Gym Noise Reduction: Echos, Soundproofing and Quiet Weight Lifting Tips
Regular exercising matters a lot. It’s an excellent stress reliever and a perfect way to stay in a good shape. However, even in while working out, we cannot escape the noise.
Whether it’s a home gym or a huge sports centre where we exercise, there are lots of sounds. Loud music, a noise coming from the machines, sounds coming from people exercising, you name it.
As you know, I always do my best to come up with various tips on soundproofing our surroundings, so I did some research on this subject as well.
So, let’s find out where does the noise come from and what are the best ways to manage gym noise reduction.
Why is a gym so loud?
Unless you are constantly wearing headphones while working out, it won’t be long before you discover how loud exercising is. Here’s where the noise comes from:
Even if the first impression may be that nothing can be done on this, it’s important to make a good plan. Start fixing step by step. So besides finding ways to deal with sounds from people and equipment, so also need to find ways to control the sound leaving the gym.
You will find numerous solutions, some of the practically free, the others a bit pricey. However, you will manage to reduce noise and provide yourself more peaceful exercising.
Gym Soundproofing - general tips
When it comes to reducing the noise in a gym, there are few ways to approach it.
Firstly, be clear on two types of soundproofing. By that, I mean solutions which are pre-construction and post-construction.
Pre-construction soundproofing goes in cases where you know in advance that you want to build a gym in a certain place. So, you insulate the walls, both for sound and thermal control. You also look for doors and windows with soundproofing properties.
As for post-construction ones, you have acoustic panels, bass traps, rubber mats, and numerous other solutions.
Here are some articles on soundproofing the walls, floors and doors - post-construction. The methods are similar:
- How to Soundproof a Wall Cheaply: 6 Affordable Ways!
- How to Soundproof Floors: Do-It-Yourself in 3 Easy Steps!
- How to Soundproof a Door: 11 Best Ways to Make it Happen!
Then inspect the machines and the other equipment to see are they in good condition. You need to maintain all those and check them on regular basis, not only for the noise issue but to make their lifespan as long as possible.
Decoupling things from floor significantly reduces the vibrations. Moreover, some exercising machines are less loud than the others. We compared and reviewed the quietest treadmills and bike trainers here:
As for the types of gym related noise, you have constant and impact sounds. Both of them require a different approach, but they can be fixed if you identify them on time.
How to reduce echoes in the gym?
If you exercise in a large room, I suppose that echoes will be issue number one! Echoes are indeed very annoying.
You get the impression that there are twice as many people exercising with you, like hundreds of treadmills and bike trainers are working at the same time. Echoes cause troubles to musicians as well so it won’t be difficult to find the ideas on dealing with it.
Approaching the echo reduction has three stages:
- Sealing up the leaks
- Oiling the machines
- Soundproofing the room
So, the first to do is check all the leaks in doors, windows, walls, ceilings, and floors. That way you improve overall acoustics and manage better control over sounds.
Then keep the machines well-oiled. That way you extend their lifespan and keep them less noisy.
As for soundproofing the room, you can use bass traps or acoustic panels. Perhaps acoustic panels attached to the walls are a more practical solution here.
There are even some cotton based-batts that are easy to install. Besides reducing unwanted sounds, they also provide temperature control in the room.
How to reduce noise coming from weightlifting?
The scary sound of dropping the weights really goes on nerves. If you happen to be a floor below a person who’s weightlifting, when he/she drops it, you get the feeling as if the ceiling’s gonna fall on your head.
However, there are ways to deal with this situation.
1. Use a thicker rubber mat
This one has multiple benefits. Not only will it reduce the vibrations from dropped plates, but mats will also protect the floor from damages.
2. Install a Weightlifting platform
This solution will add a touch of professionalism to your work-out. Like the previous one, it does the excellent job of protecting the floor, but what’s more important, reduces the annoying sounds. The purpose of these platforms is to reinforce “drop zones”.
You have two options- buy one or build one (see below). Adding sandpits to platforms is also a great idea because the weights won’t bounce when dropped.
3. Insulate the weight plates
When plates hit each other or the bar, these clanks can be loud and annoying. The simplest fix is to line them with cloth-based tape. It won’t compromise your work-out but will reduce the noise.
4. Consider coated dumbbells, kettlebells and bumper plates
Whichever one you chose instead of raw uncovered steel weights will undoubtedly be more silent. You can choose the ones with the rubber, but do have in mind that they are less durable and noticeably smelly.
5. Improve the lifting technique
As this one itself is not a common soundproofing technique, it can help!
If you feel discomfort while weightlifting, you may be lifting plates too heavy for the time being. That’s why you drop them too often. Consider reducing the weight, and you will minimize the drops as well. Less drops means less noise.
Moreover, you won’t push yourself too hard. Staying within the limits of comfortable exercising is the key to healthy body without injuries.
How to build a quiet deadlift platform?
For all the avid lifters, heavy deadlifts are an inevitable part of exercising.
However, heavier, in this case, means louder and you don’t want more noise to distract you while exercising. You can apply practically all the above-mentioned solutions for regular weightlifting.
Here’s a cool tip! Drop your DL from the top, but lower to your knees. This significantly reduces those sudden loud dropping sounds! You can try some sound deadeners. They do a good job.
However, building a platform is the number one solution. The simplest one requires a minimum of your money, effort and time, and is very efficient.
You need two or three layers of ¾” plywood topped with ¾” of rubber. A platform like this not only reduces the noise but also spreads the weight over the larger surface. This means you minimize the chances to damage the floor.
This solution works both for home gyms and real ones.
Final Word: On Gym Noise Reduction
As you can see, you can do many things on silencing the various unwanted sounds while exercising. Whatever you opt for, be sure that you cannot make a mistake.
Any of the tips you use will reduce the noise, the only question is whether you will be satisfied with the results. You can always start with some cheaper but effective solutions if your budget is limited.
The final goal is not to have a completely silent gym, because a silent gym is an empty gym!
However, a too noisy gym can easily become an empty one, because people will get tired of constant loudness.
Finding a balance between the overall acoustical properties of the room and the sounds coming from people and the equipment is the key! Creating a user-friendly gym is not so difficult, after all!