Setting up your home gym is easier than you believe. And if you create your garden gym shed outside, you won't need to sacrifice a room within your house to do it or build a costly extension or purchase an expensive gym membership.

Can a garden shed be a gym?

Absolutely it can. A gym is just a place to work out in. A 'real' gym has a lot of equipment and amenities to make things comfortable. Still, as long as you can do whatever workout you want to do, it can be your personal gym.

Gyms and garden structures both come in a lot of varieties. Having clear expectations for your gym and picking the proper design that fits those expectations will result in the gym you want.

A gym doesn't need to have a shower or sauna. The most valuable thing about a gym is that you can work out there.

That's why a commercial gym needs many devices. Most of which you probably never use. To get a good workout at home or in your shed, you only need a few well-chosen pieces of equipment that can provide everything you need for your type of workout.

Garden sheds come in many shapes and sizes and can be many different things. A garden shed could also be a gym, provided it is big enough to do the exercises you want. Sure, a garden shed that just holds your tools isn't going to work.

But what is?

Below I've listed a few important things when thinking about building a gym in your shed. Whether you already have a shed ready or you're planning on building one, you can use the points below to either decide if you can use your existing shed or what your new shed will look like.

Building a shed is a big project. Many people don't have the experience and confidence to do it without any help.


Why build a garden shed gym?

The first thing you might wonder is why use a garden shed? 

Can't you just build a gym or go to the gym? You could if you've got the space. But most peoples' garages are full already. 

So, when people decide that they want their own personal gym but don't have any space in the house, the garden is one place to consider. An outdoor gym is one solution but being entirely outdoors makes your workout vulnerable to weather conditions.

Another option is to build a shed and move your stuff out of the garage. That would free up the garage or basement to build your gym. But that doesn't quite make sense in my mind.

Most people prefer to see their garden than workout in their garage or basement.

That's why it is better to make a garden gym shed. And if it turns out you don't want to use the gym anymore, you still got the shed to turn into something else.


8 tips to getting your garden gym shed set up

Here are 8 tips for building your dream workout space in a garden gym shed at the bottom of your own garden:

1. Choose a suitable garden shed

Garden sheds used to be a space to store gardening equipment like shovels, spades, and a lawnmower. Your existing garden shed won't be robust enough to cope with heavy gym equipment. Log cabins or insulated Garden Rooms are more suitable for a home gym. They are stronger than wooden summerhouses and traditional sheds.

Be warned, though, if you plan to install heavy gym equipment, you will need a solid concrete foundation or paving slabs.

A space of 5m x 4m is suitable for most people, giving them plenty of room to stretch out their arms without hitting the ceiling and to lie flat on the floor for crunches and stretches. A 3m x 3m corner shed should accommodate an exercise bike and a few weights.

However, suppose you wish to have a more complete garden gym shed that includes a treadmill, swiss ball, rowing machine, and a complete weight rack. In that case, you'll ultimately need a much larger space to accommodate all that equipment.

Most garden gym sheds include:

  • Power rack
  • Bench
  • Barbell
  • Weights
  • Dumbbells
  • Space to deadlift/stretch/other
  • Treadmill
  • Swiss ball


Treadmills are pretty large, so you might think you'd need a lot of extra space to add it to your garden gym.

Luckily, many treadmills for home use have a fold-away deck. Meaning the part you walk on can flip up, meaning you don't use the floor space when not using the treadmill. I

It still takes up some space, however.

Since you won't be doing anything else while using the treadmill, you can use the empty floor space you'd otherwise use for stretching and deadlifting. Once you're done, fold up the treadmill deck, and you have room to do other things.

A shed or fancier garden structure that measures 4m x 4m will be big enough to house a full weightlifting setup and enough space to properly use that equipment. For cardio equipment only, a 2m-by-2m structure should be sufficient.

2. Protect the gym floor

If you want to put heavy weightlifting equipment in your garden gym, make sure you have a solid foundation below it. A concrete slab is the best option. For some lighter weights and cardio equipment, a braced wooden floor is sufficient.

Free weights can leave dents on your floor, so by using some heavy-duty rubber floor tiles they can help protect the floor and provide extra insulation. Furthermore, they're easy to clean and will instantly give your home gym a professional feel.

Most shed floors are wooden planks sitting on a wooden frame. The beams that make up the frame have likely no issue supporting any weight you could put on it. There are quite a few of them under a standard shed, so that should be plenty of support for all the weight in your gym.

The best floor for a gym shed would be concrete. It's stable, hardwearing and can handle plenty of loads. Having a concrete floor for your shed means you also need some kind of foundation, a flat surface and a professional to look at it. Those things will help you build a suitable shed to support all the weight you'll put in it.


3. 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.

Ensure your windows are double-glazed. Not only will this keep you snug in winter, but you'll be able to turn up the volume on your playlist speakers without irritating the neighbours.

Whilst in the summer months, you will need windows for ventilation as temperatures begin to rise. Opening windows is one solution – even better would be having air vents where warm and moist air is let out and cooler, refreshing air is drawn in.


4. Get your garden house connected

If you want to add heaters, extractor fans, lighting, TVs, music, or other items that require power, you must have a power supply.

You can run power to your garden gym shed by connecting a power cable from your house if it has been connected by a qualified electrician.

Or you could be even eco-friendly and add solar panels to the garden shed roof.


5. Find a storage solution for your garden gym shed

Your garden gym shed will be cluttered very soon if you do not keep the floor area free after workouts.

One way is to fix hooks, racks, and shelves onto the walls to store lighter weights, towels, gym clothes and water bottles. You can repurpose old bookcases, cabinets, or even old metal lockers for an authentic gym look.

This will help keep the shed floor space clear.

This is imperative if you wish to make a garden gym shed that has limited floor space. Once again, you can find second-hand storage units online or in charity shops if you want to save money and not buy brand-spanking-new storage furniture.


6. Plan and create your garden gym shed

Now you have the space arranged and the flooring completed, you can begin organising your gym equipment and crafting your ideal home gym in your shed.

Suppose exercise machines are more enjoyable for you. In that case, you can find smaller or lightweight versions designed for home garden gyms, meaning they're easy to move around or store to fit into tight corner spaces.

Suppose you're looking to add heavyweight equipment like benches or squat racks. In that case, you'll need to plan things out to operate safely and have additional padding around areas where weights could be dropped and make dents on the floor.


7. Get your gym kit

Now you can begin to deck out your garden gym shed to your desires. First, select your gym equipment by choosing your favourite machines (if you have space for more than one). Pick the free weights you feel will aid you in achieving your fitness goals. Don't forget a yoga mat for floor exercises and stretches.

Mirrors are important. A wall clock with a second hand or a digital clock will be handy for timing sets. And a music player is pretty much essential for most doing a workout. If there is enough floor area, you could purchase a small fridge for ice-cold energy drinks if you need instant rehydration. Again, if you have the floor space, you could buy a water cooler.

Remember, you don't have to spend the earth buying gym equipment, only buying what you need. Check eBay, Facebook or other second-hand shops.


8. Secure your garden room

Once you've created your garden gym, you'll need to ensure that you keep your equipment safe and secure. Invest in a garden room that has lock-and-key doors built-in for the ultimate security so you can enjoy your space for many years to come. Otherwise, buy a solid weatherproof padlock to protect your equipment.


Creating your own garden gym shed

Creating your own garden gym shed should not only be a dream for you. During this pandemic age, there is more of a desire to avoid going to crowded gyms.

Plus, there is no having to wait for gym machines to become free. Your garden gym shed is open whenever you need to work up a sweat, and once the investment has been made and gym equipment has been purchased, it's entirely free and adds value to your home should you wish to sell in the future.

But when you consider how much a gym membership costs you monthly – anywhere between £20 and £80 on average – then you realise you're spending hundreds of pounds a year on fitness that could go towards investing in your own home gym.

This is where home gyms come into play. You can use your outdoor space to create your ideal garden gym shed you don't need to share with anyone.

Creating your shed gym or summer house couldn't be easier – as long as you know how to do it.