These days, you’d be lucky to find a gym for less than $75 per month that actually has good equipment and a good, safe environment.
Having your own gym allows you to not only save money, but it is so much more convenient to be able to walk out to the garage for a workout.
How to Design Your Own Home Gym
Having been a professional strength and conditioning coach for over ten years now, I’ve had some experience in many different gym settings. I can tell you, even for someone of my experience, it’s not always easy to find good deals on gym equipment.
However, while it’s hard, it’s not impossible.
I’ve been lucky enough to have built my dream home gym at one point while we still had a large garage. So, I want to go over some of the tricks and sources I used to give you cheap home gym equipment ideas.
Cheap Home Gym Equipment Ideas
It’s always your best bet to look on Craigslist in your area for deals on cheap home gym equipment.
Just like anything, you’ll want to consider the price, as well as the quality of the equipment. While we want the price to be cheap(er), we DO NOT want the equipment to be built cheap.
Cheaply-built equipment will not last as long as well-built equipment and could, in fact, lead to injury by way of breakdown while you’re using it during an exercise (I’ve seen it happen).
You can usually find good stuff on Craigslist, so check there first.
Related: Don’t Shortchange Your Health for Money
How to Find Cheap Home Gym Equipment
All gym equipment companies are NOT created equal.
There are some that build solid equipment for relatively cheap, while others build sub-par equipment and sell for, let’s just say, more than average.
I’m here to save you some time from researching, having done a great deal of research for my home gym and being in the industry myself.
I would definitely check out Craigslist for used gym equipment before looking to any manufacturers.
That’s going to be your best best for getting really good deals. Remember, you never have to offer them their asking price either! Craigslist is actually a great hidden gem to learning how to negotiate.
Related: How to Make Good Money on Craigslist
Letgo is a newer app (or at least I just found out about it recently) and is similar to Craigslist. I actually like it a bit more than Craigslist because, when selling something, you can quickly take a picture of what you want to sell, price it, ad post it in a matter of seconds.
If you’re looking to buy, it’s even easier. They even have scripted message buttons like “is the item still for sale” that you can click to send to the seller. Super easy and quick!
Again, negotiate the price! The seller is often looking to dump their items quickly.
In the past few years, Rogue Fitness has come onto the home gym scene really strong. Most of their equipment is affordable and great for saving space (a must for tight home gym space).
The best part? They usually have free shipping on their bigger-ticket items like squat racks and bumper plates, which can cost as much or more than the actual equipment itself!
And, let me tell you, finding free shipping on these items is usually not very easy.
Rogue also has the concept of the home gym bundle so you can look at different bundles of equipment and get a deal on buying a few things at once.
EliteFTS is known for being more of a powerlifter’s resource for equipment. However, who said you can’t get your equipment from them?
They often have good sales, especially on their accessory items like mini-bands, sleds, and apparel.
Mini-bands are great if you don’t have much space.
You can find gym equipment on Amazon but make sure you have Amazon prime to avoid paying for the shipping.
If you don’t yet have prime, try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.
How to Select Your Home Gym Equipment
Another important factor is how you will select your home gym equipment. What are your reasons for getting X over Y? You don’t want to go in blind or you may forget something important.
Below are a few ways you can make these selections.
Selecting Home Gym Equipment by Exercises Performed
The first way in which you can select your home gym equipment is by deciding which exercises you will want to perform in your programs. By thinking of all the exercises you want to do at home, you can come up with everything you need.
For example, if you decide you probably won’t ever run at home on a treadmill but, instead, you will just do trail runs, you won’t need to purchase a treadmill.
This will save you a ton of space, which just happens to be our next way of choosing your equipment.
Selecting Home Gym Equipment by Space
The second way of selecting your home gym equipment is by looking at the space you have available. What are the dimensions?
Don’t forget that safety is a huge part of designing a gym! What do I mean by this? What’s the ceiling height in your space? If you’re going to be doing anything overhead, you need to consider ceiling height.
Also, don’t forget that you’ll need to have space between equipment, platforms, etc. if multiple people are training simultaneously. You don’t want to be bumping into each other while you’re exercising, risking injury in the process.
If you have a small space, you will undoubtedly only be purchasing the equipment that is most important to you and your goals (or you and whoever else is training in your space).
Let’s go with the treadmill example again. Let’s say you have limited space, a one-car garage, and your #1 goal is to add strength. In this case, you wouldn’t choose to utilize the last bit of empty space in your garage for a treadmill when you still have to purchase some free weights or a squat rack.
And, again, you can always run outside, but you can’t squat outside without the necessary equipment, can you? 🙂
Speaking of goals….
Selecting Home Gym Equipment by Exercise Goals
Last, but certainly not least, is selecting equipment by way of your goals. Your training programs should be driven by your goals, meaning that the exercises, sets, and reps you perform have a structure directly related to helping you achieve your goals.
Once you have determined your goals, you can begin to look at the type of exercises and equipment needed to perform those exercises. Then you can determine what essential pieces of equipment you will need for your own home gym.
Make sense? I’m sure by now you can see that these ways of selecting home gym equipment actually feed into each other; they’re all related.
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The Importance of Your Network in Achieving Your Goals
And there it is, some ideas on how to save on your next home gym equipment purchase. Stay tuned for our next related post when I’ll discuss my recommendations for the best home gym set up EVER.
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Craigslist is great place to buy dumb bells and stuff. Nobody likes having to move with them, so they’re always up for pennies on the dollar. I got everything I needed for ~ $50
Nice! Yeah, there is definitely some treasures to be found if you’re patient enough to wait until you find what you really want.
Ashley Turns says
Since we just moved into an apartment with an extra bedroom, my husband and I are turning it into a home gym and are looking for some used equipment. I like how you point out that we should consider how high our ceiling is before we buy any machines. Since we have a fairly low sized ceiling, I’ll be sure that any used gym equipment we buy will be able to fit under it.
Chloe Lee says
I still live at home with parents, so I have to do my workouts at a gym. However, these are great ideas and I will look into them when I get my own property!