Backyard Shed Gyms: Why They’re Great

Whether you’re looking to lose some weight, you want to build your muscles so you can mold your physique, or you’d like to improve your overall health and well-being, whatever your particular situation may be, working out is a must. Sure, you could get a membership to a gym, but if you’re like a lot of people, that may not be a suit your style, or it simply may not be an option.

Alternatively, you could turn a spare room, a spot in your basement, or a corner in a room into a home gym; however, those may not be options, either. Fortunately, there’s an innovative way that you can fit in the space that you need to spread out and workout at home. How? By installing a backyard shed gym, of course!

Never heard of a backyard shed gym? Wondering what it is and why you should consider installing one in your own yard? To find the answers to these questions – and to discover why backyard shed gyms have become one of the biggest trends in home exercise – keep on reading. 

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What is a Backyard Shed Gym? 

The name probably gives it away, but just in case, a backyard shed gym is literally what it sounds like: a shed that functions as a gym. The size of the shed can vary and it doesn’t have to be in your backyard; it can be in your side yard, or depending on where you live and the layout of your property, a shed gym could even be placed in your front yard. 

The size of the shed doesn’t really matter, so long as it offers enough space to fit the equipment that you want to use and you can spread out and get your workout on safely and comfortably. If you already have a shed on your property, you could totally repurpose it into a gym, and if you don’t have a shed, install one! It’s important to note, however, that if you’re planning on installing a new shed for your home workout space, make sure you find out if there are any requirements that need to be fulfilled before you do; for example, depending on the size of the shed and your jurisdiction, you may need to secure a permit, and the structure might have to meet building codes, or if you live in a community that is governed by a homeowners association (HOA), you might need to get their approval.

Installing the shed prior to confirming any requirements could end up backfiring, as you could be hit with fines, you may need to jump through hoops to get the fulfill those requirements, and in the worst case scenario, you might even end up having to pull it down. To avoid potential headaches and financial losses, you’re definitely going to want to clear up any red tape beforehand. 

The Benefits of a Backyard Shed Gym

Over the past could of years, backyard shed gyms have become increasingly popular. But why? From those who have super-busy, hectic schedules to people who don’t have enough space inside their homes to accommodate gym equipment, here’s a look at some of the biggest reasons why so many are foregoing gym memberships and instead are converting structures in their gardens into dedicated workout spaces. 

Cost savings

Sure, you could always just get a membership to the gym, but let’s be honest; they can be pretty dang expensive. At first, the monthly fees might seem doable, but when you add up those fees over the course of an entire year, a gym membership can be downright pricy.

While yes, you will need to spend some money to convert an existing shed into a gym or to install a new shed in your yard so that you can turn it into a workout space, when you calculate costs and compare the final price tag, it’s pretty much guaranteed that in the long run, a backyard shed gym will end up costing you a lot less. 

Kiss the time constraints goodbye

Even if you find a local gym that charges fair and affordable prices for memberships, the times you can use it are restricted to the hours that they are opened, which means that you need to schedule your workouts around the gym instead of the other way around. If the hours are flexible, your hectic schedule may be getting in the way and preventing you from getting in your workout.

If you have a gym in a shed in your backyard (side yard, front yard, etc.), you can kiss those time constraints goodbye. The wee hours of the morning or super-late at night; you can literally workout whenever you want, and for however long you want. No more searching all around the public gym for barbell collars that someone misplaced; in your gym you will know where everything is at all times (hopefully!).


If you’re like a lot of people, the idea of working out alongside strangers may leave you feeling anxious and may even deter you from using a gym. That’s totally understandable, as you feel kind of vulnerable and self-conscious when you’re sweating, straining, grunting, and making weird faces while you’re lifting weights, stretching, doing HIIT, or whatever else it is that your workout routine entails.

Often times bodybuilders will work through bulking phases where they add extra calories to help fuel muscle growth, sometimes referred to as going “bearmode“. With a shed gym nobody will see you at your pudgiest, and when you’ve made your bulking gains and then trimmed down you can emerge ripped af.

When you have a gym in your own backyard, you will be able to do your workouts in complete and total privacy. When you don’t have to worry about people you don’t know checking you out and passing judgement on you, you’re bound to feel a lot more comfortable and confident, and will push yourself harder, which means that you’ll be able to get more out of your workout routines. 

No crowding

Another thing that you won’t have to worry about when you do your workouts in a backyard shed is space. Gyms can get pretty crowded, especially at certain times of the year and particular times of the day. When it’s crowded, chances are you’re going to end up having to wait on long lines for the equipment that you want to use; plus, you’ll just feel cramped and crammed, and those conditions definitely aren’t conducive to a successful workout. 


Another major benefit of a backyard shed gym is the customization it offers. Unlike your local gym, where you’re limited to the equipment they offer, the classes they provide, and the space that’s available, with a shed gym, you can complete customize the space to accommodate your unique workout needs. Cardio, bumper plate weights, Pilates, aerobics; whatever your preferred workout entails, you can outfit a shed gym with the equipment and furnishings you need to make the most out of your exercise routine. 

How to Design a Backyard Shed Gym

Okay, so now you know what a backyard shed gym is and the benefits that they provide, you’ve decided that you do want to install one for your own use. How do you do that? Here are some handy tips that you can use to design a comfortable, inviting space that will encourage you to stick to and get the most out of your workout routine. 

Clear Out or Install a Shed

Before you can design your workout shed, the first thing you need to do is get it ready to turn into a gym. If you intend on converting a shed that you already own, you need to clear it out. If you don’t have a shed, obviously, you’re going to need to install one. Decide where to put it, what size you’d like, and check to make sure that you take care of any red tape (permits, HOA permissions, etc.). 

Walls and Floors

Sure, you could leave the walls and floors of the shed as-is, but if you want to make the space more inviting and comfortable to use, then you should definitely consider installing upgraded walls and floors. Plans or panels, such as shiplap, reclaimed wood, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are all great choices for your shed’s walls, as they’re easy to install and they’ll definitely add interest to the space. For the floors, peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, laminate flooring, foam tiles, or even carpeting or area rugs are all excellent ways to add some comfort and visual appeal. 

Light fixtures

Next, you’re going to want to think about the lighting. To use the space, you need to be able to see, which means that you’ll need to decide on some lighting fixtures to install. You could go with basic floor-standing lamps, which are easy to install, and there are lots of different options to choose from. If you’re up for the challenge, you could install light fixtures in the ceiling, such as recessed or flush-mount lighting, or if the ceiling is tall enough, a chandelier would add an unexpected touch.

A ceiling fan with a light will serve a few purposes: it will provide much-needed light, it will circulate the air and keep things cool, and it can add a decorative touch to the space. Of course, you could also decide on a combination of floor lamps and overhead lighting. Whatever option you decide, make sure that you carefully consider the placement so that you can really see what you’re doing. 

Decorative accents

You should also consider incorporating some decorative accents to dress up the space and make it more inviting and enjoyable to spend time in. Window treatments, such as curtains, shades, or blinds will not only help to make the space more visually appealing, but will also provide privacy, and can help to warm up the space in the winter months.

Consider installing some floor-length mirrors so you can keep tabs on your form and make improvements to your workout routine. Hang some pictures or tapestries on the walls. If you’re installing tiles or wood flooring, a few area rugs will help to add a touch of softness, will dress up the space, and will delineate different workout zones. You might want to incorporate some furniture, too, such as chairs, loungers, sofas, or even a hammock suspended from the walls.

Don’t forget some storage accessories, too, such as wall shelves, cabinets, and baskets, which will help to keep things neat and tidy. Bring in a stereo with surround sound or even just a portable radio so that you can motivate yourself to push through your workouts and make it a more enjoyable experience. Basically, you can bring in anything that will add to the aesthetic appeal and the functionality of the space. 


You’re also going to want to bring in some appliances to make the space as functional, comfortable, and enjoyable to use as possible. Heating and air conditioning are absolute musts. A unit that functions as both a heater and air conditioning would work great for this space. You might want to consider bringing in a fridge or a mini fridge, too, so you can keep easy-to-access cold drinks and fresh snacks, such as fruits and veggies, on-hand. 

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Workout equipment

Of course, you’re also going to want to include workout equipment in the space; after all, the entire point of turning a shed into a gym is so that you can use it to work out. In a backyard gym shed, multipurpose equipment that is compact in size would be ideal. All-in-one power racks and workout machines provide many functions and will allow you to accomplish a thorough workout routine, yet won’t require too much space. Adjustable weights and benches are great, too. An exercise bike, stair stepper, rowing machine, or treadmill could work. You might also want to bring in some floor mats that will make stretching and floor workouts more comfortable. 

When selecting the gear for your backyard shed gym, think about the specific type of workouts you want to do; cardio, aerobics, weight lifting, yoga, etc. Don’t randomly buy equipment just because, as there’s a chance that you may not end up using it at all. To make the most of the space – and your budget – and to maximize your exercise routine, make sure you really think about what you want to achieve. 

Summing It Up

If you’re looking for a convenient way to make the most out of your workout routines – and even add value to your home – a backyard shed gym would be a great investment. With the tips provided above, you can easily create a one-of-a-kind space where you can exercise on the grounds of your own home. 

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