Building a home gym isn’t an easy task. There are so many decisions you have to make. What’s the most suitable equipment for you? How much money should you spend on the machines? Where should you set up your gym at home? How much does a home gym cost?
You will find that building your own home gym is well worth the effort in the long run. You don’t need to spend your precious time traveling to a commercial gym, and you won’t have the high price of a gym membership to keep up with each month.
I used to have the same problem. I wanted to work out but getting to the local commercial gym took about 40 minutes, so I decided to build a home gym. I wanted to lift weights and do cardio as well. I researched the most beneficial but low-cost fitness equipment for my health goals. Now I can have a complete home workout in a room that we didn’t use previously.
To sum it up, I’m satisfied.
Within this guide, I will talk about how to plan your gym, the types of machines that should be included, and what other considerations to keep in mind. We will also answer all your questions about building your home gym, including how much does a home gym cost?
The average cost of a home gym is about $2,000, but with some budgeting and planning, you can create your own home gym for as little as $300 to start. You can then add exercise equipment and other workout essentials as you go.
- 1 What are Your Home Gym Essentials?
- 2 What About Gym Flooring?
- 3 How Much Does a Home Gym Cost?
- 4 How to Create a Mini Gym at Home
- 5 DIY Gym Construction vs Professional Gym Construction
- 6 Should I Lease my gym equipment?
- 7 Building a Home Gym Under $1000?
- 8 Where to Set Up Your Home Gym?
- 9 Best Home Gym Options
- 10 What Can You Do If You Have Only a Small Space?
- 11 To Conclude
What are Your Home Gym Essentials?
You have to decide what sort of workout you would like to do at home.
- Would you like to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular system?
- Do you want to strengthen and tone your muscles by lifting weights?
- Do you want to lift heavy weights?
- Or do you want to have complete training (both strength and cardio)?
Depending on your aims, you need to have home gym equipment that suits your needs. We will review two main groups of fitness equipment below: cardio and strength training.
Shopping tips: Cheap workout equipment for home
Cardio Machine – if your main goal is losing weight
- Indoor rowing machines
- Exercise bikes (upright, recumbent, spinning)
- Vertical climber
These are the typical cardio machines for a home.
The most beneficial fitness machines for a good cardio workout are the treadmill, rowing machine, and vertical climber.
Walking, jogging, and running have a lot of health benefits. You can do each of these activities with the help of a treadmill. You can set the speed and angle of the running area and get all the information about your training, such as heart rate and calories burned. And, last but not least, you can choose from many programs that suit your fitness level or goals the best.
Unfortunately, quality commercial treadmills are expensive and can run you around $1000 or more. If you cannot afford one yet, then a stationary bike or a rowing machine can be a beneficial solution.
I vote on the rowing machine. Besides the cardio benefits, it strengthens and tones almost all the other major muscle groups. And, since rowing is a compound exercise, it burns tons of calories.
What if you have only a few bucks?
Then, get a jump rope, which is cheap but useful for fat burning and endurance development training.
Strength Training Equipment – if you want to build muscle
If you prefer lifting weights, you need these:
- Adjustable workout bench or weight bench (at least a flat bench press)
- Power rack (squat stand)
- Barbell with weight plates
- Not necessary but good to have: home gym machines (lat pulldown, multi-gym, leg press, etc.)
For bodyweight training, get these:
- Power tower (pull up bar and dip stand)
- Freestanding, wall-mounted, or ceiling-mounted pull up bar
If you want to build muscle and develop your strength, you need to lift free weight or use machines.
A compact home gym machine may be a better solution for those with no workout space (there are even folding models) or someone at a beginner level. With the help of this machine, you can work out all the major muscle groups and increase or decrease the resistance.
I prefer free weights because I believe they improve power better than machines since they require more control to perform the exercises. More muscles are engaged, and better overall strength can be achieved.
You need to have dumbbells, a barbell set with bumper plates, an adjustable bench, and a squat rack.
These items need space, and the cost of building a garage gym can be pretty high if you buy everything at once.
However, you can save a lot of space if you purchase adjustable dumbbells that benefit everyone instead of single ones. Such dumbbells are very versatile and compact.
You may also need a rubber floor to place the weights for safety.
Learn more: Essential home gym equipment
What About Gym Flooring?
The gym flooring needs to be strong enough to hold the weight you place in the room. If you need to repair or replace your subflooring, you may be looking at costs ranging between $500 and $2500. Before spending this money, consult with an expert to see if your home gym’s current flooring can bear the weight of your new home gym.
How Much Does a Home Gym Cost?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. For example, the kind of equipment, the brand name, how much remodeling needs to be done to the space, and how much you have in your budget to actually spend.
Typically, cardio machines are the most expensive. Higher quality treadmills, rowers, and bikes are close to or over the $1000 price tag. However, standard and basic bikes and climbers are more affordable and can be purchased for around $500. So, if you want to build a good cardio gym, you need to invest a few thousand dollars for sure.
Weightlifting equipment costs less but requires more. An adjustable workout bench starts at $150, a rack can cost $300, a bar with weight plates runs around $300, and a pair of dumbbells can cost $100. These are beginner-level pieces that are not suitable for heavy lifting.
But, as we mentioned before, you can still start with a small $300 investment and work your way up to building your dream gym. With that being said, let’s look at how you can create a more affordable mini gym at home.
How to Create a Mini Gym at Home
You can purchase a yoga mat, a small exercise bike, and kettlebells or dumbbells to get started. This mini gym will also fit nicely in the corner of the home and be out of the way. It is the ideal setup if you are limited on space and funds.
DIY Gym Construction vs Professional Gym Construction
A mini gym like the one we just mentioned would make a great DIY project for you to embark on. However, if you have something much more extensive in mind that may involve a remodel or a larger room, you may consider hiring a professional.
Consider the weight you will have in the space and how that can impact the flooring. If there is little to no air circulation in the room, you may consider an HVAC installation. This is where the prices for your home gym really begin to add up.
Should I Lease my gym equipment?
If you need your home gym for the short term and would rather not make a long-term investment, you should consider leasing your gym equipment. It is a good and cost-effective option if you only plan on using the equipment for a short amount of time.
Building a Home Gym Under $1000?
Considering the prices above, you can build a garage gym for under 1000 bucks for strength training if you pick more affordable items. However, a professional cardio machine won’t fit that budget. I got a jump rope and plyometric box as substitutes.
So, yes, you can have a home gym on a budget.
Considering the annual fee of a gym membership these days, building a gym in the home is worth it. It is a one-time investment that can be enjoyed for a long time.
However, that does not mean you have to spend thousands on it. Firstly, buy the most essential pieces in the beginning and purchase more as you go to make your home workout more versatile.
What if you have no money at all?
Well, do bodyweight training (calisthenics). Almost no equipment is required, just a bar for pull-ups.
Where to Set Up Your Home Gym?
No matter where you build it – a garage, a room, or a basement – make sure you have enough space. To use the equipment comfortably and safely, you need a few feet around them. A stuffed garage gym is uncomfortable. You need room to exercise.
If you want to build your home gym in a basement, carefully measure the height of the ceiling. That is important for the squat rack and the power tower.
Finally, choose an airy place. You can use a fan or an air conditioner, but it isn’t is the same as fresh air.
No matter what sorts of tools you buy, always check the specifications to know if you have enough space to store and use the equipment.
Buying guide: Best compact exercise equipment
Best Home Gym Options
Would you rather go with a complete home gym setup rather than piece your fitness equipment out? There are some home gyms you can buy in a package to give you everything you need to get started on your fitness journey at home, out of the commercial gym, and away from high gym membership prices.
The Tempo Studio home gym comes with a built-in personal trainer. It is an all-in-one powerful solution for your home workout needs. Tempo Studio creates a program that allows you to maximize your workouts and encourages progress. It is based on your own unique needs. If you have the wrong form, it can correct you. It also offers custom recommendations and progress tracking to reach your fitness goals.
With Tonal Home Gym, you have everything you need to create the home gym of your dreams without having to purchase a ton of equipment. Tonal Home Gym uses a dynamic weight that adjusts to your every move. This allows you to achieve a more personalized workout every single time. It provides you with performance analytics that can track your strength and progress.
While these best home gym options are more expensive, you must weigh the price and advantages of purchasing all your fitness equipment separately. These home gym options are also the most ideal solutions for those short on space and who can’t have a dedicated room for their home gym.
What Can You Do If You Have Only a Small Space?
You can buy compact workout equipment that folds down for easy storage. For example, there are small squat racks, folding benches and treadmills, and adjustable dumbbells.
Here are some home gym ideas in different locations for some inspiration.
Training at home definitely does come with a host of advantages. You can build the body you want and even save money in the long run. Now that you know how to make your own home gym, the next step is to decide what you want to achieve. Once you have set your fitness goals, purchase your first home gym essentials, and use them.