For the 20 years we’ve lived in our current house, I’ve had a small but functional pain cave set up in a dark corner of the basement. Over the years, I’ve tinkered and added equipment but it has remained a small, unfinished space that I have logged many hours in--but I would never have called it “inviting”. Our garden-level basement is about one-third finished (with my home office) and the remaining two-thirds unfinished space was largely unorganized storage plus my little pain cave.
Enter Covid stay-at-home/safer-at-home orders and suddenly the whole family was skipping the gym and looking for home options for working out. There wasn’t much enthusiasm for my little space and we began making plans for an expanded workout area.
In early December, we purchased a cable/weight machine and I found some fun blue floor tiles on Amazon to put under it. This was to be the extent of the project but then my wife said, “It would be nice if we could do something to cover up the insulation”. What followed was the dictionary definition of mission creep! A two-week long project to clean out and partially finish a whole new pain cave in our basement.
I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and I definitely didn’t want to deal with having to pull permits so an actual finish was not in the plan. Instead, I designed and installed a more modular “partial” finish using galvanized roofing panels on most of the walls and soundboard/hardboard on the ceiling (and one wall). I left the concrete foundation walls and drain pipes exposed. The result is a space with a pretty industrial feel, but definitely highly functional and inviting. Thumbs up from the whole family!
The total cost of the project was just under $10 per square foot (not including the existing equipment--trainers, treadmill, Vasa bench, etc.). This is a fraction of the cost of a traditional basement finish.
A few tips from what I learned along the way.
The original pain cave (in a different area of our basement than the new pain cave).
THE NEW AND IMPROVED PAIN CAVE!
Coach Dave Sheanin's experience has shown him that athletes get the best results when they are both physically fit and technically excellent – yet it can be challenging to slow down enough to work on form. An impatient person can learn anything in a hurry, but they will learn incorrectly. As a swim coach the most common question he hears after a workout is “How many yards was that?”. His favorite answer is “Why does it matter?” Yes, volume certainly has it’s place in training, and so does intensity. But ultimately there is a point in all three disciplines where to get faster you need to improve your technique.
Coach Dave's Credentials Include: