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Can You Put Gym Equipment Upstairs?

Posted by Fitness Rush on

Many homes in Georgia (and other parts of the country) are two story houses and oftentimes the space that's available for a home gym, is upstairs. But, gym equipment like a Power Rack can be very heavy and you may be wondering if it's safe to put gym equipment upstairs.

Read Our New Article On The Top 4 Must Have Home Gym Accessories

Or, what if you live in an apartment on the third floor? Can you create a home gym complete with equipment in that space, on that upper floor?

Now, it makes sense that you may not want to be doing dead lifts with 300 lb weights on an upper floor gym and if you happen to be in an apartment you need to consider your neighbor downstairs. No one wants to live under loud thumping from a treadmill or weights.

Having said all that, you CAN use gym equipment. BUT - we do want to recommend that you get an architect or structural engineer to give you the ultimate Go Ahead before you start adding significant weight to your upper floor.

Okay, let's look at the requirements.

In the USA - residential buildings are required to support 30 pounds per square foot. That's the industry standard. So, a simple way to calculate this is to consider a room that is 10 feet by 10 feet. That means it's 100 square feet. That means that it can hold 3000 pounds of weight. (30 lbs per square foot).

Don't forget to add your own weight to the equation. If you're putting a 500 lb piece of equipment in a space and you weight 250 lbs then you are really putting 750 lbs on that floor space.

When considering how much weight a second or upper floor can bear the issue to consider is called a "live load". This is the weight of things like furniture, people and anything that the floor needs to support.

Your Local Building Codes dictate the specific weight that would be allowed on your upper floors and most local codes are based on International Residential Codes.

Power Racks On Second Floor

A squat rack or power rack or any heavy piece of exercise equipment on a second or upper floor is always a cause for concern, and rightly so.

The weight of the unit itself is not usually very much. For example, the Body Solid Pro Power Rack is about 112 lbs (without the weights). If you added 200 or even 300 lbs of weights to the unit you would still be under the Live Load capacity.

Again, besides the issue of the weight itself, the second and very important factor to consider is if you have a neighbor living downstairs. No one wants to live under loud thumps from heavy weights or the continuous grinding and clacking of a treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment.

You can minimize this by using a Protective Rubber Flooring product but it only minimizes the issue so be considerate of your neighbors.

Treadmills, Home Gyms and Ellipticals

The average weight of a treadmill is between 175lbs and 250 lbs. 

Elliptical machines are even less. They average between 100lbs and 150lbs. 

Home gyms vary because of the weights that are placed on them so - much like Power Racks - they need to be calculated on an individual basis.

In Conclusion

So yes, you can create a home gym on a second or upper floor but with caution and preparation.

  1. Get the total weights of the machine(s) and the weights that you will be adding to them (if you are) so that you have a number of the weight that you are adding to the space upstairs.
  2. Check with an architect or structural engineer to confirm that it's safe to add that amount of weight on that floor space.
  3. Be considerate of your neighbor(s) downstairs (if you have any). You may even want to discuss it with them beforehand.
  4. Be safe.

If you have any questions concerning exercise machines or building your own home gym, give us a call at Fitness Rush at 770-712-5392. We'd love to help you.

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