Essential Features of a Luxury Home Gym
I read somewhere that the majority of gym members rarely – if ever – actually use the facilities they’re paying monthly for. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but other than lack of motivation, I’m guessing the biggest reason is lack of convenience.
It’d be so much easier to get motivated to work out if your gym was right there in your home!
Now imagine if the space you set aside for working out was much more than that – what if you made it a sanctuary to escape the stresses of everyday life and focus on your physical and mental well-being?
That’s what my clients are often after – a luxury home gym that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with all the amenities needed to achieve personal fitness goals. If it’s not a space you want to spend time in, you won’t get what you expect from it.
Well-designed luxury home gyms share several essential features:
The most important thing for a luxury home gym is the right amount of space. You need enough room to move around freely and safely, and to properly place all of your equipment. This is even more important if you’ll sometimes be sharing the space. There’s no set minimum or maximum size – but as in all of the other rooms in your house, the gym should be designed around how you plan to use it.
A spacious luxury home gym with ample light, access to an outdoor patio, and resilient flooring for impact resistance and acoustic control.
A Calming, but Stimulating Workout Environment
I’ll assume that if you’re on your way to your workout, you’re already fired up. No need for motivational slogans on the walls, and bright color palettes, like some public gyms have. You’ll want something more calming, more neutral – so you can stay focused on the reason you’re there.
Whenever possible, I design windows and exterior doors into my client’s gyms, especially when we can extend the view out to a serene, private landscape. Trees, grasses, and flowers make a stimulating background for a workout. And of course, those windows and doors bring in essential natural light.
Easy Access to Outdoor Space
Those same exterior doors can open out onto an outside workout space, too. There’s nothing quite like taking the yoga mat out to the patio, or doing pre-workout stretching in the morning sunshine.
This smaller but “right-sized” home gym has a glass overhead door that completely opens the space to the outside.
Proper Interior Lighting
A relatively high lighting level is important for safety around exercise equipment, but don’t go overboard. Bright, fluorescent ceiling lights can be distracting, and may encourage you to look down, rather than out at the pleasing space we’ve spent all this time designing.
Wall lighting helps with that and creates more opportunities for design decisions. Ceiling lights should be arranged to focus on each separate workout area, rather than illuminating the entire room.
Appropriate, Comfortable Flooring
Might be one of the most important decisions in the design of your luxury home gym. Proper flooring should be resilient and easy to clean, and durable enough to absorb the impact of free-weights and the bases of your machines. It needs to be soft enough to be comfortable for floor workouts.
Most often, we want flooring that’s installed in easy-to-replace pieces – interlocking rubber flooring is a very popular choice. In some gyms I’ve done hardwood flooring, with rubber mats where needed.
For larger home gyms, I recommend a separate HVAC system or separate zone, since you’re likely to want a different temperature and humidity in the gym than all other rooms in the house. You’ll want good ventilation (obviously!), and you’ll want good air movement to keep you cool without having to lower the temperature in the room too much. Ceiling fans work when the ceiling’s tall enough, but wall-mounted fans are just as good.
By their nature, luxury home gyms have lots of hard surfaces that makes sound bounce and echo, and can ruin the calming, stimulating environment we’re creating. That’s one of the reasons flooring choice matters – even a little texture on a softer flooring material can mute a lot of sound. Walls should have some sound-attenuating coverings, especially in gyms with mirrored walls.
If your gym is adjacent to other living spaces (above, below, beside) then you’ll want to insulate the walls and floors to keep your sanctuary free from distractions. Sound insulation is an easy solution, but in some situations you’ll need more sophisticated ways to attenuate unwanted noise.
The bathroom in a luxury home gym should be as least as well-appointed as any other bath in the house.
This is too often an afterthought, added late in the design process. Thinking about the locations of screens, speakers, and other equipment early on assures that you’ll have the best sound quality and the best screen views possible. Sometimes this is part of a whole-house media system, and sometimes it’s a separate system just for the gym.
Bathroom, Shower, Sauna, Refreshments
Much more than just functional, this space is an important part of a complete workout. Showering away sweat and toxins is a must afterwards. And a sauna helps with muscle recovery, skin health, stress reduction, and relaxation.
The bathroom and shower design should match the luxury features of the workout area. As with the gym, the bath should have natural light, speakers and screens, and excellent ventilation.
You’ve got to stay hydrated, and keep your energy level up, and you don’t want to have to leave the gym for refreshment in the middle of a workout. A kitchenette with a small refrigerator and snack storage takes care of that.
Many of the most important luxury home gym essentials are here – good lighting, plenty of space, and a kitchenette for refreshments.
Good Health Isn’t a Luxury
A properly and thoughtfully designed luxury home gym enhances your physical and mental health and well-being. Surrounding yourself with a soothing and stimulating space is an important factor in making your regular workout something you look eagerly forward to.