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May 26, 2023
Working out at home has several perks that a gym just can't compete with. There's no commute, you can pick whichever songs you want at whatever volume you want, you don't have to make small talk, and if you forget anything, you can simply walk into the next room of your house to retrieve it.
Sounds good, right?
But here's the thing. In order to have a similar workout experience to when you're at a gym, it's going to require investing in some workout equipment. Otherwise, you'll find yourself making that 30-minute commute to the gym simply because you are too limited in your at-home exercises.
So, how much does a home gym cost? That's exactly what we're going to get into today. We also have some tips to keep the average cost of a home gym down while still getting a great workout.
Let's get to it.
Table of Contents:
A home gym is simply a room or area within your house that's dedicated to exercise. Depending on the person's goal and budget, a home gym could include a yoga mat and a couple of small dumbbells or a fully decked-out gym with squat racks, multiple barbells, and even a treadmill.
In fact, your home gym could simply be an empty room where you do bodyweight exercises. The point is a home gym can be anywhere in your house dedicated to fitness.
That said, most people envision a room with a squat rack, barbell, and weights. In addition, one of the most common locations is in the garage, sometimes called a garage gym.
Your home gym setup can vary widely, from $100-$5000+. However, let's assume you're an average person who wants some decent equipment and on a bit of a budget. You could get your minimum needs (squat rack, barbell, weight bench, and weights) for $1000.
Now let's say you have a bigger budget, but you're not buying more than what you need (a lot of the more expensive racks are designed for massive weight). You could expect to spend around $2,500-$3,500. This would get you:
Finally, if you have no limits, the sky is the limit. For example, some squat racks go for $3,500+. I believe the squat rack, and accompanying barbell and weight plates, is the foundation for an at home gym, so I highly suggest starting there. For more information on barbell pricing, check out our article: How Much Does A Barbell Cost?
If you want to explore some quality, cost-effective squat racks, check out our article 10 Best Squat Rack Options For Home Gyms.
On the other hand, if you just want a yoga gym, your cost will be sufficiently cheaper. You would need a yoga mat and perhaps some smaller dumbbells or resistance bands. If you have the money, you could easily get a sound system for a few hundred dollars max.
Not every gym needs to provide the same services, nor does everyone have the same resources. Therefore, when you build a home gym, there are some basic factors to consider.
We addressed this some above, but different types of gyms require different kinds of equipment, which can result in very different prices. Here is a list of different types of gyms you may want:
The biggest factor to consider is your budget. You'll need a decent chunk of upfront capital compared to average gym membership fees. Budget can dictate not just what quality of equipment you will buy but how much equipment you will buy.
Another issue many people deal with is where they want to put their equipment. There are generally four options to consider:
You can also get creative with the space you have and the equipment you purchase. For example, if you are tight on space, check out our article on the 8 Best Folding Squat Racks For Home Gyms. These are optimal for saving space while delivering high-quality equipment.
Your gym type will dictate the type of equipment you need. However, here are some general guidelines.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out our article on the 4 Best Home Gym Ideas & Setups We've Ever Seen!
Building a home gym requires a list of necessities that you need. Apart from your equipment, here are things you need to consider.
When comparing a commercial gym membership and home gym setup cost, the initial price to purchase equipment will be exponentially higher for a home gym. If you want to dig into what you get with a gym membership, check out our article comparing Anytime Fitness vs Planet Fitness.
Assuming you take care of your home gym equipment and stick to the middle-range quality, you will eventually spend more on the membership as the monthly payments increase.
It's the exact same thing as buying and leasing a car. You need more money upfront to buy the car, but you'll eventually surpass the cost of the car with a never-ending lease.
One other factor to consider is resale value. Going back to the car analogy, while you may spend $20,000 for the car, if you take care of it, you might be able to sell it for $5,000-15,000. Keep in mind this is another reason to take care of your equipment.
Building a home gym has a lot of incredible benefits. Here are our favorites:
We have spoken about some of the gym costs, but we'll now go over some more specifics.
A squat rack is where all the action takes place. It holds the barbell to perform exercises and is the centerpiece of your gym. You can get a squat rack for $300, but $500 seems the sweet spot for quality entry-level racks.
I like the Force USA MyRack modular power rack as it's high-quality and durable yet comes at an entry-level price. In addition, it's a modular system to connect with other equipment.
A quality Olympic barbell will start at around $300 and may go up to $500. We would advise you to stay in this range.
People tend to underestimate the barbell's value and see it as "just a piece of metal," but you'll notice when you get a bad one. For example, a barbell with good hardware keeps the collars spinning. However, a poorly made one will not, eventually ruining your lifts.
Therefore, buying a cheaper, low-quality barbell can significantly decrease its use of it yet only save you $100.
Check out our article on the 15 Best Barbells to find the perfect fit for your home gym.
For a home gym, weight is weight. You're not dealing with calibrated plates, so there's no reason for the average lifter to buy top-quality.
I recommend buying bumper plates. These are cheaper than metal plates and more suitable for a house gym as they are softer and won't cause as much damage. We have a great selection of bumper plates to choose from in our article on the 8 Best Bumper Plates For Home Gyms.
I really like the Fringe Sport Bumper Plates as they're made with high quality material, get tons of awesome reviews, and come at a great price point.
If you buy new, you'll generally pay $2.00-$2.25 per pound at the entry level. This includes quality brands such as Rogue. However, if you buy used, you can expect to pay $1.00-$1.50 a pound. There are often a lot of variables, but again, try to find them used first.
A flat bench will cost less than an adjustable one as there are no mechanics. However, an adjustable bench allows a variety of movements, such as incline press and seated movements.
A basic weight bench can be easily found for <$75, with higher quality benches reaching $300. Adjustable benches start at <$75, while higher-end benches can go up to $500.
Looking for a weight bench for your home gym? Start by looking at our article on the 9 Best Weight Benches.
If you have a squat rack and a cable machine, you can do almost every movement you can think of performing in a gym.
You can find a range of cable machine additions. Some will start around $400 and act as a simple pulley system in which you use weight plates to load. If you want higher quality, you can definitely get it.
Take a look at the 10 Best Cable Machines to find one that suits your home gym needs.
I really like the Force USA G6. This high-quality equipment will be all you need and can replace an entire set of dumbbells which can cost $1000+.
Building the perfect gym requires some planning. Follow these steps to form the optimal gym for you.
For a weightlifting gym, depending on budget and space, your main gym equipment can be a squat rack, barbell, weight rack, bench, and possible flooring. With all of your necessary equipment budgeted, you can now begin to look at accessory stuff.
Create a list of what you want, and then go down with your budget to see what you can afford.
We'll look at a few different scenarios and what you can expect to spend.
If you're on a budget, you can spend less money and still get a nice set-up. The equipment to get includes:
A minimalist gym relies more on calisthenics, a couple of kettlebells, and perhaps a set of adjustable dumbbells. If you have a tree you can use to hang rings, you technically don't need to install a pull-up bar, saving you time and money.
Even if you need to install bars, they aren't expensive. However, this will be your biggest decision. We have seen some hardcore calisthenics athletes install parallel bars and various pull-up bars at different heights.
Again, this won't cost much money but requires time and possibly an assembly fee. You can see some great calisthenics equipment options in our article on the Best Calisthenic Equipment For Your Home Gym.
Other than that, you can pick up a nice set of adjustable dumbbells for $200-300. You can find some great options in our article on the 7 Best Adjustable Dumbbells.
Your average home gym consists of what's needed and nothing overly flashy. A basic home gym has all the necessities, plus a few extras like a couple of pairs of dumbbells or kettlebells.
You can get this for about $1,500-$3,000.
A complete home gym includes all the accessories: a rack, a full line of equipment, cable attachments, dumbbells, kettlebells, a piece of cardio equipment, etc.
Building this will cost at least $5,000, assuming you buy mid-quality+ equipment.
A cardio junkie home gym is all about one thing: cardio. Unfortunately, cardio machines can cost a lot of money.
The good thing is you don't need much more than a piece of cardio. These can run anywhere from just $200 to $5,000+. Most people can meet their needs with $1000 but could spend up to $2,000. After that, you then have the option of hooking up a music system or TV.
Home gyms can be just like a gym membership. Someone might have great intentions when building it but end up ignoring it after a few weeks.
For this reason, aesthetics and vibe become significant issues. Personally, this is why we love garage gyms, as you can open the garage door and get some outdoor scenery. You can even talk to neighbors and a passerby to get a bit of social activity.
Plus, it's easy to set up cool aesthetics in a garage, such as music, mirrors, and lights. Use these things to make your gym feel like a little gym.
Second, buy good equipment. No one wants to do bench presses on a bench that wobbles back and forth and is one good shake from falling apart. Buy decent enough equipment that you can feel secure using it. Your equipment is responsible for your health and well-being, so spend what you can.
We believe that people will spend more money on what they take seriously. So if you have the money and still choose to buy the cheapest gear you can find, you're probably not that serious. Now we know this may look different for everyone, so our point is that you should stay within your budget, but if you can afford the next level up or a proper attachment, get it.
Let's look at some of the frequently asked questions about the cost of a home gym.
The average home gym cost will be around $2,000-$3,000
If you use it! Home gyms aren't for everybody. However, if you use it often, your home gym cost will definitely be worth it.
When starting, you'll need to put up more money for your own home gym equipment compared to a monthly gym membership. However, once you buy gym equipment, you don't have to spend more, while a gym membership is perpetual.
Buying used ones is the best way to make a cheap gym with quality equipment. It's pretty common to see quality equipment for sale, so this should be your first stop. Facebook Marketplace is a great resource.
People always say you should spend time buying a mattress and spend a little extra money on a nice one because you'll spend about 1/3 of your life there.
While you won't be in your gym as much, it will still be used a lot (we hope) and will be a significant part of your life. The point is, don't skimp on your decision to work out at home.
Spend some time looking at your space and budget, then look at the various options you have for gym equipment.
Ready to get started with building your home gym? Start with one of these 10 Best Squat Rack Options, a barbell from our list of the 15 Best Barbells, and a set of Bumper Plates. Looking for one piece of equipment so you can quickly complete your home gym? These All In One Home Gyms may be just what you need.
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November 30, 2023
November 30, 2023
November 30, 2023
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