You Can Have a Garage Gym and Still Park Your Car Inside (Here’s How)


Parking Your Car in a Garage Gym

When I tell people I have a garage gym, a question I get asked quite a bit is, “Are you still able to park your car in the garage?” The answer is yes you can and yes I do (on occasion).

The truth is even if I couldn’t park my car in my garage, I’d still have my gym. I do understand though, that I’m pretty fortunate that I also have a driveway that I can park my car in as well. I don’t have to choose between parking in my garage and having to find street parking.

If that sounds familiar, I don’t have to explain to you how frustrating finding street parking can be sometimes.

Like I said, I typically park my car in my driveway outside my garage. However, the way my gym is setup I still have the option of pulling my car in. This comes in handy if the forecast is calling for snow or extreme temperatures and I don’t want to deal with it when I leave for work in the morning.

In this article, I’m going to teach you how you can have your cake and eat it too. Or in this case, get diesel and park your diesel too. (I know. Bad joke, but I couldn’t resist.)

Layout – Equipment

I have a two car garage with “my” side of the garage designated as the gym side. My wife still parks her car on the other side. This gives me a total of 210 square feet – 10′ wide and 21′ deep. My car is 16 feet long. This gives me about 5 feet of space at the front end (furthest from the garage door) that I can utilize for things that won’t need to move when I pull my car in.

Everything else needs to be able to be mobile.

DIY Squat Stand
My first official DIY Garage Gym project. A super simple design made with simple tools, but it’s been a beast for me for over six months now.

The biggest space taker in almost any gym is going to be the rack. For my gym I decided to build a DIY Squat Rack. It’s on the front end of the garage attached to the wall. You can go this route or you can buy a rack with the same principle in mind.

If you’re going to buy a rack in this situation I strongly recommend the Wall Mounted Rack from Rogue. It attaches to the wall like my DIY Rack, but it can also fold in. When folded in, it only takes up 5″ of space from the wall.

Don’t have a wall that can handle having a squat rack attached to it? Try a Squat Stand, like this oneOpens in a new tab. from Rogue. True they may not be quite as sturdy as a more heavy duty rack, they will do the job when you’re trying to save space.

Other big pieces of equipment, like Glute Hams, Lat Pulldowns, etc are going to be decisions you’ll have to make based on your space. I can’t tell you exactly what is going to work for your space. All I can say is prioritize what equipment you feel you need the most with the space you’re able to relinquish.

Also, can you replace a Glute Ham with RDLs and Good Mornings? Can you stick with pullups and inverted rows in place of a Lat Pulldown machine? There is always a substitute for everything depending on what you’re willing to give up.

Utilize Your Walls For Storage

Anything that can free up floor space is a huge help when it comes to fitting your car inside your garage gym. So racks like this Rogue Swiss RackOpens in a new tab. for Med Balls or this Belt & Band HangerOpens in a new tab. are excellent ways to use space vertically and free up your floor. I ended up building my own set of shelves.

Almost anything can be stored on walls, from barbells to accessories. Just be mindful of using your studs when hanging things so you don’t end up ripping out your drywall.

In addition to your walls, look for other ways to be creative with your storage. Those patio storage boxes can be a great storage space. Sit one next to your garage on the side of your house. It will still look nice and can be a great place to store any number of accessories.

Stay Organized

Sometimes one of the best parts about having your own gym is not having to clean up after yourself. Don’t feel like putting those bumpers back on the rack. No worries. Leaving your boxes out cause you’re going to use them again tomorrow anyway? No one is going to yell at you.

However, if you’re going to be bringing your car in, staying organized is critical. Space is going to be tight. Everything is going to have to have it’s own place and you’ll have to be diligent in keeping it that way.

While we’re on the subject, I highly recommend hanging one of those tennis balls off the ceiling. They can be really helpful when you’re trying to squeeze every inch out of your space and still not hitting your rack with your car.

Be Mindful of Your Flooring

You should have rubber flooring down on your garage floor. I personally recommend Horse Stall Mats and I believe it’s the best flooring option for your garage gym. You need a thick enough floor to be able to do your lift on because having a platform is going to make it really difficult, if not impossible, to get your car in.

Keep in mind that these mats are designed for animals that weigh over a 1,000 pounds so parking your car on them will not be an issue.

A couple things to keep in mind in regards to your flooring. Make sure if you are parking your car on top of your gym flooring that you have something in place to catch any fluids that may leak out of your car while it’s parked. Leaked fluids can ruin a gym floor and make it dangerous to perform some lifts on. A catch pan or even a piece of plywood can work pretty well for this.

Make sure to properly sweep and clean any dirt and debris that tires may leave behind before you lift. This is especially true if you’re doing technical lifts like snatches and cleans where a small slip can lead to an injury.

Final Thoughts

You can have a garage gym and still utilize it as a place to park your car. You may have a few obstacles to overcome and you may have to put a little more thought into your planning, but it can be done. Don’t let the thought of having to choose between one or other stop you from your dream of hitting heavy squats inside your garage on a Saturday morning. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.

Ryan H

My name is Ryan Horton and I've spent the last 18 years as a Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach and am currently the Director of Sports Science with Georgia Tech Football. I've always set up workout areas at home everywhere we've lived, but now I have a garage and I'm going all out.

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