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When you’re building a home gym, you want to make sure that you can fit all of the equipment you need to meet your goals. Many people don’t have a lot of space for a full home gym, but you can still fit a few essential pieces of equipment even if you only have 250 square feet to work with.
Is it possible to build a 250 square foot home gym? It is possible to build a 250 square foot home gym. We hired an architect named Camila Lyons from ALVA Interior and Architecture to design a 250 square foot home gym. You can fit several pieces of equipment in this space, but what you decide to purchase for your home gym will depend on your goals.
In this article, I’ll discuss:
- The floor plans we created for a 250 square foot home gym
- What can and cannot fit in a 250 square foot home gym
- How to customize your home gym based on your training goals
- What exercises you can do in a 250 square foot home gym
250 Square Foot Home Gym Floor Plan
Below are the floor plans our architect created for a 250 square foot home gym. These floor plans were created using a fictional room that measures 12’6”x20”.
You don’t have to include everything we have here or place your equipment in these exact spots, but these floor plans should give you a good idea of how you can structure your home gym.
Here is a 2D version of a 250 square foot home gym:
Here is a 3D view of the home gym from overhead:
Here is another overhead view of the room:
And here are two views of the 250 square foot home gym from the back:
Check out our complete guide to Small Home Gym Layouts.
What Can Fit Into A 250 Square Foot Home Gym?
Based on our floor plans above, you can fit the following pieces of equipment in a 250 square foot home gym:
- Medicine balls
- Gymnastics ladder
- Plyo box
- Wall-mounted storage posts for belts, resistance bands, or jump ropes
- A lifting platform
- Wall-mounted barbell storage racks
- Wall-mounted plate storage posts
- A bench
- A power cage
What CANNOT Fit Into A 250 Square Foot Home Gym?
250 square feet is a decent amount of space, but you do have to be mindful of what equipment you add to a home gym of this size.
Examples of equipment that won’t fit in a 250 square foot home gym include:
- A power cage, if your ceilings aren’t high enough
- More than one or two pieces of cardio equipment, depending on how much other equipment you add
- Multiple isolation machines
Extras & Substitutions Based On Your Goals
Building a home gym in a smaller space is easier for powerlifters since you don’t need a ton of equipment. Essential pieces of equipment that a powerlifter would need include:
- A power cage or squat stand
- A pullup bar, if you can’t fit a squat rack or power cage that has one
- A bench
- A deadlift platform
- A barbell
- Dumbbells for accessory exercises
You can also get a matador for dips if your squat rack is compatible with one or a wall-mounted dip bar. And if you want to save even more space, you can get one set of adjustable dumbbells instead of multiple pairs of dumbbells.
Like powerlifters, weightlifters generally don’t need a ton of equipment. The most important thing to consider is where you’ll place everything. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t have equipment close to your lifting platform in case you bail a lift and the barbell rolls far away from you.
Below is a list of equipment that weightlifters would need to add to a home gym:
- A squat stand
- A barbell
- Dumbbells for assistance movements
- A lifting platform
- A pullup bar
Since you won’t need a punching bag or gymnastics ladder like we showed in our sample floor plans, you can get a set of jerk blocks and store them against the wall when you’re not using them. You can also fit a reverse hyper or GHD machine and a bench if you like to do bench presses, although many weightlifters don’t.
Even though you can scale most CrossFit workouts if you have limited equipment, there are still a few essential pieces CrossFitters should have in their home gyms, including:
- A squat stand
- A barbell
- One or two kettlebells
- A jump rope
- One piece of conditioning equipment such as an Echo bike or rower
- A plyo box
- A pullup bar
- A medicine ball
Since you’ll need floor space to do your WODs, you can get a squat stand instead of a power cage, which will save you some room. And a lifting platform isn’t necessary for most casual CrossFitters, so if you do add a piece of cardio equipment to your home gym, you can place it next to your squat stand.
You also probably don’t need large storage racks for dumbbells and kettlebells to do WODs at home, so you can either get a smaller storage rack for just a couple of sets of dumbbells and kettlebells or leave them on the floor. This will give you more wall space for handstand pushups and wall balls.
4. General Fitness
If you train for general health purposes, you have a bit more flexibility with what you can add to a 250 square foot home gym. You probably don’t need a power cage, especially if you won’t be lifting very heavy or testing 1RM’s frequently.
You also won’t need a lot of individual isolation machines since many exercises can be done with free weights. You won’t need to worry about targeting every muscle group the same way a professional bodybuilder would.
For individuals who don’t train with any sport-specific goals in mind, I recommend the following pieces of equipment for a 250 square foot home gym:
- A squat stand, barbell, bench, and plates, if you want to do strength training at home
- One or two cardio machines
- A jump rope
While you can’t fit a ton of isolation machines in a 250 square foot home gym, you can fit an all-in-one resistance machine in addition to a squat rack and bench. This will allow you to train compound movements as well as perform isolation exercises that you can’t do with free weights alone.
I’d also recommend that bodybuilders get a set of adjustable dumbbells instead of multiple pairs of dumbbells. This will give you more space for larger pieces of equipment without making the room feel claustrophobic.
A list of equipment for bodybuilders that can fit into a 250 square foot home gym includes:
- A squat stand
- A bench
- A barbell
- Adjustable dumbbells
- An all-in-one resistance machine
Equipment For A 250 Square Foot Gym
8 Must-Haves for a 250 Square Foot Gym
- Squat rack
- Resistance bands
- Jump rope
1. Squat Rack
A squat rack is essential for anyone who plans to strength train in their home gym.
If you’re a competitive powerlifter, a power cage is ideal since they’re more stable and can support heavy weight if you have to bail. The Fringe Sport One Fit Wonder Power Cage Squat Rack has a 1,000lb weight capacity and can be bolted to the floor or secured with sandbags for extra stability.
For most other home gym users, a squat stand is sufficient and won’t take up as much space. I recommend the Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand. It also has a 1,000lb weight capacity, and you can get spotter arms separately if you want the additional peace of mind when you train by yourself.
Check out my article 7 Best Squat Racks for Small Spaces for a list of other squat racks that can fit in a 250 square foot home gym.
For an all-purpose barbell that can also be used for powerlifting, I recommend the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. It has aggressive knurling and very little whip that makes it ideal for squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
For weightlifters and CrossFitters, I recommend the Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 for females or the Olympic WL bar for males. Both bars have good whip, which makes lifts such as the snatch and clean and jerk easier, and the Olympic WL bar is made to the same specs as Rogue’s IWF-approved bars.
I generally recommend bumper plates for home gyms because they’re less noisy and less likely to cause significant damage to your floors.
You can’t go wrong with the Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates. I’ve been using them in my home gym 4-5 days per week for several years. You can tell they’ve been used, but there’s no damage that hinders their performance.
You may also want to consider metal plates or rubber-coated plates. Check out my article Bumper Plates vs. Metal Plates vs. Rubber Plates (Pros & Cons) to determine which kind of plates are right for you.
A bench is another essential item if you will be doing any strength training in your gym. I like having an incline bench because I like to do movements such as incline bench presses and incline flyes. But a flat bench is sufficient if you will just be doing regular bench presses.
Dumbbells are beneficial for home gyms because you can use them for most isolation exercises and to address strength imbalances between your right and left sides.
If you want to purchase multiple pairs of dumbbells, I recommend the rubber hex dumbbells from Titan Fitness. They have an ergonomic knurled handle that makes them easy to grip, and the hex shape prevents them from rolling. You can also lay them flat on the ground to do exercises such as renegade rows and devil’s presses.
If you want to save some space, I recommend getting adjustable dumbbells instead. I’ve had PowerBlock dumbbells for several years and they’ve been a great addition to my small garage gym. They come with a weight range of 5-50lbs, but you can get expanders to increase the weights to as much as 90lbs.
Although we showed a storage rack with several kettlebells in our sample floor plan above, most individuals can get by with just a couple of kettlebells. You can simply leave them on the floor in the corner, which eliminates the need for a large storage rack and gives you more space for other pieces of equipment.
I recommend the Rogue Kettlebells because of their durable construction and lack of cheap filler material. They also have a powder-coat finish that makes the handles easy to hold onto even when your hands get sweaty.
For more kettlebell recommendations, check out the article Best 5 Kettlebells For The Money (That Are Still Well Made).
7. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are great for small home gyms because they don’t take up any room at all, and you can use them for substitutions for some machine exercises. I use mine frequently for things like banded hamstring curls and lat pushdowns. I also like to use them to warm up my glutes and shoulders.
I’ve had the WODfitters resistance bands for a few years and I highly recommend them. They haven’t stretched out at all and they aren’t fraying despite the fact that I use them several days per week. You can buy them as a set or individually, but I like having the set so I can use different colored bands for different movements.
8. A Jump Rope
Depending on how much other equipment you add to your 250 square foot home gym, a cardio machine may not fit. For that reason, I recommend that anyone with a smaller home gym get a jump rope. Jump ropes require very little storage space and you can get a good cardio workout in by just jumping rope for 10-20 minutes.
The WOD Nation Speed Rope is a good choice whether you’re a CrossFitter or not. It comes with two cables of varying thickness, so you can swap them out based on your skill level or if you want an extra challenge. The jump rope comes with an affordable price tag and is available in several different colors.
Optional Equipment for a 250 Square Foot Home Gym
The 5 pieces of optional equipment for a 250 square foot home gym are:
- A cardio machine
- Plyo box
- Lifting platform
- Medicine balls
- Bodybuilding machines
1. A Cardio Machine
If your goals are more conditioning or endurance-based, you can fit a cardio machine in a 250 square foot home gym, especially if you don’t need a power cage or squat rack.
For CrossFitters, I recommend the Rogue Echo Bike because it has a small footprint. You can get a rower, but you’ll need room for a barbell and possibly a plyo box on the floor during a WOD, and the rower will take up a lot of space. You may also want to consider a ski erg, which also has a smaller footprint.
Individuals who train for general health purposes can get a spin bike or treadmill. The Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike is an affordable bike that can fit into a small home gym. It has a quiet belt so you won’t disturb your family members by making too much noise.
If you prefer a treadmill, I recommend the NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill. It has 20 built-in workouts and real-time performance tracking so you can keep track of your progress over time. When you’re not using it, you can fold it up so you have more room to do other types of workouts.
2. A Plyo Box
A plyo box is a great tool for building explosive strength, but I don’t consider it a necessary piece of equipment for most home gyms. You can do tuck jumps or broad jumps instead of box jumps. Even sprints or kettlebell swings can be used to improve explosive strength.
However, plyo boxes are necessary for CrossFitters since a lot of WODs include box jumps. They’re also useful for strength athletes so you can do movements such as box squats or step ups, but you can use a bench for those movements as well.
If you do decide to purchase a plyo box, I recommend the Rogue foam box. It has the same dimensions as Rogue’s original wood box, but it’s made with dense foam that protects your shins if you fall. Unlike other foam plyo boxes that don’t have a wood base, the Rogue foam box is stable and won’t tip over when you land on it.
3. A Lifting Platform
A lifting platform is only necessary for competitive powerlifters or weightlifters. Most other home gym users can simply use horse stall mats, crash pads, or rubber tiles to protect their floors.
There are different kinds of lifting platforms on the market, but I recommend the Rogue Deadlift Platform for powerlifters and the Rogue Oly Platform for weightlifters. Both platforms aid in the reduction of noise from dropped barbells, and they’ll also protect your floors and your plates from damage when you drop your weights.
4. Medicine Balls
I can’t think of any reason why a CrossFitter wouldn’t want a medicine ball since you need one for wall balls, but for most other home gyms, I don’t consider medicine balls a necessity. Many exercises that you’d do with a medicine ball can also be done with dumbbells or a plate.
But if you do want a medicine ball, I recommend the Rogue medicine balls. They don’t lose their shape over time so the weight will always remain balanced. They also have a scuff- and moisture-resistant vinyl coating, and the heavier weighted balls have extra stitching to keep the seams from ripping.
5. Bodybuilding Machines
As I mentioned above, 250 square feet isn’t enough room for multiple isolation machines, especially if you also want to keep a squat rack and bench in your home gym.
All-in-one machines like the Body-Solid G6-BR Bi-Angular Home Gym are your best bet because you can use them to train both upper and lower body. This Body-Solid home gym is pricey, but you can do a ton of exercises on it, and it will be more cost-effective in the long run since you won’t have to pay for a gym membership.
What Exercises & Workouts Can You Do In A 250 Square Foot Gym?
Even though 250 square feet isn’t a huge amount of space, you still have plenty of room to move around and perform a variety of exercises.
Exercises that you can do in a 250 square foot home gym include:
- Bench presses
- Overhead presses
- Pullups, if your ceilings are high enough
- Ring or bar muscle ups, if your ceilings are high enough
- Isolation exercises with free weights
- Clean and jerks
- Box jumps
- Core work
Other Gym Floor Plans
- 500 square foot home gym
- 400 square foot home gym
- 300 square foot home gym
- 200 square foot home gym
- 150 square foot home gym
- 120 square foot home gym
- 100 square foot home gym
With a 250 square foot room, you can build a home gym where you can do both strength and cardio exercises. You won’t have a lot of space for individual isolation machines, but you’ll have enough room to strength train with free weights.
The floor plans above should give you a good idea of how you can build a 250 square foot home gym. However, the equipment you add and where you place it will depend on your goals and the exact dimensions of your room.
About The Author
Amanda is a writer and editor in the fitness and nutrition industries. Growing up in a family that loved sports, she learned the importance of staying active from a young age. She started CrossFit in 2015, which led to her interest in powerlifting and weightlifting. She's passionate about helping women overcome their fear of lifting weights and teaching them how to fuel their bodies properly. When she's not training in her garage gym or working, you can find her drinking coffee, walking her dog, or indulging in one too many pieces of chocolate.