Garage Home Cardio Theater

I decided to finish my garage home cardio theater this Autumn. I have a three car garage. Sort of. The third section is barely able to hold a car. It’s approximately 12′ by 15′ so it would have to be a fairly small car. I think it’s more for using as a workshop. I started a few years ago with an elliptical and a 20″ TV that relatives gave us when we were living in one of their rental properties long ago.

It got cold in the Winter, since the attic wasn’t insulated. The manual for the cardio machine said not to use it below 45 degrees, so I brought the elliptical inside adjacent to the living room for January and February plus a few weeks either side.

Riding the Jacob's Ladder in my Garage Home Cardio Theater
Jacob’s Ladder in the garage

Two years ago I managed to squeeze in the rest of my cardio equipment and a larger TV. I gave the smaller one to my wife to use in front of her recumbent. I don’t like recumbents. The metal garage door echoes quite a bit, so I can’t play anything loud. For this version of my garage home cardio theater I started using wireless headphones [Sennheiser RS120 Over-Ear 900MHz Wireless RF Headphones with Charging Cradle]. With the smaller TV I used some regular headphones with a very long cable.


That Fall our local utilities were giving rebates on attic insulation, so I managed to get the garage insulated up top. So last Winter I was able to train with only a few weeks gap, with a little allowance for afternoon training, when it would normally be in the 50’s out there.

Stairmaster Stepmill in the garage home cardio theater
Riding the Stairmaster in the garage

The Garage Home Cardio Theater Emerges

Last Summer I was able to rearrange my cardio machines. I got rid of some stuff that I wasn’t using. I had to work around the door rails, since the Stairmaster Stepmill puts my head over 8′ high. As the summer heat let up I began working in earnest on my new garage home cardio theater. I began with insulating the door (see previous article). After that I did a lot of measuring for the wall.

Incline Treadmill in the garage home cardio theater
Riding the incline treadmill in the garage

I had to work around a supporting post where the garage extends out away from the main house body. The wall that extends from the garage to house entry area doesn’t line up with the post. The post doesn’t line up with the recessed concrete wall where the front of the garage dips in to the smaller third car section.

I managed to wiggle it all into two straight lines intersecting on the support post and drew up my plans. I got a pile of wood from Lowe’s and dumped it in the driveway and began carefully cutting. I moved the shelves that were along the line separating the third car and main garage to make room for working.

Garage Home Cardio Theater – Project Pictures

Started Framing Wall:

After a few days of an hour or two here or there, I had the main wall framed in. The top section was fairly painful standing on top of the ladder and putting in screws at odd angles. I also used a lot of glue.

Framed Wall:

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Garage home cardio theater big wall framed in

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The next phase for the garage home cardio theater was the section with the door. Since I was going to really pack in the machines like Tetris I decided to have the door swing into the main garage. I got a smaller 32″ door. Enough room to walk through wearing a large backpack, but small enough to allow a full 16″ framing section on one side.

Framing Doorway:

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Building the doorway for garage home cardio theater

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That was pretty tough to do. It was like a maze in some spots making sure I had enough room to move the 8′ ladder around under the door frame so I could get to the ceiling to set in the screws on the top board. Next I got some rolled fiberglass insulation 3-1/2″ by 15-1/2″ in plastic sheath. I cut and stapled it pretty quickly. Not too many issues with that, except for some miscalculation above the door that I used smaller pieces to fill in.


I had to drop by the store a couple times during the project, and took my little helper on a couple of the trips.

Trip to Lowe’s for parts:

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My little helper at Lowes

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Because of a small footer wall along the outside perimeter of the garage I also had a 2″ gap between two studs that I filled in with thin cut strips pushed in.

Insulation Done:

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Garage home cardio theater – wall up and insulated

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The last step in this phase of the garage home cardio theater is to put in the door. I hate doing this. Really. But after a lot of time messing around with shims and a bit of hammering and tweaking I got it to open and close without rubbing anywhere on the frame.
Door installed and insulation done:

Garage Home Cardio Theater – To Do

Of course I have to put in some foam in the gaps around the door frame. I need to put in some weatherstripping around the interior door where it closes on the frame. I need to weatherstrip the outside garage door including the bottom where it contacts the concrete. I am not eager for the sheetrock – I might wait till Spring for that if I can. I am going to put in speakers for those times I do not want to wear the headphones. I’ll let you know what’s next.
Be sure to check out Planning Your Home Cardio Theater on Amazon for $.99 in which I mention some of these issues with the garage.


Submit this form and I’ll let you have a free copy.

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