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Building a home gym can get expensive rather quickly. In this guide, we want to show you how to build the ultimate budget home gym for less than $1,000.

Building a home gym is often seen as an extremely expensive endeavor. However, most people could get away building a home gym for much less than they’d imagine. Although you could easily get away with spending tens of thousands of dollars, today we want to show you how we would build a gym if all we had was a $1,000 budget.

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Set-Ups

There’s no doubt that equipment can be expensive and there are many different gadgets and gizmos vying for your hard-earned dollars, but if you stick to the basics you can save quite a bit of money and mistakes.

garage gym equipment

Thankfully, in addition to all of the supplemental garage gym equipment that is on offer from companies, there are even more basics available from more companies than you’d imagine. So, if you’re tired of paying for your gym membership, number one, we don’t blame you, number two, follow this guide to save some significant money.

If you’re looking to build a budget home gym, this is a great place to start!

Video Guide

What Equipment is Essential?

Before we dive into the various equipment recommendations, let’s first take a look at what kind of equipment you’ll need. Due to this being a budget home gym build with no specific purpose other than it being cheap, the training goals of the people reading this will be vast. Some want to get stronger, others simply want better health, and others will want to increase their conditioning. To accomplish all of these, we believe that barbell training is effective, and as such, will focus on equipment that accomplishes that task.

garage gym

Once you have the essentials to start, you can begin adding more equipment as your needs and income change. There are so many different options for training equipment that no matter how much your budget is, there would always be more things to buy. The best home gym equipment that we view as most essential for a starter home gym are:

  • Barbell
  • Squat Rack
  • Weight Plates
  • Weight Bench
  • Jump Rope

All of these items can be purchased from various manufacturers, but we suggest avoiding the cheapest options. Not only does the equipment need to be strong enough to keep you safe, but it also needs to perform over a long period of time. There are many other items that you could add to your gym like some of the best adjustable dumbbells and best kettlebells, and even the best resistance bands but we wanted to focus on the basics. Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you buy cheap things.

In reality, you should just buy fewer, high-quality things to fill your garage gym. Because we believe in the idea of buy once, cry once, our recommendations are not going to be things that are disposable items, but equipment that you can inevitably pass down to your grandchildren. A budget home gym doesn’t equal a cheap home gym. Just one that’s well thought out and priced well. Check out my budget-friendly recommendations about dumbbells in the best budget home gym equipment.

An Olympic Barbell

A barbell is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any gym. You’ll end up using it in nearly every training session and a good barbell can provide a lifetime of use.

best budget olympic barbell

On the flip side, a bad barbell can be an absolute nightmare to use. Overly sharp knurling, pinned sleeves, and cheap bar stock can not only lead to limited use but possible injury. If there’s one place to spend money on a home gym, this is the place.

Thankfully, due to the rise of barbell training and its use in home gyms, there are now more manufacturers than ever offering high-quality barbells at incredible prices.

Option 1

Rogue Bar 2.0

GGR Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Barbell made in the USA
  • 190K PSI tensile strength
  • Multiple composite bushings
  • 28.5 mm shaft diameter
  • Dual knurl marks for Olympic lifts or powerlifting
  • Lifetime warranty

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 190K PSI tensile strength
  • Made in the USA
  • Multiple composite bushings
  • Good value
  • 28.5 mm diameter with dual knurl marks for versatility
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Black zinc coating can fade over time
  • Passive knurling

Bottom Line

The Rogue 2.0 Bar is a good barbell with great value. With a good tensile strength and versatile use, this is a great multipurpose bar for the home gym.

The barbell we most often recommend is the Rogue Bar 2.0 from Rogue Fitness.

In our continuing series in choosing the Best Olympic Barbell for most people, the Rogue Bar 2.0 continues to outshine the competition on a value basis.

The Rogue Bar 2.0 is undoubtedly one of, if not THE most popular barbells in the world in both home gyms as well as commercial gyms, and for good reason. Combining Rogue Fitness’ attention to detail, incredible customer service, and large manufacturing power, the Rogue Bar 2.0 easily performs well for any movement or training style. Whether you CrossFit, powerlift, Olympic Weightlift, or do none of those, this bar will get the job done.

Olympic barbell

It wasn’t long ago that a barbell featuring 190k PSI tensile strength steel, a composite bushing rotation system, and a high-quality knurl with a lifetime warranty would have cost you nearly $1,000. Thankfully, The Rogue Bar 2.0 can be had for less than $300.

If you’d like to spend even less than this, be sure to check out the Rogue Boneyard Barbell Section to find slightly blemished bars for less (although they don’t have a warranty.)

Option 2

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

GGR Score: 4.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Volcano knurl provides a great grip
  • IPF-approved
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Four coating options: bare steel, black zinc, Cerakote, and stainless steel
  • 205K PSI tensile strength

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great value
  • Volcano knurl
  • Fantastic grip
  • IPF-approved
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Four coating options: bare steel, black zinc, Cerakote, and stainless steel
  • Made in the USA
  • 205K PSI tensile strength
  • F-8R rating
  • Self-oiling bronze bushings

Cons

  • 205K PSI tensile strength is not the strongest on the market
  • Some may feel the knurling is too passive
  • Bare steel Version rusts quickly

Bottom Line

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is the power bar we recommend most often. You cannot spend less and get a better bar. You can spend more, and depending on your preferences get something maybe better, but even then, it's debatable.

If you plan on sticking mainly to the squat, deadlift, and bench and don’t foresee yourself doing many Olympic lifts outside of the power clean, then we suggest the Rogue Ohio Power Bar.

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is the best value power bar currently available. Not only does it feature our favorite knurl, but it also utilizes 205k PSI tensile strength steel in a 29mm diameter shaft perfect for the squat, bench, and deadlift. Without question, this is the best power bar for most people.

rogue ohio power bar

As with most Rogue barbells, the Ohio Power Bar features a full, lifetime warranty against bending from a company known for making it right with its customers. One feature we like about the Ohio Power Bar versus the Rogue Bar 2.0 is the center knurl. This helps keep the bar on your back during squats and although it isn’t absolutely necessary, it is a welcomed feature.

Not only is this our favorite power bar, but it’s also the choice for many of the top powerlifters in the world and is IPF approved. I’ve used this bar in my home as well as some friend’s home gyms and it still looks like it did on day 1.

Option 3

DMoose Regional Barbell

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Barbell suitable for all training disciplines
  • Can support up to 1,500 pounds
  • Hard chrome finish
  • 35- and 45-lb versions available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Moderate diamond knurling
  • Bearings for great spin
  • 16.4-inch sleeve length
  • 190,000 PSI Tensile Strength
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Suitable for all training levels
  • Nice whip
  • Dual grip rings on knurling

Cons

  • No center knurling
  • Extra care needed against oxidation

Bottom Line

The DMoose Regional barbell can be used for bumper or traditional iron Olympic weight plates. It is a very versatile bar because it can be used for Olympic lifts, powerlifting, and it can be beneficial for beginners. Home gym owners can buy this bar and count on it to last from the time they start training until they reach their fitness potential. Whether it’s clean and jerks, deadlfits, curls, or any other barbell movement, it will serve the lifter well.

If you want value out of your barbell, one of the cheapest bars we would recommend is the DMoose Barbell, at under $250 with a hard chrome coating (plus a 35-pound version for $170). This will free up your budget for other equipment, and still provide you with a durable multi-use barbell.

At this price, the DMoose Regional Barbell is a good barbell for beginners wanting a budget bar, but it’s also a nice barbell if you’re looking to have some versatile use out of your bar. With a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI, it’ll withstand some heavy loads, as well as dropping the barbell from overhead. 

Person holding a DMoose Regional Barbell in rack

Our product tester Roger Lockridge also remarks that the tensile strength will handle some loads. In his DMoose Regional Barbell review, he mentions, “I dropped this barbell with 500 pounds onto the safeties of my rack, and it’s still straight as an arrow.” He does note the bar does have some whip, which you’ll want for more dynamic movements.

The barbell doesn’t have the most aggressive knurling, which led Roger to rate it a 4 out of 5. However, for people newer to lifting, or who prefer a more passive knurling, will enjoy the bar’s grip.

This is an ideal bar for multiple uses, whether it be Olympic lifts, CrossFit workouts, or heavy powerlifting. With a good spin, nice tensile strength, and decent knurling, it’ll provides a lot of versatility and value for an inexpensive barbell.

The Almighty Squat Rack

budget squat rack

Outside of a barbell, the squat rack is the piece of equipment you will use most often.

In fact, you’ll likely spend the majority of your time within the confines of your squat rack during your workouts. Because you’ll be spending so much time in the rack during your workouts, it’s important that you add a rack to your home that is going to be versatile enough for all of the different movements you’ll need it for while also allowing you to perform them safely.

RELATED: Best home gyms

Training alone is something that can be very enjoyable, but also potentially dangerous. If you’ll be training at home, you’re going to want a cage with the ability to catch the bar in case of failed reps on both the squat and bench press. A squat rack should also have a pull-up bar for more versatility.

These are the budget racks we most often recommend.

Option 1

Titan T-3 Series Power Rack

GGR Score: 4.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 2x3" 11-gauge steel tubing
  • Weight capacity of 1,000 lbs
  • Westside spacing
  • Bolt-together construction
  • Includes J-hooks and weight holders

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • More affordable than competitors
  • Stable when bolted down
  • Bolted panels easier to adjust on uneven surface
  • V2 of the T-3 comes in a variety of colors
  • V2 of the T-3 has laser-cut holes on the side and front of uprights
  • Westside spacing
  • Pin/pipe safeties
  • 2x3" tubing allows for Titan and other competitors' attachments and add-ons

Cons

  • Known for delays and mixing up orders
  • Imported materials
  • Not the best welds
  • J-cups are average at best
  • Bolted panels makes for a weaker joint
  • Cheaper bolts used

Bottom Line

The Titan T-3 is a good, budget-friendly power rack. It's very similar to one of our favorite racks, the Rogue R-3, but at a much cheaper price thanks to it's imported nature. If you have the ability to bolt down your rack to a platform or concrete foundation and want a rack that won't break the bank, this is a good option.

The Titan Fitness T-3 Power Rack is one of the best value power racks available. We prefer power racks for most people due to the increased safety features such as pin-pipe safeties.

We did Titan T-3 vs Rogue Fitness R-3 review, and it stood up in the comparison quite well, especially considering the price difference.

titan fitness t3 power rack

One reason we suggest the Titan T-3 for home gyms is due to all of the available attachments that can expand the versatility of the rack in the future. Although you may start out by just buying the rack, as your training develops and your budget increases, it’s likely that you’ll end up wanting more attachments. Thankfully, the attachments are also well priced.

In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that if Rogue offers a popular attachment, Titan already has it, or likely will in the future. For instance, do you want mono-lift arms, landmines, or pull-up bars? They’re all available here.

The Titan T-3 Power Rack is a great budget option for any home gym.

Option 2

REP PR-1000 Home Gym Power Rack

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Squat rack made with 14-gauge steel
  • 83" H x 58" W x 48" D
  • 26" depth inside to inside, 44" wide inside to inside
  • 2" x 2" uprights
  • Plastic lined J-cups to protect bar knurl
  • 2" hole spacing, numbered every fifth hole
  • Dual pull-up bars
  • 700lb weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Doesn't need to bolt down
  • Plastic-lined J-cups
  • Dual pull-up bars

Cons

  • Thinner 14-gauge steel
  • Lighter weight capacity

Bottom Line

The REP PR-1000 is a budget-friendly power rack with an height of 83 inches, which will fit most garage gyms. Although constructed with thinner steel than higher end racks, the 700-pound weight capacity should be plenty for most home gym users.

If you want a cheaper option than our first recommendation, then we suggest the Rep Fitness PR-1000.

The PR-1000 from Rep Fitness is a great option for those on a strict budget and who plan to train in a garage gym or at home. The biggest downside to the rack is that its recommended weight capacity is only 700 lbs (although I’m sure it could hold more.) This said the majority of people would never even get close to lifting that much weight.

Although the weight capacity on the PR-1000 is a bit low, its features make up for it. There are both thick and normal pull-up bars, numbered uprights (usually only offered on high-end racks,) plastic-lined j-cups, safeties, and weight storage all included.

The PR-1000 utilizes 2×2 steel uprights and large pin holes to keep the j-cups secure. Overall, although the Rep Fitness PR-1000 isn’t our most given recommendation if you’re on a strict budget, then we’d suggest checking it out. There’s also a lat pulldown and low row attachment available for the rack at an additional cost.

Also, if you’re going to be using the rack in a room with low ceiling height, check out the PR-1050.

Option 3

Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Efficient and compact 
  • 3x3 in.11-gauge steel uprights 
  • Adjustable fat/skinny pull-up bar 
  • 5/8 in. holes in Westside spacing pattern 
  • Affordable hybrid Rogue model

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 3" x 3" 11-gauge steel
  • Laser-cut holes and logos
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors
  • Accepts Rogue Monster Lite accessories
  • Fat/skinny pull-up bar comes standard
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • No requirement to bolt down the rack

Cons

  • Rack can rock with kipping pull-ups if not weighted down
  • Doesn't come with spotter arms standard
  • Squat stand style isn't as versatile as a power rack

Bottom Line

The Rogue SML-2 is the first rack Coop had in his garage gym, and he still has it to this day. Despite being used for nearly a decade, the rack still looks great with only a few chips and surface rust spots. Although we prefer a power rack, if you don't have space or don't feel like spending the extra to buy one, the SML-2 is the squat stand we recommend most often. It's stable, has a lot available accessories, and is priced well for the quality.

If you’d rather have a squat stand instead of a squat rack for the space and cost savings, then we suggest the Rogue Fitness SML-2 Squat Stand.

The Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand is one of the most popular squat racks in the entire world. Not only is it built to take anything you can throw at it (1,000 lb squats and kipping pullups), but it’s also one of the most economically priced options from Rogue Fitness.

The SML-2 features 3×3, 11-gauge steel that is within the Monster-Lite category with Rogue Fitness. What this means is any Rogue Fitness accessory within the Monster-Lite category can be used with this rack, and there are a lot of them.

There are many reasons we recommend Rogue Fitness Equipment, but we most like their attention to detail and warranty service. Their powder-coating is also some of the best in the industry.

After having used the Rogue SML-2 for over three years, we can confidently recommend it. If you’ll be lifting by yourself, we suggest picking up a set of spotter’s arms as well.

If you want a similar option that is a bit cheaper due to free shipping, then we suggest checking out the Fringe Sport Squat Rack with Pullup Bar.

The Utility Bench

budget utility bench

Although there are many workouts one could do without a bench, there’s no doubt that the bench press is one of the most performed movements in any gym, probably among those that have a gym at home as well.

Although adjustable benches are nice for their versatility, most people could get away just fine with a standard flat bench. Flat benches allow the user to perform bench presses as well as various other chest movements and dumbbell rows.

Thankfully, as with most gym equipment these days, there are more options than you’d ever imagine. This can get confusing to wade through and decide upon, but we’ll show you our top picks for almost any gym.

Option 1

REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Great price on a high-quality bench
  • Compatible with REP Wide Pad or Thompson Fat Pad
  • 3" x 3" 11-gauge steel provides solid construction
 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great price for a good value bench
  • 3” x 3” 11-gauge steel
  • Sturdy 3-post bench
  • Nothing in the way of your feet when you bench
  • Rated to 1,000 pounds
  • Meets the IPF specs for length, height, and width
  • Comes with a 4” thick pad on a plywood base with durable vinyl upholstery and the option to purchase an extra wide pad
  • Comes with a handle and wheels
  • Compatibility with 2 other bench pads including the extra wide and the Thompson Fat Pad
  • Easily assembled in less than 20 minutes.
  • Available in multiple colors and designs.

Cons

  • Shipping not included in price
  • Short manufacturer’s warranty
  • Some assembly required
  • 30-day return period and restocking fee applied to returns

Bottom Line

The Rep FB-5000 Flat Bench is the best value flat bench we've tested and reviewed. It offers an incredible combination of price and quality that many companies have overlooked for some time. With over 250 customer reviews, there is not 1 under 4 stars and most of those are for less than minor complaints. If you need a flat bench, this is the one we suggest. You could pay more, but it would still probably not be as good. Seriously.

If you’re looking for a solid, yet affordable bench with unique features, then the Rep Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench is one we would suggest.

The first thing you’ll notice about the FB-5000 bench is the thick pad. Most benches up until a couple of years ago used a thin pad that provided little support. With the introduction of the Thompson Fat Pad from Rogue Fitness, many companies have copied the design and created their own version.

Rep Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench vs Thompson fat pad

Although the thick pad is an outstanding feature that allows the shoulder to move in a more natural manner during the bench press, the height of the bench is also something Rep Fitness focused on. Rather than having a standard height frame with a thick pad that makes it much taller than competition standards, this bench sits at 17″ off the ground.

In addition to the bench being the proper height (something many have disliked about the Rogue Monster Bench), the front of the bench features a single post that allows those who bench with their legs under their body to get into proper positioning.

For the price, this is one of the best value flat benches currently available and has been featured in many both home and globo gyms we’ve reviewed.

Option 2

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Sturdy and simple flat weight bench
  • Designed and built in the USA
  • High-density Neoprene pad
  • Wide-set legs for maximized stability

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Made in USA
  • Solid construction
  • Ships fully assembled

Cons

  • Not adjustable
  • Does not meet powerlifting IPF standards for weight benches
  • Not super budget friendly

Bottom Line

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is a solid flat weight bench. While not as versatile as an adjustable weight bench, for those wanting a flat bench for accessories and bench press will find this bench stable and sturdy.

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is a bench that we’ve given high marks more in the past and still believe it’s one of the best options for most people. It’s definitely not the cheapest bench available today (although we don’t think it’s overpriced), but it is one of the most solid.

Thanks to a fully welded frame, the Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is one of the most solid platforms to bench from we’ve ever used. Featuring a standard bench height of 18″ and angled 2×3 legs and spine made from the same 11 gauge steel as their racks, the Rogue Flat Bench has taken everything we’ve thrown at it without any issues.

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0

Although the Thompson Fat Pad is our favorite bench pad, the pad on the Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 provides a firm foundation with a grippy covering that is superior to many of the import options available near this price point.

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is one of the few benches currently on the market to employ angled legs. This may seem like a small design element, but the slight angle increases stability without making the bench take up a lot more space.

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is one of the best portable benches currently available and it just so happens to be at a price point in reach for most.

Option 3

REP AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V3

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Affordable
  • Easy assembly
  • Narrow seat
  • 6 adjustable back positions
  • Three-post design for no interference

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Rated for 1,000 lbs rated,
  • Affordable at less than $200
  • 17” height
  • 3 seat pad adjustments from flat to incline
  • 6 back pad adjustments from flat to 85 degrees
  • 2.5” pad thickness
  • Matte black powder coating
  • Small, 2-inch gap between the seat and back pad
  • 11.5 inch pad width
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • 10-year frame warranty that

Cons

  • Fairly large footprint
  • Only locks when the bench is horizontal
  • Wide, circular, steel feet with no rubber padding
  • No decline option
  • May not work for many larger users

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an adjustable bench and do not need a decline option and cannot pay close to $1,000, then the Rep Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V3 is one we'd suggest. It is made overseas and comes with a 10-year frame warranty and high quality steel construction. It can adjust to six positions and is rated to 1,000 pounds. For the price, you may not find a better or higher quality adjustable bench.

If you’d like the versatility of an incline bench while on a budget, then we suggest the Rep Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V2.

We’ve reviewed the big brother of the AB-3100, the AB-3000 in-depth and gave it a great rating. The AB-3100 takes many of the same functionalities of the AB-3000 and removes some of the more fancy elements to create a highly functional, budget-priced incline bench.

Although the AB-3100 is priced cheaply, it’s built to handle over 1,000 lbs. This means no matter what you’re bench is, this can take it.

Featuring various angles from flat to fully upright, whether you’d like to bench or military press, the AB-31oo will be able to be used in your training. At the rear of the bench are two inline wheels for easy maneuverability without being unstable.

The top of the AB-3100 uses the same vinyl and foam as their other bench offerings which although isn’t our favorite, gets the job done.

If you’re in the market for a solid FID bench for your home at a great price, this is what we suggest.

Weight Plates

best weight plates

Although it’s great to have barbells, racks, and benches, it’s hard to use any of them without some sort of resistance. For most people, the best type of resistance to use will come from weight plates. These plates will be able to be used with most other things you have for your home gyms equipment.

There are a seemingly endless amount of options available for weight plates. Everything from bumper plates to steel and every price point you could think of.

When it comes to iron plates, we most often suggest seeking out the secondary market first, before buying new. Marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can be loaded with all kinds of weight that can be had for extremely great bargains, which is really ideal for at-home gyms.

If you can’t find plates on the secondary market or simply want to buy new ones, then these are our suggestions.

Option 1

REP Iron Plates

GGR Score: 4.7 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Well-priced plates with solid construction
  • Fit Olympic barbells
  • Sold in pairs or sets

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fit most Olympic barbells
  • Are sold in pairs
  • Raised lips make them easy to pick up
  • Great price

Cons

  • Frequently sold out
  • Not meant for dropping

Bottom Line

These are great iron plates at a good price for most home gym owners.

The best value for weight plates currently available on the internet is the Rep Fitness Iron Plates.

The most important parts when it comes to casting iron plates are that they feature a standard diameter, have a somewhat smooth finish, are at least close to their stated weight.

The Rep Fitness Iron Plates check all the boxes in these areas. Not only do they have the classic black with white writing look, but they’re also all within 3% of the listed weight. If you’ve never weighed iron plates on a scale before, you’d be surprised to find how greatly they vary in weight. This is a huge benefit that used plates typically don’t have and is an important feature when you’re under resistance.

Finally, the price of these plates is pretty much impossible to meet for a new iron. At only $.89/lb, there isn’t a better option available for the budget-conscious. In fact, if you own a gym or just have one for your home, these are a great buy.

Option 2

Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Use 100% virgin rubber
  • Shore Durometer of 85 sHA for a dead bounce
  • Strong 10-lb that withstand dropping plates
  • Free shipping
  • Weight tolerance is +/- 1% of stated weight

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Use 100% virgin rubber
  • Shore Durometer of 85 sHA for a dead bounce
  • Have a 55-lb option
  • Beveled edge that makes them easier to carry
  • Unique hooked insert so more surface area of the insert grabs onto the rubber
  • Free shipping
  • Claims it’s okay to drop the 10-lb plates
  • 3-Year Warranty comes standard
  • Weight tolerance is +/- 1% of stated weight

Cons

  • Wide plates
  • Can’t load more than 500 lbs on most bars

Bottom Line

The Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates are generally the best value bumper plates that we've reviewed. They feature a good warranty, have a wide variety of weight increments, low bounce, and are extremely durable. If you're looking for bumper plates for Olympic Weightlifting or CrossFit and want something that will last without (totally) breaking the bank, then these are a great option.

If you’d like bumper plates instead of steel plates and are on a budget, then we recommend the Fringe Sport Bumper Plates.

When it comes to bumper plates, you often get what you pay for. Cheap bumper plates are known to have an awful odor that lasts for years, chip easily, crack, separate from their inner ring, and not be anywhere close to their stated weight.

Although the price differences between cheap bumper plates and ones like the Fringe Sport Bumper Plates is negligible, the quality is vastly different.

Fringe Sport Bumper Plates

The Fringe Sport Bumper Plates are priced extremely well and are known to be some of the most durable bumper plates in the world. Thanks to the inner ring that is molded into the rubber, these will neither warp or crack easily.

If you want a set of bumper plates, we suggest buying quality. To start, we often suggest people purchase the 250 lb set, unless you know you’ll be lifting a lot more.

The Humble Jump Rope

humble jump rope

We’re admittedly big fans of the jump rope. It’s amazing how effective a simple piece of equipment can be for increasing conditioning, balance, and coordination.

There are many different options for jump ropes, but we’d suggest going with either a speed rope for double-unders or a standard PVC rope that works well for freestyle or any other type of jump roping.

If you’re on a budget and need a tool for conditioning, there’s nothing better than a jump rope.

Option 1

EliteSRS Jump Rope Pro

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Jump rope for those needing a fast rope with a little more weight in the cord
  • PVC cord
  • Ultra-light polymer handles attached at 90 degrees
  • 8" handles
  • 1-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Little heavier cord for beginners
  • Long handles
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Not ideal for advanced speed roping
  • Some reviews complain rope is too long

Bottom Line

The EliteSRS Jump Rope Pro is designed to be a speed rope with a little weight on the PVC cord. This extra weight makes it a great beginner's rope, although people efficient with jump roping may find it a bit too heavy.

One of the best-priced PVC ropes that is made to last is from Epitomie Fitness on Amazon.

We’ve used a similar style jump rope for over 3 years now without any issues. Not only will it take whatever you can throw at it, but it also performs much better than you’d expect for the price.

The gripped handles provide a solid platform for skipping and the pvc rope can be used for everything from double-unders to running.

Option 2

Survival and Cross Jump Rope

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Product Highlights

  • Lightweight speed cable jump rope
  • Adjustable length
  • 5" handles
  • Includes downloadable exercise manual
  • Lifetime guarantee

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Adjustable length
  • Lightweight
  • Tangle free
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • May be difficult to learn speed roping
  • Adjustments will need wire cutters

Bottom Line

The Survival and Cross Jump Rope is a lightweight speed rope ideal for fast jump roping and double unders. The rope's length can be adjusted, but keep in mind that the excess length will have to be cut off.

If you want a speed rope specifically for double-unders, then the best value currently available is the Survival & Cross Speed Rope.

This speed rope features a timeless design that’s been used by many manufacturers and it’s also at a great price.

The design of the S&C Speed Rope spins extremely well, especially when you factor in the price, although the plastic handle will eventually give out.

If you want a cheap speed rope that should last for many workouts, then we suggest the Survival & Cross Speed Rope for any basic garage gym.

Additional Suggestions

garage gym

Although there are many different pieces of gym equipment that you’ll eventually want to add to your home, this list is a good starting point.

What we don’t suggest is going out and buying every shiny thing that seems attractive and immediately getting rid of your gym membership. You’ll end up purchasing more than you’ll use and eventually regret spending so much money, even if the offer seems good from some of these companies.

Building a home gym is a process and it should be respected, otherwise, you’ll end up with empty pockets and a full gym with equipment collecting dust.

The Ultimate $1,000 Budget Home Gym: FAQs

How much should you budget for a home gym?

When determining your home gym budget, start by doing your research. Decide which equipment you can’t live without and weigh your options pricewise. Maybe you want to spend a little more on your barbell, but can get away with a budget bench. You also don’t have to build your gym overnight. Save up for the equipment you want or wait for sales and deals around holidays.

Which gym equipment is best for home?

We suggest you get your home gym started with a barbell, squat rack, bench, weight plates, and a jump rope. You can also opt for dumbbells with a rack to hold them or a pair of adjustable dumbbells that cut down on space. Another good investment is a cardio machine like a treadmill or stationary bike for your cardio sessions. 

How much does it cost for a decent home gym?

Some may tell you that a decent  home gym will cost you at least five figures, but we don’t agree with that number.  The cost will largely depend on your goals, and you can build a great home gym on a budget if you know what you’re looking for. That said, we cover the average cost of a home gym in our article, “How Much Does a Home Gym Cost?

Is it worth investing in a home gym?

At GGR, we certainly believe so. In fact, we could shout it from our rooftops. Home gyms have many advantages such as giving you the flexibility to set your own training schedule and allowing you to spend more time with your loved ones. If you invest in sturdy equipment, a home gym may also save you money in the long run.

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