Building a Home Gym – Ditch the Inconvenient Memberships

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What you need for building a home gym

Lots of people want to workout but it is hard to get to a gym, and it can be expensive. Working out at home is a great alternative with great time and money benefits. I should be clear about the money part, depending on what you want to do, building a home gym setup can be expensive but there are still benefits to buying the equipment vs a gym membership.

What are some pros and cons of building a home gym?


  • More convenient
  • Don’t have to deal with other people when working out
  • No monthly fees
  • You own the equipment and get to choose what you have
  • Can work out at any time


  • Up front costs can be high
  • Won’t have the same equipment variety as a gym
  • Need to have space for it

What are the goals for your home gym?

Before we dive in, you need to figure out what you are looking to do. Are you just looking to stay active and maybe lose a little weight? Do you want to do serious training to achieve above average goals? Let’s dive into building a home gym.

Where will you set up your home gym?

Find a space in your house where you want to set up. A garage always works if you have one available. Or, a spare room. A spare room can be more difficult if you plan to build a bigger home gym.

Building a basic home gym

building a home gym

We will start off your basic home gym for those just trying to get in a little bit of exercise and stay active. There are a bunch of workout plans out there that allow you to workout in a small space with minimum equipment. You might want to look up a workout program or video serious suits you. I will create a separate blog post on different options.

Next, you need to get some equipment. There are some basic things that you can get that will suit a wide variety of workouts.

1. Kettlebells

You can pick up a few kettlebells that are great for different workouts. You don’t need to have a full setup, especially not to start. Just get a few different weights and as you continue to workout and try new things. Here are a couple of examples that can get you started. Toned Fitness Kettlebell, this is a set of 3 or you can buy individual ones. If you are looking for more available weights, here is another option.

2. Workout mat

This may or may not be needed depending on your preference. Some people don’t mind just working out on the carpet. A nice mat is pretty cheap and worth the money for any workouts that have you lie on the ground.

3. Dumbbell set

Like kettlebells, you don’t need to have a huge set to start working out. You could buy a full rack with a bunch of different weights but that will set you back a lot of money.

A better option is to get a set of adjustable dumbbells such as these. You may have seen similar ones from Bowflex on commercials. The biggest difference between these 2 is the style and the weight. The Bowflex go up to 52.5lbs.

4. Suspension Trainer Kit

A great tool to perform over 300 different workouts to build muscle or burn fat. You can use it indoors or out. It’s simple to set up and use, easy to store, and relatively cheap. If you’re looking to open up the workouts you can do from home, this is a great tool.

5. Workout bench

Another nice item to have in your home gym is a workout bench. There are a ton of variations, some that are fixed and some that are adjustable.

From my experience, I really like the Bowflex one. This one is a 3 position one but they also offer a 5 position.

6. Exercise bands

A pretty cheap addition to your home gym are exercise bands. They offer a few additional exercises and the cost is low so it’s worth adding.

7. Ab wheel

There are plenty of ab workouts you can do without any equipment but this is an easy and cheap tool to help with your ab workout. Simplicity is always good and this is one of the simpler pieces of equipment to add to your home gym.

8. Pull up bar

This is one of my favorite home gym tools. This particular pull up bar offers lots of variations. There are several grip positions to offer a variation of workouts. You can even use it for push-ups to take advantage of the different grip positions.

Building a serious home gym

Now let’s talk about building a home gym a serious home gym. This will require a bit more money and space to fit everything. You can get an elliptical, a treadmill, exercise bike, weight machine, etc.

I will probably do some sort of deeper post for each of the categories with research and information on more machines but for this post, I will keep it pretty simple.

1. Treadmill

There are tons of treadmills out there and the goal here is to have a tool for cardio. Depending on how serious you want to get, they have treadmills with computers in them.

They let you essentially walk anywhere in the world. You can follow different workout programs that are built in.

Actually, pretty much all major workout equipment these days offer these kinds of features. One of the top rated treadmills is actually the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 which offers every bell and whistle you can imagine. If you are looking for a more basic solution, you could go with something like the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill.

2. Elliptical

A lot of people prefer using an elliptical over a treadmill because it is easier on your joints. It is still a great piece of equipment that can help you hit your fitness goals. If possible, it is best to try one out and see how you like it.

The best rated one from my research is that Sole E95 Elliptical Machine. It has all the bells and whistles you can imagine, maybe more than you need. A more basic option is the Body Max Elliptical.

3. Exercise bike

One of the most commonly bought pieces of workout equipment purchased for the home is an exercise bike. Many people will have it be their only piece of workout equipment and for good reason. A nice workout bike is sometimes all you need.

Depending on what your goals are, if some type of cardio workout, a bike is a great solution. They also don’t require a lot of space and it’s easy to hop on and do 30 minutes on the bike before work. A couple of popular models today are the Assault Fitness Airbike and the Echelon Smart Connect bike.

Many of today’s models have insane workout video series programmed in with beautiful displays. Or you can opt for a more stripped down, basic, model.

4. Rowing

Rowing is arguably one of the best workouts you can do. It is great for cardio, burning fat, and building muscle.

It really is a full body workout that will leave you sweating when you’re done. One of the best-rated machines is the Concept2 Model D with PM5.

Built by a trusted name with a great warranty and all the features you’ll need makes it one of the best on the market.

If you’re looking for something simpler and more budget-friendly, another great option is the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine.

5. Home gym

Now onto what could be one of the most important pieces of equipment when building a home gym. The home gym itself. This is also where it can get expensive, your basic home gyms start at around $400 and can go up to about $3,000, maybe more.

From my experience, I have a preference for Bowflex. I remember they use to do a lot of marketing on TV and became a popular name and I have used a couple of their older models and loved them.

They really are fast and easy to use. Their basic model starts out at about $500. It’s advertised to offer 25+ exercises.

There are some other options that look more like your traditional home gyms. Body-Solid and Marcy make nice setups. Both offer a variety of versions so you can take a look to see what fits your needs.

building a home gym

Building a Home Gym Final Thoughts

So there you have it, some of the things you’ll need to build your own home gym. As you can see you can get as intense as you want. If you are just looking to do fast and quick workouts, you only need to pick up a few things. Many of which can be purchased from any active supply retailer or even Amazon.

Also, if you are looking for something more serious, you can build a complete home gym that can compete with much of what an expensive gym offers.

If you have any question about building a home gym, be sure to comment or leave us a message.

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