deal with a sloped garage floor.
At this point, this leaves me to question: what am I going to do with the garage?
I’ve thought of a couple of options:
- Build a sloped lifting platform and do Olympic weightlifting movements in the garage
- Use the garage for plyometric training
- Hang a heavy bag on a wall mount in the garage
- Some the above
- All of the above
This would mean I would have 2 home gyms: basement home gym for weight training, and anything else that doesn’t need a perfectly leveled floor in the garage.
Something to think about. Hmm…