how to build a home gym

How to Build a Home Gym – Without Breaking the Bank

how to build a home gym
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Are you tired of spending money monthly on a gym membership without getting the best out of each session? Are you tired of the stress you endure just having to go to the gym and back?

Don’t just be tired about it, do something about it. Many folks are switching from having a gym membership to having their gym in their house.

Wow, that might cost a lot you might think. Nah, you don’t have to own a fortune to build a gym in your home. Allow us to show you how to build a home gym without breaking the bank.  

Once you read this article and apply it, you can say goodbye to the stress you had to endure to keep fit. And just wake up in the morning or whenever you feel like and workout like crazy as long as you like. Hell, who is going to stop you; you’re in your own house.

Factors to Consider before Building Your Home Gym

Before we begin to show you how to build your home gym, there are certain factors we’ll need you to consider.

These factors will determine if a home gym is suitable for you or not. After all, you wouldn’t want to build a home gym that you won’t get the best out of.

The following are the factors you need to consider before building your home gym:

i. Are you self-motivated?

ii. Do you have a family?

iii. Budget

Let’s explain these factors a bit, shall we?

Are you self-motivated?

When we begin working-out, many of us have goals we want to achieve. Some want to build muscles, others want to burn fat.

Whatever the goals may be, the bottom line is that we need to be motivated to push and accomplish the set goals.

The problem is not everybody is self-motivated. That is why working out in a gym can be helpful for many folks. Anyone who is not self-motivated may not get the best out of a home gym.

However, even a person who is not self-motivated can find a way around this problem. How you might ask?

Build your home gym and invite your friends to come over and work out with you at home. That way you get the motivation and convenience a home gym provides.

Do you have a family?

For folks with family especially young children, being away from home constantly because you have to go to the gym isn’t advisable.

Having a home gym keeps you close to your family. At the same time, it can be somewhat distractive. Unless you have a workout time that won’t be interrupted.


You need to consider your budget before building a home gym. This shouldn’t be much of a hassle as you can set-up without spending tons of dollars.

You could build your gym with about $1000 to $2000. With this amount you can get the essential equipment you need.

Want to know what these essential pieces of equipment you need are? Keep reading…

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Setting-up Gym Area

Before we look at the equipment you need in your gym, you need to learn how to set up your gym area.

The following steps will guide you on how to set up your home gym area:

i. Create a space

ii. Measure the space created

iii. Determine your workout goal

iv. Outline the floor plan

v. Install shelves (Not compulsory)

vi. Add padded flooring

Step 1: Create space

Since the gym is going to be part of your home, there is a huge possibility that the area/space you have in mind is already occupied. Therefore, the first thing is to create the space you need for your home gym.

You don’t need this if you have a spare room that hasn’t been occupied.

Step 2: Measure the space created.

After creating the space, with a tape-rule, measure the space at your disposal. Measure the length, the width and even height of the area.

This is essential so that you are aware of the space you have. This will help you buy only relevant equipment that will fit into the space.

Step 3: Determine your workout goal

Your workout goal determines the kind of equipment you go for.

Bodybuilding requires weightlifting equipment that will take up more space. On the other hand, cardio workouts might need lesser equipment but more space for such exercise.

Step 4: Outline the floor plan

Doing this will make sure you have adequate space. It will give you an idea of where “what and what” ought to be.

Begin by drawing where shelves and storages will be. Fix-in where the larger equipment will be. Then complete it by fitting in smaller pieces of equipment.

Make sure the pieces of equipment that make use of electricity are as close as possible to sockets.

Step 5: Install shelves (Not compulsory)

Although you can do without shelves/storages, yet, they can come in handy for storing smaller equipment.

This helps you manage space a great deal.

Step 6: Add padded flooring

Padded flooring will protect your floor from damages from heavy equipment. It also makes your gym floor comfortable.

Padded gym floor mats are the best and can get dirty fast. Learn how to clean them here.

Essential Equipment Needed for Your Home Gym

Building a home gym as we said earlier shouldn’t cost you an entire fortune. Even though some folks like to splash a lot when setting up their home gym, that doesn’t mean we all should too.

A home gym does not need all the high-tech expensive gears and whatnot. Rather, you need essential equipment that can be used for all sorts of workouts and routines.

The following are essential equipment needed for your home gym:

i. Jump rope

ii. Olympic barbell

iii. Weight plates  

iv. Dumbbells

v. Kettlebells

vi. Rack

vii. Flat bench

These pieces of equipment above are the essentials and basics you need for your home gym. Although there are lots of other equipment you can purchase for your home gym, but these are standard. You can get others after getting these; not before.

In this section, we’ll discuss these pieces of essential equipment a bit and give products recommendation for each. These products are not only quality but budget-friendly as well.

Remember the whole idea is to get the most out of your home gym without having to spend your entire fortune. (Well, that’s for those who even have a fortune in the first place).

So here’s the breakdown of each equipment below:

Jump Rope

We started with this first because it is a piece of equipment many might not consider when thinking of setting up their gym. However, a jump rope can be used for all sorts of workouts.

It is also a coordination and conditioning device. You can use it for either a short or long time interval.

It can be used for warming up before the heavy lifting; but make no mistake, it will test your endurance and stamina.

We advise you to go for thick PVC ropes over speed ropes. This is because the former is easier and more versatile to use.

The Jump Rope Tangle-Free Ball Bearing Fast Rope is one jump rope we recommend that works great.

Olympic Barbell

Yes, the Olympic barbell. The most used equipment in a home gym.

What workouts can you do with this equipment? Well, we can list a few such as squats, deadlift, lunges, military press, bench press, bicep curls, etc.

Although there are cheap steel rods labeled as barbells, they aren’t as durable as the ones that will truly serve you. Don’t be afraid, you can still get high-quality barbells for less than $300.

A good recommendation of an Olympic barbell is the CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar aka “The Beast”. This barbell is suitable for those who perform a lot of deadlift, squat, overhead press and deadlift.

It is bound to offer you high-quality performance; plus it has a lifetime warranty. This means it could be in your family for generations: Talk about having a family heirloom.

CAP Barbell The Rebel Heavy Duty Power Olympic Bar for Weightlifting

Weight Plates

Great, you’ve got a barbell. However, you still need weight plates. You just can’t expect to build up those muscles by lifting a barbell alone.

You can get weight plates of different sizes, materials, and colors.

Choosing between iron and bumper plates depends a great deal on your lifting-style. Iron weight plates are good if you are just powerlifting; as far as you have no issue with the noise.

However, bumper plates offer more versatility, multi-functions, less noise and won’t do damage to your floor. More especially when you are lifting from the floor and not a platform.

If we are to recommend weight plates, we’ll recommend the Day 1 Fitness Cast Iron Olympic 2-Inch Grip Plate.

These plates are resistant and durable because they are cast with heavy-duty iron. Besides, they aren’t expensive.


While some might argue that kettlebells do a better job than dumbbells, the latter is one of the basic equipment in nearly every gym in the world. Be it at home or a regular gym.

One of the amazing things about dumbbells is their versatility. They can be used in different ways. Despite their importance, they take up little space.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are highly recommended for setting-up your home gym.


Let’s add them for the sake of the argument. This equipment functions like dumbbells.

Having the kettlebell and the dumbbell when building your gym at the initial point isn’t necessary. We recommend you choose one over the other.

If there is a kettlebell we’ll recommend you choose over a dumbbell, it will be the Power Systems Kettlebell. It offers quality despite its affordable price and it has a firm grip.


The rack is another essential equipment you need for your home gym. Pull-ups, squats, press, a lot of different exercises will be done here.

It is the largest and most expensive essential equipment for your home gym.

Any rack you’re going for should offer you the following:

i. Safety during use.

ii. Durability.

iii. Affordable (Very important).

iv. Versatility.

A rack that offers the above is the Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage.

Flat Bench

A flat bench is not only for bench press, but it can also be used for other workout routines. All you need is a bit of creativity and pixie dust. (Or maybe not pixie dust; but you definitely need creativity).

What to look for from a good flat bench:

i. Solid platform.

ii. Good height above the ground (about 17 inches).

iii. Firm foam pad.

The CAP Barbell Flat Weight Bench is a flat bench you can rely on. And it doesn’t cost an arm or a leg.

With the essential equipment we suggested above, you should be able to set up your home gym for less than $1000.

Other Pieces of Equipment for Your Home Gym

The section above deals only with the essential equipment you need for your home gym.

However, there are other pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym as time progresses which include:

i. Bumper plates

ii. Resistance bands

iii. Suspension strap system

iv. A mirror

Bumper Plates

Although regular weight plates should form the staple of every gym, bumper plates are preferable.

They offer more versatility, multi-functions, less noise and won’t do damage to your floor. More especially when you are lifting from the floor and not a platform.

PowerMax Rubber Bumper Plate is highly recommended.

Resistance Bands

When we say resistance bands, we’re talking about bands that have about 200 pounds dynamic resistance.

 Bands are very versatile and can be used for different kinds of workouts. They can be used for squats, assisted pull-ups, triceps push-downs, deadlifts, etc.

Plus, you don’t need to worry about space for this piece of equipment since it is very portable.

We recommend the Flat Resistance Bands. Super Exercise Band. It is suitable for all sorts of workouts.

Suspension Strap System

Suspension strap system allows you to modify your body posture for regular workouts like presses, push-downs, rows, etc.

They are great for stabilization routines.

A Mirror

A mirror you might wonder. Yes, a mirror. And it is not just for you to look at yourself while you work out. Well, it actually is.

Yet, it has practical reasons. Watching yourself while you work out allows you to correct your posture and prevent injury.

Having a mirror in the gym has also proven to have a psychological effect on how well people workout. It can be a motivating factor.

Make sure you check out the video below. It has additional information on what we just discussed.

Advantage of a Building a Home Gym

If you are still wondering if it is all worth it, let us put your heart to rest.

The following are the advantages of building a home gym:

i. You save money

ii. You save yourself from stress

You save money

While it may not look like the case initially, you end up saving a lot of money in the long run.

A good gym membership will cost you about $58 a month. There are some that costs much more: We’re not talking about low standard gyms here with scanty equipment.

Canceling that membership now will pay off fully a year and some months later. The investment in your home gym will let you save money each month after that.

You save money as well on the gas you use to drive down to the gym.

You save yourself from stress

Driving to the gym every morning can be stressful due to traffic and whatnot on your way to the gym. Driving back home is another stress-packed packaged.

With your home gym, you eliminate that completely. Just wake up, walk a few steps and viola; you’re in the gym.

You finish your session and walk back to your living room. Or better yet your refrigerator. Mission accomplished with no stress involved.

Check out these other interesting articles below:

How to Use a Bowflex Home Gym — In 4 Easy To Apply Steps

How Thick Should Home gym Flooring Be — 4 Recommended Thickness Level

How to Assemble York 2001 Home Gym — In 7 Guaranteed Steps

Why is Working out At Home Better than a Gym

Where to Place Mirrors in Home Gym – 6 Steps to Install Them

How to Clean Home Gym Equipment — Basic and Detailed 101

How to Build a Home Gym – FAQs

How do I make my own home gym equipment?

Below we will guide you on how to make your own essential home gym equipment:

i. The pull-up bar – Connect some steel pipes together and hang it over a reliable beam that can support the load.

ii. Bulgarian training bag – Fill the inner tube of a tractor’s tire with sand. Then tie the tube tight.

iii. Dumbbells – Fill up big bottles with rocks, water or sand.

iv. Battle ropes – Make use of your hold garden hoses or get the hoses no longer used from your nearest fire department. To make it more challenging fill the hoses with – yes you guessed right – sand. But make sure both ends are sealed.

What household items can you use to make weights?

You can use the following household items to make weights:

i. Milk jugs – Fill it with sand, rocks, concrete, or water.

ii. Canned goods that can fit into your hands.

iii. Plastic water bottles – Fill with sand, rocks, concrete, or water.

iv. Old basketball can be turned into a medicine ball – Drill a little hole into it via any of the black stripes. Then insert a funnel into the hole and fill it with pebbles or sand. Then seal the hole with a bike tire patch.

v. Rice or beans packets and sacks.

Are resistance bands as good as weights?

Resistance bands are as good as weights according to many studies and research conducted over the years. Although resistance bands offer a different option of strength training when compared to weights.

Therefore, which is better is rather subjective and is majorly determined by preference. However, we will show you the advantages of the resistance band over weights and vice versa in the table below.

Resistance BandsWeights
Portable and lightweightResistance can be increased or reduced easily
InexpensiveProgress can be easily tracked as weights are measured
Builds overall strength and can be used for a full-body workoutWorks primary muscle more effectively

Will 2 pound weights do anything?

2 pound weights will still build muscle when the enough reps are performed.

This is essentially true for those who are just starting. You don’t need to start with 30-pound weights before you begin seeing results. Start from lighter weights like 2 pounds and continue from there.

A study has proven that it is muscle fatigue that is responsible for muscle gain and not the weight lifted. Therefore, a 2 pound-weight will still give the same result as one who uses a heavier weight but performs less rep.

How can I lose my arm fat?

The following tips will help you lose arm fat:

i. Concentrate on general bodyweight loss instead of just your arms.

ii. Begin weight-lifting. We don’t mean in the professional sense, but lifting weights will tone your arms.

iii. Take in more fiber content. This will reduce hunger and enhance weight loss.

iv. Increase protein intake.

v. Engage in more cardio exercises.

vi. Reduce the intake of refined carbs.

vii. Sleep well.

viii. Drink enough water.

ix. Perform bodyweight exercises.


This article should arm you with sufficient knowledge required for you to build your home gym without breaking the bank.

If you have further questions concerning this, let us know in the comments section. We will do our best to answer your questions.

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