Starting a Home Gym On a Budget

The average gym price in the USA is $60 a month. That’s $720 a year. For that price, you can build a home gym that has all the necessary amenities to provide you with a workout that can get you in the same shape as a commercial gym. Once the home gym is built it’s yours forever, allowing you to improve both your physical and financial health.

The key to building an inexpensive, yet highly functional gym is to focus on versatile pieces of equipment that allow you to work out your whole body with only a few items. Here is a guide on exactly how you do that.

Equipment needed:

Squat rack with pull up bar

Squatting is the most important exercise if you want to get bigger. Your glutes are the largest muscle in your body, and when you exercise them your body naturally produces more testosterone. This stimulates muscle growth all over your body.

Squat racks are also incredibly versatile, especially if you purchase one with a pull up bar attached. A squat rack with a bench can allow you to squat, bench press, and do pull ups. So that is your glutes, thighs, chest and biceps all worked out by one piece of equipment.

You can buy squat racks first hand for $250. If you are willing to shop around for something second hand, you can get it for around $150. It may well be worth making friends with the owners of your local gym to see where you can get high quality second hand gear.

Olympic bar and weight plates

An olympic bar and weight plates are the only weights you need when creating a budget friendly home gym. They allow you to work your large, core muscles: legs, chest and shoulders. Everything else can be more than adequately worked using calisthenics (body weight excercises) and stretches.

A standard Olympic Bar weighs 44lbs. The weight plates that you buy therefore depends on how heavy you want to lift. As a general guide, you should aim to bench press anywhere from 75% to 150% of your bodyweight, depending on whether you want to tone or bulk up. As for squats, you should be looking at 100% to 200% of your body weight depending on your strength. Only buy what you need for now, you can always buy additional weights later on.

As well as squatting, bench pressing, and shoulder pressing, an olympic bar also allows you to deadlift. Deadlifts, along with squats, increase the size and strength of your legs and are the best exercises to give you a competitive advantage when playing sport.

You can get an olympic bar and a set of plates for under $200. If you are going to be putting heavy plates (over 80lbs on each side) it is well worth investing in as high a quality bar as possible, so as to minimize wear and tear. Let Me Bank can help if you require financial assistance in building a gym that will last.

Adjustable bench

Adjustable benches offer excellent value as they allow you to use your Olympic bar in a lot of different ways, meaning that you can work far more muscles than if you just had a standard flat bench. The shoulder press, for example, can only be done with an adjustable bench as you need to be sitting upright rather than lying down.

Adjustable benches are only marginally more expensive than flat benches, you can easily get one for $100. It can also be used to assist with certain calisthenic exercises such as dips which work out your triceps.

Skipping rope

One of the biggest reasons why people join a gym is to be able to do cardio without having to be outside in the rain or freezing cold. While some people do have a treadmill in their house, it is not really an option if you are on a tight budget.

By far the most cost-effective way of adding cardio to your home workouts is through skipping with a rope. Skipping is as much of a cardio workout as sprinting, and it also works out your abs and improves your agility and coordination. Little wonder it is the exercise of choice for boxers.

Skipping ropes are best for high intensity cardio training. If you want to focus more on stamina over time, it’s best to go running, cycling or play team sports. Stretching your muscles also helps with your recovery time and makes you less susceptible to injuries. A skipping rope can act as a resistance band to help you stretch your hips, ankles and hamstrings.

A skipping rope can be purchased for between $2 and $15. It’s recommended to go for the slightly more expensive ropes here, as they are likely to last longer and therefore work out as cheaper overall.

Soft flooring

Soft flooring is an absolute essential for your home gym, no matter what budget you are on. No matter how careful you are when placing your weights down, they will eventually wreck standard flooring. This will cost a lot of money to replace, making your budgeting efforts when constructing your gym all for nothing.

You do not need to have soft floors installed in your house. Rather just use dense foam mats of at least 2 inches thick. You can buy this in bulk on wholesale for just $5 for a square yard. Kitting out a medium sized room should therefore cost you less than $50. In addition from stopping damage to your home, soft floor also makes core exercises such as sit-ups, press-ups, and planking more comfortable to do.

If you focus on equipment that is versatile, you really can build a home gym and achieve a comprehensive full body workout for less than the price of a years commercial gym membership. Having a gym in your house is also far more convenient than having to travel to one, and gives you the flexibility to work out at any time of day or night.

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