I hope you haven’t been mesmerized by some late night infomercial into buying some expensive piece of equipment that’s now nothing more than an overpriced clothes rack.
Setting up a home gym doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact, it can be totally free if you like.
Below are my recommendations for setting up your ultimate home gym at any price.
The Ultimate Home Gym…
FREE (or the price of a pull-up bar). Yes, you can get in excellent shape with no equipment necessary except for a pull-up bar. The workout for beginners at home of push ups, pull ups, and squats are really all you need. Throw in some burpees, handstand push ups, lunges, and single leg squats if you feel like adding some variety without adding any equipment.
But the pull up bar is not optional. You must balance the pushing movements with some pulling or you risk muscle imbalance and even joint injury. If you have access to a jungle gym at a park or an appropriate tree branch, your equipment costs are still zero.
If you want to purchase a pull-up bar, the pull-up bars that attach inside a doorway are the least expensive ($14.77) but also the lowest quality. You can find them at most department stores, like this one I pulled from Amazons website: Doorway Pull Up Bar.
For about thirty bucks, there are also doorway pull up bars that attach outside of the doorway and can easily be put up and taken down like THIS ONE.
Or if you have the floor space and the budget, you can go with the model that I personally use from Torque Athletic that goes for $425.00 plus shipping.
Whether it’s your neighbor’s tree branch, the top bar of your kid’s swing set, the top of your door or the fancy stand alone one that I use, you MUST have access to a pull up bar.
$100 or Less. If you give me $100 or less to spend on fitness equipment, I recommend getting a pair of moderate weight dumbbells. What is moderate weight? Select a weight that you can press overhead for about 12-15 reps.
At that weight, you will be able to use them for virtually any exercise. I prefer the hex dumbbells as they are perfect for Man Makers. Here’s a link to a 25lb. hex dumbbell for $39.99 – remember to get TWO dumbbells!
You can also pick these up relatively cheaply on Craiglist & at local garage sales.
$300. For $300 you should be able to find a 300-pound weight set that includes a barbell and two each of 45, 35, 25, 10, 5, and 2 1/2 pound plates.
Actually most sets will have four 5 pound plates. Sure you could spend closer to $500 on for a higher quality set. But weight is weight. Go the for the bargain like this $133.99 weight set especially if you are just getting started on your fitness quest.
Again this is one of those things that you’ll also find a lot of on Craigslist. Plenty of people buy a full basement gym, and then it just sits there and collects dust. Next thing they know, they’re late on a mortgage payment so they try to sell off the weight set for a bargain at $150.
$500. Go ahead and add a squat stand for about $200 to your 300 lb. weight set to come out with a total cost of about $500. Granted, this is not going to be a top of the line squat stand. But if you are the only one using it, and you’re not squatting more than around 300lbs, you don’t really need commercial grade equipment. Check out this squat rack at Target for $169.99.
Over $500. Most of you will want to add a bench to do the bench press. Also, many prefer the power rack to squat stands – but your costs will go up with the rack. If you’re looking to invest about $2000, I recommend considering this high-quality package from Elite FTS ($1799.50 before shipping).
If you workout at home, what’s your setup like? And if you have any tips on grabbing good deals on home workout equipment, leave them in the comments below…