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Just about everyone loves the idea of walking out of your garage door or into your basement or even into a bedroom and having a place where you can hone your physical and mental abilities. Unfortunately, many people have the idea that a home gym or garage gym has to be expensive; we’re here to crush that notion. Here is the best budget home gym equipment for those on a budget so you can start training at home on your time without breaking the bank.
Best Budget Home Gym Equipment
- Best Budget Olympic Barbell: Rogue Bar 2.0
- Best Budget Squat Rack: Titan X-3 Flat Foot Power
- Best Budget Weight Plates: Rep Iron Plates
- Best Budget Weight Bench: Rep FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
- Best Budget Pull-Up Bar: Titan Wall Mounted Pull-up Bar
- Best Budget Dumbbells: Rep Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells
- Best Budget Kettlebells: Rep KG Kettlebells
- Best Budget Cardio Equipment: Rogue Slice Sled
- Best Budget Home Gym Flooring: Tractor Supply 3/4″ Rubber Stall Mats
Almost all of these recommendations (and more) can be found throughout Garage Gym Reviews, either through in-depth reviews or round-up articles. However, we understand that it’s helpful to have it all in one place so you can see how everything would fit together. This guide of the best budget home gym equipment brings all of our most recommended equipment for the recommended categories (as well as some extras) for budget-minded home gym owners.
You’d be amazed how little it may cost to create your own home gym by collecting some of the best home gym equipment. Not only that but how much money you can save versus your expensive gym membership that you, like most people, probably don’t use as much as you should and find way too little enjoyment in. More than at any time in history, there are now more options, and even better than that, more options at even better price points.
Less than a decade ago, a “good” barbell would have cost over $600; today you can get a barbell with even better specs and warranty for less than $300 (and some for less than $200.) This can be said for just about every product category, and we not only want to help you get the best price, but also the equipment you’ll actually use based upon our team’s years of experience and the community collective experience training at home.
The Best Budget Barbell
The almighty barbell is the most important piece of equipment in any home gym. No matter your goal, you should have a barbell in your hands at least some of the time. The biggest reason for this is its effectiveness; the second reason is its versatility. No piece of equipment can be used for as many different purposes as the barbell, and the best part? It produces results.
Not too long ago, finding a barbell that we would recommend would cost over $500. Today, you can find bars from a wide range of manufacturers, even those made in the United States, for less than $300 and some quite a bit below that.
Briefly, there are a few things we look for in a barbell to determine its worth in recommending. We’ve included those in detail in our best Olympic barbell article, but we’ll summarize them here:
- Overall Construction: Essentially the build quality of the bar.
- Tensile Strength of Steel: This gives us clues as to how likely the bar is to permanently deform.
- Knurling: This is the portion of the barbell where you grip the bar. Very important and varies widely among companies.
- Spin: The rotation system so the sleeves turn preventing injury.
- Finish: Prevents the bar from oxidation (rust.)
- Price: Value trumps price. If a barbell is really cheap and bends after only a couple months use, then it’s not a good value.
- Warranty: The longer the warranty, the better. The stronger the company that offers the longer warranty, the better.
We’ve used all of the barbells we recommend and during testing, we performed all of the major barbell workouts including squats, deadlift, bench, overhead press, clean and jerk, and snatch. We also took measures to get the opinion of others and interviewed industry representatives to determine why they feel their bars are superior to the competition.
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 is the most popular barbell in the world, and for good reason. Rogue Fitness’ has taken incredibly focused attention to detail and combined it with their best-in-the-business customer service, 600K+ sq. ft. manufacturing facility, and lifetime warranty to offer an incredible bar for less than $300 shipped to your door. We’re not surprised to see that the bar has 181 reviews with a 4.8-star rating.
Although you can spend less (and much, much more) we believe this is the piece of equipment you should spend the most money on, largely because of how often you will use it and how long it can last. We recommend the Rogue Bar 2.0 over some of the less expensive competition because of the 190K PSI tensile strength steel, composite bushing rotation system, high-quality knurl, made in the USA quality, and a lifetime warranty from a company that will likely be around for your lifetime.
We believe that although it’s not the cheapest, the Rogue Bar 2.0 is the best value for most people. If you feel like you need a center knurl because you will be sticking mainly to the power lifts (squat, deadlift, and bench) then we recommend the Rogue Ohio Power Bar which can be had for the same price as the Rogue Bar 2.0.
The Wonder Bar reigns as the nucleus of the barbell universe here at Fringe. We set out on a noble quest to design and build the best bar suited for commercial gyms, and make it available to you at a home gym price. We completed our hero's journey and now offering our reward to you delights us. This versatile bar will serve almost everyone well. You can set world records on this bar, and use it for most training. If you're a seasoned athlete or an affiliate owner, consider stepping up to the Bomba Bar V2 (made in America) or even our Fringe Sport Weightlifting Barbell. Here are a couple of Wonder Bar features to be aware of: The 28mm shaft diameter is great for Olympic movements. The needle bearing cartridges provide great spin, but may require oiling in time. If you're new to lifting or building a home gym and need more info to learn what type of barbell works best for you, here's a helpful guide. We have an informal state motto here in Texas- "come and take it." Not only do we want you to do this with the Wonder Bar V2, but we'd like to put our own spin on it. Fringe it, or forget it. WONDER BAR V2 SPECS: The Wonder Bar V2 comes in a bushing version or bearing cartridges version. Except for that, the specs for both are the same. Bushing rotation or bearing collar Killer all-black Zinc finish Tensile strength: 205,000 PSI Yield strength: 160,000 PSI Weight capacity: 1,600 lb Weight: 20kilograms / ~44 pounds Collars: Bushing (Yellow "W") Bronze Oil Lite Bushing Rotation or Bearing (Green "W") 4 Needle Bearing Cartridges Per Collar Whip: Stiff Spin: Moderate (Bushing) or Fast (Bearing) Best Use: Garage Gym or WODing. Read below for Bushing vs. Bearing differences. Material: Alloy Steel, Black ZincPlated Length: 86 inches Sleeve Specs:16 inches Length and 2" diameter Shaft Specs: true28mm diameter Knurl: Dual Knurling - Double Ring IWF + IPF Knurling (No Center Knurl) Smooth knurl depth- neither a cheese grater nor too soft Warranty: Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer's defects.
If you’d rather not spend more than $200 on a barbell, then the FringeSport Wonder Bar V2 Olympic Barbell is the one we’d recommend. FringeSport is a company that has been around for some time and offers high-quality imported gym equipment. The Wonder Bar V2 is a bar we’ve had and used for nearly three years, and despite all of the time we’ve put under the bar, it still looks and performs extremely well.
The Wonder Bar V2 features 205K PSI tensile strength steel (which is stronger than our top pick), a 28MM shaft (slightly thinner than our top pick), and a black zinc coating on both the shaft and sleeves. Although we think the Rogue Bar 2.0 is a better option for most people despite the slightly higher price, the Wonder Bar does offer a lifetime warranty and free shipping from either their site or Amazon (2-day Prime Shipping for the win!)
We are big fans of the FringeSport Wonder Bar V2 and would recommend it to anyone wanting an extremely high-quality barbell at a price that makes it seem like it’s 10x its worth.
Ultra Budget Pick
CAP Barbell is pleased to offer a series of special custom coated colored weightlifting bars in anticipation of its 30th year in business. We have taken one of the best selling bars available and added unique/ proprietary coatings to create a one of a kind product available exclusively from CAP Barbell. As the world's largest provider of weightlifting products and accessories, CAP works diligently toward offering new quality products that can withstand any environment in which they are used. CAP's Customized Beast Bar utilizes the same specs as the standard Beast bar, but goes one step further by adding Accu-Coat specialty coatings. Make no mistake, this is not just a painted bar. Each of CAP's Customized Beast Bars is coated in the USA by Accu-Coat, Inc. utilizing their proprietary coating processes and specialty finishes. These coatings are high performance, exceptionally durable and rust resistant with proper use and care. They are easy to clean and manufactured to last for years. Feel confident in using these bars in your box, home gym or any institutional/professional setting.Accomodates 2-Inch Olympic plates1000-Pound weight capacityBlack oxide finish with polished steel sleevesMedium-depth diamond knurl
The absolutely cheapest barbell we’d suggest you purchase (for both safety and durability purposes) is the CAP Barbell OB-86B Olympic Bar. The CAP OB-86B is an extremely popular bar for its extremely budget-friendly price; as of this writing, it has a 4.2 Star Rating on Amazon with over 500 reviews. It also can be had for less than $150 with free shipping.
Although we expect that you’d have to eventually upgrade, this is a great barbell to determine if working out at home is something you plan on doing long-term and can easily be resold on the secondary market for not much less than what you paid for it.
Despite the low price, it’s not a “bad” barbell. Sure, it’s not as good as our other picks which can be had for just a bit more, but it gets the job done and should be somewhat reliable for most people. Featuring 110K PSI tensile strength steel, a decent knurl, 28.5MM shaft, black oxide shaft finish, and a 5-year warranty, the CAP OB-86B isn’t amazing, but if you’re used to working out at a commercial facility, this will likely be better than just about anything you used there.
The Best Budget Squat Rack
The squat rack is the centerpiece of nearly every home gym, and for good reason. No matter what your goals are, squat racks will likely play a big part in helping you achieve them. The only piece of equipment more versatile than the squat rack is a barbell, and if you follow our recommendations, then you’ll already have one.
A squat rack can be used for obvious exercises like squatting and benching, but they’re also great for pull-ups, rackable deadlifts, and overhead press. You can add in some attachments for a bit more and suddenly your rack can do everything from landmine movements to lat pulldowns.
Without question, the squat rack is where you should spend most of your time in the gym, especially if you’re trying to increase strength. Although you’ll use the rack quite a bit, the quality of even the cheap squat racks has increased to the point that we currently feel no need to recommend a very expensive rack for those on a budget, unless you want the better quality and additional features.
You’ll notice that we only suggest power racks in this guide. We’ve noticed that many people starting home gyms will purchase squat stands and then upgrade later to a power rack due to their versatility. It also needs to be mentioned that most squat stands, when safety bars are added, aren’t much cheaper than their power rack equivalents.
With the price of power racks today, we suggest skipping the squat stand option and going for a power rack. You won’t spend much more (in some cases you’ll spend less) and you’ll be much safer and satisfied in the long run.
The Titan X-3 Flat Foot Power Rack is the ultimate solution for lifters and athletes looking for a top of the line Power Rack, without having to bolt the rack to the floor! The heavy duty 11 gauge 3" x 3" uprights provide the ultimate support for max reps. Additionally, the flat foot design stabilizes the rack to the floor while allowing a walk through design. The double sided gusset plates lock the uprights in place to provide strength and support. (Pair of X-3 JHooks, pair of pipe/pin safeties and 1.25" & 2" pull up bars included.) Features: - 3" x 3" 11 gauge steel uprights. - Flat foot design keeps the 343 lbs rack stable without bolting to the floor. - Fat (2") and skinny (1.25") pull up bars included. - Walk through design. - Laser cut upright holes with Westside hole spacing. - Pair of UHMW padded X-3 J-Hooks included.
Our previous top pick, the Rep PR-3000 Power Rack has been discontinued (we do think this was a bad idea on Rep Fitness’ part.) Due to this, we went back to the drawing board and after much deliberation, chose the Titan X-3 Flat Foot Power Rack as our new top pick for the best budget squat rack.
There are a few reasons as to why the X-3 Flat Foot Rack made the top of our list, but one of the big ones is that it’s extremely similar to our upgrade pick, but is imported, cheaper, and a little bit lower quality (but not enough difference that most would notice.)
There are a lot of good squat racks on the market, so it can be hard to pick just one to recommend to those on a budget, but there are a few reasons we feel this rack from Titan Fitness is a great option for those on a budget.
First, the rack is compatible with a wide array of accessories. Being on a budget probably doesn’t mean a ton to you now, but it will later down the road when you have more money and want to increase the variety of your workouts. The upright size is also 3”x3” which is an industry standard and can, therefore, use accessories from Titan Fitness as well as many of their competitors such as Rogue Fitness, Rep Fitness, FringeSport, and others.
The next reason we recommend the Titan X-3 is because of its flat feet. Many racks at this price point are bolt-down racks, meaning if you plan to put it in your garage or bedroom, it must be bolted down or can easily fall over. Although we love the stability offered by a rack that is secured either through anchors in a concrete garage floor or to a platform, many people don’t need that much stability and would like to avoid the hassle or simply can’t due to the location of the rack or them renting their domicile.
Thankfully, the Titan X-3 is stable enough for even those that perform dynamic CrossFit movements like the kipping pull-up or powerlifters squatting over 700 LBs (the weight capacity is 1,000 LB.)
If you don’t mind bolting the rack down, then we suggest the Titan X-3 Series Bolt Down Power Rack as it’s a bit cheaper and does provide more stability.
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.
If your budget allows you to spend a bit more on a power rack, then we’d suggest the Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack. The RML-390F Rack features a similar flat foot design to the Rep PR-3000, but with 3”x3” uprights, the RML-390F will be sturdier and offer a few more attachments options.
In addition to the increased stability, Rogue Fitness racks as a whole are a bit better quality than those from Rep Fitness. This largely has to do with the fact that all of Rogue’s squat racks are made in-house at their 600K+ sq. ft. facility. This allows them to oversee every part of the manufacturing process and therefore leads to a better fit and finish for the consumer.
The RML-390F from Rogue Fitness is also one of the most popular squat racks Rogue sells with over 130 reviews. What’s crazy is it’s still listed as having a 5.0-star rating, something we haven’t ever seen on such a highly reviewed product on Rogue’s site. The RML-390F features a 30” depth for working inside the rack and a 92” height. Due to its 295 LB weight, it should remain stable for most work including pull-ups, although you can always add weight posts for increased stability.
If you’re looking for a power rack that’s made in the USA from a company with the best warranty and service in the industry and are willing to spend a bit more than our other budget options, then this is a great choice that will last you for many decades to come.
Ultra Budget Pick
REP PR-1100 Power Rack When 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" deep Hardware size: 3 1/8" Weight: 130lbs Upright Hole Spacing: 3" J-Cup Weight Capacity: 1,000lbs Pullup Bar Capacity: 400lbs 14 gauge steel Covered by a 2 year warranty Optional add-ons:
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible to get started, yet still get a good, serviceable rack, then we suggest the Rep Fitness PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack. The PR-1100 features a depth of 24” and a height of 84”. This makes it a bit more compact than our other picks making it great for basements or people that simply want a rack that takes up less space. Despite its price and size, it has an impressive max weight capacity of 1,000 LB and is quite stable even at heavy loads.
The PR-1100 has a few unique features that make it surprisingly outstanding for the price. First is the many attachments available for the rack that increase its expandability. Everything from dip handles to a lat pulldown is available for the rack.
Next, the uprights are numbered. Albeit, they’re only numbered every five holes, but for the price, that’s unheard of. In addition to the attachments and numbered uprights, the Rep PR-1100 Power Rack includes a multi-grip pull-up bar standard with the rack; an attachment that’s usually saved for much more expensive racks.
Finally, the PR-1100 is one of the best-priced racks on the market and even comes in various colors. For many people looking to start a home gym on a budget, this is going to be your best bet.
The Best Budget Weight Plates
Once you have a barbell and a place to set that barbell, having weights that slide onto the barbell is the next piece of equipment you should be looking for. The best weight plates are likely going to be the most costly piece of equipment in your gym.
You can start out with a small amount of weight, but what typically becomes painfully obvious, and quickly, is that you need more weight. Think about it, most general trainees who are starting on their strength journey will end up deadlifting at least 315 lb within less than a year if following even a decent training program consistently.
Thankfully, weight plates can be had for rather cheap per pound; just recognize that the price will add up over time, especially if you desire matching plates. The first place to look is the secondary market. Although not every market is this way, many will feature crazy good deals on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
We always suggest looking around your local area for weight plates before purchasing new ones. The reason is that iron lasts a very long time, and people often don’t know the value of what they have. So, before taking any of our new suggestions, look around your area.
Many of you are also likely debating if you should purchase iron plates or bumper plates. We’ve used a wide array of both, and here’s what we’ve found. Although bumper plates are better in a garage gym for most people due to their ability to be dropped without damaging the floor and their great resale value, they’re vastly more expensive than iron plates.
We suggest for those on a budget purchase iron plates unless they plan to do a lot of Olympic Weightlifting or CrossFit. Even the power clean can be lowered from the front rack to prevent damage to the floor with enough practice (this was done for decades before bumper plates were invented.” If you plan to do some of the classic lifts like the clean and jerk and snatch, then we suggest purchasing a few bumper plates, and then filling the rest of your weight plate needs with iron.
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 reason we suggest the Rep Fitness Iron Plates is pretty simple, they’re some of the best-priced iron plates with consistent and standard sizing on the internet. At $0.89/lb (as of this writing) the Rep Iron Plates are dirt cheap in comparison to many of the other options from companies like York Barbell, Rogue Fitness, and Ivanko.
Although the Rep Iron Plates are cheap, they’re not too bad. Sure, they’re going to be less consistent and accurate than some of the more expensive plates you can purchase, they should meet most people’s needs. The 45 lb plates have the standard 17.7” outside diameter and Rep guarantees a 3% tolerance on all plates. This means that if the plate is outside of 3% of the stated weight, then they should, in theory, replace it
The Rep Iron Plates look like the Standard Barbell plates that have been around for years and are seen in just about every commercial gym in the country. Cast Iron is what most iron plates are made of, and these are no exception. Each plate also includes a small lip that makes it easier to pick up and carry around, black paint on the entirety of the plate with silver-painted letters and numbers. If you’re wanting budget weight plates, then these are your best value.
Bumper Plates Pick
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.
If you’re wanting bumper plates instead of iron plates, or just want some bumpers in addition to the iron plates you have, then the FringeSport Black Bumper Plates are the ones we suggest. We’ve reviewed the FringeSport Bumper Plates in the past and gave them high remarks. For the price, there isn’t a better set of black bumper plates on the market with durability, accurate weight, and value.
Bumper plates are known to break over time, especially the lighter plates. The most common problem we see with bumper plates is the inner metal ring separating from the rubber.
If you’ve ever been to a CrossFit Affiliate Gym you’ve likely seen this a lot, it’s especially prevalent with recycled tire crumb rubber plates like Hi-Temp Bumper Plates. To help mitigate this issue, all of FringeSport’s Bumper Plates feature a steel insert with welded rebar that increases the surface area for rubber and metal to connect. It’s a small addition, but it makes a big difference.
Another unique benefit that FringeSport offers for their bumper plates is a 1-year warranty on the ten and fifteen-pound plates and a 3-year warranty on all of the other sizes. This may seem short compared to the warranties we see on barbells, but compared to other companies this is one of the best bumper plate warranties in the industry.
RELATED: Best Bumper Plates
Ultra Budget Pick
Increase the intensity of your workout with the CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Weights. These Olympic weights make an exceptional addition to weight lifting routines. Each CAP weight is made of solid cast iron and features over-sized holes. This allows the user to safely lift and load the weight onto the bar and other equipment. Additionally, it has a semi-gloss finish and convenient grips for added control. Each sold individually.
The absolute cheapest weight plates we’d suggest you buy new are the CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plates. They’re not crazy accurate and have a smaller outside diameter than other plates (making them awful to use when mixing plates on the bar) but, they’re cheap and can be delivered via Amazon Prime in two days.
One nice feature of the CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plates is the cutouts in the plates that allow them to be carried easily as well as increase their use for various core and shoulder movements. The CAP plates are coated in a gray hammer tone paint that does end up chipping over time but looks pretty good in the beginning.
They’re available in weight increments ranging from 2.5 LB to 45 LB and are surprisingly thin. These are the cheapest plates we recommend, and even then, expect them to chip if dropped and not be extremely accurate in weight.
The Best Budget Weight Bench
Now with a barbell, squat rack, and weight plates in hand, it’s time to purchase a bench. Although a weight bench isn’t necessarily what we’d consider essential, for many, it will be a highly used piece of equipment. Many view a flat bench as just beneficial for bench pressing, however, it can be used for many other movements from the upper body to the lower body. Versatility is what you should be looking for in your equipment, and a portable bench can provide a lot of that.
The first bench you should think of purchasing for your home gym should be stable enough to make you feel safe when laying down with a bar over your head, but light enough that you can easily maneuver it in and out of your power rack when needed.
The bench press is one of the four main barbell lifts you are likely to train in your home gym. Because of how many people buy them, a good weight bench is very affordable and can increase the use of most of your equipment. It may be used for box squats, rows, triceps exercises, step-ups, box jumps, Jefferson curls, and a variety of other exercises.
In addition to the training movements, when you’re not squatting inside the rack, you may frequently find yourself taking your rest sitting down (perhaps laying) on the bench in between sets. Or when you are squatting or deadlifting, you may find it as a useful safe area for your kids to be seated off the platform while you are in the middle of your set.
For most people, we’d suggest first buying a flat bench. Although incline benches are great, budget incline benches typically perform outstanding neither for the flat bench press or incline movements. Although there are often flat benches available on the secondary market, good benches can be had for so cheap these days that there’s often little reason to buy a used bench.
The ideal bench dimensions are 12” wide, 48” long, and 17” high to the top of the pad. Outside of these parameters (such as a shorter, narrower bench) and you will quickly become frustrated at the subtleties. Let’s get started with our first recommendations.
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.
As we have already stated multiple times, Rep Fitness is a trustworthy company that sells high-value equipment (value meaning best price to features/quality ratio). That’s one reason why we can say that the Rep Fitness FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench is an all-around great flat bench. It’s constructed with thick 3” x 3” 11-gauge steel, with durable vinyl padding that will sit just right with the backside of your shirt.
The construction is very sturdy and definitely gives you confidence in that it won’t move around while you are doing your set. It weighs in at a maneuverable 62 LBS, with built-in wheels and a handle to easily move it in, out, and around your squat rack. For the lifter who is training for powerlifting, it’s good that this is built to the standard of what you may find in IPF competition.
Also, the Rep FB-5000 Bench utilizes a unique 3-post frame that allows your feet to get underneath you without having to step on the legs. This may seem like an insignificant feature, but after using it extensively, we can confidently say it’s superior to the typical four-foot design that although is a bit more stable, can often get in the way.
The Rep Fitness Comp Flat Bench is also designed to be switched out and upgraded to accommodate various bench pads such as the ever-popular Rogue Thompson Fat Pad (a good option for many lifters, especially those that are larger.) Overall, with its 3-foot post design, 1000 LBS weight capacity, easy maneuverability, and outstanding price (less than $150 as of this writing) we recommend this flat bench to both those who are on a budget and those who aren’t.
Rep AB-3100 Adjustable Bench - V3 The new and improved Rep AB-3100 Adjustable Bench is designed to combine the usefulness and safety of a 1,000 pound rated bench, with the most affordable price possible. This heavy-duty FI adjustable bench also has a tube support in the flat position for even more peace of mind as the weights get heavy. The AB-3100 uses the same padding materials as our popular AB-3000 FID bench, so you can rest assured that the pad will be comfortable yet firm enough to support heavy weight, while the vinyl cover is durable, slip-resistant, and easy to keep clean. Features Include: 50"(total pad length) x 11.75"(pad) x 17.5"(top of pad in flat position) (LxWxH) Variable thickness frame from 14 to 4 gauge steel, 1,000 lb weight capacity Handle and wheels for easy transport 6 back pad adjustments, from flat to 85 degree incline 3 seat pad adjustments, from flat to incline. A seat pad with the ability to incline keeps you locked in place when the back pad is inclined. Minimal pad gap (approx 2") Matte black powder coating Pad and hardware individually boxed to prevent shipping damage Simple 20 minute assembly with a socket wrench (not provided) Improvements from V2: Rubber feet on all 3 contact points for easier adjustment. Re-designed adjustment ladder for easier adjustment and rubber coated contact for less noise. Improved rear base design for easier assembly. Improved hinge design at seat and back pad.
If you’d rather have an adjustable bench, but are still on a budget, then we suggest the Rep Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V3. The AB-3100 is adjustable, only costs a bit more than our top pick, the Rep FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench, and is pretty sturdy, all things considered.
For the garage gym lifter, a bench with the ability to adjust through different positions of incline can be an extremely useful option for performing lifts outside of the traditional main 4 barbell lifts, including many accessory movements.
While flat benching with a barbell is enjoyable, sometimes it’s nice to change the bench position ever so slightly to bias different pec muscle fibers or to even try out some of your overhead presses while seated to utilize the benefit of added proximal support. We’ve also used adjustable benches for various movements ranging from prone rows to preacher curls.
Specifically, the Rep AB-3100 is designed with a 1000 LBS weight capacity, and still utilizes the 3-foot post design of the Rep FB-5000. It measures fairly close to its flat bench brother (50” x 11.75” x 17.5”) which makes it not only useful to bench off of but versatile. There are 6 different pad adjustments, all the way from flat to nearly upright (85°). The AB-3100 will definitely be less stable than a dedicated flat bench, but it also has the benefits of adjustability. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of your situation to determine which is best.
For many people on a budget who want options when it comes to doing the upper body barbell lifts (as well as other accessory lifts), the Rep Fitness AB-3100 is hard to beat when it comes to buying an incline bench for your home gym.
Ultra Budget Pick
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.
The AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench definitely sounds like it would be flimsy, especially considering its super low price tag of only $49.99 with free shipping. Most of the time, you really do get what you pay for, and a bench this cheap seems like it would be a bad idea. That being said, it definitely can take a beating and we are pleased to call it our ultra-budget pick.
The AmazonBasics Flat Bench measures in at 41” x 11” x 17.9”, which puts it pretty darn close to optimal. It comes in a box to be assembled, but it is very easy to put together. Once built, you can really tell how lightweight it is. Weighing only 26 LBS, it feels like it could be too flimsy, so we filmed a video review on youtube a while back, where we put it to the test. Needless to say (watch everything we subjected this bench to in the video) it can take a punch! But it also needs to be said that the user manual, states that the weight capacity is only rated at 385 LBS.
For many, this might never be a problem, but we figure for most lifters will want to graduate from this bench once they are handling heavier and heavier weights. Also, since it utilizes a 4-post frame, this might get in the way of some people’s feet when they bench. We will say that overall if you need a very basic bench that at the very least gets the job done, the AmazonBasics Flat Weight Bench is a decent option.
The Best Budget Pull-Up Bar
A pull-up bar can be one of the most useful pieces of upper-body equipment you purchase. If you follow our suggestions and buy a power rack that includes a pull-up bar, then you won’t need a dedicated pull-up bar, however, these are our suggestions for those that want one.
Also, there are many lifters who like having a mounted pull-up bar separate from their rack, as they can also use it as an area to attach tube resistance bands from, use for accessory work, or even superset pull-ups at the wall with squats in the rack. If you follow CrossFit-type programming, this is especially helpful.
When it comes to choosing the right pull-up bar, you first need to think of where you would want to mount it and at what height. Most versions you can find are wall-mounted, but there are also ceiling-mounted versions as well. It is also important to think about all of the activities you may do on the bar besides pull-ups. If you think you’ll attach gymnastic rings to it so that you can do exercises like inverted rows, you’ll need to make sure you have the space for it.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to mount a pull-up bar to the wall, you could also get a doorway pull-up bar to put inside your house and many often double as push-up stands. For these reasons, we’ve included a few different options depending on your price-point and potential use.
Outfit your home gym with the ultimate pull up bar from Titan Fitness, and put away that old door mounted bar for good! Heavyweight steel construction ensures stability and solid feel just like in your favorite gym, with quality craftsmanship guaranteed to handle the demands of seasoned athletes and amateurs alike. Matte black powder coating keeps it from becoming slippery like chrome or glossy competitors, so you can finish your workout without delay. Unmatched fit and finish ensure countless years of hard use, even for the most demanding athlete. Features: - Capacity: 500 lbs - Can be installed vertically or horizontally - Versatile setup via mounting hardware (not included) - Can be mounted on wood 16" wood studs for custom widths at 16", 32" or 52" apart - Mount on concrete wall at any width up to 53" with supplied bar - Height: Can be adjusted based on ceiling height or athlete height - Purchase additional standard 1" steel tube (1.3" OD) and extra L brackets to make a multiple person pull up station.
Our top pick is the Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar. It is the classic design that can be found in many elementary schools across the country. The Tian Pull-Up is designed to be mounted into wood studs or can be fixed into a concrete wall. The depth of the bar from the wall is 32”, more than enough to give you room to hang and work from.
The weight capacity is listed at 500 LBS, and even with kipping style pull-ups, this should be secure enough for most people. The entire structure is matte black powder-coated, which provides a decent grip that shouldn’t be a problem even with sweaty palms. The bar can be adjusted to 16”, 32”, or 52” apart, which is set just right for the standard 16” wood studs found in most homes.
Overall, the Titan Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar is our classic value pick. For the price of only $67.75 with free shipping, you’re getting a very basic pull-up bar that gets the job done and functions quite well.
Designed to mount above a doorway frame on a standard wood stud wall*, the Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar is an everyday game-changer—enabling athletes to transport their fitness lifestyle, without compromise, into any room of their home or workplace. The system, which includes a 43” long stringer, 0.375" thick laser-cut steel brackets, and a custom-finished 1.125" diameter bar, is on par with the equipment you’re already using at the local gym or in the garage. Only now, you can integrate part of that experience into your "between workout" hours—do a few pull-ups anytime you walk through that door; challenge family members or co-workers to do the same. Set the bar and stick to it. The pull-up bar itself is available in your choice of a knurled or smooth finish, and can be further custom selected in Rogue textured black powder coat, stainless steel, or any one of ten exclusive Cerakote color finishes—with Rogue logo branding in the center of the bar. The stringer and brackets are available in two powder coat finishes, as well (Medium Gloss Black or Textured Black), so it’s easy to customize the whole system to match your preferences and/or the existing color scheme of a room. *Each order comes standard with a set of (6) 0.375" x 2.5" wood lags for mounting the stringer. If you plan to mount to something other than wood studs, we recommend contacting a general contractor to assist in planning an alternative install process. Specifications: Made in the USA Patent Pending In-Home Wall-Mounted Pull-Up System Total Weight: 33LB (Includes Stringer & Brackets) Length: 43" (Stringer) Height: 8.875" (Stringer) Depth from mounting surface - 7" to center of bar, 8.25" overall Pull-Up Bar Diameter: 1.125" (6) 0.375" x 2.5" wood lags included
Rogue has largely focused on equipment made for a garage gym, but the Jammer Pull-Up Bar works great inside the house as well as out. The Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar is designed to mount into the studs above a door frame and does so with ease. The depth of the bar to the wall is only 7”, but since it will be hanging above a door that can be opened usability will be no problem, even for things like kipping pull-ups and toes to bar, although you won’t be able to do muscle-ups on the bar.
One of the great details about this pull-up bar is that you have options to replace the actual bar of the unit depending on what look and feeling you like. Most mounted pull-up bar options we have found don’t give you this option (or for that matter even have knurling) so it’s nice to see that Rogue has created a pull-up bar with this in mind. The Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar comes in a multitude of powder-coated and Cerakoted colors, with both knurling or plain smooth options.
Knurling on a pull-up bar is great for max-effort work, but if you’re doing anything dynamic on the bar, you’ll want it to be smooth. Depending on what you choose, the price will vary anywhere from a $95 Textured Black Powdercoat with knurling to a higher-priced Tiger Stripe Woodland Camo Cerakote with the option of no knurling.
This is definitely, in our opinion, the best-looking budget pull-up bar on the list. It looks good in both a garage or home and functions just as well.
Manufactured in Ohio using the same 11-Gauge Steel as our full-scale rigs and racks, the versatile Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System is a single, compact unit designed for ceiling mounts (for a ceiling height of 8 to 9'6") or wall mounts.* Once anchored securely to concrete or wood studs, the P-3 gives you the option of a bar position at either 14" or 22" from the wall/ceiling.The complete P-3 Pull-Up System comes standard with a 52" Pull-Up Bar, and can serve as a dependable rings station, as well. If you want to expand the set-up for more athletes, you can daisy-chain additional brackets together by spacing them out 3-4 feet apart, then running a single 1" steel tube/1.25" OD pipe through all of the brackets (4 brackets, for example, would create a 12' pull-up bar). In most cases, this type of pipe can be purchased at your local hardware store.*To allow for more space for kipping pull-ups, the larger P-4 Pull-Up System may work better for wall-mounting, as well as for ceiling-mounts in garage gyms with ceilings higher than 9'6".Specifications:11-Gauge SteelDepth: 14" or 22" from wall/ceilingWidth: Can be set on 16" Stud Centers or custom width up to 48" between bracketsTotal Length: You can add brackets for miles by putting brackets in a row. 1"/1.25" Pipe can be purchased from local tube supplier in 24' lengthsOrientation: This unit can be setup vertically or horizontally, our unique support arm will keep this rig sturdy!Mounting Hardware NOT includedRecommended Setups:Distance between brackets: Concrete – 36", Wood Studs – 32" or 48"Height: 7' 6" - 8' on center of bar but this can be adjusted based on ceiling height or athlete height
If you like our Top Pick, the Titan Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar, but prefer a better fit and finish or want an American-made product, then the Rogue P-3 Pull-UP is your best bet. The Rogue P-3 can be mounted to either a wall or the ceiling and performs just as well on both. It’s quite sturdy and sticks far enough away from the wall that things like kipping pull-ups or even muscle-ups are made possible on the unit.
What we like about this is the precision and feel in how it was designed. The Rogue P-3 is classified as a pull-up system, which means that it can be daisy-chained together to elongate the entire structure (so multiple people can perform pull-ups on this at the same time).
We’ve seen garage gyms connect a couple of these together so multiple people can do pull-ups at once and it seems to work really well for that purpose. Although we don’t see the need for most people to spend more on this version over our top pick, we still recommend it to those that want a better overall experience.
Ultra Budget Pick
The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar is a multi-function strength training device that promises to sculpt your upper body through pull ups, chin ups, and abdominal work. And that’s just while this versatile pull up bar is hanging high on your doorframe. Move the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar to the ground and you can use it to perform dips to work your triceps, pushups to work your biceps and chest, and sit ups to hit your abs. Iron Gym has made one of the most popular pull up bars on the market, and with good reason. It’s designed to be used and abused while providing excellent, bodyweight-only exercises. The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar is very strong and durable. But the best part is that it can be moved around without permanently fastening it to anything. Turns any doorway into a personal gym; installs in seconds. Fits up to 35.4 inch wide door frames Ideal for pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, crunches, and more. Fits up to 35.4 inch wide door frames Three grip positions, narrow, wide, and neutral. Foam grips Uses leverage to hold against the doorway so there are no screws and no damage to door. The door way needs to be 24 – 32 inches wide to accommodate the bar
Finding a way to do pull-ups is quite possibly the easiest thing to do these days in relation to exercise. Not only are there a ton of different pull-up bar options, but many are priced extremely low. The doorway pull-up bar has proved to be a surprisingly robust design and the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar is one of the best priced and rated versions of this design.
We’ve used the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar (that’s a mouthful) for over five years, mainly for greasing the groove type training (essentially doing pull-ups every time we walk through the doorway, and it’s held up without any issue. In addition to pull-ups, the Iron Gym Workout Bar can be used for push-ups and dips. We really like the design and love the price for a piece of equipment that can end up seeing a ton of use.
The Best Budget Dumbbells
Dumbbells on a budget? It’s definitely and an affordable option in today’s market. While dumbbells may not be a necessity for many garage gym owners, they are very useful tools in the right hands. Having a good set or pair of adjustable dumbbells will allow you to perform plenty of great exercises for both hypertrophy and accessory work. They also can give you much-needed breaks from extensive barbell work. Dumbbells, in general, are used in nearly any exercise program. Any barbell lift has a dumbbell variation, and dumbbells also go further in enhancing your exercise library for single-joint movements.
For the garage gym owner, the thought process for purchasing the best dumbbells should include ideas about space and convenience. Most people would not have the room to house an entire set of dumbbells from 5 LBS all the way up to 100 LBS. And even if you did, finding great quality dumbbells at an affordable cost is rare indeed.
We hear frequently of people snagging nice adjustable dumbbells at a fraction of the ticket price, as well as purchasing whole dumbbells sets for around 50 cents per LB. Luckily for you, we have been able to review several great options and have found what we believe to be the best budget dumbbell options money can buy.
Rep Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbells Made from premium low odor rubber, our dumbbells are a classic rubber coated hex dumbbell design that is quiet and easy on your floors, and superior to others on the market. The chrome plated handle is straight and fully knurled for maximum grip. Unlike slippery "ergonomic" handles that only have knurl across part of the handle surface, our full knurl gives you a secure grip on the dumbbell at any weight. This feature is usually only found on premium "pro-style" dumbbells costing more than twice as much as ours. Use for isolating muscle groups during curls, tricep extensions, and presses as well as more complex movements like dumbbell snatches and Turkish get-ups. Rubber Hex Dumbbells vs Adjustable Dumbbells More convenient and durable than an adjustable dumbbell set, a rubber hex dumbbell set can last a lifetime and is a great investment in your health. A rubber dumbbell is great for a huge variety of exercises, and never goes out of style. A staple in many strength and conditioning programs, dumbbells allow you to develop real world strength by moving heavy objects in your hands. It doesn't get any simpler. Hex dumbbells are a staple for home gyms and commercial gyms because of their versatility and effectiveness. With a good set of dumbbells you can target every major muscle group and build real-world strength quickly and safely. We offer a full range of rubber coated dumbbells for home gym and commercial use. Whether you just need a pair or two for your garage, or a whole set for your new box gym we've got you covered. Check out our other listings for additional dumbbell sets, dumbbell racks and packages that will help you save money!
Our top pick for home gym budget style dumbbells is the Rep Hex Dumbbells that are rubber coated. Rep Fitness designed these dumbbells with a straight, medium-knurled handle. Each handle end is fixed into the hex head via fiction welding, meaning that the risk of the heads becoming loose is greatly reduced. While the knurling is somewhat passive, it feels better and more consistent compared to other hex dumbbell models we have tried.
Many dumbbell models (non-Hex) utilize an ergonomic handle while the Rep Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells use straight. While ergonomic handles feel great for pressing movements, straight handles seem to work much better for pulling movements and curls.
Also, most people use dumbbells to supplement their barbell training, so using a straight bar implement is probably somewhat more transferable. The Rep Fitness handles are similar to the diameter of a power bar, increasing in thickness depending on the weight used. The Rep dumbbells are 28mm on 5 LB through 15 LB, and 34mm on everything size above that.
The rubber coating is designed to protect the dumbbell and works well. Rep Fitness even offers a lifetime warranty on these dumbbells specific to home gym use, which isn’t ordinarily offered on dumbbells, especially at this price. Overall, we can confidently say that the Rep Fitness Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells, priced around $1 per pound, are some of the best value dumbbells for those that want a whole set.
Adjustable Dumbbells Pick
PowerBlock was an innovator in this category and has been making adjustable dumbbells since 1991. This means they have had over 25 years of production and refinement to create the ultimately adjustable dumbbells set, and they truly have. The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are one of the highest-rated and best-selling sets of all time. This is one of the last adjustable dumbbells sets to still be made in the USA, and PowerBlock uses only premium-quality materials. Thanks to their smart and economical design, the PowerBlocks are extremely tough and can withstand all sorts of regular gym abuse. Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand and increments- 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 pounds per hand Is expandable later to 70 and again to 90 pounds per hand. Made in USA 10 year home use warranty Replaces 16 pairs of dumbbells in the space of 1
PowerBlock Dumbbells are some of the longest tried and truly adjustable dumbbell options for the home gym user available. PowerBlock has built a solid reputation with its customers, and for good reason, their dumbbells work well and are extremely durable, although unconventional.
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are very compact, each dumbbell only taking up a space of 16” x 6” x 6”, although they get much larger with heavier weights. To adjust the weight, PowerBlock Dumbbells utilize a selector pin and a color guide system that is easy to use.
With the PowerBlock Elite, you are able to make jumps of only 2.5 LBS, with adjustability all the way up to 90 LBS per hand (additional weight can be added.) Since the dumbbells are in the shape of a block, it may seem that functionality would be limited, but after putting it to the test, we can confidently say that just about any exercises that you can do with a normal dumbbell can be done with the PowerBlock. Just as long as you don’t throw it down on the ground (but you shouldn’t be doing that with any dumbbell anyway.)
The PowerBlock Elite is built to last and comes with a 10-year home warranty (you shouldn’t need it; we’ve had ours for over 7 years and they were bought used.) If you are wanting some dumbbells, but also need to think about managing space (or just want something that is convenient and works great), the PowerBlock Elite Adjustable Dumbbells are a great option.
Ultra Budget Pick
These adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights. Weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments up to the first 25 lbs. Easy-to-use selection dials for adjusting weights. They are sold as a pair. Easily switch from one exercise to next and with the turn of a dial you can change your resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength. Versatile workout for your legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders and arms. Compatible with the free Bowflex SelectTech® training App for iOS and Android. No more picking up 30 different dumbbells to give you the results you want! Say goodbye to 15 sets of dumbbells cluttering your workout space. With weight that adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., you'll continue to see results as your fitness level improves. Durable molding around metal plates provides for a smooth lift-off and quieter workouts...no clanging metal plates! With the wider weight range you can do heavy exercises such as shrugs and lunges as well as lighter exercises such as curls and raises.
Bowflex is a popular name recognized and trusted by many in the home gym community. Although they’re known for budget-priced cardio equipment, with the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell set, we have found another good option for those wanting to hit dumbbell exercises with limited space and budget. The Bowflex SelectTech utilizes an easy-to-use dial for adjustment. At the turn of the dial, the weight can adjust in 2.5 LBS increments from 5 LBS all the way to 52.5 LBS.
The Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells are an efficient and budget-friendly option for those home gym users who have no need to go above 50 LBS per hand. One con we have found with the design, however, is that the dumbbell will always be at full length no matter the weight (so it can feel a little awkward in several movements). Overall though, we do say this is a budget-friendly option that can fill in the needs of many people if you don’t plan on lifting too heavy.
The Best Budget Kettlebells
Kettlebells are versatile pieces of equipment that are great for both building power and muscular endurance. We’ve used quality kettlebells over the years for a variety of different movements; a few of our favorites are kettlebell swings, bottom-up presses (much harder than they look), farmers’ carries, and snatches. Although they’re great for these movements, they also work well for adding weight to bodyweight movements like dips and pull-ups.
We would definitely suggest purchasing dumbbells before kettlebells due to their versatility and the amount of usage they’ll see, you can get by with just a few kettlebell weights. The weight we’d suggest for most people is 53 LB. If you’re not as strong or want to use kettlebells more for endurance, then you can go for a lighter weight.
There are various styles of kettlebells, but for most people, we’d suggest standard cast-iron kettlebells. Competition kettlebells are great for the clean and jerk and snatch, but are a bit more difficult to use for two-hand swings and they’re also more expensive.
Kettlebells allow you to combine cardiovascular training with weight training into ballistic movements that strengthen your body. Our kettlebells range in size from 4kg (9 lbs) all the way up to 48 kg (106 lbs), giving everyone the opportunity to cater to their specific physical needs, and even challenge themselves to a heavier weight when ready. From kettlebell swings, to goblet squats, to snatches, the kettlebell is a versatile piece of equipment that can help build strength and endurance in many ways. Why Choose Rep Kettlebells Superior Manufacturing Methods: Single-cast gravity casting is a cutting-edge technique that results in kettlebells much higher in quality than their sand casted cousins. The castic process ensures that each kettlebell is extremely well made, with perfectly flat bases that allow for push-ups and no wobbling, smooth handles, and an overall excellent finish. Best Coating: Our matte black textured finish is the best coating for kettlebells because it won't cause your grip to slip, yet it won't tear up your hands. It holds chalk very well, but it isn't necessary unless you're sweating. Color Coded Handles: Our handles follow the international kettlebell standards, which allow for an instructor to easily spot which kettlebells their clients/athletes are using. Kilogram and Pound Markings: Each kettlebell is labeled with both units of measurement. No more pulling out the calculator to figure out how much you are swinging! Kettlebell Sets: 8 to 24 kg set includes: 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 kg kettlebells. Save money and give yourself options for warming up, and other exercises like push press, one arm swings, or pair up the kettlebells to do kettlebell push ups, 2 handed overhead press, overhead squat and more! Weights/Handle Colors/Handle Diameter: 4kg/9lbs - White - 30mm 6kg/13lbs - Grey - 30mm 8kg/18lbs - Pink - 32mm 10kg/22lbs - Orange - 32mm 12kg/26lbs - Blue - 32mm 14kg/31lbs - Brown - 32mm 16kg/35lbs - Yellow - 33mm 18kg/40lbs - Black - 33mm 20kg/44lbs - Grey - 38mm 22kg/48lbs - Black - 38mm 24kg/53lbs - Green - 39mm 28kg/62lbs - Orange - 40mm 32kg/70lbs - Red - 40mm 36kg/80lbs - White - 40mm 40kg/88lbs - Blue - 40mm 44kg/97lbs - Brown - 40mm 48kg/106lbs - Black - 40mm
The Rep Fitness Kettlebells are some of the best-priced, pound-for-pound kettlebells available that come in a wide range of weight increments. The Rep Kettlebells are available in weight increments from 4KG/9LB – 48KG/106LB and use color bands on the handles as well as the weight increments cast into the front of the kettlebells in both pounds and kettlebells.
One feature that separates a kettlebell designed to last and one that isn’t is how it is cast. The Rep Kettlebells are made using a gravity cast that results in a more consistent surface and accurate weighting. Because the handle and bell are cast together, they are less likely to separate and therefore more likely to last through whatever workouts you use them in. Once cast, the bells have the bottoms machined so they’re flat and then they’re coated in a black powder coat for corrosion resistance and a better grip when chalk is used.
Although the cast iron kettlebells aren’t the absolute best that is available, if you’re on a budget, this is likely your best bet for a kettlebell that is made to last.
This adjustable version of our popular Competition Style Kettlebell allows you to adjust your weight from 12 KG up to 32 KG. Simply loosen and remove the screw to adjust your weight, fix back in place, and you are ready to go. This unit features a 12 KG shell with 6 cast iron plates weighing 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, and 6 kg. Using different combinations of plates you can set the weight of this kettlebell to the following: 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 32 kg. Features: - Adjustable weight from 12 KG - 32 KG with 6 cast iron plates. - Easy adjustment with included allen wrench. - Cast steel with non-welded handles for maximum durability. - Smooth finish for a great hand feel and grip while performing various exercises. - Using different combinations of plates you can set the weight of this kettlebell to the following: 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 32 kg. Specifications: - Handle Diameter: 35 mm | 1.38" - Handle Width: 190 mm | 7.48" - Total Diameter: 210 mm | 8.27" - Total Height: 290 mm | 11.42" - Color: Red - Shell Weight: 12 KG - Weight Discs: 2 KG, 2 KG, 3 KG, 3 KG, 4 KG, and 6 KG - Weight: 32 KG
Adjustable weight implements are designed for those on a budget. Instead of having to buy a full set of dumbbells or kettlebells, you can buy an adjustable version that works close to as well and doesn’t take a super long time to change the weight out. The Titan Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell is a design that’s made by quite a few different companies, including Kettlebell Kings, but Titan Fitness sells it for the lowest price.
Utilizing a standard competition-style kettlebell shell, the Titan Adjustable Kettlebell feels very similar to an ordinary competition-style kettlebell while in use. In order to adjust the weights, you unscrew the bottom shell from the top, remove the plates from the inside, screw them down, and then reassemble the shell. Although we’d prefer a full set of kettlebells, the price and space they take aren’t really possible for most home gym owners.
If you really like doing kettlebell work, we’d first suggest just buying a few kettlebells at a time and building your arsenal slowly over time. But, if you want to start with a wide array of kettlebells for not a whole lot more than one heavy kettlebell would cost, then the Titan Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell is what we’d suggest.
Ultra Budget Option
Kettlebells provide simple, unique exercises that build functional strength and range of motion. However, kettlebells are expensive and nearly impossible to travel with. With Kettle Gryp you'll get your full workout at a range of weights anywhere you can find a dumbbell. Kettle Gryp is a great addition to your home gym or travel bag, If you're a trainer or gym owner, Kettle Gryp expands your clients' workouts without the added weight, cost, and footprint of kettlebells. IMAGINE NEVER HAVING TO MISS YOUR KETTLEBELL WORKOUT WHILE TRAVELING | KettleGryp is the perfect workout accessory for your travel needs, or to keep in your everyday gym bag. At less than 1 pound, this grip can hold most standard dumbbells up to 55# and instantly turn it into a kettlebell. BUY NOW TO HAVE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ACCESSORIES IN YOUR WORKOUT BAG | Workout Gloves, Check. Lifting Straps, Check. Protein Shake, Check. KETTLEGRYP!? Yes! This workout accessory will quickly become one of the go-to pieces of gear in your gym bag. ADD TO YOUR CART NOW TO HAVE THE NEWEST AND MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT IN KETTLEBELL TRAINING | KettleGryp is a Veteran American-Owned Company that proudly Manufactured in San Diego, California. CHECK OUT WITH CONFIDENCE | WE OFFER A LIFETIME WARRANTY! We LOVE our customers here at KetteGryp and you can buy with confidence with our Lifetime warranty. If you’re not happy we will do whatever it takes to make sure you love your new KettleGryp or send it back with no questions asked. ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS | For men or women who want achieve their fitness goals working out at home, in the gym, or when traveling. Kettle Gryp is light-weight, durable, and economical solution.
If you’re looking to spend the absolute least amount for kettlebells, then we suggest taking a look at the Kettle Gryp. The Kettle Gryp is a plastic kettlebell handle that attaches to dumbbells; so, if you have dumbbells already, this is a great way to expand the usage of your dumbbells without having to spend a lot extra.
Kettle Gryp has a pretty low weight rating, but we’ve tested swings and carries with up to a 150LB dumbbell and we saw no issues. Although they’re not an idea, Kettle Gryp’s are a great, cheap way to start using kettlebells in your training with equipment you already have.
Related: Kettle Gryp made our Best Fitness Gifts list!
The Best Budget Cardio Equipment
Cardio equipment on a budget can be hard to find. There are so many options, and many are bulky expensive units designed to take the abuse of a commercial gym setting. Although many people are used to seeing rows and rows of treadmills, ellipticals, and the like, most home gyms don’t have these implements.
There’s nothing wrong with getting any of these, but don’t expect to buy them on a budget, especially ones that will last. If you want a treadmill, save up and buy the right one the first time. Otherwise, you’ll neither like the experience or the fact that you’re going to have to have a maintenance technician over to your house often.
For those on a budget, we suggest most people work on their conditioning without equipment. Running, sprinting, burpees, bounds, and many other bodyweight movements can get someone into incredible shape. If you do decide you’d like to add some cardio equipment to your home gym, then we suggest getting pieces that you can use for a long time and for both long and short intervals.
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.
We’ve found that a sled can be the most versatile piece of conditioning equipment available. As we’ve said throughout this article, versatility is what you want in-home gym equipment, and the sled has that. The Rogue Slice Sled in particular is made to be extremely effective for both pushing and pulling. Most sleds work well for either one or the other, but thanks to the size and design of the Slice Sled, it’s made to work well for both purposes.
For longer, steady-state type cardio, the Slice Sled can be dragged from behind with straps wrapped around your shoulders. Add a little bit of weight to the sled and it becomes more difficult. Add a lot of weight and it becomes torture. If you want to do some HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) then grab the handles, put them in the back, and do 30 seconds on at a hard pace, 30 seconds off.
In addition to performing well, the Slice Sled will last a long time thanks to the 0.25” thick laser-cut and formed steel construction (the base is one piece of steel, crazy!) Unloaded, the sled weighs 65LB, but has a load capacity of over 300LB, meaning you can humble even your strongest friends. For those on a budget, a sled is a great option (so long as you are able to use the street for cardio) and the Rogue Slice Sled is the best-priced option with the amount of versatility it has.
The Airmill Air bike has the same great features and manufacturing process as the Xebex Air Bike; but with cylindrical, traditional handlebars. The Airmill Air Bike features increased durability by using higher quality parts throughout the frame. We've reinforced weak points of other air bike models to create the most durable and robust bike on the market. The frame weighs more than comparable models which leads to more stability. Higher quality parts such as our Universal Ball Joints where the Handlebars connect to the Linkage Arms is one example of how Airmill Bikes are built more durable and longer-lasting! Effective for any abilityAirmill Air Bikes resistance is controlled by the user, not the machine. You can control the intensity of your workout - The harder you push, pull and pedal, the more air you're moving and the greater the resistance. Cool-down and lower your heart rate by easing the intensity of your push, pull, and pedal stroke in order to decrease the resistance and amount of air moving.Full-Body Workout Pushing, Pulling, and Pedaling can all be done with a Airmill Air Bike. This activates muscles in your arms, chest, back, legs, and even your core for washboard abs! Quickly burn calories with a full-body workout where you control the intensity of your exercise regimen! Comfortable and adjusts to fit various heightsOur 4-way adjustable seat allows you to adjust the seat up/down, and forward/back. Simply loosen the pop-pin and pull out to adjust the vertical distance from seat to pedal. Next, loosen the seat track lever to slide the seat closer or further away from the handlebars! Base/Frame: - 104lb steel frame- Heavy-Duty 24" fan, 27" with Fan Housing- Sealed cartridge bottom bracket- Heavier base and handles produce a more intense workout- Increased arm range of motion - Pedal arm uses bearings - stays tighter over timeLarge, Easy-to-Read Console/Programs - Tracks Distance (Meter or Mile), Time, Speed (KM or MI),Calories, Watts, and HR- Programmable Custom Interval Functions (Work, Rest programs)- Set Distance or Calories with countdown functionality- Distance tracked in meters or thousandths of a mile (1000.0 = 1 mile)Comfort/Adjustments - Rubber-Dipped handles- 4-way adjustable seat - Peg attachment foot rests- Extra padding on seat- Optional Pair of SPD Cleat Pedals: Toe cup and SPD clip-in design to take your workout to a whole new level!Specs: Net Weight: 104LBsShipping Weight: 110 lbs.Shipping Dimensions: 48" x 35" x 11"Warranty: 5 year frame, 2 year non-wear parts
The Get RXd Airmill Air Bike currently holds the budget category in our best air bike article. The Airmill takes pretty much the same features as our original budget pick, the Xebex Air Bike, and removes a few unnecessary bells and whistles to allow it to be offered at a lower price. We put the Xebex Air Bike through thorough testing, comparing it to competition like the Assault Air Bike, and have found that it’s pretty much the same (they’re both made in Taiwan, and wouldn’t be surprised if they were made in the same factory.)
Although the Xebex Airmill is great for those on a budget, it performs just as well as many other air bikes. Air bikes are great for long and short-duration cardio and can be truly tough if enough effort is put out. The one negative of an air bike is the noise it produces, but if you close the door to your garage or workout room, it shouldn’t bug anyone.
The air bike is a great budget conditioning equipment option and the Airmill Air Bike is the best-priced option with a build focused on long-term usage. We recommend it.
Ultra Budget Pick
DESIGNED FOR DURABILITY: Unlike some fitness jump ropes that come with a light and flimsy design that quickly falls apart, the Garage Fit workout jump rope is made from premium quality PVC material that makes it very sturdy. It is the perfect exercise and fitness tool that you can use for your training or just when you want to have some fun. - EXPERIENCE THE VERSATILITY: Whether you’re looking for a skipping rope to get in some cardio, complement your Crossfit routine, or get the kiddos nice and active, this adjustable jump rope will get the job done without a hitch. It’s a good 9ft long to suit even the tallest of jumpers and can be easily shortened to a comfortable length to suit children. - COMFORTABLE GRIP: Get a secure grip each time you use this jump rope for women and men, thanks to the lightweight molded polypropylene plastic handle. You will find this easier to hold onto, unlike other jump ropes with a rougher material that leaves your hands raw after a workout. Plus, the handles are not slippery to the touch, so you do not lose your grip. - PORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Whenever you want to engage in some fun skipping action, then you can simply bring this heavy duty jump rope along anywhere and anytime you want. Our PVC skipping rope is portable enough to lug around without the extra heft and weight. Easily take it with you to the park, playground, gym, or even to the beach. - 1-YEAR WARRANTY: You have absolutely nothing to lose. We believe in the quality of our kids’ and adult jump rope so much that we’ve backed it with a no-hassle 1-year guarantee.
If you’re on a pretty strict budget, or just prefer to do hill sprints, running, burpees, and the like for cardio, then a jump rope is what we’d suggest. There are hundreds of jump ropes on the market, but we’d suggest a simple PVC jump rope like the Garage Fit Adjustable PVC Jump Rope for most people.
A PVC jump rope will be easy to use and can be quite versatile with a lot of durability. You can get pretty creative with a jump rope and we honestly see it as one of the most underrated types of conditioning workouts you can do. Jumping rope can build your coordination, balance, agility, endurance, and motor control.
We’re big fans of the humble jump rope, and you should be too. Whether you decide to pick up our suggestion or any number of other jump ropes, we suggest using it often. If you prefer a speed rope, check out the Survival and Cross Jump Rope, it’s a great priced option.
Best Budget Treadmill
Unbeatable durability, quality and value. Add more power to your workouts with an extended training range and larger motor. Bluetooth speakers and a secure device holder let you work out with your fitness classes, music and entertainment. Ultra-quiet 2.75 CHP motor recalibrates with every footfall for no lags or surges. Extended 60" deck with shock-absorbing 3-zone cushioning supports walking, jogging or running.
The Horizon Fitness T202 treadmill is one of the best budget treadmill options out there. Horizon is one of my favorite brands since it provides high-quality budget home gym equipment.
Horizon is the way to go if you want something inexpensive and functional. I would recommend the T101 for the best walking treadmill and the T202 for a budget treadmill. The T202 can handle a wide variety of activities and speeds up to 12 mph and incline levels of up to 12% as well.
Best Budget Elliptical
Pack a cardio workout in the comfort of your home with the SF-E3912 Pre-Programmed Elliptical Trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness. Stride 15.5 inches when you step onto the wide and textured foot plates. Grab onto the handlebars to engage muscles in your upper body and maintain balance during your exercises. Grip the pulse sensors to keep tabs on your heart rate as you stride. Alternatively, you can link a compatible wireless heart rate belt to this cardio trainer to take advantage of heart-rate targeted workout programs and features. Maintain stability on any ground surface when you adjust the front and rear stabilizers on this elliptical cross trainer. Control workout resistance when you increase and decrease the 16 levels of programmable magnetic resistance when the elliptical is plugged in to a power source (adapter included).
The smoothness of a cardio workout on the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Machine impressed me. Usually, ellipticals have the wheel in the front, but this budget elliptical is a rear-drive elliptical which means the wheel is in the back.
The Magnetic Elliptical Trainer from Sunny Health & Fitness is a $500 model that proves you can obtain a piece of good-budget workout equipment without spending a lot of money. The motorized magnetic resistance system has 16 levels and is excellent for those who have a short stride.
The Best Budget Home Gym Flooring
You’re likely going to need some sort of home gym flooring. If you lift weights, then you’re definitely going to want something to protect your foundation and lower the noise when weights are dropped. There are a lot of intriguing options, but we’ve found that most foam, puzzle-piece type flooring ends up tearing up, getting nasty, and simply not enjoyable to use pretty quickly. For this reason, we suggest staying away from the cheapy (although it’s often more expensive than our recommendations) foam tiles and go with rubber matting.
This Rubber Mat is ideal for agricultural, commercial and sporting uses. The anti-skid surface is safe and comfortable. Mats can be cut or interlocked, glued or fastened to any surface. An ideal rubber mat for horse stalls, barn flooring, gyms, garages, maintenance areas, workstations, or arena flooring. 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3/4 in. Heavy-duty 100% recycled rubber Insulating properties Noise and vibration absorbent Surface pattern may vary by location May be used as gym mats 5 year limited warranty
In most instances, we’d suggest going to your local Tractor Supply or similar farm store and picking up some 4’x6’ ¾” rubber horse stall mats. Yes, they’re initially made for horses, but practically every gym in the world uses these exact mats or something similar. They weigh about 100LB a piece and can take whatever abuse you can throw at them.
We’ve used Horse stall mats in our garage gym for close to a decade and they still look practically new.
Ultra Budget Pick
Optimize your workout space with the AmazonBasics EVA Puzzle Exercise Mat. No need to install special flooring or feel limited to narrow yoga mats. The convenient mat makes it easy to spread out, and it adds a comfortable, cushioning layer to hard floors—or an added layer of protection to floors with carpeting. Best of all, it can be picked up and moved or compactly stored out of the way when finished. The puzzle-style exercise mat makes a great choice for any garage, basement, fitness room, or gym. It can also be used in a kid’s play area, making all that rough and tumble a bit less precarious. The puzzle exercise mat features dense, high-quality EVA foam (with zero toxic phthalates) to ensure long-lasting, reliable performance. The mat protects floors from scratches and dings, helps reduce noise, and brings added comfort to workout routines. Whether it’s a weight-lifting bench, stationary bike, dumbbells, jump ropes, or ab roller wheels, the dense foam mat makes an excellent foundation for all that must-have workout gear. The durable foam mat offers an optimal amount of cushioning thickness, which means less pressure on knees, wrists, elbows, and back for greater comfort when doing jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, yoga poses, stretches, and other floor exercises. The grippy, non-skid mat also provides a slip-free surface for added safety.
If your home gym is inside or you just like the idea of foam tiles, then the AmazonBasics Foam Interlocking Tiles will be your best bet. They’re cheap, rated well, and have a nice diamond tread pattern. Although we’d suggest staying away from foam tiles for most people, there are some situations in which this is the best and/or only option.
Why You Should Build a Home Gym
We first want to make something clear, you don’t need a home gym. In fact, you don’t need a gym membership or gym equipment, or workout clothing. However, you also don’t need to save time, lose weight, put on muscle, or do anything else to meet your physical and mental goals.
You want to meet your goals, and the best thing we’ve found to help meet the physical goals we’ve set for ourselves as well as increasing discipline, mental fortitude, perseverance and a multitude of other mental goals is by having a gym at home. This is why we believe just about everyone should have some sort of home gym setup.
Building a home gym is simply too easy, cheap, and accessible for people to ignore anymore. Even if you keep your gym membership (we suspect that after a month of continued home gym use, you’ll wonder why you kept it so long) having a home gym is great for sneaking in extra workouts, working on mobility and recovery, or simply getting a quick workout in when you’re low on time and/or motivation to go to the gym.
Here are just a few of the benefits we’ve found personally from building a home gym:
- More opportunities to be near our families.
- Improved the way we looked, felt, and thought about ourselves.
- Increased our discipline in just about every area of our lives.
- Saved us money.
- Saved us time.
- Saved us from getting angry at people at the local globo-gym.
- Increased enjoyment of exercising/moving/training.
We could write a book on why we think just about everyone should have a home gym and that still wouldn’t do it justice. Here’s something that should be considered beyond the benefits we’ve listed, having a home gym not only improves your life but can improve the lives of those around you.
For instance, how many times have you wanted to take a friend to the gym to workout but were either out of guest passes or had to pay extra for them to go? With a gym in your home or garage you can invite as many of your friends as you’d like, train however you’d like, play any music you’d like at any decibel you’d like and do it anytime you’d like. We’ve had midnight training sessions, 4 AM training sessions, and had over 15 people working out at one time.
In addition to your friends receiving benefits, your home gym will benefit your family. Nearly every person who’s interested in fitness wants their family to experience the joys that come with exercise, and rather than hearing about your participating in hard workouts, they can see them and join in. If you want your family to follow in your footsteps, in any area of life, show them, don’t just tell them. Being able to have our kids join in the workout along with our spouses is not only very satisfying but also extremely fun.
Lastly, having a home can actually save you money, and much quicker than you’d expect. We like to think of a gym membership as being similar to leasing a car. In a traditional lease, you get to use the car by making monthly payments.
These payments don’t allow you to keep the car at the end of the lease and are adjusted to a higher rate due to the wear and tear you’re putting on the car as well as the little money you’re putting upfront. Although you can use the car, you only use it while you make your payments and have nothing to show for it at the end.
A gym membership works the same way. You make monthly payments to use the gym equipment (most of it old, worn down, cheap, and broken) and having nothing to show for it at the end. Even worse, you’re not just making payments on something only you use, you’re making payments on equipment that is shared among 1,000’s people.
Here’s the worst part of all, you likely already have the space for a home gym, and with just a couple years (or in many cases, a few months) worths of saving the amount you spend on a commercial gym, you could have a fully decked-out home gym that would be the envy of your entire neighborhood.
Trust us, building a home gym will not only increase your enjoyment and help you achieve your goals, but it will also improve your life and you’ll have something to show for all the money you spent if you decide to upgrade or sell it in the future.
Why a Home Gym Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
We want to break a commonly held notion: “Build a home gym is too expensive!”The truth of the matter is that a home gym can cost just about as much as you want to spend. We’ve seen home gyms ranging anywhere from less than $100 all the way up to 6-figure, multi-room set-ups.
However, just about every home gym starts the same way, with a few basic pieces of equipment that you can get on sale over Labor Day, Black Friday, and other holidays. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to buy everything all at once. Sure, buying many items at once can help save on shipping, but if it prevents you from ever starting a home gym then it’s a poor decision.
There are two main reasons you don’t have to spend a ton of money on building a home gym. One, you don’t have to have all of the machines and contraptions that are found at your local YMCA. In fact, you can get away with just a few main pieces of equipment and as you have money, you can increase your equipment selection, and thus the variety of exercises you can perform.
Two, more people are buying gym equipment than ever before. This allows companies to create a wider variety of equipment and offer them at lower prices. It’s truly the best time in history to start a home gym (especially considering you can buy everything online and have it delivered to your door within just a couple of days…poor delivery guy.)
The Equipment We Recommend Starting With
As previously stated, you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. We’ve had some of our best workouts and seen some of our best progress, whether trying to lose weight, gain muscle or simply get in better condition using only a few tools.
Sure, you may need to get creative, but the amount of workouts that can be done with a barbell and plates is astounding (not to mention the progress. Coop, the founder of Garage Gym Reviews, increased the weight he could lift on nearly every lift using only a barbell, squat rack, and pull up bar for 90 days.)
The first pieces of equipment we recommend starting with are:
- A barbell
- A squat rack with a pull-up bar attached
- Bumper plates
- A bench press
With these four items, you can accomplish nearly any goal you’d like.
If you want to lose weight, do high reps at a high intensity with a low amount of rest time. Mix in some sprints, long-distance running, biking (if you have one), and throw in a $10 jump rope for some extra variety and you’ll be on your way to losing weight. Don’t forget the most important part though, sticking to your diet.
Thankfully, since you’re working out at home, you won’t be tempted by the neon fast-food restaurant signs on your way home and you’ll be near your fridge so you can get the nutrients you need immediately following your workout.
If you want to put on muscle and increase strength, focus on low to mid rep ranges with increasing weights each workout and make sure to increase your caloric intake. Following a program like Starting Strength or even signing up for Starting Strength Online Coaching can be extremely beneficial and can be followed with only the above-recommended equipment. The fitness industry benefits from complications, don’t fall into their trap. Training doesn’t need to be nearly as complicated as they’d have you believe.
We’ll get into more detail on why we recommend each of these pieces of equipment as well as the additional items later in the article, but just be assured that we’ve found these to provide the most bang for your buck, can be found easily and cheaply, and if bought right the first time can be passed down to your children.
Best Budget Home Gym FAQs
What’s the best home exercise equipment for any budget?
Looking for cheap workout equipment you can use at home? Investing in quality barbell, squat rack, bumper plates, and a weight bench is the way to go. With these few budget exercise equipment, you can reach your goal and build the best home exercise equipment from there.
What is the best budget power rack for a home gym?
The Titan X-3 Flat Foot Power Rack is our new top selection for the best budget squat rack in 2021, however, if you’re trying to spend as little as possible while still getting a solid rack, we recommend the Rep Fitness PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack.
Is a home gym a good investment?
When looking at building a budget home gym, you should look at it as a long-term investment. You may pay a little extra when you are just starting, but you will save a significant amount of money in the long run.
How to set up a home gym on a budget?
As previously mentioned we recommend starting off with a power rack and then looking into purchasing some of the best dumbbells, kettlebells, cardio equipment, like treadmills, rowing machines, and investing in some of the best budget home gym flooring. Choosing what equipment to buy and where to put it might be challenging when creating a budget home gym. So, to offer you some ideas, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best budget home gym setups.
Just about everyone loves the idea of walking out of your garage door or into your basement or even into a bedroom and having a place where you can hone your physical and mental abilities. Unfortunately, many people have the idea that a home gym or garage gym has to be expensive; we’re here to crush that notion. Here is the best budget home gym equipment for those on a budget so you can start training at home on your time without breaking the bank. » Read more about: The Best Budget Home Gym Equipment for 2021 » Read more
Our team of expert product reviewers have found the best dumbbells based on unique factors, manufacturing practices, warranties, shipping, and customer service. Read more
The Belt Squat Machine is one of the most coveted pieces of gym equipment available today. Although there are many options, including those made by Westside Barbell, Pit Shark, Matt Wenning, and others, they're all pretty pricey. This DIY Belt Squat Machine requires no special skills and costs well under any other available options. Read more
The Rep Fitness PowerSpeed Baris a unique take on a powerlifting barbell that stops the knurling short to allow for "rapid re-centering" of the bar in a rack. Although overall, it's a good barbell, spec wise, we did not find the shortened knurling to be of a big benefit at heavier weights and there were other minor qualms we had with the bar listed in further detail in our review. Read more