Build a Home Gym on the Cheap
Whether you’re looking for a fitness alternative for your closed down gym or just trying to save money, you can use these tips to build a home gym on the cheap.
What is the first thing that someone usually does when they decide they want to get into better shape? They join a gym. Why? Gyms have all the equipment you need to build your muscles and melt the fat away.
There was a time that it was impossible to get a gym membership under $50 a per month. However, over the last decade, more and more gym chains such as YouFit and Planet Fitness now offer memberships as little as $10 per month. If you live or work near an affordable gym that you can easily get to a few times a week, $10 a month is worth the cost. But if you don’t have a discounted gym in your area, or find that you just can’t make yourself go to the gym regularly, a home gym is a better choice.
Regardless of why you are considering a home gym, these tips can help you set one up for less than the price of most yearly gym memberships.
Why a Home Gym?
Fitness and health are long-term ideas. You cannot just exercise and eat well for a year and reap the rewards for the rest of your life. For a $30 per month membership, the $360 you spend on a yearly gym membership becomes $3,600 over the course of 10 years. If you are like me, you want to keep exercising until they put you in the ground. Depending on your age, you probably plan on exercising a lot more than 10 years.
Think about all the things you can purchase with all that money you are spending on a gym membership that you may or may not use. You could invest that money into your mortgage, savings, home improvement, transportation, travel, or entertainment.
Start living better for less.
Subscribe to get money-saving content by email that can help you stretch your dollars further.
Twice each week you'll receive articles and tips that can help you free up and keep more of your hard-earned money, even on the tightest of budgets.
Subscribers receive a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
What Do I Need?
Okay, you are convinced of the cost savings. Now, what do you need for this home gym? This is going to be dependent on what your idea of fitness is. A bare bones basic home gym could include a yoga mat, some dumbbells or resistance bands, an exercise ball, and a jump rope. This could literally cost you less than $50, and you could you can use the stuff for years.
Alternatively, you could go the route I went and turn your shed, basement, or garage into your dream home gym. For example, I have a power rack, two benches, two barbells, 700 pounds of weights, a strongman log, a strongman axle, and more that I can’t remember. Guess what? I have all those fitness toys and I still spent less than what it costs the average gym member for two years of a gym membership. On top of that, I never have to wait for a piece of equipment or deal with someone else’s sweat. Plus, I can exercise whenever I want.
Related: Low Cost Fitness in Retirement
Ideas for Getting Home Gym Equipment on the Cheap
If you want to embark on this journey, you need to shop around. Search fitness outlets, internet sites, and garage sales. One great idea is to find a gym that is going out of business and purchase equipment at a highly discounted rate from them. When a gym is closing, they fire sale all their equipment at deeply discounted rates. In fact, I obtained a free barbell from a closing gym.
Another idea is to visit your local home improvement store. You can make a lot of gym equipment from plumbing materials, wood, and sand. I made two sets of dumbbells and a strongman axle (fat barbell) from steel pipe. I had a store associate cut them to the proper size for me and I drilled holes in the dumbbell pipes at home to make them adjustable. I used nuts and bolts to hold the weights in place. I duct taped the dumbbell for grip. I have had as much as 200 pounds on one dumbbell. That’s not bad for $5 worth of dumbbell! I bought sand bags from the store and put the sand in contractor garbage bags. I then put the desired amount into my old Army duffel bag to do sandbag exercises. An Army duffel bag can be bought from an Army/Navy store. I must say sandbag exercises build ridiculous core strength that most gym machines could never build.
The world is full of muscular, conditioned, and fit people who never step foot into a gym. They train at home and outside. Often times, the buffet of equipment at a gym works against your goals. When you train at home, you have to simplify your plan. This leads to getting better at less things rather than becoming mediocre at many things.
Reviewed August 2022
Wouldn't you like to be a Stretcher too?
Subscribe to get our money-saving content twice per week by email and start living better for less. We'll send you a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less to get you started.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
- 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- 5 Simple Budget Cuts That Can Save $200 a Month
- How to Track Down Unclaimed Funds Owed You
- 32 Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
- Do You Need Credit Life Insurance When Buying a New Car?
- How to Maximize Profits When Selling Online
- Staying Motivated to Continue Digging Yourself Out of Debt
- 9 Things You Need to Do Before You Retire
- You Didn’t Save Enough for Retirement and You’re 55+
- When Empty Nesters Reorganize and Declutter Their Home
- Reinventing Your Career in Your 50s or 60s
- What Mature Homeowners Should Know about Reverse Mortgages
- 2 Reasons to Collect Social Security Benefits As Soon As Possible