Building A Home Gym On A Budget

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Before the pandemic, I believe most people had a negative view of exercising from home. It meant being weak, not being able to lift heavier weights, and not being able to gain muscle mass. I see several people having the mindset that you can only do bodyweight exercises and that just means you don’t get as good a workout. Now, we are in a situation in which many of the gyms are still shutdown or areas are in their second lockdown. Do you just give up because you can’t get to the gym? No! It’s NOT impossible to get a good workout at home. I do have a post on Bodyweight Strength and Bodyweight Cardio (in progress), but this particular article exists to show you how to go about building a home gym on a budget.

Whether you need the extra weight still or want something more than just bodyweight exercises, build your own basic home gym. It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be based on your unique needs! While it IS true that unless you have the right equipment (which can get expensive), there is a limit to how heavy you can lift and certain moves will be limited, but you can still move and get some exercise in to release those endorphins that help keep you uplifted! So,  unless your goal is setting new personal records or you are specifically training to be a body builder, you are capable of building a home gym, even if you’re on a budget!

Bosu Balance Trainer

This has become my favorite piece of equipment over the past two years! It’s lightweight and portable (for the most part), making it an easy travel companion in a car. It only requires a pump (typically included) and it’s ready to go! I’ve only had to inflate mine once. It’s incredibly versatile and doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Need a good core workout? Don’t have a chest press bench and don’t want to use the floor (this will give you a good glute burn too)? Want to work on balance and stability? Do you need some light resistance on yoga day? It is also possible to get some cardio in by doing step ups, which will challenge your balance and get that heart rate up!

 

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Equalizer Bars

With these bars, you are forced to use your own bodyweight as resistance, but in the process working the chest, back, core and stabilizer muscles. You can do tricep dips, a variety of core moves, work on some basic calisthenics, and if you are wanting some pull up strength you can start with these! The black grip piece helps make the moves more comfortable with less stress on your hands.

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Ab Roller

Forget sit ups! Use an ab roller! What I like most about this piece of equipment is that it challenges your stability while you are crunching your lower abs. I’d recommend to start on your knees and roll out to a comfortable postion, hold for 3 seconds, then pulling yourself back inward. Do about 50 of these and you’ll be feeling it the next day.

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Weighted Vest

Weighted Vests come anywhere between 4 lbs to 50 lbs. This is an easy way to add some extra resistance to bodyweight workouts. You will burn more calories and build muscle. The vest will impact the full body as it must compensate somehow for the extra weight. It’s perfect to wear while walking or jogging, just pick out an appropriate weight for your level. If you are not use to wearing one, start off with a 4 lb or 6 lb and work your way up, as to prevent injury! I promise, even adding an additional 4 lbs to your routine feels like a lot!

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Tony Little’s Gazelle

Alright, serious question. Who remembers doing Tony Little workouts in the 90s? I was a kid, but I still remember the Gazelle in the living room and watching Tony Little on the tv. It ended up in my parents garage in the early 2000s, but it came out in 2020, cobwebs and all! And now it’s in my living room! Still standing strong. This man, his equipment and motivating workout programs will stand the test of time I’m sure.

I don’t use it everyday though, if I’m being completely honest. It usually comes out to play when I need a mix up from my stationary bike. But seriously though, spend 10 minutes on this gazelle and it’s an instant flashback.

You can still get one of these for a couple hundred dollars. Or maybe you can find one at a yard sale. My parents can’t be the only people who had one tucked away in their garage. 

Bonus: Wear your weighted vest while on one of these!

 

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Stationary Bike

I just got a stationary bike within the past few weeks and it has honestly been a game changer for me. It added a different style of cardio and changed up my routine to help break my plateau. You don’t need anything complicated either, just something you can easily sit on and get those legs moving. I have chosen this one because it’s lightweight (under 50 lbs!!) and easy to move around. There are several different resistance levels so you can start on your own level.

I personally enjoy taking 20 minutes in the evening and getting some intervals in. I put on some music and I alternate between a sprint and a steady pace every other minute. Use a light resistance, but not too light that you don’t feel a small pressure. This simple trick has helped me loosen up from my strength exercises and kept my metabolism going overnight.  Plus, it helps break up an otherwise very sedentary day at the office. I like to keep moving!

Jump Rope

Now let’s take it back to elementary school recess and gym class. Was I the only one jealous of those girls who could do the double dutch jump rope? I could barely keep up my coordination with one jump rope, let alone two. As it turns out, jumping rope is an excellent alternative to outdoor cardio or if you’re building a home gym on a budget.

Jumping Rope can burn around 300 calories in about 20 minutes, and you don’t even have to leave the room. It’s perfect to do during commercials or if you just need a quick 5 minute break from your busy lifestyle. Not only are you getting a great cardio workout though, you are strengthening your lower legs. According to ACE Fitness, “jumping rope regularly helps strengthens the calf muscles and improves the elasticity of surrounding tendons.”

There two types of jump ropes I’d recommend: cordless or speed. If you don’t have high ceiling space or are in a tighter area, cordless is your best bet. if you do have the space, I’d go with a speed rope. I have a cordless jump rope due to lack of space inside or out and it’s great to practice with and help me feel like I’m really jumping rope. When I do get more room, I’d love to grab a speed rope! It ensures your form is on point and the lightweight cables move at a fast pace keeping you moving!

Conclusion

I hope this has provided some use as you start your fitness journey. It really doesn’t take a lot to start and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just move!!! The best exercise is one you enjoy. Find what works for you. All the items I have listed, depending on your preferred brand and model, could potentially run you <$600!!! 

Did I miss anything that you use? Let me know in the comments what’s in your home gym!

 

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15 thoughts on “Building A Home Gym On A Budget”

  1. The gym in the house is a phenomenal thing. However, in a large number of cases there is not enough space in the house for all the appliances and not much money. The tips in this text are great, the equipment does not require much investment and does not take up much space. It will definitely help me choose what to put in my house.

    Reply
  2. Hello there!

    That is an awesome article and a very helpful guide. I love good looks so that is the reason I always do everything possible in my capacity to keep fit and look smart and good as well as being healthy. This is the reason I’ve always planned to get a gym in my house but the plan keeps failing. Meanwhile, I think the budget recommended here will help me achieve it.

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Hello there, The average cost of a home gym is around $2,000, but you can spend as little as $300 or as much as $15,000 and more. Where on that range you fall depends on your training goals and how complex you want the setup to be. You can go from getting a few dumbbells to building an entire weight room. Thanks for sharing this awesome article..

    Reply
  4. Yeah, home gym used to be a ‘lame excuse’ when you want to save on gym membership but nowadays, it’s definitely the trend. I’m a big fan of training my upper body muscle and am thinking of getting Monkii. Have you heard of them? It used to be a Kickstarter project and it went really big after that. They offer a wide range of resistant training devices that are easy to install and are currently offering discounts for the shopping season. Comes with an app to help you with training too.

    Reply
  5. Wow! This has been EXACTLY what I need for myself to keep myself under the budget and also healthy and strong during these quarantine times. I currently have COVID (or I just tested positive for it) but I don’t have any symptoms so I am literally BORED at home and missing the activity. This will be helpful and you have provided everything I need. Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Misael! thank you for your comment and I’m glad you found it helpful! I hate to hear you have Covid, I am praying for a speedy recovery and you are healthy and well!

      Reply
  6. I really found this article really helpful and also saw it as an eye opener, I never thought of something like this, I love working out and that is why I really loved this article and it’s amazing that these things are also very affordable unlike the regular gym equipment which are very expensive, I shared this with my wife and we are definitely going to work on this in our home

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you found it useful!!! I’m happy to spread the word that it really is simple to get in shape at home.

      Reply
  7. I use to do the rope jump in my house and walk around my compound, but my wife did not take me seriously, she would go out to exercise. But when the pandemic came, the game changed. she could not go out and we were forced to build out in-house gym ourselves. I love the ab roller, it has become another useful tool for me alongside my jump rope 

    Reply
  8. I like what you have shared here and how much it can help us all. I just value all the things that has been shared here for us to learn from. Building a home gym can necessarily not be too much and too demanding too. I like the way things can be bought to improvise for others and all. That is just perfect to me. Thanks

    Reply
  9. A home gym sounds like a good idea in these times. And I know it shouldn’t be expensive. If we just stick to the basics we can have a good workout each time while keeping the costs low.

    On another note, where can I get myself some of these items? If you can also provide some recommendations as to where I can get the best deals, that would be great!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you enjoyed this article and it was helpful! 

      I included links to all the products but I can do a better job and place them at the bottom of the article too. Thank you for pointing that out!

      Reply

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