It’s not simple to set up a nice home gym. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of space. You can use a garage, shed, conservatory, or even outdoor area as a home gym, but if your room has limited space, you’ll want to consider the upstairs of a house or apartment as a possible home gym site.
While the concept may work provided you have the necessary room, the main worry is whether it is safe to store gym equipment upstairs.
It is safe to store gym equipment upstairs if you do not exceed your flooring’s uniform, concentrated, or live load restrictions. Most flooring can handle 40 pounds per square foot; thus, a 70-square-foot area may hold up to 2800 pounds (spread across the room).
When it comes to keeping gym equipment upstairs, doing the arithmetic isn’t the most delicious part of the process, so keep reading, and I’ll break it down a little more and give you a fair idea of what you can and can’t use on the second level.
Is It Safe To Put Gym Equipment On The Second Floor?
When it comes to building a home gym, money isn’t the only factor to consider; sometimes, it’s just a matter of how much room you have.
It’s normal to be concerned about putting up equipment upstairs if you’ve exhausted all of your options on the first story, but unless you live in an older home, you can set up a gym on the second floor.
How Much Weight Can You Put on a House’s Second Floor?
Building standards require that an upstairs room have a weight restriction of 40 pounds (18 kilograms) per square foot – it’s worth noting that the limit is lower in bedrooms, but it’s probably not the best idea to set up a home gym in the room you sleep in anyway!
This may seem like a little amount, but the average American home’s upstairs rooms are roughly 70 square feet, resulting in a total weight of 2800 pounds dispersed throughout the whole space.
However, there are a few things to consider before placing all of your weights in the same part of your room.
The weight limit of your room pertains to a uniform load, but if you’re going to be putting up heavy equipment on the second story of your house, you need to know the difference between a concentrated and a live load — knowing the difference can save your property from catastrophic damage.
Simply expressed, uniform load implies that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the floor. A 70-square-foot room, for example, could be able to support a weight of 2800 pounds, but if you put all of that weight in one location, it’ll almost certainly collapse through the floor.
Concentrated load entails concentrating all of the weight’s force into a single location.
Consider a 225-pound barbell set into a squat rack: the weight is distributed across a large surface area of the floor, but once you raise the bar, the weight of the barbell plus your bodyweight will be pushed into the floor only through your feet.
A live load is simply a fancy way of describing an unanticipated, transient load. The clearest illustration of this is dropping your weights on the floor, which will undoubtedly do major damage to your flooring.
Is It Possible to Have Gym Equipment Upstairs in a Room?
You may certainly set up gym equipment in an upstairs room, but you don’t want to scrimp on what goes where and how much weight you stack in one location.
While the overall square footage, and therefore the total weight limit of the space, is the first thing you’ll want to figure out, it’s critical to remember that the concentrated load limit will be a completely different amount.
When deciding whether or not it is safe to place exercise equipment on the second level, keep the following basic points in mind:
Total weight – this one should go without saying, but if you want to keep a squat rack upstairs, it will be heavier than portable squat stands. The statistics quickly increase when you include the weights, barbell, and body weight.
Vibration and impact – compared to riding on a stationary bike, jogging on a treadmill produces more vibration and live load. Olympic-style lifts will also have a greater impact on the floor than regulated bodybuilding exercises.
The most crucial component will be the quality of the construction. If you live in an apartment with concrete floors, having gym equipment on the second level is considerably safer than if you live in an older home with OSB flooring that will crack under impact.
So the build quality will be the most significant factor to consider.
Is Having Gym Equipment Upstairs Safe?
It is safe to place your gym equipment upstairs as long as you follow a few principles and make sure to figure out what equipment is appropriate for your house.
The weight restriction in most upper rooms is 300 pounds in one area. If you think about how many times you’ve had guests over to your house, you’ve probably had more than 300 pounds of pals in tight quarters, and fortunately, no one has fallen through the floor.
However, it’s essential to be careful about big machinery that will stay in one location for an extended period.
Always add your body weight to the maximum weight of whichever piece of equipment you’re thinking about for an upstairs gym.
While a treadmill that weighs more than 250 pounds is uncommon, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll be putting a lot of strain on your floor beams, especially with the high-impact live loads that come with treadmill jogging.
There are a few fundamental guidelines to follow when lifting weights upstairs:
Don’t stack all of your weight plates together. Walking over and adding your body weight will overload the limit of your flooring if the maximum weight to place in one location is 300 pounds and you have, say, 200 pounds of weights in one spot.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting (think deadlifts and squats), your flooring might need some extra protection.
This may be tricky business upstairs, with your body weight and the weight of the barbell you’re lifting, but adding some rubber matting or a deadlift platform made of wood or metal can make all the difference.
This will distribute the weight across a much larger area, allowing you to carry more weight upward.
Create an effort not to make too much noise. If you live alone, this may not be a concern, but if you have neighbors under you or even next door, you may want to consider investing in some crash mats and rubber padding for your weights.
Not only will this reduce noise when lifting, but crash mats are also an excellent backup plan for protecting your flooring if you lose the bar, which brings us to our final point:
Don’t let the weights fall! You’ve heard it a thousand times; you’ve heard it once. This guideline may be more frequent in commercial gyms, but it becomes more of a need if you’re working out on the second level of your house.
Dropping weights is the most dangerous live load you can put on your floor, and it may cost you a lot of money in the long run. Consider installing safety bars or crash mats if you’re always striving for new personal bests.
When it comes to wanting to retain exercise equipment upstairs on the second level, the problem of safety will be unique to each person.
Light-duty equipment (multi-gyms, portable squat stands, and even a treadmill) can be placed upstairs with minimal worry for most individuals.
You’ll need to be extra careful if you’re searching for a serious setup with heavy-duty strength training equipment.
A 70-square-foot area can bear a minimum load of 2800 pounds scattered throughout the floor, providing safety while training above support beams and ensuring you don’t have too much weight in one spot.
However, because circumstances differ, some people may have a full powerlifting setup while others may only have a bench and free weights.
It all depends on your home/apartment, but I had a power rack 500 pounds of totally free weights in an apartment. However, I would never consider having such an arrangement upstairs in my home!
Can you put a treadmill on the second floor?
It is safe to install a treadmill on the second floor of any modern home or apartment built to current building codes. The average weight of a quality treadmill is between 250-300 lbs. Even with a 200+ lb person running on it, this is well within the weight capacity of a second-level floor.
Where should I put home gym equipment?
You can dedicate an entire room to your home gym, or you can keep equipment in the basement, garage, attic, or corner of a room. Large equipment can be split up and kept in multiple places if you don’t have a single space for everything.
Is it worth having a home gym?
One of the biggest advantages of having a home gym is that you can exercise whenever you want and not just when the gym is open. And home gyms are also more convenient than gym memberships because they’re right at home, making it a lot easier for you to fit workouts into your day.