If there was ever a year to finally take a leap and start working out at home it was undoubtedly 2020. Fitness enthusiasts of all levels were left without a place to pump iron and burn calories as gyms shut their doors across the globe. Although it might look like we’re returning to some normalcy, you’ve already been bitten by the home gym bug and maybe it’s working out for you. Starting a gym in your home isn’t always cheap, but it can be. This guide will take you through the ins and outs of setting up a home gym on a budget; the essential equipment and the best way to use your space.
It’s important to remember as you start turning some corner of your house into a gym, that there is no deadline. If you’re trying to build a cheap home gym, start small. Think about the way you want to workout. Make a list of what you need, what you already have, and what’s most important if you have to limit your purchases. You honestly don’t need a lot to get your whole body engaged.
When you set up your home gym on a budget your key focus should be versatility. Forget the niche, specific equipment. You can pick that up later when you need it. Right now you’re looking for the maximum variety of workouts with the minimum amount of equipment, and the smallest possible price tag. A skipping rope can find its way into any workout to start off with some cardio. A quality yoga mat is also incredibly valuable as a support for a huge range of exercises that take you to the ground. If we’re talking versatility, a good set of resistance bands can’t be beaten. As long as you have something sturdy to wrap them around you can replicate just about any pulley exercise and so many more. Even a pair of gymnastics rings can offer you an amazing upper body and core workout with a limited space and budget.
Time To Weigh In
This is where it gets tricky. It’s so easy to set up a cheap home gym when general fitness, toning, and cardio are your goals, but weightlifting starts to become more expensive. The key is patience. Don’t expect to buy it all at once. One of the brilliant things about weight training is that it’s so easy to add to it incrementally. Start with a simple dumbbell or barbell set and expect to get more equipment like benches, racks, and more weight as you invest more time into your fitness. While you wait for your power rack and 300kg of additional weight plates, consider substituting some of your heavier sets with lower weights and higher reps.
Building The Gym
Deciding on a location for your gym is crucial. More than anything else, your home gym needs to have space to workout. You should be able to make a snow angel on the floor without hitting anything, or reach for the ceiling and not touch it (or a light fixture). Everything else depends on how you want to workout. Keep your equipment against the walls, or on a simple bench if you have one. Using an outdoor space or garage as your gym can also work, weather permitting, because you’ll likely have even more clearance and you can probably find more sturdy beams to hang bands and rings from. But, be sure to keep your equipment inside when you’re not using it.
The Finishing Touches
The benefit of building a home gym is that you can do it your way. A home gym will end up costing you a lot less in the long run, compared to a gym membership. You can setup the space in a way that suits your fitness journey. Maybe it’s incense burning in the corner while you practice yoga, or a speaker system blasting metal while you lift weights. Don’t be afraid to make the space your own. The key to cheap is simplicity, so bring your own little flair to keep the workout exciting.
For more information on creating a home gym, check out this recent article that Lifespan Fitness was featured in.