Setting up a home gym can be an intimidating process, due mainly to the high costs of gear like dumbbells, squat racks, or smart cardio machines. The anxiety of a shocking price tag often comes with the idea that you’d have to replicate the gym equipment you find at your local fitness center at home — but that’s not the case. Even with a variety of budget equipment, anyone with room in their garage can set up a cost-effective garage gym that would allow them to replicate that in-gym feel.
To help, we’ve compiled the following guide for anyone to create a gym in whatever amount of space they have at home with an emphasis on minimal equipment that gets maximum results.
We’ve all had to make adjustments in our lives to keep ourselves and the people around us safe, and one of the biggest changes has been to our weekly fitness routines. While there are loads of no-equipment ways of staying fit, they’re not the ideal solution for everyone.
Be it different goals or personal preference, people who are used to weight training at their local gym find themselves at a loss without the same variety of stations, machines, and racks readily available to use at home. There are several great bodyweight exercises one can do, but they’re not always a suitable substitute for those who consider the gym a second residence.
I’m one of those people and if you’re like me, I have a bit of good news: If you have the space for it, building a versatile weightlifting station in your home is both easy and affordable — so long as you know what equipment to focus on.
Below is a guide to building a back-to-basics weight training setup that allows you to target all the muscle groups you’re used to working on, all while keeping equipment costs to a minimum. It’s intended to help home-bound bodybuilders construct a home gym setup that offers a full-body workout without the typically steep costs that come with it.
Some time ago, I decided to put the tiny, shed-like garage in the back of my house to good use and constructed a mini gym. My goal was to build something capable of supplementing the training I often did elsewhere and that would suffice when getting to the gym was difficult, or for when I wanted to train in private.
Along with not having much space to work with, I wasn’t ready to drop loads of cash I didn’t have on a pricey, sophisticated power rack with enough moving parts to make a mechanical engineer go cross-eyed. By sticking to the fundamentals, I was able to put together an inexpensive setup that gives me a diverse number of options when it comes to different exercises.
Now, whatever I used to do at the gym, I can do at home, and even when I can’t, it’s still designed to provide a worthy alternative. It’s a setup that’s good for beginners and intermediate lifters, and can even help advanced trainers maintain their fitness — all while keeping the price tag as low as possible.
Updated on 12/10/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the product descriptions and section on how Alex set up his home gym, checked the availability of each recommended piece of equipment, and updated the prices and links where necessary.