I got very excited to write this guide which will take you 8 minutes to read! Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section, they will be answered!
Because being passionate about the gym does not only come to changing my physique, but also do some research and see what kind of great equipment I can use to do so.
My goal with this guide is to transmit the excitement I’ve had making it and to give you perspective that training at home can be a great route to take. You might never look back!
Training at home is very convenient, you are being efficient with your time! You don’t have to wait for the racks to free up, you don’t have to drive up to the gym and get stuck in traffic…
Sometimes it’s about an hour or two that you save in a day. That is super precious! I am not going to lie, building a home gym used to be much cheaper, but the weights cost has increased over the years. If it was not for that, it would still be dirt cheap to have a home gym.
I aimed to gather some great equipment together and see how cheap we could make it with some equipement which will last you for years.
When you know a membership at the gym every year will cost you around 400$, you might as well get a small home gym for the rest of your lifetime for a bit more cash.
Without further ado, let’s get into this guide explaining what you can get to have a home gym under 700 dollars!
Links in this guide are not affiliated, most of them redirect to the websites we found them.
Table of Contents
All about the money? Nope
You can still build a super decent home-gym without a fortune!
Building a little home gym with all the necessary equipment should cost between 500$ to 1000$.
In this guide, we will see you can have the necessary equipment from as low as 600$ to as much as 850$.
If this is something you can’t afford but would still like having to work-out at home, you might then want to only focus on what matters and pick some of the equipment which you find essential.
With some creativity and the understanding that working hard on the basic things is what works, I am not worried you will make progress regardless or not you can buy a big home gym.
I would recommend you look at what you are ready to invest or try and make up a saving plan to make that happen if having your own gym is your little dream!
What’s your budget?
People sign in to the gym so they can use every equipment possible at a cheap price. In a gym, for 30$ a month, you have all the equipment you’d ever need.
The goal here at home is also to have everything for the cheapest price possible. If you think about it, it could really be worth it for the reasons listed above.
A good reminder that specialisation and exercise selection is key!
This is great because we will again see that specialisation is key. We have explained our firm belief in an article that specialising in what matters and focus on exercises that you know are beneficial to you and your body-morphology is essential!
You really just need the basics! Some good old bar, a pair of dumbell, a pull-up bar, where you can charge-up a lot of weight.
No need for 36 exercises! No need for fancy machines that you usually find in the gym…Surely some machines are great and made in a way to prevent injuries but nothing is better than the good ol’ bars. Bars are everywhere, machines are not.
A few exercises you might want to forget about if you are going to train home (unless you have an unlimited budget):
- Fancy machines
That’s about it, not much to worry about!
Ok now, if we want to have a home gym we obviously need some equipment!
The equipment, loving my research, so will you!
I think there are many ways you can build your home gym. You could either buy everything separately or buy a rack cage where a lot of the tools come at once! Brands make packages but my goal here is to find equipment left and right to show you how cheap you can go and actually beat ”all made” home-gym packages.
I will divide these 3 packages in three categories:
1- “I just want to get started in the cheapest way possible with acceptable/standard equipment”
2-“I want to train in the most professional way but at the cheapest price possible”
3- “I want to train in the most professional way and don’t really care about the price”
My best advice is to buy second hand equipment from people who look trustworthy or buy your stuff from the most competitive home-equipment sellers like Amazon.
This research was made during the COVID-19 lockdown and a lot of equipment would not display their prices, like on amazon. I am quite sure in normal times we might even find cheaper and similar equipment.
The goal of this research is not to tell you to buy the exact equipment shown but to show you what you should buy to make it a complete home gym gear.
Research has been made both in the US and UK.
In these examples, I always feature a 140kg total plates weight. The price can increase or decrease upon your personal choice as you might decide to buy less or more plates depending what your level is.
Which bench? What benches do we have on the market?
What’s good with the bench is that you only need one. One that is adjustable and will position in all angles.
Nothing fancy with a “peck-deck” option or leg curl option. They would cost you a lot and honestly, you should not go for those type of benches with a lat-pull down or leg curls option:
Most of the basic peck-deck or lat pull downs benches usually won’t allow you to go heavy at all.
The solution to complete your single bench is to buy squat stands or a rack/half rack which will be the cheapest and smartest option.
The next step is about getting squat stands or half racks/ full racks!
What racks have we got on the market?
Squat stands and racks are awesome. They gather many features at once which allow you not to have to buy items separately. This is why I would not suggest buying a “normal bench-press with stands” in the first place. Indeed, because these stands are separated from the classic bench-press, you can use them not just for your bench-press, but also for your squats, rows, rack-pulls…
Which bar? What bars have we got on the market?
You have got 10kg “standard” bars and 20kg “Olympic” bars.
I would obviously recommend the olympics ones.
I have experienced all sorts of bars, from the standard ones to average olympic bars… and to Rogues premium olympic ones.
The 10 kg bars are quite uncomfortable, and if you start going very heavy (160kg+), they could potentially break.
Regardless of that, the standard bars still offer a great price difference. It really just depends on your level and what you are ready to invest.
You can definitely build your home gym for under 800$ including olympic equipment. So make sure you read the rest of this guide.
You can then guess: my recommendation goes for the olympic bars.
Better think long term, even if this means investing a little bit more.
Optionally, you can buy an EZ bar, practical for those whose elbows suffer from the straight bar on certain movements.
Which dumbells? What dumbells have we got on the market?
I have come across all sorts of dumbells on the internet. From the most standard ones… to the very high-tech ones! Again, that will depend on your home-workout desires and whether you have decided to go with standard equipment or olympic one.
I would again recommend going with the olympic ones. The tiny extra price difference for getting olympic weights is well worth it compared to only getting standard ones.
These high-tech dumbells are just super expensive. If you’re loaded go for it! Otherwise, close your eyes and go to the next chapter.
What plates? What weight plates have we got on the market?
For 270 dollars, you can have 140kg worth of weight including an olympic bar.
This allows you to go heavy with your dumbells too, such as 40kg each hands, at least.
If in need, you can easily buy a pair of extra 25lbs/10 kg weights at Walmart for example for 40 dollars and another pair of 10lbs/5kg plates for 15 dollars.
You now have 4 plates of 25lbs/10kg dumbells, 4 plates of 10lbs/10kg dumbells.
You can also buy by sets with an Olympic bar included, a great alternative.
Which pull-up bar or dip station? What have we got on the market?
You have got many options here:
1- A rack with pull-up bar included
2- No rack and a standard pull-up bar
3- A separated dip station
4- No dips!
I would highly recommend getting a rack which includes the pull up bar and then get a separated dip station.
Let’s just look at the prices.
The separated dip station is cheap, and with such huge capacity of weight!
Pull-up bar means…a weighed belt!
Weighted belts are an absolute must if you are serious about your training!
This belt can handle extra weight such as 100kg
Package 1: “I just want to get started in the cheapest way possible with acceptable/standard equipment”
Package 2: “I want to train in the most professional way but at the cheapest price possible”
Package 3: “I want to train in the most professional way and don’t really care about the price“
Brands also make it easy for you with packages, but is it cheaper this way?
You will find brands making all-made packages. The prices will be close to what I’ve found but sometimes they will come with 17kg bars or with a non adjustable bench. It is convenient but sometimes comes with some silly and inconvenient issues. By picking your stuff left and right, you have the choice to pick the most convenient gear.
How to train at home?
If you have a good home gym then there is little to no difference than what you should do in terms of training and how muscle should be built.
Progressing is key and the rules described in the rest of our articles apply to build muscle with your home-gym.
At home, you might just face some difficulties. Like if you are planning on doing dropsets with the dumbells as you manually have to unload them, or if you wanted to use some equipment like the cables.
Apart from that, nothing can hold you from building the shape of your dreams!
If you want to get started in the best possible ways, feel free to read our starting guide for beginners.