A couple weeks ago my gym closed. Which is hard for many reasons but mostly because it’s like my second home. I teach there two nights a week and I’m there at least two other days a week working out with my sister or taking class from my friends who are also instructors. I still was working out at home but I was either working out on carpet in my family room afraid I was going to sprain an ankle, or dragging all my workout stuff upstairs to workout on a hard floor.
Now you should know something. We have this awkward room in our basement that isn’t technically a bedroom because there’s no window, but it’s bedroom sized (9′ x 12′) and has a couple of great closets for storage. Awhile ago I painted the room white, gave the closet doors some trim and a new coat of paint, switched out the light fixture, and changed out the baseboards to match the rest of the house. (See below for the true “before” picture.) That was that. I was fully intending to leave that room alone until the day we moved. One day (like a week or so ago) I was wishing that I had a home fitness studio, a dedicated place for all my workout stuff that I could workout in. Then it hit me. I realized I was blind to the fact that there was a perfect space for a studio in our basement: the awkward room!
*Cue Pinterest searches for home fitness studio spaces.* Now most of the stuff I was finding online was great, but not necessarily tailored to what I need. A lot of workout equipment storage is also horribly expensive. Anyone else ever notice this? I decided to design and build my storage and stuff from scratch so I could make it exactly what I needed and keep cost down.
Here’s a little summary of what I ended up doing. (I’ll try and link as much stuff as possible so you can recreate this if you’re looking for a quarantine project like I was.)
The TV wall shelf:
This one was the easiest to build. I did 1″ x 8″ poplar and built a box 42″ long and 9.5″ high. I used wood glue and then nailed the boards together for an instant bond. Then I took two of these corner braces to mount it. Screwed them into the studs first with these black cabinet screws, then attached the shelf using smaller screws and a couple washers.
Hook Rack for Bands:
This one was one piece of 1″ x 3″ poplar and a 1″ poplar dowel. I cut the dowel down to make 5 hooks each with one straight end and one 45 degree end. Mine are 4″ long- but you could make them smaller or larger if you needed. The 1″ x 3″ poplar I cut to 20″ long, then I spaced out my hooks (3.5 inches apart) and marked the centers with a pencil. I drilled pilot holes through each of these. I then marked the center of the face of the 45 degree end on the dowel pieces. I applied wood glue around the pilot hole and used 1″ wood screws to attach the the dowel pieces to the back board at the centers that I had marked. Once they had dried overnight, I drilled pilot holes 16″ apart (because that’s how far apart my wall studs are) and attached it to the wall using these same cabinet screws.
Yoga Mat Storage:
This was another easy one. I used four of these corner braces screwed into the studs with more of the same black cabinet screws 23″ apart. Then I crossed and attached two 24″ bungee cords and slid my mats in.
Two steel shelf brackets mounted to the studs with more black cabinet screws. Done.
I had to improvise a little here. I used 1″ x 3″ poplar and cut three pieces. 2 – 2 1/2″ long and one 24″ long. I secured the two short pieces to the back of the longer piece with wood glue leaving 16″ between the centers and centered on the board. The purpose of these shorter pieces is to make a bump out from the wall so that your hooks have room to hook behind the board without running into the wall. I drilled pilot holes through the boards and into the wall and secured the boards to the wall using 3″ lag bolts and washers. Then I took a 1″ x 4″ poplar board, cut it to 24″ long, marked where the lag bolts hit when I lined it up flush with the 1″ x 3″ board, and drilled out a portion of the board so I could countersink the bolt heads. Then I lined it up, and nailed to secure them together. Now the easy part, I looped rafter hooks over the tops and put my dumbbells in place!
This was the fun one. I started with a piece of poplar (20″ x 48″) and built a box on the bottom using 1″ x 8″ poplar boards cut to size (2 – 20″ long and 2 – 8″ long). I secured the pieces with wood glue and nails. Then I attached 3 U Bolts at varying heights to use as resistance band anchors.
I cut a piece of scrap poplar to 19″ long and attached it near the top of the board. Then, I cut a second piece and screwed it to the wall into the studs, to act as a lip for the other piece to sit on while I fastened it to the wall. I attached a third 19″ long piece to the back of the board towards the bottom to act as a spacer. Still with me? I drilled pilot holes at the studs, through the face board and the spacer boards, and used more 3 inch lag bolts and washers to secure this giant board to the wall.
The plate storage is just black pipe and fittings that you see people making cute shelves out of all the time. I didn’t have black screws for these so I just used regular wood screws and colored the heads in with a sharpie.
For the top shelf I just cut an 8″ poplar board to 20″ and used the same braces as the ones to mount the tv wall shelf.
The new flooring in here is this White Maple vinyl plank and was super easy to install. Only took me about 5 hours to lay this whole room solo.
Now I have a great space that’s organized and ready for all the stay at home workouts! If anything is going to motivate me to workout alone at home, it’s this beautiful space. Who’s working out at home with me?
Thanks for reading,