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How to build a home gym: equipment and costs

Investing in a home gym is a dream if you want to begin, continue, or enhance your fitness and health goals. Not only will you save on your costly gym membership subscription, but a home gym will also save the money you spend on fuel and car maintenance. Then there is the concern of the unavailability and low-quality equipment in commercial gyms. Usually, a majority of commercial gyms do not have enough equipment to suit people’s fitness goals.

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Time is another important benefit for people who invest in home gyms. By building a home gym, you save on time that you spend commuting to and from the local gym. Working out at home also saves the time that you spend waiting for other people to complete their reps at the gym. You can spend the saved time making money or pursuing other hobbies. A gym is also a great financial investment because gym equipment does not depreciate as fast as other assets such as cars. You only need to invest in a one-off purchase of gym equipment, and you can only upgrade it when you want. Also, investing in your health will help you remain physically, mentally, and psychologically healthy to pursue your personal and professional goals.

Process, equipment, and costs

The first step is to determine the essentials of your home gym. The ideal home gym must support a holistic approach to fitness training. This means that a home gym should have equipment for weight, cardio, and bodyweight training. Your fitness goals will also determine the type of equipment that you will maintain in the gym at home. If you are interested in increasing your muscle mass you will stack your gym with free weights. Conversely, if you are interested in cardio training, your choice of equipment will include a jump rope or a treadmill. If you want to prioritize bodyweight training, a pull-up bar is an absolute necessity. Regardless of your fitness plan, most people who invest in home gyms find the following items useful:

Free weights

Free weights include equipment that uses strength training for fitness. They include items such as weight plates, kettlebells, and dumbbells. Free weights are vital in any gym because they are versatile and you can use them for different exercises and you can also target all muscle groups using free weights. A list of must-haves in your list of free weights includes barbells, weight plates, squat rack, weight bench, and dumb bells.

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The barbell is an essential part of your gym equipment because it allows you to target all muscle groups.

Weight plates complement the barbell and they come in different materials including cast-iron plates and rubber bumper plates. The type of material does not matter as long as your training regimen is on point.

It is advisable to include a squat rack in your home gym. Go for a simple squat rack as long as it accommodates all the weight equipment.

A weight bench is also another absolute necessity in a home gym because the bench press is the standard exercise for the upper body. A good weight bench should be wrapped in a foam pad, wide, and capable of supporting at least 150 kgs.

Dumbbells should also be an essential part of your daily training routine. Although adjustable dumbbells are costly, the investment is worth it seeing they replace fixed-weight dumbbells.

Cost: $500

Cardio equipment

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A majority of cardio equipment for a home gym is expensive. It is almost impossible to buy a brand new treadmill, a rowing machine, or an exercise bike cheaply. Therefore, you should invest in one cardio equipment and you could add others later. I recommend you start with an exercise bike that is relatively cheaper than the other cardio equipment. An exercise bike is an excellent tool if you are looking to improve your athleticism, balance, longevity, and heart health as you boost your overall fitness.

Cost: $150

Bodyweight training equipment

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Bodyweight training is critical for maximum fitness. We recommend a pull-up bar as the best weight training equipment when building a home gym. Pull-ups are punishing even for the most experienced fitness enthusiasts. Aim to perform at least 10 reps of pull-ups when working out at home.

Cost: $100


Accessories for the home gym include all the equipment that make your exercise fun, engaging, and comfortable. None of the accessories is an absolute must-have in your home gym. However, we recommend having a jump rope, a yoga mat, and a resistance band as accessories in your home gym.

Cost: $150

Flooring and storage

Before purchasing gym equipment, consider flooring and storage that is available at home. We recommend rubber flooring since it is relatively cheaper than wooden flooring. Rubber flooring is also suitable for a range of both simple and complex exercises.

When it comes to storage, you will consider the weight and number of gym equipment in your home gym. If your equipment includes a lot of weights, consider installing a steel gym shelf. Often, the storage equipment is expensive and you should consider cheaper alternatives. You might want to consult a local carpenter who might design storage for all the equipment at a pocket-friendly price.

Cost: $500

To wrap up, focus on the basics when building your home gym. Having a barbell and weight plates is a good starting point. Most of the gym equipment is expensive and you have to be creative to cut down on costs. Consider the availability of second-hand items online stores and marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba. After the initial investment, you can save for more complex and costly equipment as time goes by. Remember that although it is very expensive to build a home gym, the savings on gym subscription, time, and better health make it worthwhile to build one.


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