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Guide: Budget Ideas to Turn a Shed Into a Home Gym

Tips to turn a backyard shed into an inexpensive DIY at home gym using secondhand workout equipment and small storage solutions.

If you have a shed in your backyard currently crammed with clutter, it is the perfect opportunity to turn it into your own workout space.

After about a week of work, our home gym shed is packed with workout equipment and ready for shredding!

backyard at home gym shed

If you are thinking about creating a backyard gym shed, remember as you’re planning the makeover that it’s a very cost-effective alternative considering you’ll save yourself money on a gym membership long term.

Setting up a dedicated space as your new home gym shed is the best way to save time each day and maintain a workout routine.

Over the past 10 years, Robert has collected lots of gym equipment from Facebook Marketplace and secondhand sports stores; all of which he used in our dirty, grungy garage before we had this shed gym idea. 

at home gym shed with cardio bike and weight lifting area
pool shed before

After adding in some organizing items and a few amenities, this shed feels like a tiny little health spa in our backyard! Use these tips to help you set up the fitness equipment for your own personal gym.

Home Gym Storage

It’s a good idea to hang some shelves for easy access to yoga mats, small free weights, and a Bluetooth speaker. Utilize hooks to hang items.

We definitely needed some shelves for all of the smaller items in our gym like resistance bands and jump ropes, so this shelf with metal hooks worked perfectly.

wall shelves for storing home gym equipment

This industrial pipe shelf was the perfect fit for small items like our speaker, yoga blocks, an atomic clock, and foam roller for muscle recovery.

Of course, every personal fitness sanctuary could benefit from a small plant. 

wall shelves for storing small gym equipment

Beside the door was a great place to put this 3-cube shelf for holding a few hand weights, this wire basket for storing gym towels, and a mini fridge for keeping water bottles cold.

It makes perfect sense when a gym towel and a bottle of water is the first thing you need on your way out of the door post-workout. 

home gym shelves for storing mini fridge, hand weights, and gym towels
home gym shelves

(The best part is this framed Theodore Roosevelt quote I gave to Robert for his birthday last year. It fits right in that corner for a dose of motivation.)

Home Gym Floor Workout Area

For the floor, Robert found these heavy duty rubber mats second hand from Facebook Marketplace to place on the concrete slab. These used ones were still in great condition.

You can buy them as horse stall mats from your local farm supply store to make your own shed floor inexpensively. 

Tip: Place heavy weights and heavy gym equipment around the perimeter of the shed so that you have enough room to move in the open space.

at home gym shed with mirrors and faux brick walls

We hung up two of these huge black framed mirrors so we can check our form like we’re in a mini yoga studio.

I looked everywhere for mirrors the right size and these Walmart ones were 3 times cheaper than anywhere else I could find them!

Even if you don’t have room in a small shed for a piece of equipment, as long as you have a few square feet of space, you can still get a great home workout. 

home gym cheap workout mirrors

Gym Lighting

Okay, this might be my favorite feature of the entire room. We had this ledge running all around the top of our faux brick walls, and we thought it would be a cool feature to place these color changing LED strip lights!

You don’t even need a power supply since they’re battery operated. Use rechargeable batteries to save money over time.

workout shed with squat rack and weight lifting bench

The light strips even have pre-programmed light shows.

They make those dark 5 a.m. workouts more fun, that’s for sure. It’s perfect for cranking the music and having a blast.

workout shed with led lights

We added in an industrial style fan with lights and retractable blades too so we can have a breeze.

Later, if we feel we need one when summer comes back around, we might add a wall a/c unit.

Gym Shed Cardio Area

This exercise bike is the only new piece of gym equipment we just got, so I’ll share more about it as I get used to it.

I love that we put it right at the window so I can look out into the backyard pool area as I ride.

gym shed with cardio bike and small storage solutions

Weight Lifting Area

Robert had this squat rack crammed into our garage for years, and now this setup makes way more sense.

We’ll likely add a chalkboard where he can jot down workout circuits and goals. He has a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science, so now he can really put it to use in here.

home gym with led lights and weight lifting area

Tips for Creating a Home Gym on a Budget

Shop Used

Search local classifieds or secondhand sports stores for used equipment. Most of our workout equipment is secondhand and collected over the past decade.

Add Interest to Walls Inexpensively

Get creative to add interest to the walls without spending too much. Stencil the walls or hang a simple poster that inspires you.

Hang Shelves for Small Equipment

Consider a small shelf to keep any small equipment organized and easy to find.

Use Rubber Floor Mats

Use rubber flooring for joint support during workouts. Check your local farm supply store for stall mats.

Start Small

If you’re starting your home gym from scratch, just some simple resistance bands, jump rope, and good running shoes is all you need to get a full strength/cardio workout.

Gym Shed Sources

These are all of the extra items we used in here to complete the gym shed.

We already owned most of the other sources in here, but you can find out How to Gradually Build a Home Gym for Every Budget with ways to build up to your own home gym as your budget allows over time.

Robert’s exercise background isn’t something we’ve ever really shared before, but it’s something he’s so knowledgable about that maybe it could help someone else needing a budget-focused home gym resource.

home gym shed repurposed from an old messy backyard shed

It’s hard to believe what the shed looked like before, right? I can’t get over how massive this change was.

More Gym Shed Ideas

You can find more tips and inspiration for setting up a home gym in your backyard shed below.

DIY Faux Brick Walls in a Gym Shed

12 Brilliant Home Gym Ideas Inspiring Our Workout Shed

Home Gym Ideas Perfect for a Basement Garage or Shed

home gym ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

How big does a shed need to be for a gym?

It depends how much workout equipment and floor space you want to use in your gym. 50 to 200 square feet is the average requirement of space for a home gym.

Is it cheaper to buy a shed or build one yourself?

Building a shed usually will save money on labor costs, but buying a shed will save time. It’s up to you to decide which is more valuable to you: time or money. Many shed kits are available on the market to make the building process a little easier.

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43 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren, I’m in Melbourne, Australia. Just wanted to say how fabulous your gym shed has turned out. You & Robert never cease to stun me with your re-do rooms. You’re both very talented. I’d even get started on the weights if I had that room lol. Cheers from Melbourne (in lockdown number 6 uurrgghh)

  2. WOW!!! That is AWESOME, Lauren! You and Robert both deserve this – especially he does – he works so hard to make your incredible home so perfect. This is genius and I hope you both enjoy it very much.
    Genius putting the bike by the window – imagining next year’s hot summer bod is great motivation.

    Well done, you two. Whoot!!!!

  3. I’m fascinated by the ceiling fan with the retractable blades – never seen one before. Where are the blades? Great job on the Sweat Shack!!