Ever watched those popular YouTube influencers flexing in their cool home gyms and wished you knew how to build a home gym?

You’re in the right spot!

A typical home gym setup could set you back a few grand, but worry not. In this guide, I’m about to spill the beans on some fantastic hacks that will help you save BIG.

Yes, we’re talking about your dream home gym on a budget. So sit tight, because what comes next might just blow your mind. 🤯

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the ideal location in your home for your gym, considering space limitations and specific workout needs. ✅
  • Establish a realistic budget for purchasing gym equipment that aligns with your fitness goals 🎯
  • Select essential equipment, such as a pull-up bar, to maximize functionality and cater to a variety of exercises. 🏋🏽‍♀️
affiliate disclaimer

I review products independently but I might earn affiliate commissions if you decide to buy items through links on this page.

Finding the Perfect Space for Your Home Gym


a gym in a garage

The garage.

My favorite lair for dead spiders and forgotten power tools If yours is anything like mine, you’ll be surprised to discover that it’s also a fantastic location for setting up your own home gym.

Clear out some clutter, and voilà, an instant workout haven!

The benefits are aplenty: privacy, space for large gym equipment, and, of course, impressive acoustics for singing your favorite workout tune.

Just remember to ensure proper ventilation, or you might wind up gasping for air in between sets.


a gym build in a basement

Why waste valuable living space when you’ve got an entire underground lair waiting to be transformed?

Basements can be the ideal location for a home gym, providing ample room for all your fitness equipment and shenanigans, like that marvelous pull-up bar you’ve been eyeing. 👀

Just beware of low ceilings; you wouldn’t want to bump your head during an epic or squat session. Don’t forget about lighting and moisture control; after all, no one likes exercising in a damp dungeon.

Evander’s Tip

Remember, basements can often be wet. When I was younger and living with my parents, I saved up all holiday to buy one of the best TVs available at the time for our basement mancave. But sadly, the basement’s dampness made the TV stop working.

Living Room

living room home gym

Who says you need to choose between a stylish living room and a functional home gym? Certainly not me!

With some creativity and a few tasteful gym equipment choices, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Consider investing in portable or multi-functional equipment (think resistance bands or adjustable dumbbells) that you can easily stash away when not in use.

And remember, carpeted floors might not be the best match for high-intensity training, so consider a protective workout mat to avoid disgraceful carpet stains.

Spare Bedroom

bedroom gym

If you’ve been fortunate enough to remain unscathed by the home office craze, then a spare bedroom could be the Holy Grail of workout spaces. Nothing screams dedication like a room fully committed to your fitness endeavors.

As a bonus, the bedroom’s existing decor (mirror and curtains, anyone?) can add a delightful touch of sophistication to your routine.

Just be sure to protect the floors (unless, of course, you’d like to submit a workout-induced floor-denting Rorschach test to the landlord).


A backyard home gym

If you’re a sun worshipper like me, you’ll find that even the most excruciating workouts become bearable when paired with a gentle breeze and rustling leaves.

Depending on your climate, backyard gyms might require a bit more planning (like weatherproof workout mats and shade to protect from the sweltering sun), but let me tell you, it’s worth it.

And if you have the space, your backyard gym can even include a lifesaving feature: a swimming pool to dive into when the heat becomes too much. swimming 🏊

Determining your Budget

When it comes to planning my home gym journey, the budget is crucial. I need to be realistic about the costs and also have a clear understanding of what I can get within my budget.

Sure, a gym membership can be tempting, but the convenience of a home gym should not be underestimated.

I decided to break down the initial costs of setting up a home gym into different price ranges.

This way, I know which equipment I can afford based on my budget. So, here’s a lovely table of price ranges and what you get for each price range, because who doesn’t love tables?

Budget Breakdown 💰

EquipmentCost Breakdown
$500 – $1,000Squat Rack$300
Iron Plates$150
Basic Bench$150
$1,000 – $2,000Squat Rack$500
Bumper Plates$300
Adjustable Bench$200
Adjustable Dumbbells$400
$2,000 – $3,000Squat Rack$600
Bumper Plates$500
Adjustable Bench$400
Higher-quality Adjustable Dumbbells$500
Additional Home Gym Equipment (Cable Machine)$1,000
$3,000 – $5,000High-quality Squat Rack$1000
Bumper Plates$800
Adjustable Bench$700
Higher-quality Adjustable Dumbbells$800
Comprehensive Home Gym Equipment Selection$1,700
$5,000 and aboveAll the bells and whistles you can dream of, including top-notch equipment, customized flooring, and possibly a personal trainer on speed dialVaries based on customization and personal preferences

Now, I know that each home gym setup will vary, but this gives me a general ballpark. I mean, if I have $1,500 to spend, I can invest in the essentials like a squat rack, bumper plates, an adjustable bench, and adjustable dumbbells.

But if I’m on a tight budget, say $750, I’ll need to prioritize by acquiring a basic squat rack, iron plates, and a bench first, then gradually buildinging from there.

Evander’s Tip

Speaking of squats, I’ve delved into the science of glute growth duration and identified top-notch workouts for your backside. You definitely don’t want to miss it!

Remember that it’s all about making the best use of my budget without losing sight of the ultimate goal: staying fit and fabulous.

You can always start small and upgrade your home gym equipment as you go. As they say, slow and steady wins the race! 🏎

Designing Your Home Gym

Home gym design drawing

Color Scheme and Motivation

When I began designing my home gym, I knew that the color scheme was crucial for setting the right mood. After all, no one wants to work out in a dull, uninspiring space. So, I decided to go for bold, energizing colors like red and blue.

This not only made the gym eye-catching but also put me in the right mindset for a good workout. Now my garage gym looks like it’s ready for a superhero training montage! 🦸‍♂️

Mirror Placement

After dealing with a case of “invisible muscles,” I decided that installing mirrors in my gym was essential.

I strategically placed them on the walls so that I could see my form while working out and also to remind myself how far I’ve come in my fitness journey.

Plus, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re in a real gym with all those mirrors around? Just remember not to get too distracted checking yourself out—there are gains to be made!

Storage and Shelving Solutions

Home gym organizer

When it came to storing all my exercise equipment, I knew I needed a practical yet aesthetically pleasing solution.

After all, no one wants a cluttered workout space. So, I invested in some sturdy shelving and horse stall mats to protect my precious floors.

Who knew that my gym would end up doubling as a showroom for my impressive weight plate collection?

  • Flat bench: I found a perfect spot for my versatile flat bench – it easily tucks away under the shelves when not in use.
  • Pull-up bar attached: I installed my trusty pull-up bar on the ceiling, making my gym feel like the trendiest fitness club in town.
  • Exercise equipment: With ample storage space, all my dumbbells, resistance bands, and kettlebells get to live in harmony, making it easy for me to find them when it’s time to pump iron.

So, in the end, designing my home gym became an exciting project that combined style and function to create the ultimate workout sanctuary.

Now, if only I could master the art of lifting weights without making those embarrassing grunting noises…

Budgeting and Buying Equipment

When it comes to building a home gym, budgeting is crucial. But believe it or not, I’ve managed to avoid breaking the bank, and so can you!

Let’s dive into the world of equipment purchasing and uncover the hidden treasures in the nooks and crannies of the fitness market. 🤿

New vs Used Equipment

As someone who appreciates a good bargain, I had a choice to make: shiny new gym equipment or gently used gear that’s seen some bicep curls.

Consider the following when making your decision:

  • New equipment: comes with warranties, zero wear and tear, and bragging rights.
  • Used equipment: cheaper, still gets the job done, and gives off that trendy “vintage” vibe.

For me, mixing and matching new and used equipment helped stretch my budget further while also meeting my fitness needs.

Finding Deals on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace

Dumbbells on facebook marketplace

Ah, the online marketplace treasure travel! Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace have become my go-to platforms for hunting down affordable gym gear.

Here are some handy tips to make the most out of your online equipment searches:

  1. Be patient: Great deals don’t happen every day, so persistence is key.
  2. Negotiate: Remember, the asking price is just a starting point – let the bargaining begin!
  3. Inspect before buying: Meet up with the seller and give the equipment a thorough once-over before making a final decision.

Garage Sales and Estate Sales

Gone are the days when garage and estate sales only offered moth-eaten sweaters and mystery novels. 📖

Nowadays, these sales are goldmines for people like me looking to snag home gym equipment on a budget. Don’t forget to:

  1. Arrive early: The best deals are often snapped up by early birds.
  2. Bring cash: Haggling is easier with good ol’ paper money in hand.

Budgeting and buying equipment for your home gym doesn’t have to be an all-consuming, wallet-draining experience. Keep an eye out for deals, get creative, and remember—it’s all about the gains, not the expense.

Essential Home Gym Equipment

As a die-hard at-home fitness guru, I cannot stress enough the importance of having essential home gym equipment.

I am speaking from experience when I say that quality gym equipment is a good investment which will last for years. Now, let’s break this down into two crucial categories: strength training machines and cardio machines.

Strength Training Gear

benches and power racks

Firstly, let’s talk about some must-have items to help you flex those biceps and show off those quads.

  • Weights and dumbbells: My oh my, these are the bread and butter of any home gym setup. I can’t imagine my life without them. Start with a set of weight plates and invest in some dumbbells, or buy adjustable ones to save space.
  • Rack and bench: Speaking from experience, a solid weight bench and a weight rack are the safe havens for your pretty little barbell. Rest assured, they will hold your weights while you take that much-needed water break.
  • Barbell: Did someone say versatile? A barbell is like the chameleon of home gym equipment, enabling you to perform a wide range of exercises, from squats to bench presses. A true gem indeed!
  • Power rack: If you’re feeling fancy and have a bit of space, why not opt for a power rack? Not only can it handle more weight capacity, but it also adds an extra layer of safety. And hey, you’ll look super cool while lifting in them. Power racks for the win!
Bowflex PR3000

Bowflex PR3000

  • 50+ Exercises
  • Easy to set-up
  • Affordable

Just kicking off your fitness journey and not quite ready to splurge on a power rack? No worries! Swing by this post I penned on crafting your own power rack.

Cardio Machines

Woman running on treadmill

Moving on to our second main category, cardio machines We all know that feeling when you’re sweaty and on the edge of collapsing, but that’s what it’s all about, right?

  • Treadmill: Running or walking, rain or shine, a treadmill is your go-to cardio equipment. My personal recommendation is to invest in one with a foldable design, so you can save space when it’s not in use.
  • Stationary bike: For those of us who prefer cycling over running, a stationary bike is your best friend. You can pedal away, watch TV, and pretend you’re on a lovely outdoor adventure (I’m not judging). If you feel like splurging, an indoor cycling bike with interactive training could be your new obsession.
  • Elliptical or rowing machine: Lastly, if you’re looking for other options or want to switch up your cardio workouts, may I suggest an elliptical or a rowing machine? These machines are excellent alternatives to avoid boredom, and they are sure to whip you into shape!


Let’s switch gears a little and talk about some incredible add-ons to your home gym: speakers, fans, and heating. These accessories might seem simple, but trust me, they can make a world of difference to your workout routine!

First up, speakers. What’s a gym without some powerful tunes? Pumping your favorite jams while knocking out your reps can turn your workout from drudgery to a dance party. Look for high-quality speakers with robust sound and excellent volume control to set the mood right. Plus, you get to control the playlist! 🎶

JBL Extreme 3

JBL Xtreme 3

  • Waterproof and durable
  • Loud volume with clear bass
  • Bluetooth and long battery life
image of the Edifier-R1280DBs speakers

Edifier R1280DB

  • Bluetooth and remote controlled
  • Loud volume with clear bass
  • Vintage look

Now, let’s discuss fans. When you’re pushing your limits, things are bound to get a little hot and heavy. A well-placed fan can be a true blessing, providing that much-needed breeze. It keeps the air circulating and helps you cool down, making your workout experience way more comfortable.

Lastly, but equally important is heating. If your home gym is in a space that gets cold, a good heating system is crucial. There’s nothing worse than trying to get warmed up in a chilly room. A proper heating system can ensure you start your workout right, keeping the environment cozy and conducive to a productive session.

With these essential home gym equipment items, you’ll have the best setup. Now, let’s get those endorphins pumping!

My Personal Home Gym Set-Up

my personal home gym

As a personal trainer and lover of economy 💰 , I’ve built my own budget-friendly home gym. Let me give you a tour of my beloved workout sanctuary.

My home gym consists of a squat rack that I managed to score at a very reasonable price of $300

I also installed a pull-up bar on it as well to maximize functionality.

Evander’s Tip

Talk about a fun workout hack! So, I had this idea last year to buy a doorway pull-up bar, and I’ve got it perched right above my bathroom door now. The rule is simple: every bathroom trip calls for a pair of pull-ups, and this quota bumps up by two each month. Guess what? I’ve hit 14 pull-ups now, and my back muscles are cheering ‘hallelujah’! They’ve never felt so pumped and powerful before!

This squat rack also serves as my trusty companion for weight lifting.

It’s compact, strong, and gracefully switches between different exercises through the heavy breaths and cries of my “I can do another rep” moments.

For gym flooring, I ditched the expensive gym mat options. Instead, I opted for puzzle-piece foam mats, which are both cheap and cushy, to protect both my floors and my dignity whenever gravity and I silently make a pact to meet face-to-face (yes, during those special push-up sessions).

I know the importance of weight training in my fitness regime, so I acquired adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, and a set of resistance bands.

They all fit within my budget home gym concept and laugh with me every time I conquer a new personal record.

Lastly, I squeezed my workout space into a corner of my living room to accomplish two things: save money on a dedicated gym room and provide my family with an opportunity to witness the “magic” of my sweat puddle formations.

I can confidently say it’s the most entertaining section of the house!

Pricing Breakdown of My Home Gym

  • Squat Rack: $300 – found it on sale, unimaginable glee ensued!
  • Pull-up Bar: $40 – the cherry on my squat rack cake
  • Gym Flooring: $100 – puzzle-piece foam mats for the win
  • Adjustable Dumbbells: $200 – I can hear Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motivational speeches echoing in my ears
  • Kettlebells: $80 – the holy grail of versatility
  • Resistance Bands: $30 – the rubbery, colorful companions for variety and travel

In case you’re wondering, my cheap home gym set-up cost me a total of around $750 — affordable and customizable.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world unless I found a spare room and a bigger budget, but until then, challenge accepted, Mr. Budget! 💵

Alternative and DIY Equipment

Bodyweight Exercises

Ah, bodyweight exercises—the ultimate low-cost, no-equipment-needed, bring-your-own-gym solution.

With just me, myself, and, I can do exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks without spending a dime on equipment.

Plus, variations of these exercises can keep my workouts fresh and challenging, like diamond push-ups, Bulgarian split squats, and side planks. Honestly, who said I needed a barbell to become the best version of myself?

Resistance Bands and Kettlebells

I’ve found that resistance bands are a game changer! These stretchy little guys add a level of difficulty to exercises like bicep curls, side leg raises, and even push-ups (when looped around my hands and back). The best part? They’re cheap, lightweight, and easy to store.

Now let’s talk kettlebells.

These cannonball-shaped weights with a handle may seem a bit intimidating at first, but don’t be fooled! Kettlebells are incredibly versatile and can target multiple muscle groups at once. I can use them for swings, thrusters, goblet squats, and countless other exercises.

Best Kettlebell
yes4all kettlebell

Yes4All Kettlebell

  • Affordable
  • Great grip
  • Will Last for years

Of course, I could DIY a kettlebell using a loadable handle, cement, and some creative casting skills (hello arts and crafts time 🎨 ), but let’s not forget about repurposing that old milk jug and filling it with sand, water, or rocks to make a DIY kettlebell.

Punching Bag

Honestly, who wouldn’t love the idea of punching away stress and working up a sweat at the same time?

Introducing the DIY punching bag!

I’ve seen people create their own by stuffing old clothes, towels, or even sand into a durable duffel bag, hanging it up, and voila!

DIY Punching bag of tires

A low-cost, homemade punching bag is ready to relieve all my frustrations (and work those arms too).

Specific Exercise Zones

Yoga corner

Yoga and Flexibility Corner

Finding my inner zen and mastering those pesky downward dogs requires focused concentration and clear space.

My recommendation: dedicate a small corner of your home gym for yoga and flexibility. What do I do to set up the perfect yoga corner? Here are my must-haves:

  • A comfortable, non-slip yoga mat for all those warriors, planks, and oddly named animal poses.
  • An assortment of yoga blocks and straps for when my flexibility decides to pack up and go on vacation.
  • A cozy blanket or towel, because hey, who doesn’t love a little extra cushioning during Shavasana?
  • Optional, but highly suggested good vibes additions: scented candles, plants, or calming artwork.

HIIT and Crossfit Area

I absolutely love getting my heart rate up and ending my workouts with a puddle of sweat. To create an ideal space for HIIT and Crossfit, I follow these simple steps:

  1. Safety first! Clear a 6×6 foot area to ensure I have ample space to move without fear of crashing into anything or resembling an amateur acrobat gone wrong.
  2. Invest in functional equipment like kettlebells, dumbbells, jump ropes, and a plyobox. Variety is the spice of life, right?
  3. Place a timer nearby for those dreaded (but never regretted) Tabata intervals.
  4. Consider flooring that is easy on the joints, like foam tiles or rubber mats, because nobody wants shin splints or their knees screaming after a workout.
Best Gym Timer
GymNext flex timer

Gym Next Flex Timer

  • Loud beep and clear display
  • Strong Bluetooth
  • 10 standard modes + endless customizations

Weightlifting Platform

Time to pump some iron! My ideal weightlifting setup consists of the following:

Equipment Purpose Squat Rack Essential for heavy lifting and feeling like a beast. Barbells For lifting heavy and channeling my inner Hulk. 💪🤬

Plates Building that strength empire one plate at a time. Adjustable bench For burning pecs, not bridges. Weightlifting shoes help me feel stable during lifts, like I’m super-glued to the floor.

With these dedicated zones tailored to my fitness needs, conquering those fitness goals is not only possible but also enjoyable in the comfortable sanctuary that is my home gym.

Upgrade and Maintain Your Home Gym

Expanding Your Workout Options

After I built my home gym, you know what I did? I realized I could keep upgrading to spice things up a bit! I added a power tower for those fancy pull-ups and dips, ’cause who doesn’t want to be the superhero of their own gym, am I right?

Next, I got myself a ski erg to take my cardio game to the next level and pretend I’m on the slopes—even though it’s not snowing outside.

Then, I invested in a weighted vest to feel like I was training for the next action blockbuster. 

My Weighted Vest

To further diversify my cardio options, I added an elliptical—just in case I want to pretend I’m moonwalking—an authentic punching bag to release some pent-up frustration, and even battle ropes for feeling like I’m in a dramatic slow-motion movie scene.

Finally, I got a stationary bike to stretch my legs in the “Tour de My Living Room” and pedal away to victory.

Personalize Your Home Gym

Now that my workout options were all set, I thought to myself, “Why not add some flair to my lovely home gym?”

I went all-out personalizing my space—adding motivational posters (you know, “pain is just weakness leaving the body” and all those classic sayings), a mini-fridge stocked with healthy snacks, and even a custom neon sign that says “Welcome to Evander’s Gym.” Hey, it’s my gym, I deserve to feel like a hot shot in there! 😎🔥

Credits: Jeremy Sry

Keeping Track of Your Fitness Goals

One thing I learned while upgrading my home gym is that it’s crucial to keep track of my fitness goals.

I mean, I need to make the most of my fancy gadgets and space, right?

So, I got myself a fitness tracker and a simple television to track my progress, plan my workouts, and write pep talks to myself.

Best Fitness Tracker
Fitbit inspire 3

Fitbit Inspire

  • Tracks calories burned
  • Tracks sleep performance
  • Waterproof and accurate

Believe me, it works wonders, and it feels like I have a personal coach rooting for me all the time.

As a cherry on top, I also log my achievements on an app to earn myself some digital badges—because, let’s face it, nothing motivates me more than bragging rights and the self-satisfaction of reaching my fitness milestones.

Now that I’ve shared my burning secrets, go ahead and upgrade, maintain, and, most importantly, have fun in your own home gym!

Short Summary

In a nutshell, learning how to build a home gym was the best decision I made for my fitness journey.

Using the resources provided and personalizing the space worked wonders for me, and there’s no reason it can’t for you too!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to feel the burn in my very own gym paradise. 🏝💪🏼


Well, my friend, the cost of a DIY home gym can vary depending on your preferences and the equipment you choose. You could spend anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The good news is, I’ve built mine within my budget, and sooner or later, you’ll be flexing those muscles without breaking the bank.

Absolutely! I built my budget-friendly home gym with essential (and affordable) equipment like a yoga mat, resistance bands, a stability ball, and some dumbbells. By prioritizing my fitness goals and focusing on the exercises I love, I created my personal workout space without going bankrupt.

Now, that’s a tough one because the “best” equipment depends on your fitness goals and preferences. For me, a bench, free weights, and resistance bands were perfect. But you might also consider a treadmill, stationary bike, or rowing machine if cardio is your thing. Make a list, check it twice, and remember that the best equipment is the one you’ll actually use!

You want a surface that absorbs impact, protects your floors, and keeps your neighbors from complaining about the noise. My favorites are rubber or foam mats; they’re affordable, durable, and kind to my joints (and my downstairs neighbors).

Creating a simple home gym doesn’t require much space or a Ph.D. in engineering. In fact, I set aside a corner in my living room and filled it with the essentials: a yoga mat, dumbbells, a resistance band, and a stability ball. Keep it clutter-free and functional, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of your new workout zone.

If you have the space, building a home gym shed can be a fantastic idea! It’s like a mini-retreat in your backyard, dedicated solely to your fitness goals. Turning a shed into a gym lets you optimize space for your equipment and keep your main living area free of sweat. So, go ahead—build that gym shed and make your neighbors green with envy!