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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.

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?

garage gym

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. 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

best budget 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.

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
Rogue Bar 2.0

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 hereLike 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 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
Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, the 29MM Rogue Ohio Power Bar features a 205,000 PSI steel shaft (200,000 PSI for Stainless), single powerlifting knurl marks, and center knurling. The bar’s knurl pattern is deep and coarse without being sharp or abrasive, and the 29MM shaft diameter and high tensile strength result in little to no flex or whip. This makes the Ohio Power Bar a perfectly honed workhorse for the bench, squat, and deadlift.The 45LB Ohio Power Bar includes bronze bushings, a snap ring design, and 16.25" of loadable sleeve length.When ordering, you can select from three finish options:Black Zinc shaft with Bright Zinc sleeves Stainless Steel shaft with Chrome sleeves Bare SteelRogue also manufactures a 20KG Ohio Power Bar, with friction-welded sleeves and 16.25" loadable sleeve space.The Ohio Power Bar’s 29MM diameter steel shaft boasts a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI (200,000 PSI for Stainless), delivering superior rigidity and virtually zero whip/flex. Machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, the bar also features a snap-ring design and quality bronze bushings for a smooth, consistent feel.The bar includes single powerlifting marks and a center knurl, each featuring a deep, coarse pattern that produces a reliable grip / stick without being sharp or abrasive. Perfecting this knurl pattern is both a science and an art. Every bar shaft is machined in Columbus on new Haas machines (built in the USA) and fine-tuned and personally tested by the Rogue team.Depending on the look and feel you prefer, there is a version of the Ohio Power Bar right in your wheelhouse. The Zinc option (black shaft, bright sleeves) provides excellent corrosion resistance, the Bare Steel creates a classic look and natural feel, and the new Stainless Steel variation (with Chrome sleeves) strikes a balance between the two.The Ohio Power Bar’s quality construction is backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty against bending. This is a barbell equipped for high intensity, everyday use. Please Note: The warranty does not cover damage due to negligent or faulty use, alteration, maintenance, storage or handling by the user, i.e., dropping the bar on a box, bench, spotter arms or pins in a power rack, excessive dropping with insufficient or damaged bumpers, or excessive dropping with iron plates, and similar usage. Any specific issues regarding a Rogue product with which a customer is not satisfied will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If you plan 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
CAP OB-86B Barbell
CAP OB-86B Barbell

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 plates 1000-Pound weight capacity Black oxide finish with polished steel sleeves Medium-depth diamond knurl

If you just want the cheapest bar we would recommend so you can spend more money in other areas, then we suggest the Cap OB-86B Barbell.

The Cap Barbell is generally regarded as the go-to barbell for beginners wanting a budget bar. The OB-86B definitely lacks in many areas, including the knurl, tensile strength, and warranties, but for a bar that costs under $200, it’s a pretty good deal.

Cap OB-86B barbell

The Cap Barbell OB-86B features polished steel sleeves with a black oxide finished shaft. The black oxide will wear over time, but it’s a rather reliable coating. The knurling is a bit aggressive, due to the cheap tooling they use on their machines and the spin is average at best, but it’s what you’d expect for the price.

The OB-86B features over 500 Amazon Reviews with an overall rating of 4.5/5 stars, which should give you the reassurance that it’s a decent enough bar. This is actually a popular bar in many gyms where you’d pay for a membership. Not great, but gets the job done.

If you want the absolute cheapest bar we would recommend, then pick this one up.

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
Titan T-3 Series Power Rack

The Titan T-3 Series Heavy Duty Power Rack is perfect for any professional or at home gym!Built using heavy 11ga (3.25mm) steel, this rack will not ever give way or back down. T-3 Power Racks use heavy duty 2"x 3" steel tubes– you'll most likely notice right away how every piece is heavy and solid.These power racks are the perfect fit for dips, bench press, curls, pull ups, and much more. The pre-drilled holes follow the popular "West Side" hold pattern, allowing you to move the bar up or down in 1" increments when using a bench.The weight holder attachments and J-hooks are included, and are easily installed. The 5/8" hardware also provides maximum security, even when the rack is completely maxed out. The bolt-together construction allows you to easily transport and fit the rack in to any room or basement!Features: - T-3 Series of Power Racks contain 2"x3" steel tubes - Capacity: 1000 lbs - 1" round steel j-hooks - Chin up bars: 1 1/4" & 2" diameter - Includes J-Hooks and weight holders

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
REP PR-1000 Home Gym Power Rack

Rep PR-1000 Home Gym Power RackOur power rack is designed to fit under your budget and under your ceiling. A solid rack perfect for any home gym! At 83" tall, it's a great power rack to put in a spare bedroom or basement / garage gym. At a weight capacity of 700 lbs, it can handle more weight than most of us will ever lift - but do it while still feeling solid and safe. Weight storage pegs on the back add to the utility and stability. Safeties with a chrome coating, and -updated- J-cups with plastic covering that give this power rack an awesome look and finish. Check out our home gym packages that include this rack!Our already awesome 700lb rated power rack at a great price has recently been upgraded.1. Dual Pull-up Bars - thick and normal pull up bars - for either a 2 person workout, an optional pull up bar if you're racking the bar on one side, OR use the thick pull up bar to challenge your grip more and increase your forearm strength.2. Numbered Uprights - faster and more accurate adjustments for your safeties and j-cups. No more tilted barbells with an awkward re-adjustment.3. Plastic Lined J-Cups - protect your barbell and rack's finish to avoid rusting, and any possible knurl damage.4. Extended Safeties - Safeties that extend out and can be used to rack a barbell. We recommend to mostly be using our J-cups to both protect the finish and knurl. Buy an extra pair to help!5. Base Weight Storage - Help stabilize your rack by throwing a couple spare plates on the back. Also, important to counter-balance on the opposite peg when doing dips.Assembly difficulty: Easy, 20 minutes - PDFs belowSpecs:83"(height) x 48"(width) x 48"(depth) - 58" wide at rear bottom brace 26" depth inside to inside, 44" wide inside to inside 2x2" steel Plastic lined j-cups to protect bar knurl 2" hole spacing throughout working area 1.25" and 2" Pull up bars Numbered uprights every 5th hole Extra bar holders on the front of safeties, great for pressing outside the rack 2 Weight horns on rear base for storage and added stability 700lb weight capacity 400lb pull up bar capacity 400lb dip attachment capacity (dip attachment is an optional upgrade)

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
Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand

The SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand delivers strength and versatility all while remaining compact and efficient. It has 3x3 foot 11-gauge steel uprights, a fat/skinny pull-up bar that is adjustable, and ⅝-inch holes in Westside spacing pattern. It is often referred to as the affordable hybrid of Rogue’s S-2 and Monster SM-2 Squat Stands. The options are limitless as you can use it for squats, bench, pull-ups, clean pulls, floor press, and more. Its footprint is only 49 x 48 inches, making it perfect for garage training or a gym facility. American manufacturers use two heavy-duty 11-gauge 3x3 foot square laser cut steel uprights and three 2x3 foot 11-gauge steel base tubes to provide the rack with stability. The unit also comes with laser-cut 5/8 inch diameter holes and SAE grade 5 bolt hardware. The SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand features Rogue’s signature black powder coat finish. It may be referred to as a squat stand, but it can also be used like a full-scale power rack. It has a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, but only takes up 49 x 48 inches, making it functional and efficient. This product is made in Columbus, Ohio. Each part of the process is monitored and inspected by Rogue workers. This means each weld and laser-cut is monitored to keep up with the rack’s integrity and appearance. Furthermore, Rogue individually inspects the final parts after the final coating process as well. The final package will also receive one last final comprehensive check before it gets shipped. Once in use, the SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand is guaranteed by Rogue for life. With your SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand also comes any hardware and basic accessories necessary to build and use your stand. This even includes all ⅝-inch bolts and fasteners you  need, a pair of Monster Lite J-Cups (with protective UHMW plastic inserts), and your choice of the Fat/Skinny or Single Pull-Up Bar.  

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
REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench

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.

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
Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0

No nonsense. No limitations. No assembly required. The redesigned Rogue Flat Utility Bench takes the weight bench back to basics, featuring 2x3" 11-gauge steel construction, a high-density Neoprene pad, and a pair of angled, wide-set legs for maximized stability. Ergonomically designed and built in the USA, the Flat Utility Bench 2.0 ships fully assembled and offers a needed antidote to the wobbly flat benches and unwieldy FID weight benches routinely imported by the big box stores. While easy to maneuver at just 40 pounds, the Flat Utility Bench is also heavy-duty enough for a tank to sit on it. So no matter the size of the athlete or the intensity of the workout, you've got a rock solid foundation underneath you.

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
REP AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V3

The REP AB-3100 Adjustable Bench V3 has a three-post design so when you are lifting, the legs of the bench do not get in the way of your feet. With six adjustable back positions, this bench can adjust from flat to a 90-degree angle for versatility in your workout. There are three seat adjustments as well from flat to incline that keep you in place. When in the flat position, the bench also has tube support at the head of the bench for extra support.This bench is made of easy-to-clean, non-slip material that helps hold you in position during a workout. It has a weight capacity of up to 1000 pounds with a handle and wheels for easy transportation. Its slim design and tapered seat makes it easy to fit in smaller home spaces and great for dumbbell work. The adjustment ladder is also rubber coated to decrease noise on contact and prevent damage.The REP AB 3100 Adjustable Bench V3 is one of the most affordable adjustable benches on the market. The low price and easy assembly is backed by a 10-year warranty. This model comes in various colors.Improvements compared to the V2:Easier adjustment with rubber feet on all three points of contact  Newly designed adjustment ladder to dampen sound and make incline and to flat adjustments easier Easy assembly with newly designed base Redesigned hinge between seat and back pad for smoother adjustment 

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
REP Iron Plates

The Rep Fitness iron plates are a great way to load up your bar with some well priced iron plates! Only $0.89 per pound and now with standard 17.7" diameter 45 lb plates!Iron plates are great for people who want weight that fits on their bars for squats, low deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, curls, barbell lunges, etc.3% tolerance on all plates.175 lb set = (1) pair each of 45lb, 25lb, 10lb, 5lb, 2.5lb plates275 lb set = (2) pair each of 45 lb and 5lb, (1) pair each of 25lb, 10lb, 2.5lbPlate 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 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
Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates

You'll love our bumper plates because they're going to make you suffer like you never have before. Fringe Sport bumper plates make Sisyphus blush. Like eternally rolling a boulder uphill, our bumper plates will outlast you, laboring for a lifetime. They're durable, so they'll absorb all the punishment you dish out, thin so you can add bigger loads to the bar and super weight accurate. Better yet, unlearn everything you've ever learned about 10 lb bumpers, and drop these at will. Yes, you read that right. Drop the 10s. They won't crumble. After the boulder rolled downhill, did Sisyphus ever find it broken?Think about epic heroes like Luke Skywalker or the Karate Kid. You too are called to training that will involve pain and suffering. We're here to be your Yoda. We invite you to embark your hero's journey. Accept the challenge, and our bumper plates will be the burden that makes you a champion.Step Up to the PlateHere'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’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
EliteSRS Jump Rope Pro

Designed with a PVC cord and ultra-light, unbreakable polymer handles that attached at 90-degrees. For jumpers who need a fast rope that has a little more weight in the cord. Keep it simple with this quick and durable fitness training rope that is a favorite with boxers. Tangle and kink resistant PVC cord.

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
Survival and Cross Jump Rope

The Survival and Cross speed cable jump rope is made from the highest quality materials to ensure maximum life. After purchase, the speed rope includes a downloadable exercise manual to enhance your workout experience and make sure you get the best experience with your skipping rope. With the ability to utilize this cable jump rope conveniently during cardio exercises, you will be able to enhance the effectiveness of each carido workout with ease. This is the perfect jump rope for anyone from a beginner to an expert in fitness. With our unparalleled customer centered service, you will never have any issues maintaining or gaining information concerning your Survival and Cross Double Under Dominator.

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.

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