8 Things You Need to Build a Garden Gym
Updated August 2023
DIY Outdoor Home Gym Ideas
With the weather heating up and spring on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to build an outdoor home gym. Outdoor or garden gyms have become increasingly popular in the UK over the last few years because many of us don't have indoor space for efficient workouts. More of us are extending our living space by utilising garden areas and garages for fitness and other purposes. If executed well, an outdoor gym can significantly optimise your fitness routine, and it will last for years.
When planning and building an outdoor gym, you want to make sure you have covered all the basics and the smaller details that are sometimes overlooked. We've outlined some key things to consider before you get your project off the ground.
In this article:
- What Is an Outdoor Gym
- 8 Things You Need to Consider to Build Your Garden Gym
What Is an Outdoor Gym?
Outdoor gyms can be a great way to exercise at home without using a room in the house. If you don’t have the extra space or garage for a home gym, think about your outdoor space.
An outdoor or garden gym can be as complex or simple as you like. While some people create an outdoor garden gym to rival the best boutique fitness studios, for others, it’s an outdoor space with some rubber fitness tiles and a few weights. It’s a place to exercise that gives you room to move around and get the most out of your equipment.
The main selling points of a home gym are that there’s no commute to the gym, and you can exercise whenever you need. Often, when you create a fitness zone or gym for exercise at home, it can help you to transition into your “workout vibe” much easier and motivate you to be more consistent with your training.
8 Things You Need to Consider to Build Your Garden Gym
There is nothing quite like the freedom of a garden gym and exercising in nature. But you want to maintain your outdoor gym and invest in building a space that will last. Here are eight things worth considering before planning your garden gym space.
1. Suitable Garden Shelter
If you want to work out in all types of weather, you must install a cover. You won't have to worry about rain or hot weather and can use your gym more throughout the year. Dozens of canopies and ready-made covers are on the market, and various materials can be used to create your handmade cover solution.
Many homeowners design and construct patio and outdoor living areas using materials such as PVC, wood and brick for awnings and garden shelters, which is an excellent foundation for your garden gym building. Just make sure you give yourself enough headroom for those star jumps!
2. Temporary or Permanent Garden Gym
You may want to create a temporary outdoor gym or a more permanent set-up, depending on your situation. If you want to disassemble your gym space easily, consider loosely-laid gym flooring and equipment that can be efficiently moved around.
For a more permanent solution, consider installing proper gym flooring and anchoring equipment such as gym rigs and racks to make them more stable. A permanent structure around your gym will also protect your equipment and give it a more purposeful place within your outdoor space.
Alternatively, you can go big and invest in a modular summerhouse or “gym pod”, which is a fully contained building. Repurposing an old garden shed or extending your garage are also great ideas for establishing a framework for your home gym.
3. Weather-Proof Gym Equipment
Consider well-made, quality gym equipment made from strong materials that will not wear easily. Equipment protectors can also help keep your gear well looked after and fit for purpose. Try to opt for equipment that has the following:
- UV Protection
- Steel Frame Construction
- Powder-Coated Steel finish
- Chip & Corrosion-Resistance.
When choosing the various types of gym kit for your garden gym, remember your personal fitness goals, the activities you enjoy and what equipment you are likely to use the most and benefit from. There is no point in kitting out an entire gym with every type of weight when you want to focus more on cardio, for example. Less is more in this instance, so think about the amount of space you have and select your equipment wisely.
A well-balanced home gym should have a gym rig or power rack as its foundation. It allows you to build and add bars and attachments for multi-functional fitness, covering all the bases for barbell training, dips, squats, pull-ups, bench work and suspension training, plus storage space for weights.
Most cardio machines such as bikes, rowers and treadmills are now equipped to be moved around from place to place and can work well in home gyms if the space is well-insulated. Think about adequate storage space for items such as kettlebells, dumbbells and accessories so that you have enough floor space for comfortable workouts.
- Gym rig/power rack or squat rack
- Rig attachments such as dip bars, pull-up bars, landmines, gym rings, and suspension training systems
- Barbells and bumper plates
- Selection of free weights
- Plyo box
- Skipping ropes
- Resistance bands
- Slam ball
4. Insulation and Air-Conditioning
Depending on how built-up your garden gym is, you may need to consider temperature changes. If you have a semi-open space, it is best to consider an adjustable hanging style cover to keep wind and cold out and direct sunlight in hot seasons.
Likewise, proper home gym flooring will seal your space and provide an extra insulation layer. In more closed spaces, you might want to invest in fans in the summer months when it can become warm and stuffy.
5. Suitable Outdoor Flooring
Not all gym flooring is designed for outdoor use. It is advisable to narrow down gym flooring options that have built-in drainage and are made to withstand various types of weather, such as heavy rain, frost and extreme heat. Thicker gym tiles will also provide superior shock absorption and stability for outdoor use.
Pro Antishock Gym Tiles (1m x 1m)
- Available in 3 thicknesses from 43mm to 63mm
- Rubber flooring is metal-free, environmentally and user friendly
- Built-in drainage
- Anti-slip properties
- 4-year warranty
- Noise reduction
- From £62.99 per tile
- Anti-shock tiles
- Gym flooring is ideal for weightlifting, CrossFit, yoga, boxing and martial arts training.
3-Colour Outdoor Tiles (500mm x 500mm)
- Available in two thicknesses, 30mm to 40mm
- Built-in drainage
- Non-slip rubber tiles
- 4-year warranty
- Three colours (black/red/green)
- Multipurpose — gym flooring, garage gyms, garden gyms, outdoor play areas, parks and more.
- From £12.99 per tile.
- Available in two thicknesses, 25mm-50mm
- Available in 3G and 4G
- Two lengths available
- 5-year warranty
- From £2,393 per roll (3G)
- Ideal for football training and home fitness
- Tracks from £540
- Tracks ideal for functional training, CrossFit and sled training.
6. Durable and Low Maintenance Materials
Hardwearing and hardy materials are important when planning and building a garden gym. Flimsy and lightweight gym and exercise equipment, structural materials and gym flooring will not last in an outdoor setting.
Similarly, opting for low-maintenance materials where possible will keep the time and expense of upkeep cost-effective.
7. Lighting for Your Workout Space
Lighting is a must if you want to maximise the use of your outdoor gym space throughout the year or even use it in the evenings. The lighting you choose will depend on how your space is set up, whether you have access to mains electricity and what type of structure you have. There are many outdoor lighting options on the market, from dangling fairy lights to state-of-the-art outdoor lighting fixtures and solar panels.
8. Noise Level-Reducing Gym Flooring
Your outdoor gym should be a comfortable space with the freedom to drop weights and use noisy or heavy equipment at your leisure. This is where noise control comes in. Consider sound-reducing gym flooring to dampen noise levels which will minimise disruption to other family members or neighbours.
Building an outdoor home gym is an exciting project where you can benefit from regular workouts and outdoor fitness. Avoid the commute and costly gym membership fees by creating your gym in the garden, which, if done well, can be used all year round.
If you keep in mind your long-term fitness goals and the practical aspects of building an effective and durable outdoor space, you are on your way to an amazing garden gym for 2023 and years to come.
You may also be interested in the following: