How to Create a Kick-Ass Home Gym Without Breaking the Bank

You’ll actually save money

How much do you spend on your monthly gym membership? If you’re anything like the average American, it’s probably around $60. With the streaming services you might have added during Covid, monthly expenses are running a little high….but the gym is important! You want to stay fit. And you could never afford one of those fancy home gyms that some people have.

Or could you?

The idea of having a home gym is appealing to most people, but it sounds like an expensive luxury for the 1%. What if I told you there was a way to build a home gym for less than $1,000? That’s only a year and a half of gym membership fees. And you never have to wait in line for the squat rack.

In fact, not going to the gym can save you money in other ways as well. You won’t feel the pressure of constantly purchasing new workout clothes to impress those around you. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic and wasting valuable workout time. And you can make your own protein shake at home rather than grabbing an overpriced one at the gym.

One of the best parts of having your own home gym is you can customize it exactly how you want to. Would you rather run outside? No need to install a treadmill. Are you a big kettlebell fan? Invest in a nice one that will last many years. Do you have a weight loss goal? Keep track of your progress on the wall to motivate yourself.

Is the idea of having a home gym starting to sound a little more possible? Follow these easy steps to build your home gym for under $1,000.

Find the perfect spot

Another hang-up people have is the notion that they don’t have enough room for a home gym. While that may be true if you live in a Manhattan or Downtown LA apartment, most people who have a living space larger than a closet can find space for a home gym.

Do you have a spare bedroom in your apartment? Make it into a home gym. Are all of your rooms full? Designate a corner of the living room to become your home gym. Of course, you’ll have to think about which workouts are feasible in that space.

If you have a larger living space, you may be able to build your home gym in a garage, a shed, an attic, or a basement. Some people even build a home gym in the backyard if they live in a mild climate. Keep in mind that adding a home gym will likely increase the value of your house as well.

As you’re considering where to put your home gym, make sure it’s a space you like. If your basement feels creepy, don’t turn it into your home gym. You need to choose a space that appeals to you so you can stay motivated.

Get the essentials

Once you’ve chosen the space, start thinking about what you want to fill it with. Everyone is different. Some people want to focus on yoga and pilates, while others want to increase their bench press weight. As you’re searching for equipment, don’t forget to check Facebook Marketplace to see if you can get some good deals.

If you want a traditional gym experience that focuses on weightlifting and strength-building, here are some of the essentials you might want to invest in. Of course, you can add more equipment as your budget allows.

1. The barbell

This is probably going to be the most expensive piece of equipment in your gym, and it should be. Having a low-quality barbell might end up costing you more since it probably won’t last long. You can use your barbell for bench presses, squats, power cleans, deadlifts, lunges, and more.

Check out Fringe Sport’s Olympic Barbell, which is only $222 and has free shipping. It’s great for beginners and experts.

2. Weight plates

This is an excellent opportunity to shop around for some second-hand equipment, especially because you may outgrow your weight plates as you get stronger. Make sure the iron Olympic plates in question are in good condition.

If you can’t find anything that’s worth the asking price, check out CAP Olympic Plates that start at $30 for one 5-pound plate.

3. The rack

It’s possible to find a safe and durable squat rack for an affordable price. You’ll probably use your rack for squats, pull-ups, presses, and other exercises. Plus, it makes your home gym look super legit.

The Rep PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack starts at $269 and comes with a great pull-up arch. It has a maximum weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, which is more than sufficient.

4. The bench

Once you have a squat rack, you’ll probably want to get a flat bench to put underneath it. You can use a flat bench for more than just a bench press. It works for box squats, box jumps, and split squats as well.

A super affordable option is the Amazon Basics Bench, priced at just $52. It’s stable and durable despite the low price tag.

Add some helpful extras

If you purchase all the above essentials, you’ll spend about $650, depending on which kind of weight plates you order. With your main equipment already selected, you can see how much room you have in your budget for extras that make your home gym special. Here are some you might like.

1. Mirror

If you have room for a full-length mirror, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your form while you work out. Otherwise, you can consider getting a small security mirror like this one for $27. As long as you can see yourself, it will help you stay motivated, especially when working out alone. 

2. Rubber mats

Installing rubber flooring will protect the floor from your heavy equipment. Plus, it makes the space really feel like a gym. Rubber flooring is pretty cheap at less than $3 per square foot.

3. Fridge

For a touch of class, buy a little fridge that you can put towels and water in to refresh yourself after a hard workout. You’ll feel just like you’re at the gym, but for a fraction of the cost. This compact fridge is just $50.

4. Hapbee

This wearable wellness device is the ultimate companion for your home gym. Keep it accessible for post-workouts so you can relax your muscles and recover quickly. Hapbee is on sale for $299. With our 30-day money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose when you order today.

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