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Apartment Home Gym: Weights, Power Racks, & Squat Racks

Do you want to start weight training but you live in an apartment? As we all know when you live in an apartment you have neighbors and the side effects of using weights are noise and vibrations.

So this brings us to the question, can you have weights in an apartment? Yes, you can have weights in an apartment. However, you may need to be mindful of the noise you’re making and the space you have available.

Here are a few tips for lifting weights in an apartment:

Weightlifting In An Apartment Tips

1. Having Enough Space: Before performing Olympic weightlifting you should make sure the ceiling is high enough. To start with, you should measure the distance between the ceiling and your fingertips. If you don’t have about 18 inches, you may hit the overhead ceiling with the shoulder press, and overhead squats.

2. Minimizing Noise: It doesn’t matter if you live on the ground floor, first floor, or nth floor, it’s very important to prevent floor damage. As we already discussed, use crash pads and other protective mats to prevent floor damage, reduce noise, and absorb vibrations.

A few things that can create noise on the floor include:

  • Dropping the weights
  • Touching the floor between reps
  • Re-racking the weights

If you want to minimize the noise, you should avoid dropping the bar. This is a sacrifice you must make when lifting weights in the comfort of your home. There’s also a chance that the weights can touch the floor between reps.  Some crash mats can help you with this.

When re-racking the weights, you should put down the weights slowly. You can cover the pins with some rubber or try to put the weights down slowly. If you like to grant your lungs out after every Rep, this is something your neighbors must live with.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the wall space.

3. Communicate With Your Neighbors: Perhaps the best way to make your neighbors happy is to talk to them. Even if you have taken some precautions, you should:

  • Tell them you’ll be weightlifting in the apartment
  • Talk about the best hours of the day to lift weights
  • Assure them you’re doing everything possible to limit the noise

If you refuse to talk to the neighbors, don’t be surprised to see them knock on your apartment. The idea is to focus on your weightlifting without ruining the relationship.

4. Working Out When Your Neighbors Aren’t Home: No matter how quiet your gym equipment is, there will be some thudding and clanging. The deal is, you won’t even know what kind of noises your neighbors are hearing and what is the intensity of that noise. So, to avoid disturbing and annoying them, work out when they’re out.

Schedule your workout time when your neighbors are at work. In this way, you’ll be able to avoid certain conflicts with people living in the apartments next to you. If possible, avoid working out early in the morning and late in the night as it can disturb the sleep of your neighbors.

Apartment Home Gym

Best Squat Rack For An Apartment

Squat racks or power racks can be safely used in apartments for a number of barbell exercises such as presses, squats, and lunges however, to cut down the noise while using squat racks, a good idea is to use J hooks. They are great for at-home gyms because they also reduce the chances of injuries. While buying the J hooks I prefer the ones lined with UHMW plastic because metal ones will result in clanging.

Another thing you can use is safety straps instead of bars. They will also prevent metal-to-metal clanging. In fact, safety straps are a great alternative to the bars as they are more safe and lightweight.

I recommend the Fringe Sport squat rack with pull-up bar – Garage Series 

  • Full-year satisfaction guarantee
  • Space-efficient 4’x4′ footprint
  • Constructed of 2″ x 3″ powder-coated 12-gauge steel tubing
  • 5/8″ hole diameter.
  • Pair of J-cups included.
  • Built-in weight horns (5.5 inches long) for rock-solid stability and plate storage.
  • Floor bolting option offers a permanent stability option.
  • Tested for 450 lb weight capacity

Or the Fringe Sport retractable power rack that combines a pull-up bar and a squat stand into an all-in-one kit. 

  • Two 2″ x 3″ 11-Gauge Steel Uprights with 5/8″ holes. Even includes westside spacing in the bench zone.
  • Easily adjustable 1.25″ diameter pull-up bar that ranges ~70″ – 88″ from the floor. Fold inward or outward to stow.
  • UHMW plastic-coated j-hooks included – protects the finish on your bar. (Metric #4 Allen wrench to replace UHMW)
  • Full-year satisfaction guarantee.
  • Accepts all 2×3″ accessories with 5/8″ pin.
  • Weight Capacity: 800lb weight capacity
  • Dimensions: 47.25″ wide x 91″ high x 25″ from wall when in use or 5″ when retracted and stored.

Best Bench Press In Apartment

FID (flat, incline, and decline) bench can accommodate any position that you desire. If you have a small space, a single bench that does the three can be perfect for your apartment. But there is one challenge when picking such a space. They may not have the finishings you need to match your space.  

With a collapsible FID bench, you can set it up anywhere and fold it down after the training period. A good bench will allow you to do all sorts of exercises like curls and extensions, crunches, dips, rose, and raises.

If you have a collapsible bench, pull-up bar, and adjustable dumbbells, there’s no exercise you can’t perform.

I recommend Adjustable Strength Training Weight Bench

Best Adjustable Weights

Instead of buying a set of 30 dumbbells, you can go for the adjustable ones. Because they need very little space, you can pack them anywhere.

Adjustable dumbells and adjustable kettlebells are the most versatile home gym equipment. You can use them in a number of different ways such as for squats, lunges, freehand swings, etc.

I Recommend Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

Also, I recommend Bowflex Adjustable Kettlebells

The good thing is, this equipment doesn’t make much noise, especially the kettlebells. So, you can work out without making any noise. Interestingly, kettlebells are more effective than dumbbells because they engage your core and muscles in a much better way.

Obviously, they can’t be compared with the barbells and deadlifts but kettlebells are great for conditioning your muscles. If you’re living in a very congested apartment and don’t have much room for deadlift equipment, kettlebells and dumbbells can be your savior. You can even perform deadlifts using some kettlebells of higher weight.

Weight Machines

While free weights are more effective than weight machines, you can still use them if you’ve enough space in your room. But again, there is very little you can do on such machines while free weights give you numerous variations of working out. Although machines are quiet and easy to use, one can easily become bored of them. So, we recommend using free weights even if they are noisy. You can always cut down the noise.

Deadlifting In Apartment

Can you deadlift in an apartment?

I don’t recommend deadlifting in an apartment but if you do, use some precaution and a little bit of preparation. First and foremost, you need to protect your floor. For this purpose, many people prefer using a thick layer of plywood and topping it up with a good-quality rubber mat. Although it will keep the floor safe, it won’t cut the noise and vibrations. But thankfully, there are plenty of crash pads available in the market. These pads not only protect the floor but also reduce noise by reducing vibrations.

Deadlift Equipment for Home

I recommend BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

A good idea is to use crash pads of about 5″ thickness or even more. They have a perfect amount of thickness for handling heavy palates and spreading the weight evenly when the barbell falls. They are ideal for both deadlifts and power cleans.

I recommend Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pad Set

Floor Capacity

if you’ve chosen to work out upstairs, you should know how much weight the floor should hold. The load capacity for bedrooms is 30 pounds per square foot. If you live on the 2nd floor of an apartment, the load capacity is estimated to be 40 pounds. But this doesn’t mean that if you have 60 lbs per square foot that the floor will collapse. Be sure to take the total square footage and multiply the weight capacity per square foot.


Weightlifting in an apartment is not as unrealistic as it sounds. With the proper equipment and some preventive measures, you can perform deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, and almost all kinds of exercises at your home. Even if you don’t have a lot of workout equipment, you can perform effective bodyweight exercises such as burpees, push-ups, squats, lunges, HIITs, and many more.