Building a Home Gym on a Budget: Tips and Essentials

Home gyms are one of those trends that popped up during the pandemic, but they are one of the few that appear to be here to stay. There couldn’t be anything more convenient than working out in your home. Plus, you’ll have fewer chances to make excuses!

But building a home gym is no simple matter. The good news is that we’re here to help you figure it out and plan everything from A to Z. Let’s go!

Utilize Available Space

One thing that deters people from working out at home is thinking they do not have enough space. However, you don’t need an entire room to build a home gym; a few square feet of space in any unutilized corner of your house would do! This could be the other half of your home office, a spot in your garage, or even your bedroom if it has some extra space. You can also consider investing in space-saving equipment, such as a door-mounted pull-up bar or adjustable dumbbells.

Figure Out What You Need

The most challenging aspect of building a home gym is figuring out what equipment you need because, unlike an actual gym, you probably don’t have the luxury of space or budget to buy all of them. Every individual has a different fitness goal, and they would need a specific set of equipment to achieve it. So, it’s best to take some time to think about what kind of exercises you want to do so you can identify the types of equipment you will need to buy.

In general, here is some essential equipment that is recommended for a home gym:

  • A yoga mat
  • Resistance bands
  • A kettlebell
  • Dumbbells
  • Medicine balls
  • An exercise bench
  • A weight rack
  • A foam roller

If you already have all these, consider investing in larger equipment like a treadmill or fitness bike. You don’t need to buy everything all at once; you can continue to add more tools for your home gym over time.

Shop Around for a Bargain

Look around your local big box or off-price department stores to find great deals on fitness equipment such as yoga mats, kettlebells, resistance bands, and other workout accessories. Chances are, places like Target or TJ Maxx are likely to have lower prices than sporting goods stores. Plus, shopping locally will also help you save money on shipping!

Buy Once, Cry Once

When it comes to investing in a home gym, especially for larger purchases, it’s much wiser to spend your money on quality items so you don’t have to repair or replace them later. You might have reservations initially about paying more when you know you can get it for cheaper, but you’ll be thankful you chose quality over saving a few bucks later on!

Consider Secondhand

If sticking to a budget is your primary goal, you can still bring home some quality equipment without paying the full price – just buy secondhand! You can scour places like Craigslist and Facebook marketplace to find a variety of fitness equipment. The good thing about buying secondhand is that quality items that work well even after a few years of usage usually indicate that they’ll continue to work well for several more.

Buy Multipurpose Equipment

You probably don’t have the space or budget to buy all the equipment, but you can be smart and invest in those with multiple purposes. Almost all fitness equipment can be used for a variety of different purposes; the important thing is to figure out which ones will be of most use to you. You can search online to find ways to use your dumbbells or squat rack in multiple workouts.

Stay Away From Gimmicky Trends

If you’ve encountered any exercise-related content on the internet, chances are that you’ve seen some “trendy” exercise equipment or the other advertised as the “next best thing.” More often than not, such items are just a waste of money!

Not to say that they won’t work, but you’ll probably get more value for your money by investing in traditional exercise equipment than any gimmicky tool. These trendy tools are often overhyped, overpriced and come with just one function that something else can easily achieve. There’s a reason why you don’t see such tools in a commercial gym!

Install a Mirror

If you’ve ever been to a gym (or even seen a picture of one), you’ll know there are mirrors all around! There’s a good reason for this, and why your home gym should also have a full-length mirror. This is because watching yourself while working out can help you correct your form and minimize injury. This is all the more important when working out at home because there’s no personal trainer there to help you do that!

Make it Vibe

While you can and should use whatever space you have available, what’s important is that you designate the area for working out and make it feel like a home gym. Don’t stash equipment under your bed or in your closet; how likely are you to set up and put away all of that every day? This will only add an extra routine to your workout and waste time. Plus, having them out of sight will eventually put exercise out of your mind and give way to laziness.

Make sure your home gym area is somewhere you look forward to spending time and encourages you to work out. You can do this by putting up motivational posters, painting the wall bright, or even installing some LED lights. You can set up a Bluetooth speaker to play music or a small screen to watch exercise videos – or even help you catch up on some Netflix!

Workout for Free

Building a home gym can be a worthwhile investment if you’re serious about working out or achieving a fitness goal. But, if you’ve never worked out before, we recommend getting a gym membership first or even starting with free exercise, such as walking, jogging, jumping jacks, etc.

If you are able to keep up with a consistent workout routine, you can then move on to investing in more equipment. This will also help you figure out what kinds of exercise you like and want to obtain through working out, which will give you a better idea of the kind of equipment you need for your home gym.