Building Your Own Home Gym on a Budget
If there is one thing that COVID and the quarantine taught us gym-goers, it is that having a home gym to train out of is something we should all look into. When the gyms had to close down for months at a time because of mandatory requirements by government officials, it had many of us looking for a place to work out.
If you were one of the people that tried to put together your own home gym during the quarantine, you were probably hit with astronomically high prices by both gym equipment suppliers and just the ordinary citizen looking to make a buck.
There were ads on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for weight plates demanding three dollars or so a pound. And these were standard-sized weight plates with rust on them! But you can’t really blame many of the people that were trying to make some money during the virus as they could have been laid off from their job and just needed the money to scrape by.
Still, now that the quarantine is over and COVID is becoming less and less dangerous by the day because of the vaccines, prices are much more reasonable if you would like to put together your own home gym in the next few weeks.
Find Room In or Out of Your House
Before you start searching for what fitness equipment you need, you should first determine where you are going to have your home gym. Perhaps a spare bedroom? Maybe that unfinished basement that is only really used for storage? Or you could have it in the garage if you don’t mind parking your car in the driveway from now on? It may take a bit of creativity, but unless you are renting a small apartment, you can probably figure out where your home gym should be located after some careful consideration.
What’s Your Budget?
Is there anything more frustrating than watching home gym videos on YouTube where the person has spent more money on his home gym equipment than you make in a year? More power to them, but in the real world, most of us are not in that situation.
Still, perhaps if you have a bit of money in the bank, use your credit card if needed, you could justify spending $5,000 on a home gym. After all, this would mean you can cancel your current gym membership, won’t have to spend time and money driving back and forth to the gym, and you will have this gym to train in the rest of your life. And workout equipment holds its value well, so if you ever want to resell it, you won't take too much of a hit. It really is a true investment in your health.
Where to Find the Best Deals
Now that the world seems to be getting back on track in regards to COVID, Facebook Marketplace is really a good place to find some great deals on gym equipment. Also, there are plenty of used gym equipment suppliers out there if you perform a quick Google search. You could literally nab commercial equipment for pennies of the dollar if you don’t mind equipment that is a bit banged up. Lastly, you can always post on your social media that you are looking for any gym equipment that people are no longer using. You can make the offer that you will load it up and haul it away for free. You may be surprised to see how many people have stuff in their basement they are dying to get rid of.
Simply Start with the Basics and Go From There
When you are just beginning getting the things you need for your home gym, start with the basics. You can always add additional equipment down the road if you have the room and the money.
Basically, you can do hundreds of strength training exercises with just the equipment listed below. If you shop wisely, you can come in well under $2,000 for all of these items.
- Adjustable Bench: Adjustable is key as you can raise or lower it depending on the exercise you are doing.
- Squat Rack: Don’t forget the legs! Plus, with the squat rack, you can do bench press, military press, and shrugs.
- Dumbbell Set: You may be able to get by with adjustable dumbbells that you can increase up to 50 pounds. Or if possible, skip the 5 pound increments to save money, and just get 10/20/30/40 pound dumbbells.
- Barbell: With the barbell, add a few hundred pounds in weight plates so you are able to keep on increasing the weight as you become stronger.
- Elastic Bands: Elastic bands will enable you to do almost any cable machine exercise you will see in commercial gyms if you are creative enough.
- Mirror: A mirror would help to maintain good form. In addition, when doing strength training exercises, you can usually motivate yourself to do one or two extra reps when you are watching yourself struggle in the mirror.
Gear For The Cardio Killers
For cardio, you can usually find an exercise bike that won't take up too much room. Or if you're really strapped for space, you could grab a jumprope, or even use an imaginary jumprope to warm up. There's also the option simply running around the block, walking a mile, or take a bike ride if needed.
And once again, this is a basic starting kit for your home gym. You will find yourself adding more pieces as the months go by!