We’ve all been there, we know we should be working out, but the weather sucks, work is stressful, and you can’t seem to find the time or motivation to get in a good workout. If you’re a regular visitor to our site here at The Garage Junkie, then you know that solving the time issue can be as easy as setting up your own garage gym. Doing so means you can start saving not just time, but also money.
But how can a garage gym help with the second problem? How can you get your motivation for working out back? Well, motivation will obviously come from different places, on different days, for different people in varied situations. One day you might want to work up a sweat because of the Subaru that rudely cut you off while driving; the next day it might be working out the stress of a bad day at work. Whatever you find works, it’s important to harness that motivation for your workouts.
But what if there was a way to motivate yourself that didn’t involve relying on working out life’s daily stressors?
Or even something better than just hoping the mood to go for a run suddenly strikes you? (Hey, we hear it happens!)
Luckily, there is a way that you can prepare your own home gym to mentally prime you to work out every time you step in the garage. And no promises, but you might even get to the point where you start to enjoy it.
Creating a Motivating Environment for any Garage Gym
The key to any good workout program, especially one that will be done primarily at home and in your own garage gym, is consistency and setting yourself up mentally for success. This is why getting the atmosphere in your garage gym just right is so crucial, if you prime yourself with the right motivational tools, every-time you walk into your gym you’ll take notice and feel the urge to work up a sweat.
Motivation can come from different places for different people, but there are physical things we can all do with our garage gym in order to best set ourselves up for success. These can be broadly broken into categories such as using motivating decoration, proper organization of the garage/ workout space, and harnessing psychology for inspiration or incentive.
What could fit into each category is somewhat ambiguous, but they will make sense once you see the examples below and the categories are a good way to organize your own thoughts as you think about what your own space will require to be motivating for you.
1) Decorating your Garage Gym for Optimal Motivation
One of the best parts of being a homeowner is being able to decorate your house just the way you want it. And why should the fun of decoration be limited to just your basement man-cave or kitchen and not brought into the garage as well? Most people think of their garage as a utilitarian space to park their car, do laundry, and maybe even some light handy work. So, it should come as no surprise when homeowners chose to decorate this space in a fashion that reflects these simple functions, i.e., not at all. This is why it is no wonder you don’t want to work out in your garage gym, if all you are staring at is your car or rows of storage and shelving, there is very little visual appeal to want to make you want to stay, let alone do a workout there. But it doesn’t need to be like this, as you’ll see from our examples below. Decorating your home gym can be done simply and easily, at no great additional expense. The best part is that when you finish decorating, your garage gym will be transformed into a properly motivating space that you’ll feel comfortable in and enjoy using.
What decorating will look like for you will depend on your space and budget, but the below examples should serve as inspiration when assessing your own space.
Flags of your Favorite Sports Team
People from all walks of life find inspiration in their favorite athletes and sports teams, especially when working out. For these people, a flag, like the one we have above for the University of Michigan’s athletics, is a good choice for those that also have lots of shelving or storage surrounding their garage gym space. This is because you can easily attach a flag to your shelving and use it like a curtain, maintaining easy access to your things, while hiding them behind something you find motivating, like your favorite team. There are plenty of flags available for other schools and sports as well. For example, fans of Clemson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Golden State Warriors, or New York Yankees will easily be able to find flags for their teams. And if you don’t have space for a full-size flag you can always look for something smaller like a baseball pennant, which you can find for almost any other team.
Hang a Digital Photo Frame
Similar to how some people find inspiration from their favorite sports team, others will find motivation in the pictures of their friends and family or even beautiful sights they have seen. Such images can provide great motivation while working out. And you’re in luck if you’re decorating your garage gym as this can be as simple as hanging a digital photo frame on the wall and enjoying an almost endless stream of such inspiring photos. The frame we have featured above, from FYLAMAPIRIT, can show up to 32GB of photos stored on a separate USB flash drive or SD card, the only downside is that the frame requires a constant power supply. For those that don’t have a plug nearby that they can dedicate to their picture frame, there are several options that are a little more expensive but are battery-operated. One example is this frame from Kodak, which also has the added benefit of 16GB of internal storage built-in.
Customize Your Own Motivating Wall Sticker
If you can’t find something you like pre-made, consider getting a wall-sticker custom-made for your garage’s space and style. This sounds expensive, but it can often be affordable, like the option we have highlighted above from WallPressions. The decal featured here can be customized to your heart’s content into 7 different sizes, containing up to 45 characters of text in 13 fun colors. This can be a unique way to make the space welcoming for the whole family or to post a personal message or quote that will be sure to get you working out. Sports teams and professional athletes often use slogans about embracing process and dedication to hard work to put in perspective how long the road to physical fitness and excellence truly is.
2) How to Organize Your Garage Gym for Optimal Motivation
One of the most underrated benefits of properly organizing your garage gym will be how it can help create a motivating environment. This makes sense when you think about it, a disorganized space reflects a disorganized and unmotivated mind. However, this situation can be easily remedied with just a little bit of time and organizational planning for your garage gym’s space.
It may seem intimidating to start organizing your garage, especially if it has never been well-organized to begin with. We can commiserate and be sure to check out our tips on organizing your garage here. But to turn your gym into the best workout space it can possibly be, it will have to be properly organized. When considering how to best organize your own space, check out the following tips for organizing any garage gym below, and get motivated yourself.
Give Everything You Use a Place to Live
As daunting as the task may seem, the first step to organizing your garage gym is finding a place to store everything you will want to regularly use and have easy access to. This need not be a bank-breaking expenditure, consider tailoring some of the following options to suit your own needs.
-Consider using simple storage bins to store light workout items such as mats, workout gear, or balls.
–A portable weight rack, like this one with included dumbbells, can be a good way to store any free weights or dumbbells you have as part of your gym setup, especially when they are not in use and can be tucked away.
-One offbeat idea for those looking for a non-traditional weight rack, that can also double as clothing storage, is to consider a garment rack. A good garment rack, like this one from HOKEEPER (which is rated for up to 600 lbs), should be able to handle the weight of holding several hundred pounds of weights and even a few heavy winter jackets at the same time.
–A simple wall rack or hook, like this option, is a great place to hang jump ropes, rolled up yoga mats, larger foam rollers, or even hold your phone while you work out.
Keep your Garage Gym Tidy
Keeping your gym organized doesn’t end with just storing everything where it belongs, you also have to do regular tidying to make sure that your garage gym is a welcoming and safe space to work out in. It may seem trivial, but failing to regularly clean, or have the right equipment on hand to easily clean up after yourself is of crucial importance. For example, someone tracking mud, rain, or snow from the car through your gym area is inviting the possibility of dangerous slip and fall around very expensive and heavy equipment. That is why no garage gym’s organization is complete without space, or at least easy access to, the following equipment:
–A small dustbin can be handy to have on hand for keeping things like used kinesiology tape, spent water bottles, and other workout-related trash out of the way. This 8-gallon option will be unobtrusive in almost any set-up with its sleek black profile.
–A good hand broom and dustpan for sweeping up dirt that may be tracked in or onto equipment. This model from OXO is attractive and inexpensive.
-For bigger spills and sticky floors, an eco-friendly microfiber mop is something to consider. This model from Turbo Microfiber has detachable mop heads that can be easily machine washed and dried after use. This is particularly useful for those whose garages are not only the gym but also the laundry room!
3) Inspiration or Incentive for any Garage Gym Motivation
In a similar vein as finding inspiring decor is the thought of hanging an accountability or incentive monitor around your garage gym. For some, this will be as simple as handwriting a target weight goal or bench press amount and then working towards this goal until it is achieved. For others, this aspect will take a more prominent role in order to properly motivate certain individuals.
Use a Whiteboard to Monitor and Record your Workouts
One of the most effective ways to maintain motivation is to log your workouts, even if this is as simple as scrolling the sets you’ve completed on a whiteboard in your garage gym. Some CrossFit enthusiasts will be familiar with using a whiteboard in just such a manner, but that doesn’t mean that a whiteboard has to be solely used for this purpose. A large whiteboard will have plenty of room to mark things down like your personal bests or even goals that you hope to someday accomplish. The best part is that if you use a whiteboard consistently, you’ll be able to reflect on your workouts afterward and do more of what you feel is working and less of what isn’t.
Put Up a Calendar to Help Track your Workouts
In addition to a whiteboard another great and low-tech way to monitor your workouts, and to keep yourself honest, is to just cross the days off of a calendar when you work out. This may seem overly simple, but never underestimate the motivating power of checking items off a list or getting a gold star, which is obviously similar to marking the days on a calendar. If you remain skeptical try hanging up a calendar themed around something you enjoy and practice marking the days you complete a workout off of it. As the red Xs slowly start to fill the page, the motivational abilities of a calendar system such as this should become very clear. And, of course, if you would like to combine the capabilities of a calendar and whiteboard for your own garage gym motivation purposes, there are of course options such as this dry erase board.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our three tips for creating a motivating environment for any garage gym and that you’ve learned something new in the process. If you’ve found the options for creating your own proper garage gym motivation inspiring, and you want to get your own garage gym going, be sure to check out all of our special coverage on the topic here. Of particular interest for anyone with limited space to dedicate to a garage gym will be the article on compact workout equipment. In the meantime, be sure to keep up to date with The Garage Junkies for all the vital FYI and DIY garage information that you can use