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How To Set Up A Home Gym

Updated on September 10, 2016

Building a home gym can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. There are many factors that will effect what sort of home gym you are able to have:

  1. How much space do you have?
  2. How much money do you have?
  3. What sort of training do you do?

Lets take a look at each of the 3 points from above in more detail so you can get an understanding of type of home gym you need.

What Home Training Routine Are You following?

When looking to set up a home gym you need to think about the routine that you follow or are planning to follow. For instance why buy a treadmill when you mostly do weights?

If your workouts will be based mainly around strength training then you are going to need to look at getting some resistance equipment to help you with your home workout. There are many pieces of equipment to choose from and you need to make sure that you get the equipment which is right for your workout.

The training routine that i followed when i first started to gain muscle required the use of mainly free weights, so this lead me to purchase some adjustable dumbbells and a bench. I made sure that the adjustable dumbbells were heavy enough to keep me going for a while and i wasn't going to grow out of them straight away.

I could have opted to buy a complete home gym but i was not only limited on money but space also and that brings me onto the next point.

How Much Space Do You Have?

When thinking about using a home gym you need to find a space in your house to train. If you are thinking about setting up a full blown gym in your house then you better make sure you have the room for it.

When i first went to set up a home gym my main concern was the space. I have no garage, no spare rooms and no space. The biggest floor space that was not occupied was in the middle of my 5 year old daughters bedroom. This was the space i used to train. Obviously i could not set my weights up and leave them in her room so i had to be smart about where i was going to start them.

The bench i purchased folded away flat and this stored nicely under her bed. The adjustable dumbbells came on a stand with wheels on and these i kept in a cupboard and wheeled them out when i wanted to use them. The setting up of the home workout equipment took a few minutes, and in that time i had transferred my daughters bedroom into my own home gym. I could do anything about the disney princess posters or the pink walls but this didn't matter.

The point i am trying to make is that if you don't have a spare room or space to train then think outside of the box and use the space you have available to you at the time.

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room or garage then great. These make excellent home gyms and you can set up a home gym with minimal money. (Depending on the equipment you need).

Use a tape measure to measure how much space you have. If you are buying new equipment then most sites and shops will have the measurements of the equipment printed so you can plan your gym according to the space that you have.

Top Tip

Don't forget to take into account ceiling space as you don't want to be hitting lights with barbells when doing overhead exercises. I once smashed a light with a skipping rope, but that's another story.

The first step is to measure your floor space. To do this just take a tape measure and get someone to hold it at the end of the wall whilst you write down the measurements. Don't forget to take into account things like doors and cupboards as the get bigger as they open and close.

You can use some simple graph paper to plot the space that you have available to you. For example you could use 1 square as 1 inch or 1 cm depending on the size of your room.

How Much Money Do you Have?

The cost of weight training and other home gym equipment can be expensive so make sure that you set a budget as to what you are allowed to spent. The amount you spent will also relate to the above two points as you will not need to spend thousands of dollars of a multi gym if you only have space for a set of dumbbells.

Don't just go for the cheapest equipment you see as the quality may per poor and it wont always last you. My first weights bench i bought cost me $50 which was the cheapest i found at the time and within 2 months the bolts started to fall out of it. You should shop around for the best prices and the internet is a great place to start.

A rough guide as to how much you need to spend will determine on what equipment you need to set up a home gym.

  • A set of dumbbells and a bench could cost you between $100-$500.
  • A complete home fitness station could set you back $200 - $1000.
  • A full blown home gym with treadmills and all the fancy equipment will easily cost you a few thousand.

When you set up a home gym you should also think of expansion. You can start off with basic equipment and when you progress you can add to your gym. This point is true with weights. If you have only just got 20lb dumbbells then sooner or later these will become easy to lift and you will no longer be challenging your body so you will have to expand and buy more weights. This is just something to think about when setting up your own home gym


It is not the equipment and fancy machines that brings you results, its the dedication, hard work and commitment, from following a good training and nutrition plan.

For some people getting a gym membership is more cost effective then going to set up your own home gym. Think of your purchase as an investment on your body and future.

Some other good pieces of equipment you can use which are minimal to set up a home gym are:

A Door Frame Pull Up Bar
These are great as you can swap them between most of the doors in your home and will not damage the door frame. They often come with various handles so you can do a variety of different pull ups as well as push ups, sit ups and dips. I recently got one for around $30 and its a great investment.

A Medicine Ball
These can be a little on the expensive side depending on the weight you get but offer a great home workout when combined with body weight exercises. They are roughly the size of a soccer ball and can easily be stored any where.

A Interval Timer
Another great lost cost investment. GymBoss currently do an interval time which lets you set up various stages in your workout. Great if you follow interval training or want to keep track of your workout and rest periods. I got mine for under $25 and it clips onto your waist band, is small and light and you wouldn't even know its there.

Remember, you don't need any equipment or spend any money to get a great home workout using body weight exercises, and as long as you have enough free floor space, be it in your house or garden you can get a great workout wherever you are.


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