Advice on How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget

home gym

August 4, 2018

I’m Tara.
 I'm an influencer strategy expert, the host of Project Influence the Podcast, and the founder of Creator Cube™, a co-creating space for content creators. 
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Gimme that

Ever seen an amazing home gym on social media and think. “I bet that cost a fortune!..”  Well, you might be surprised at just how affordable a home gym can be! There are so many options available that you could likely build one on just about any budget! Don’t believe me?? Keep reading!

We recently built our home gym and while it took a little bit of work on the front end it has quickly become the best investment we’ve made towards our health and fitness goals.

You might be wondering what the advantage to having a home gym is over just going to a commercial gym. There are tons of pro’s but to just name a few you have:

  • Convenience
  • No monthly membership dues
  • Much more sanitary
  • No crowds
  • No having to worry about your kids
  • And my personal favorite! NO EXCUSES!

In my opinion there are little to no cons to having your own workout space. Some people might have reservations about working out by themselves but you could always invite a friend over or get your kiddos in there with you! Trust me! On those days where getting out of the house seems impossible, you’ll be so glad you have this space set up just for you!

Quick Disclaimer!

I’d advise you to pick a budget first and then go through the list of things below, starting with necessities. Remember! Your gym can evolve and grow with you! Adding the more expensive equipment like a treadmill, bike, or rower can definitely happen organically and over time. Remember too that the treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowers are all meant to “mock” the real thing!

There is no better way to get and stay fit than to regularly practice new sports and activities! If you can’t afford the machine versions of these things right now, you can always go for an outdoor run, ride a real bike, or get on the water and row a canoe! Think outside the box. Literally.

OK! Let’s Start Building That Gym!

First thing you need to do is determine what type of training you’ll be doing and how much space you’ll need. I do a lot of circuit training, HIIT, and weightlifting. So for me, the garage was the best bet. You may be more interested in body weight training and cardio in which case you could use a garage or convert a bedroom, study, patio, or sunroom! All are great and affordable options.

Once you’ve figured out your space you’ll need to think about flooring. If you are using an outside space, you’ll likely have concrete to work with. Concrete is not good for shock absorption from you or your weights if using. I’d advise to look into rubber mats. You can purchase these in the exact dimensions you need from a gym supply company or you can go the cheaper route, (What we did) and go to a feed or farm store and buy horse stall mats.

These are rubber mats made to put in horse stalls to ease the pain of the horse from standing on the concrete all day. They come as 4ft x 3ft rubber mats and work amazingly well! Just measure your space and buy as many as you’ll need. You’ll likely have to cut some to fit perfectly but it’s not hard to do and you’ll save a ton of money going this route!

Obviously if you are using an indoor space you won’t need this type of flooring but you may want to purchase a lighter version of rubber mat to cover hardwood or tile flooring. These usually just snap together and you can find them at most sporting good stores! Also a very affordable option for flooring. The most affordable option for indoor spaces would be yoga mats. You can buy these at most sporting goods stores for less than $20.

Next you’ll want to think about equipment. If you’re on a tight budget I suggest starting small with a few pairs of dumbbells, a jump rope, a medicine ball/stability ball, a few weighted balls in a few different sizes, and a kettlebell. This should cost less than a $150 and is a great start!

Weight Sizes I suggest for beginners

A good rule of thumb to remember when buying weights of any kind is that they are usually priced $1.00/lb commercially. So if you are shopping around and looking for a good deal, keep an eye out for sales that may be closer to .50 to .75 per pound! This is true for dumbbells, kettlebells, and most plate weights!

If you’re looking to train a bit more specifically and want to add in more serious weight training, you might want to look into a squat rack or cage, a barbell and rubber bumper plates. These are going to add to the cost but if this is the type of training you are wanting to do it’s best to get them at the start so you’ll be able to utilize your new space right away.

There are tons of very affordable options when it comes to racks, barbells, and plates. Shop around and make sure you are doing your research as you want to make sure you are prioritizing quality. When it comes to weightlifting, safety is the most important thing!

Alright! Your space should be looking like a real gym/workout area now! I have a few more affordable suggestions that will really round out your space!

Affordable Gym Pieces

  • Plyo Boxes: Easy to make at home! Find a free template online and get your super handy hubs to make them for you! My husband made all of ours, (We have 8) for less than $100! Here is a DIY Plyo Box Tutorial that I love!
  • Dip Stations: Easy to make from PVC pipe! You can make 10 for less than $20
  • Clock/Timer: I love mine! It comes with a remote and I’m able to time my workout and rest intervals without checking my phone. It has a countdown clock that beeps when it’s time to start and beeps again when my timed workout is over! It even has a tabata clock on it for all those tabata workouts!
  • Bluetooth Speaker for Jams!: No one likes to workout without music! Grab an affordable wireless speaker to pump up the energy of your workouts!
  • Mini Fridge: Store your post workout shake, water, or snack! Easy and accessible!
  • Bands: We love the Hip Circle! It is one of the best tools to keep around for hip and glute training!
  • Foam Roller: A must to workout sore muscles and recover from tough workouts!

OK, Fitness buff! You should have a fully functioning space now, fit for any type of training you are wanting to do!

I absolutely love my space and while I still train at other places during the week just to switch it up, I’m always happy to have everything I need right at home. For the days that I might have a sick kiddo, or the weather is terrible and I don’t want to get out! I have zero excuse not to get my workout out in!

Here’s a pic of our finished space! I’d love to see yours once you’ve put your awesome stamp on it! Good Luck!

This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy from my links I make a (very) small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I would never recommend anything that I didn’t truly love or owned myself and I appreciate your support.

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  1. […] but not least, when I get home from all of my mom duties, I workout. I know that I have to take care of my body and I make it a priority. I exercise daily in some form […]

  2. […] built our home gym about five years ago and I have to say it was one of the best decisions ever. At the time, I had […]

  3. […] to feel after getting back into my routines. I really got into my fitness routine when we built our home gym on a budget. Before that, I was incorporating healthy meals and smoothies into my daily […]

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