Building your home gym on a budget may seem impossible, but it’s easier and more affordable than you may realize. Today I’m sharing how I built my home gym, the products I think give you the most bang for your buck, and why this gym equipment is a must have for every person who works out from home. These recommendations are perfect for people who don’t have a ton of space or even a spare room for a home gym. Many of this fitness equipment is portable which means you can work out at home and when you’re away. So what are you waiting for? Get your rear in gear!
So, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to go to the gym most days. I homeschool my kiddos (and there’s no childcare during the day for bigger kids), my husband leaves insanely early and gets home only in time to eat dinner and have some solid conversation, we have an absurd amount of obligations/things to do, and I just want to get my workout done in the morning so I can be a somewhat calm mama for my little blessings.
For years I did Beachbody workouts and loved them, but got to the point where I wanted to make up my own workouts and branch out a lot, so I started collecting equipment. Over the years, I’ve built up a pretty solid gym and feel absolute freedom to workout when I want.
Now, for a disclaimer: I worked out in my garage for a couple of months and had a super sweet set up with a squat rack and bench and everything. Unfortunately, the said 100-year-old garage gave me respiratory problems (probably from 100-year-old rat poo), so I’ve had to bring my equipment inside. The sad fact is, though, that our small house just can’t accommodate my squat rack and bench. I’m making it, though, with what I can have in my house, which means YOU CAN, TOO!
Many of the pieces I’m going to talk about can be found on Craigslist, Ebay, and bookoo, so don’t think you’re going to have to invest thousands of dollars. There are so many sweet folks out there that start off with good intentions (around January 1st) and realize it just ain’t happening’ two years later, so they sell their expensive equipment on these sites so they can buy something else that they think they will stick with this time.
So, here are my favs and stuff I use every. single. day. (except Sundays)…
Building Your Home Gym On A Budget:
1. Bowflex Selectech Dumbbells: If there’s one piece that I can’t live without, it’s these fantastic dumbbells. I can work every muscle with these gems and not worry that I can’t go heavy enough. I even put these in the trunk of my car when we travel so that I can still work out if I don’t have access to the gym (lifesaver when going home for Thanksgiving so I don’t feel as guilty when I have to unbuckle my belt and ask for help to lift me off the couch after dinner). I highly recommend these and can’t say enough great things about them.
2. TRX: If you don’t have a pull-up bar (I don’t have a doorway that I can install one in because the molding is too thick), then this is pretty great and really versatile. With this suspension system, I can work every body part using my own body weight in some pretty unique ways. It also packs in your suitcase, so you can take it anywhere. I, of course, don’t have access to cable machines, so I use the TRX for virtually all recommended cable exercises. If you do a search for “TRX workouts”, you’ll see unlimited links and get an idea of how/why it’s pretty wonderful.
3. Bosu Ball: I didn’t add this to my equipment until a couple of years ago, and I’m so happy to have it. Not only can I do some pretty hardcore cardio on this ball, but it’s great to use as a bench (even for incline and decline bench), as well as core stability training. My kids also have a blast on it and my youngest bounces on it while doing school.
4. Plyometric box: My WONDERFULLY TALENTED, COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT HIM husband built me a plyo box a few years back, and we have both used it regularly. He, ingeniously, made one side taller than the other, so I can change the level of intensity when using it for step-ups, jumps, etc. But this big box was also so important when I didn’t have a Bosu Ball, so I could use it as a bench. If you can’t build one, you can totally buy one, but they’re super expensive.
5. Resistance bands: Confession: I don’t have this type, but I wish I did. My resistance bands are ancient and have been knotted where they busted, but they still get the job done. With bands, I can work my lower body in a way that I can’t with weights. Also, these can fit in your bags for travel (or even your purse).
Now, in addition to these pieces, I also have a ton of mats to protect my back when I’m laying down, and to protect the floor from the weights. Also, I have a “plyo mat”, which is just a kitchen mat from Sam’s Wholesale that is for those that are standing in the kitchen a lot. If you want to buy an actual plyo mat, they’re pretty pricey, so I just stick with this basic.
Well, there you have it. You CAN workout at home! If the kids get in the way, let them have a snack and watch a movie for an hour, or give them a project. If you don’t have tons of money, save up, ask for Christmas, and scour the internet for deals. Start small and add on every year and, pretty soon, you’ll have a fully-functional “gym” right in your home.