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So you want to build a gym at home, but you’re not sure how much you should expect to spend. You’re not alone; this is by far one of the most asked questions we receive. We’ve detailed just how much you can expect to spend and believe it’s likely much less than you think. A home gym can not only be built on a budget, but it can also be an extremely smart financial decision.
As with any hobby, a home gym can be extremely costly to start, however, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can start a home gym with as little money as you have or even nothing but the things you have lying around the house. We want to bust the myth that a home gym is only for the wealthy and well to do. A home gym, if used properly, has the power to benefit everyone physically, mentally, and fiscally. We’ve seen people drive down debt, increase energy, and decrease body fat through the building of a gym in their home or garage. Join the community and you too can reap the benefits.
Why You Should Build a Home Gym
Have you ever wondered why everyone in your life with a home gym is constantly telling you how great it is? I was that way. Before I started my garage gym, I worked out at a CrossFit gym, paying nearly $200 a month for both my wife and I to workout at a gym that we certainly enjoyed, and we did recognize that there were more affordable commercial gym options, but we still saw many areas for improvement. I noticed that although our monthly membership fee was around $200, we were spending much more when the gas, car maintenance, and time were factored in. Throw in the fact that the gym wasn’t super close, and it began to seem pretty frivolous to be spending so much to use someone else’s barbells and plates (especially considering how low quality the equipment was.)There are a few things that nearly everyone reading this could benefit from and I certainly could then when I was a slave to the monthly gym membership. These are:
- More TimeMore MoneyMore Health
Time is our most finite resource. You may feel like you have a very long life ahead of you (and I hope you do,) but the reality is, time is ticking away and we aren’t guaranteed our next breath. I want to maximize my time here on Earth as much as possible and I believe others do as well. Not only that, but when you factor in the cost of your time, your time spending habits may change. For instance, how much is your wage if you were to break it down hourly? Now, consider that time that could be spent making money (or running errands, pursuing a hobby, building a business, hanging with family, learning something new, etc) is now spent on your commute to the gym.
This illustration of time doesn’t even factor in the amount of time it takes to get your workout done at the gym. A majority of commercial gyms are lacking in the most important piece of equipment in a gym for most people’s goals, namely squat racks. So, that time spent on the sidelines waiting for Mr. Superset Everything to complete his ¼ squats and barbell curls (done conveniently in the squat rack of course) could be spent much more productively should you not have to wait to workout. Every decision has a seemingly infinite amount of choices not chosen. Essentially, by saying I’m going to drive to the gym, pay for the gym, take a long time to use the gym, and drive home from the gym, is you saying “no” to an insane amount of things that would probably be better for you to say “yes” to, like more money.
A home gym, although a cost, can, in fact, be a very frugal cost and money-saver if done properly. Think about this, the difference between a home gym and a commercial gym in terms of money spent is very similar to the difference in buying a car and leasing a car. When you buy a car outright, you own that car. You can do whatever you want with it and it’s yours. If you lease a car, you pay a fee to use somebody else’s car. Leasing, also known as “fleecing” by various financial experts (I’m a former financial planner so I’ve spent a lot of time with these concepts) is a much more expensive way to drive a car.
A home gym, like buying a car outright, is now yours to keep forever. However, a home gym doesn’t depreciate as quickly as a car (if bought following our suggestions,) and never has to be upgraded unless you simply want to. You can literally keep your best home gym equipment until you pass away and give it to your children or your children’s children. Powder-coated steel lasts that long and unlike technology, is never out of date. A home gym is also much cheaper over its life-span versus a gym membership. We’ll get into more of the nitty-gritty numbers in the next section, but a majority of home gyms could end up being cheaper for their owner in less than three years versus the cost of a commercial gym membership.
The last thing that everyone reading this could benefit from is more health. More health will likely equal more time alive and therefore can mean more money made. Regardless of this, health is what all of you reading this are striving for. You want better physical and mental health, both of these can be achieved by a home gym in a way a commercial gym cannot facilitate. Think about the way you use a commercial gym, you go for an hour a few times a week and that’s it. A home gym is always there. Always available to be used. And always taunting you to get better.
Not only will a home gym allow you to work out more frequently, but it will also allow you to be closer to your kitchen, which will allow you to eat better. Rather than driving by dozens of fast-food restaurants on your way home from the gym, you can simply walk a few feet to your kitchen and cook up a healthy post-workout meal whenever you please.
A home gym could truly be one of the best investments you make for your health, wealth, and happiness.
Home Gym Cost vs Gym Membership Cost
The cost of a home gym versus a membership at a commercial gym like a CrossFit Affiliate, Gold’s Gym or something similar is the main determinant for people considering home gym ownership. Sure, there are a ton of benefits to having a home gym, but I find that for most people, it simply comes down to cost.
“Can I build a home gym that allows me to accomplish my goals without ruining myself financially?”
I always find our purchasing decisions kind of funny. For instance, many of us are likely reading this on a phone that costs upwards of $1,000, not including our unlimited everything plans. Many also eat out for most meals and have a rather nice vehicle. It’s your money, so you should do as you please with it, however, if I were to ask you what the most important things to your were, your cell phone and car would likely not even make the list. It would be some variant of your family, friends, faith, and personal health.
I say this to illustrate the fact that it’s become acceptable to purchase a 4-figure phone that must be upgraded every few years (many upgrade every year…don’t worry, I do the same), but a purchase like a home gym that never has to be upgraded and can improve pretty much every area of your life is highly scrutinized. A home gym can literally be one of the best financial decisions you make as well, and here’s why:
According to research done by the RunRepeaton Gym Membership Market Analysis done in 2021, the average gym membership in 2021 ranges from $31 to $44 a month, and in the US the average annual membership cost is $479. If you train at a CrossFit Affiliate, the average gym membership in the United States is $155 per month which comes out to $1,860 a year according to Rounds For Time!
Here’s an interesting tidbit on this though—these numbers don’t include annual fees, initiation fees, the cost of gas and car maintenance to get to and from the gym, or extra things purchased at the gym like supplements, apparel, etc (trust me, I own a gym so I know how often these things are purchased.)
So, if the cost of a commercial gym is currently around $479/year (this is also growing by ~3% per year due to inflation and other factors, FYI) which is $5,491/decade, then how does that compare to a home gym?
Well, let’s take a look.
First off, unfortunately, we have no accurate market data on people who have built a gym in their home. I’d love to come up with a number and declare it as fact, but that would be disingenuous and I don’t want to lead anyone astray.
What I will say, however, is that based upon what I see through the people who send us their setups, ask for advice, and offer recommendations, the average cost for a home gym is between $1,000-$2,000 for most people. This number can be both less and much, much more, but this seems like what most people spend on their home gyms in the short term.
So, let’s compare these numbers to a gym membership. As we’ve established, a membership to a local gym costs an average of $44 a month into perpetuity. If the average home gym costs $1500, then it would take just short of three years to recoup the costs of a very well-equipped setup in comparison to the average gym membership. With the home gym, however, you have an asset that can be traded for other goods or money (and if you buy right, it will have outstanding resale value) and the only ongoing fee you have is the cost to keep the lights on in your garage or spare room.
If we’re looking just at financials, to me, the cost of a home gym is a much better decision than a gym membership.
What You Need to Build a Home Gym
Now that I’ve at least drawn your interest in enough to have you consider a home gym, the next thing you need to determine is what equipment you should use to build your setup. Before I give some recommendations, I will say that everyone has different goals and objectives in terms of their mental and physical health, so the tools you choose should reflect those goals. However, there are a few movements that can benefit nearly EVERY human being, and thankfully, the equipment needed to accomplish those movements are readily available and not overly expensive.
For most people, the equipment we suggest starting out with are:
- An Olympic Barbell
- A Squat Rack with a Pull-Up Bar Attached
- Weight Plates
- A Weight Bench
- Exercise bikes
- Rowing Machine, Air Bike, Jump Rope, Sled, or some other conditioning device
(Alternatively, or in addition, you may consider an all-in-one home gym machine to serve multiple purposes.)
There are a myriad of other tools that can be added to this setup as well, such as adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, a treadmill, lat pulldown, etc. But, these are things we suggest adding over time as your needs and desires grow. The only economic reason to buy everything at once is to save on shipping. But, this is detrimental if you’ve never worked out at home and don’t know if:
A. You’ll like it
B. You don’t know what you’ll ACTUALLY use
For these reasons and more, we suggest starting small and building over time to save money and avoid having things sit in the corner or trying to salvage some of your money on Craigslist. You can achieve just about any physical goal you have with these tools. Want to get stronger? Great, do higher weight and lower reps. Want to increase hypertrophy (bigger muscles)? Awesome, do more reps with more isolated movements. Want to lose fat and showcase your abs that have been hiding for years? Perfect, do more HIIT-type training with less rest (and work on your diet!)
Nearly every home gym utilizes these items and just about any training program you plan to follow will use these for a majority of the workouts. Do not make the mistake of overbuying and underusing; you will be much better off buying less and upgrading over time.
With this said, I’d like to provide some suggested equipment at various price points for each of these categories:
The barbell will be one of your most used pieces of equipment in the gym (probably right behind the squat rack.) When you begin researching barbells, you start to notice the wide variety of both options and prices that are available. You can get a barbell for anywhere from $100 to $1,500 or more. We don’t want to bore you with all of the details to look for in buying a bar (we’ve already done that here), so we’re just going to list a few different options that are the favorites of ours and our readers.
This is the next generation of the 28.5MM Olympic bar that helped launch the revolution. Now fully machined and assembled at the Rogue factory in Columbus, Ohio, the Rogue Bar 2.0 represents the highest level of precision engineering with a wide range of new features—including stronger 190 PSI steel, durable composite bushings, and CNC-machined groove sleeves with customizable color bands, available here Like the original flagship Rogue Bar, Version 2.0 still offers convenient dual knurl marks for both Olympic and powerlifting, with a black zinc coated shaft and bright zinc sleeves. The addition of a groove in the sleeve enables athletes and coaches to more easily identify and differentiate bars by changing out the bands. The bar comes standard with Rogue-branded bands, but you can swap them out with any of the additional color options available, or even use any custom, personalized band that matches the dimensions. The Rogue Bar 2.0 is among the first in our arsenal to use composite bushings—a self-lubricating material often found in hi-tech aerospace equipment and military vehicles. For intense, high-rep training, these bushings dramatically minimize friction to both provide a reliable spin and help extend the shelf life of the bar itself. The Rogue Bar helped us cement our reputation at the CrossFit Games and beyond, and we believe the Rogue Bar 2.0 is a worthy successor to that mantle.
The Rogue Bar 2.0 won our Best Olympic Barbell title recently, and for good reason.The Rogue Bar 2.0 is one of the most popular barbells in the world. It combines Rogue Fitness’ attention to detail, outstanding customer service, and their large manufacturing power to create a bar that can handle any training style, any weight, for as long as you care to use it. Throw a lifetime warranty and a sub-$300 price tag and you have one incredible bar.
Best Power Bar
Fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, the 29MM Rogue Ohio Power Bar features a 205,000 PSI steel shaft (200,000 PSI for Stainless), single powerlifting knurl marks, and center knurling. The bar’s knurl pattern is deep and coarse without being sharp or abrasive, and the 29MM shaft diameter and high tensile strength result in little to no flex or whip. This makes the Ohio Power Bar a perfectly honed workhorse for the bench, squat, and deadlift. The 45LB Ohio Power Bar includes bronze bushings, a snap ring design, and 16.25" of loadable sleeve length. When ordering, you can select from three finish options: Black Zinc shaft with Bright Zinc sleeves Stainless Steel shaft with Chrome sleeves Bare Steel Rogue also manufactures a 20KG Ohio Power Bar, with friction-welded sleeves and 16.25" loadable sleeve space. The Ohio Power Bar’s 29MM diameter steel shaft boasts a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI (200,000 PSI for Stainless), delivering superior rigidity and virtually zero whip/flex. Machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, the bar also features a snap-ring design and quality bronze bushings for a smooth, consistent feel. The bar includes single powerlifting marks and a center knurl, each featuring a deep, coarse pattern that produces a reliable grip / stick without being sharp or abrasive. Perfecting this knurl pattern is both a science and an art. Every bar shaft is machined in Columbus on new Haas machines (built in the USA) and fine-tuned and personally tested by the Rogue team. Depending on the look and feel you prefer, there is a version of the Ohio Power Bar right in your wheelhouse. The Zinc option (black shaft, bright sleeves) provides excellent corrosion resistance, the Bare Steel creates a classic look and natural feel, and the new Stainless Steel variation (with Chrome sleeves) strikes a balance between the two. The Ohio Power Bar’s quality construction is backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty against bending. This is a barbell equipped for high intensity, everyday use. Please Note: The warranty does not cover damage due to negligent or faulty use, alteration, maintenance, storage or handling by the user, i.e., dropping the bar on a box, bench, spotter arms or pins in a power rack, excessive dropping with insufficient or damaged bumpers, or excessive dropping with iron plates, and similar usage. Any specific issues regarding a Rogue product with which a customer is not satisfied will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
If you plan to mainly stick to the big-4 — the squat, deadlift, bench press, and overhead press, then we suggest going with a power bar. Power bars, unlike the Rogue Bar 2.0 previously mentioned have a bit thicker diameter shaft, a more aggressive knurl, and a center knurl to help stick to your shirt when squatting. The Rogue Ohio Power Bar has been the go-to power bar for most people for some time.
Rogue has used the same qualities that make the Rogue Bar 2.0 such a popular pick, but thickened the shaft diameter, made the knurl more aggressive, and used stronger steel. Whether you squat 135 LB or 700 LB, this bar will do the job and do it well.
The Rep Sabre Bar is ideally suited for benching, squatting, and deadlifting - along with Olympic movements. Medium depth knurl gives good grip without tearing up your hands. Our 20kg bar comes in two options: with a center knurl or without. Center knurling is helpful for keeping the barbell on your back during back squats and helps with low rep Olympic Lifting. For anyone doing high rep workouts or more Olympic lifting, consider the "No Center Knurl" option, or check out our Gladiator barbell. Specs:150k tensile strength1000 lb rating28mm (25 mm women's) diameterZinc coatingBushing design with snap ringsDual knurl markings for Olympic and Power liftingNo center knurl on women's barbell. Men's barbell has option with center knurl or without1 year warranty
If you’re looking for the cheapest bar we’d recommend. Then theRep Sabre Olympic Bar from Rep Fitness is a good option for under $200 shipped to your door with 2-day Amazon Prime Shipping. It’s not the best bar, but it does a great job for the price and should hold up to the workouts of most people who are reading this.
Now that you have a bar, you need a squat rack. The squat rack will be the centerpiece of your gym and if you’re like most garage gym owners, it will be the most used piece of equipment you have. Due to the amount it’s used, and the fact that it’s largely designed to help save your life should you fail a lift, your goal shouldn’t be to just buy the cheapest rack possible. However, thanks to the growth in home gyms, there are now more racks available than ever before and even better than that, they’re lower in price than at any time in history.
Versatile Rack Pick
The RML-390F is the Flat Foot version of the RML-3 Monster Lite Power Rack. Available as a stand-alone unit or by converting an existing SML-2 or SML-3 Squat Stand, this rack's self-stabilizing base means you won't need to bolt it to the ground before you use it—a major benefit for those looking to protect their floors or to have more flexibility in a workout space. The Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack is manufactured in Columbus, OH, and features 3x3" 11-Gauge Uprights, 2x3" 11-Gauge Bases with Westside hole spacing and 0.625" bolts and fasteners. Leaving just a 48" x 49" footprint, the unit still creates a substantial 30" of inside depth. Customers can choose between a Single Skinny or Fat/Skinny 43" Pull-up Bar, and all orders come standard with a pair of Monster Lite J-Cups and a pin/pipe safety system.
The Rogue RML-390F is a rack we often suggest and for good reason. It’s a flat foot rack, meaning it doesn’t have to be bolted down to the floor and therefore can perform equally well in a garage and bedroom. It’s made of heavy-duty 11-gauge steel, 3”x3” uprights and has a ton of available accessories. For most people, this is a great option (it also currently has a rating of 5.0 with 120+ reviews.)
If you’re set on Rogue and just want the biggest, baddest rack you can buy, check out their Rogue Monster 2.0 Series. The RM-6 is one of the beefiest racks you can buy and if you can afford it, you’ll be happy you went that way.
Ultra Budget Rack
REP PR-1100 Power RackWhen you need a full featured power rack that won't break the bank, look no further! Rated at 1,000 pounds, the PR-1100 was designed with home and garage gym owners in mind, and gives you all the professional features you want in a compact, versatile package.Features:Multi-Grip Pullup Arch – Perfect for traditional, neutral, close or wide-grip pullups. It features a standard pull up bar size on the front, and a thicker pull-up bar on the back side! Easily attach Rep pull up assistance bands if you need them!Numbered Uprights – Make faster and more accurate adjustments for your safeties and j-cups. Stop guessing where to put your j-cup.Plastic Lined J-Cups – The industry standard to reduce noise and protect your barbell's knurl to avoid rusting.Extended Safeties – Chrome plated safety bars extend out and can be used to rack a barbell. We do recommend to mainly use our J-cups to protect both the finish and knurl of your barbell. Buy an extra pair to help! Combine several PR-1000 series attachments, a REP bench, barbell, and plates to get a complete home or garage gym setup with endless exercise options. The REP lat pull down and row attachment, dip handles, weight horns, and landmine attachments all work with the PR-1100! From landmine presses and core twists, to cable shoulder raises, squats, and multi-grip pull up options - it's an all-in-one power rack.Specs:Total footprint: 84" tall x 48" wide x 47.5" deep (84" is to top of pull-up bar, when mounted as shown in the photos, Top of uprights is 82" if you prefer to mount the pull-up bar upside down)Interior area: 79" high x 44" wide x 45.5" deepHardware size: 3 1/8"Weight: 130lbsUpright Hole Spacing: 3"J-Cup Weight Capacity: 1,000lbsPullup Bar Capacity: 400lbs14 gauge steelCovered by a 2 year warrantyOptional add-ons:
If you’re on a tighter budget than what the RML-390F from Rogue Fitness allows, then we recommend the Rep PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack. It’s available with a myriad of features, is sturdy enough for most people, and best of all, is quite affordable at under $300 shipped. We’re big fans of this rack for beginners or just those wanting to save some cash.
Weight plates will be used mostly on the sleeves of your barbell, but they can also be used for other movements as well. They can easily be attached to a belt for weighted pull-ups or dips, held in your hands for Russian twists, or even used for farmers walks to increase your grip strength. We most often suggest searching out used sources for weight plates as they can get expensive quick. Both Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to search for both used iron and bumper plates. If you plan to drop the bar from overhead after cleans and snatches, then get bumper plates. If not, you’ll be fine with cast iron and your wallet will thank you.
Budget Bumper Plates
You'll love our bumper plates because they're going to make you suffer like you never have before. Fringe Sport bumper plates make Sisyphus blush. Like eternally rolling a boulder uphill, our bumper plates will outlast you, laboring for a lifetime. They're durable, so they'll absorb all the punishment you dish out, thin so you can add bigger loads to the bar and super weight accurate. Better yet, unlearn everything you've ever learned about 10 lb bumpers, and drop these at will. Yes, you read that right. Drop the 10s. They won't crumble. After the boulder rolled downhill, did Sisyphus ever find it broken? Think about epic heroes like Luke Skywalker or the Karate Kid. You too are called to training that will involve pain and suffering. We're here to be your Yoda. We invite you to embark your hero's journey. Accept the challenge, and our bumper plates will be the burden that makes you a champion. Step Up to the Plate Here's why Fringe Sport bumpers will lift you up:Steel Insert- Outperforms most bumpers with a higher threshold for abuse without malformation, while machined to exact tolerances to fit all high-quality Olympic bars.Low Bounce with High Durability- Careful rubber formulation softens bounce making for safe use in tight spaces and prevents chipping and falling apart due to brittleness. Boasts years of use in a garage or affiliate.Stability- 10 and 15 lb bumpers feature expertly designed "hooked" steel insert, that remains firmly seated. Offers high durability, making them more stable than most that suffer from fragility and thinness.Thinner- Virgin rubber and higher density slims the plate so you can load more weight on your bar!Standard diameter- Universal matching diameter so you can mix and match to load your bar.
Many home gym owners, due to the desire to reduce noise and prevent damage to their foundation, prefer rubber bumper plates over iron. If you’re looking for bumper plates, FringeSport Black Bumper Plates are both a high-quality and affordable option. We suggest sticking with just the amount of bumper plates you’d like to use for the Olympic Lifts, and going with iron plates for the rest. So pick up a couple 45’s, 25’s, and 10’s and you should be set.
If you want a competition bumper plate, the Rogue Competition Bumper Plate is one of the most popular, but expect to pay a pretty penny.
Available here in a unique gray hammertone finish with raised black text, Rogue’s Machined Olympic Plates offer greater precision than many comparable steel plates in the industry. Sold in pairs or as a complete 245LB set, these time-tested cast iron plates range from 2.5LB up to 45LB, with custom orders available to equip your affiliate or home gym as needed. Classic steel Olympic plates are still the gold standard for many serious lifters, and quality machining can mean the difference between a PR and a near miss. Specifications: Precision Machined Cast Iron Heavy-Duty Gray Hammertone Finish w/ Black Text Weight Increments: 2.5LB, 5LB, 10LB, 25LB, 35LB, 45LB Weight Tolerance: + 2% / - 0% (25-45LB plates), +/- 3% (2.5-10LB plates)
If you want steel plates and don’t want to take our advice of buying used, then theRogue Machined Olympic Plates are a great option that is very consistent and accurate. Iron plates will often range in weight from 5-10% off the stated weight which is far from ideal. The Machined Olympic Plates from Rogue Fitness are guaranteed to be within +2%/-0% of the stated weight. Meaning they’ll only be more, never less and if they are, Rogue will trade them out.
Budget Iron Plates
The Rep Fitness iron plates are a great way to load up your bar with some well priced iron plates! Only $0.89 per pound and now with standard 17.7" diameter 45 lb plates! Iron plates are great for people who want weight that fits on their bars for squats, low deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, curls, barbell lunges, etc. 3% tolerance on all plates. 175 lb set = (1) pair each of 45lb, 25lb, 10lb, 5lb, 2.5lb plates 275 lb set = (2) pair each of 45 lb and 5lb, (1) pair each of 25lb, 10lb, 2.5lb Plate Dimensions (width/diameter) 2.5lb - 0.5"/6.25" 5lb - 0.75"/7.75" 10lb - 1"/9" 25lb - 1.5"/10.75" 45lb - 1.5"/17.7"
The cheapest iron plates we suggest are theRep Iron Plates. These plates aren’t exactly pretty, but they weigh very close to their suggested weight and are priced extremely well compared to the competition. If you just want to get something that works and don’t want to buy used, these are likely your best bet.
The next piece of equipment we suggest getting is some sort of bench. A bench, whether flat or adjustable will allow you to bench press, but also do much more than that. A bench can be utilized for various pulling movements, step ups, box jumps, box squats, split lunges, and much more.
The Rep Fitness Competition Flat Bench is designed to handle the heaviest weights, and has compatibility with the Rep Fitness Wide Pad or the Thompson Fat Pad (with 4-bolt mounting pattern, please check yours) for those seeking an extra-wide pad. A heavy-duty bench for big lifts. Why a 3-Post Flat Bench? Nothing in the way of your feet, at powerlifting competition spec height, and rated to 1,000 lbs at an incredible price. Dims: 17" high (top of pad), 48" long (pad), 12" wide (pad), 62 lbs. 4" thick pad. Designed to meet IPF specs of height, width, and length Heavy-duty 3x3" 11 gauge steel frame with even thicker connecting plates. Durable vinyl upholstery with 4" thick pad with plywood base. Connects with 4 bolts. 2 extra bolt holes on frame for future pad compatibility. 17" height from floor to top of pad. Our bench height allows athletes to use proper positioning of the feet, and arch the back to push up serious weight with proper form. Height stays the same when using the Rep Fitness Wide Pad. If swapping our pad for the Thompson pad (must be 4-bolt mount pattern), total bench height will increase 1/2 inch, and you will need to purchase (4) 3/8"(dia)x1"(length) bolts. 3-foot design for ease of leveling, and to ensure front support does not get in the way of foot positioning. *Please note* Front foot DOES NOT need to be perfectly flat in order to be stable while you're laying down on the bench. Similar to a tripod--lay down and let all 3 points support you, not just the front foot. Welded metal endcaps Handle and wheels for easy transport. Easy assembly, 15 minutes with a wrench.
Rep Fitness is making some of the best value benches. The Rep FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench is one of our favorite flat benches at just about any price point, and it’s thankfully very affordable at less than $200 shipped. It’s sturdy, easy to maneuver, sits at a proper height off the ground and just works.
If you’re looking for an adjustable bench, then we suggest looking at the Rep AB-5100 Adjustable Bench. It’s very sturdy, has a wide variety of incline options, has the option of attaching feet holds for decline situps and bench and is priced well compared to the competition.
Ultra Budget Bench
Enhance your home gym with the AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned trainer ready to take it up a notch, the versatile workout bench functions as a phenomenal foundation for any at-home fitness routine. Burn fat and build muscle with help from the AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench. The flat weight bench measures 41 by 11 by 17.9 inches (LxWxH) and weighs 24 pounds. Use the workout bench for anything from bicep curls with dumbbells while seated to chest presses and flys with dumbbells while flat on your back. The sturdy equipment also works well for bench presses with a barbell or simple bodyweight exercises like tricep dips off the side or floor-to-bench plank and push-up routines. Easily achieve an intense full-body workout in a small amount of space with the AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench. Made of high-quality materials, including a heavy-duty steel tube frame, the sturdy equipment stands up to the most rigorous of hard-core workouts. The weight bench provides a smooth PVC top surface for optimal comfort and support, making it easier to keep the focus on your form. The flat weight-lifting workout bench assembles quickly and easily. Weighing 24 pounds, the bench can be moved from basement to backyard or garage or from one apartment to another for flexibility when setting up your home gym. Once in place, the bench offers reliable stability thanks to its upside-down T-shaped legs and feet.
If you just want something to get the job done, then the AmazonBasics Bench at under $50 is a steal. It’s not the best bench we’ve ever used, but it held up much better than we expected and it’s hard to make any complaints considering the price point. One suggestion we’d make though is seeing if there are any benches in the Amazon Warehouse as we’ve occasionally seen them in there for less.
We do not recommend buying an extremely cheap adjustable bench. You’ll find them very to be unstable, awkward, and easily breakable.
The last thing we suggest, and this is really more of an optional piece of equipment, and that is cardio equipment. Conditioning can easily be done without equipment and is often best done that way, in the sun and fresh air. Sprints, runs, bear crawls, bounding leaps, handstand walks, and more can be done without any additional equipment and can get you in excellent condition.
The Rogue Slice Sled is a dual-capability push/pull weight sled that combines quality steel construction and durability with fold-flat, stackable storage.The Slice Sled is Rogue's first steel speed sled with dual push/drag capability AND a convenient fold-down weight post. The unit comes standard with two 40" upright push handles–the same as found on our popular Dog Sled and the fold-flat weight post is carried over from our Fat Boy, and E Sleds. With a laser-cut hole, sled strap, and carabiner also included, the Slice Sled has few rivals for versatility, and makes a great option for gyms serving multiple athletes of varying skill levels.Each sled weighs 65LB unloaded, and includes a 14" bolt-on center post with a load capacity of well over 300LB depending on the types of plates used. Customers also have the option to add a set of 0.5" thick UHMW plastic skis to their order. When bolted to the underside of the Slice Sled, these skis can greatly reduce the risk of damage to your gym flooring when using the sled indoors.
For most people, a simple jump rope would do the trick. A sled would work extremely well as well. For sleds, we really like the Rogue Slice Sled as it can be dragged or pushed and is priced pretty well. If you’ve never done sled walks, then you and your hamstrings are in for a treat.
If you’d like to get something more robust, then we suggest looking at a rower and more specifically, the Concept 2 Model D Rower. It’s one of the most well-liked pieces of cardio equipment and will outlast you. We did a full breakdown of nearly every rowing machine available and the Concept 2 Model D Rower was still our top pick despite the amount of newer competitors.
The Rogue Echo Bike combines heavy-duty steel, precision engineering, and convenient customization to forge a stronger, sturdier fan bike. Overbuilt for a Smoother Ride This overbuilt 127LB, 350LB weight limit unit provides a rock solid foundation for max output bursts, while still offering easy portability around the gym via a set of 1" polyurethane front wheels. A quiet, belt-driven steel fan blade produces a smooth, consistent ride, while a high-contrast, battery-powered LCD console allows athletes to track intervals, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. Rogue Fitness (Rogue) warrants that the ECHO Bike (Product) shall be free from defect in material and workmanship for a period of two years from the date of purchase when the product is used under normal uses and conditions and as recommended in the User Guide. Weighing in at 127LB, 350LB weight limit, the Echo Bike is not the wobbling breed of exercise bike. Its reinforced steel construction gives it the rigidity and balance to help eliminate sways and bumps during even max output bursts, and the fan’s steady response delivers a uniquely consistent, smooth riding experience. For added stability, we’ve included rubber leveling feet under each base tube. These feet adapt to your flooring and provide added “stick,” helping to level the bike even if it’s not on a level surface. The mounted LCD console measures 6.375" x 6.375" and features a crystal clear, high contrast display. Athletes can select or create a wide range of modes, including Intervals (20/10, 10/20 or a custom Work/Rest interval), Target (choose a goal Time, Distance or Calories and the console will count down based on your selection), and Heart Rate Tracking (please note that a heart rate transmitter is required to send data, but is not included). The console runs on two AA batteries, which are included. The Echo Bike is built with a range of durable steel tubing (2x3", 1.25x3", and 1.625x3.125" steel finished in a texture black powdercoat. The adjustable padded seat locks into 8 different height settings and 5 front-to-back settings, and the 1.5” diameter rubber grip handles are welded directly to the bike’s arms for added rigidity. A steel step plate is provided along with knurled 4.5" long rotating foot pegs and rubber-tread pedals. The fan itself is a belt-driven, precision steel blade. Assembly is required to set-up the Echo Bike, but all necessary tools and black hardware are included standard with your order, along with easy step-by-step guidelines. While the fully constructed bike is a beast, we’ve included a set of 1" wide polyurethane wheels at the front of the unit, allowing it to be rolled around the gym or stored out of the way with ease. Additional Specifications: Patent Pending Design Quality Steel Construction for Dependable Stability Height: 52.75" (to top of handles) Length: 58.875" (overall with seat in position furthest from fan cage) Width: 29.875" (at handles - widest point) Footprint: 44.5" x 23.75" LCD Console Display (Batteries Included) with customizable modes Belt Driven Steel Fan Adjustable Seat with 8 height and 5 front/back settings 1.5” diameter rubber grip handles Rubber-tread Pedals Texture Black powdercoat finish Rubber Leveling Feet All Hardware & Assembly Tools Included Weight: 127LB, 350LB weight limit
If you want an air bike, then we suggest theRogue Echo Bike, you can see the full review we did on it here and the breakdown of the Best Air Bike here.
Where You Should Buy Home Gym Equipment
Due to the explosive growth of people working out at home, there are now more places to purchase equipment than ever before. Although it’s great to have so many options, not every company is worth your time and money.
Here are a few we’d suggest:
Rogue is largely considered the premier gym equipment maker in the US. They definitely have competition, but it’s hard to argue with their price to quality ratio. Not only are they making great equipment, but they spend a lot of their time focusing on helping people set up home gyms.
Rep Fitness is making a lot of great equipment for the home gym crowd and although most of their equipment isn’t to the level of Rogue, it is often much cheaper. We suggest Rep Fitness often.
FringeSport is making some outstanding equipment, and again, are focusing on the home gym market. Based out of Austin, Texas, FringeSport imports most of their equipment, similar to Rep Fitness, but puts their own unique spin on a lot of items.
If you’re looking for equipment that is space saving (most home gym owners are) then we suggest taking a lot at some of PRx Performance’s fold-away racks. They’re built extremely well and use an amazing amount of ingenuity. They have some additional fold away pieces as well.
Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce store and this power extends to home gym equipment. Although they don’t have a lot of higher-end equipment, they do have a large variety of budget-priced pieces so they’re always worth looking at.
So, How Much Does a Home Gym Cost?
As you can see, a home gym can vary widely. We see the average cost for most home gym’s around $1,000-$2,000, but you can get one for less or much, much more. We suggest budgeting a couple thousand dollars, buying the equipment you need to get started and build your gym out further over time.
I do want to say this though, regardless of whether you choose a home gym or a commercial gym (you should choose a home gym) you need someplace to workout. Healthcare costs continue to grow at an exponential rate and we at Garage Gym Built just want to see people get healthier. So, join us in the fight against obesity and complacency. Build a home gym and reach your goals!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I spend on a home gym?
This is honestly up to you. We suggest starting small and growing over time, but if you know you’re going to use the equipment, it can save you shipping costs by making one large order versus small orders.
When is the best time to buy gym equipment?
Should I buy the cheapest equipment I can find?
This depends on the various pieces of equipment. We suggest spending the most on your barbell and squat rack, other times are typically less important to have high quality (it does depend on the piece, however.)
Check out my recommendations for the best budget home gym equipment if you’re working on a lower budget.
Workout shoes are an important piece of gear that most invest in for theirhome gym. Unless you’re one of those barefoot folks (which I am often as well). A good pair of shoes—and more importantly, the best pair for you—is the difference between an invigorating workout and a dumpster fire of a training session.That’s why I love reviewing all kinds of workout shoes, from the Nike Free Metcon 4s to theReebok Nano X1s to theNoBull Trainers. In this Reebok Nanoflex TR training shoes review, I divulge all the pros and cons of this Reebok Nano wannabe.Why You Should Trust UsOur team is made up of fitness experts, enthusiasts, and credentialed professionals. We’ve all been wearing training shoes for a long time (collectively, many decades), so we know what to look for in a good pair ofworkout shoes for different activities. Read more
The Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebellis an adjustable kettlebell that goes from 8LB to 40LB using a quick dial. After using the kettlebell for swings, Turkish getups, goblet squats, jerks, lunges, and farmers carries, I must say, it’s a good design.It’s from Bowflex, so it uses a lot of plastic and isn’t great for hard use, but if you’re looking for a compact kettlebell with low max weight, I recommend it and put it on my list of the best kettlebells on the market. Read more
The Marc Pro is a muscle conditioning device that stimulates your muscles to improve their performance and recover from muscle breakdown. Through months of use, we found that we felt more recovered after using the device. However, we do recognize that this could be a placebo effect. Read more