Workouts in an Apartment

Howdy everyone. Glad to be here!

Any tips for TR workouts in an apartment? I’m thinking of how to deal with noise, vibration, and inconveniencing the people around you (neighbors, napping toddlers, partners).

I live on the main floor of a two story made in the 50s so everything’s pretty thin - floors, walls, windows… I’m just starting out with indoor workouts so I didn’t (aka: couldn’t) afford more than a used fluid trainer and the budget is set and tight. But I’m excited about the prospect of some consistent training through the fall/winter without having to get rained on.

With my schedule, commitments, family, and a 2-year old running around the house with no pants on, the times I can train consistently are early morning and later at night. But I don’t want to be that neighbor.

I chose a low volume plan to start hoping I’ll be able to get outside for a little more than just my commutes. Typically, I’ve ridden through the winter but when I got married, I found myself with less to prove and then, having a kiddo, the wet roads and limited daylight loom more ominous.

We don’t know our neighbors too well (they’re new-ish) but I’m realizing a first step is to get to know them! I’m pretty easy going until I feel like i’m making someone else’s life really annoying - then some of the magic of consistent indoor training during the rainy season is lost!

Any pointers would be really helpful!


One of the easiest options is to put your equipment into the basement if your house has one. In my experience the neighbors are more open to discuss where to store the lawnmower rather than tolerating trainer noise from upstairs at 5am.

If you are living on the ground floor that may already be enough, maybe you can also set it up outside.

If you are living above them, maybe the attic is an option.

Definitely get a thick mat to help absorb the vibrations. You can get a thick yoga/exercise mat from Amazon for cheap.

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I’ve no experience with in-apartment training, but I would suggest you consider putting the trainer outside occasionally. I’ve done it in summer and winter, and winter is much better if you can get a cold wind cooling you…not tried it in the rain though :wink:

Could be good for the 05:00 sessions!

Do you have a trainer, or are you looking to buy one? Sound varies a lot between different trainers, so picking the right one is important. What is your budget?

I live on the second floor in a smallish apartment. I have carpeting so that probably helps and my Kickr Snap trainer sits on a thick mat. I don’t know my neighbor downstairs and I don’t know how much noise I’m making, but he has never complained to me in the 3 years I’ve been training. It doesn’t sound loud to me but I’m not hearing it from his perspective so I don’t know. Also, I’m retired so I train during the day, which probably helps.

I’m hoping to buy a rocker plate soon so if I’m noisy hopefully the rocker will alleviate some of the noise.

Bottom line for a lot of experienced apartment dwellers is that you have to tolerate “apartment living” to some degree. I’m like you in regards to wanting to be a good neighbor so I’ll just keep going until I hear otherwise.

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I tend to do my workouts on the balcony as long as the temperature is not lower than the freezing point. Works quite good and I assume that no noise really reaches the neighbours. When the temperature gets too low I do my sessions in the bathroom - so I can slightly open the window without the whole apartment cooling down. The biggest disadvantage for this is that one has to keep setting things up before the session and putting them out of the way again after the session - which can add up to a bit of time (mat, trainer, bike, laptop, towel all have to be moved back and forth and connected/set-up).



I was in the same situation than you. In my case, the solution was the Stac Zero trainer. It does zero noise, and provides enough resistance - say, 320 watt / 90 95 rpm on the biggest gear.

If you live in an old apartment with shitty walls, forget any trainer other than this one. Just keep the drivetrain superclean and use some stuff to minimize vibrations.

I also live in an apartment and I was worried about noise etc, but I haven’t had any issues with using my smart trainer (tacx neo). It’s surprisingly quiet!

Also, one tip to consider - maybe don’t tell your neighbours that you’ve got an indoor trainer… If they are listening out for your noise, they’re much more likely to hear it (or to blame you for other random noises they hear).

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Former apartment owner here; concrete or wood construction? Will make a big difference in noise transfer.

Either way put a thick mat underneath the trainer to deaden the noise. Yoga mat might not be enough if you are on hardwood. Look on amazon for some 3/4" thick rubber matting just for what the trainer sits on, otherwise speak to industrial flooring stores, they will have stuff that will meet your needs. If you know the layout of the apartment below you and can avoid being right above their bedroom it is going to be a lot easier.

Then if you have an ERG trainer pop it in the easiest gear you can, it will slow down the flywheel and the unit won’t generate the same noise or vibration as it would if you are in a hard gear and its spinning quick.


When I lived in an apartment, my downstairs neighbour came up at 6am one morning to complain about our noisy washing machine!
I had a thick mat and mounted the trainer on extra blocks of foam. But I live in a first world country which has a lot of third world housing, so I should probably have been more careful. Anyway, I limited the ‘washing machine’ use to more acceptable hours after that! Have a pain cave in our house now so no more worries!

It’s funny how weird I feel about riding a bike on a trainer outside my apartment… My own issues. But, I think this could be a good idea unless it’s raining.

I bought a used Fluid 2, which I’ve had in the past. I didn’t think it was loud then but I DEFINITELY think this one is loud… Funny the difference between being in your mid 20’s living with a bunch of guys vs. being in your early 30’s with a family…

I’m thinking I’ll have to upgrade soon but just trying to see if I’ll be able to make it through the rainy season here!

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I echo a lot of the other things said on here. A rubber matt is the most cost effective way to prevent some vibration transfer. As a structural engineer I work on projects here in London where the biggest sound transfer is from the vibrations from the underground (subway) not the noise. The principles are the same from apartment to apartment

Like you I have a similar issue initially I was worried but if someone has an issue they will come up and let you know, up to that point it’s safe. I do try any make my set as neighbor friendly as possible i.e. I set it up in the kitchen as the likely hood is the flat below in that area is also a kitchen. Plus the likelihood that your washing machine emits more noise/vibration than the turbo is high. I’d be more worried about waking up the wife/kids than my neighbours :wink:


I had to deal with this shit once with a terrible downstairs neighbor. I tried to be nice and communicate with them, but Peg Leg Sow (her nickname because she was fat with a foot injury) expected total silence in an apartment. When Peg Leg Sow complained I just told the apartment office that it was the washing machine and they sided with me.

So you lied to the apartment office to get them to side with you against a neighbor you were inconveniencing and whom you then proceeded to fat shame on the internet. Respect.

To everyone else: yeah, don’t do that.


Just get a trainer that can give high resistance at low speed. If you can do VO2 max intervals in the small ring (34), you’re good.

I live on the top floor of my block, it’s a pretty new modern block but I haven’t had any issues with the trainer. I have used it on the balcony, bedroom and lounge. No complaints so far…to be honest my other half cant hear the trainer when she’s in the other room.

Just one thing I must say is get a fan. If your apartment is anything like mine, its like working out in a sauna.

Realizing that OP is on a tight budget (and this thread is 9 months old), but I’ve trained on a Fluid2 in an apartment and now on a Kickr Core in hotels and apartment-style places. The Fluid2 made it sound like the world was ending to my neighbors below, and by its nature for higher resistance intervals, got louder the harder I worked.

The wheel-off trainer with electronic resistance control (Kickr Core in my case) is much, much quieter. I’ve had no complaints anywhere I’ve trained with it about noise, and that’s with a cheap yoga mat under it when I’m traveling.

I suspect that a wheel-off, electronic trainer is the best option for anyone in apartment style living. While not the most cost-effective, if it’s something you’re going to do regularly and/or year round, it’s probably the best investment you can make in your riding.

Also noting that there are toddlers running around, I’ll again plug chain waxing here. The primary reason I wax my chain now is because the entire drive train is touchably clean. Daughter can handle the chain on my bike without getting greasy.


I had an athlete build a box with insulated foam around the trainer for use in Boston apartment building and worked great. I can email him for details if you need it, just email me: