How To Build A Budget Home Gym! (ULTIMATE GUIDE)

So you're looking to build a home gym on a budget? In this article, I'm gonna show you everything you need plus provide links to the best quality equipment for the price.

Let's start with the Home Gym essentials! 

#1 SQUAT RACK

Regardless of your lifting goals, A squat rack is the foundation of a home gym. This 1 piece of equipment can offer tons of different exercise variations. You can squat, pull-up, dip, row, curl, bench press, over head press and much more. 

My favorite part of my squat rack is the safety spot bars. It has several height adjustments, so you can go heavy without being nervous of getting pinned under the weight. This is perfect for people who lift alone and can't ask a friend to spot them. 

This is the best squat rack I've found for the price. I've owned mine for almost 2 years and I'm super happy with the purchase.

Before I purchase anything I do tons of research and reviews. This is the best reviewed rack for the price. If you have the extra funds you could always go with a more fancy setup like this one

Expensive squat racks normally offer weight plate holders, more adjustments, accessories, and thicker/heavy duty material etc. 

If you just plan on lifting as a hobby, just go with the budget squat rack linked above. It's rated to almost a 1,000lbs which 99% of lifters will never reach or exceed. 

 

#2 BARBELL + WEIGHT PLATES

Next let's move on to the Barbell and Weight Plates.

They make various types barbells depending on your specific strength sport. 

If you’re not too serious about powerlifting, I would just go with a general olympic sized Training barbell. This is what you find in most commercial gyms. 

This type of barbell will have normal knurling vs the more aggressive knurling found on power and deadlift barbells.

I was super lucky while searching facebook market place and found 2 barbells with over 200 LBS. of olympic plates for $75

The deals are out there if you're patient and search hard enough. 

If i was buying a barbell new, I would go with Cap or Rogue. Rogue is going to be the more expensive choice but their quality and reputation is really good. 

A barbell is something I wouldn’t go extremely cheap on because this is pretty much the foundation all your movements are performed on.

The one I linked above is a little over $100 but definitely worth it. 

When searching for weights, make sure you get olympic sized. Olympic plates have a 2 inch hole and standard has only 1.

How much weight you need will depend on how much you lift. Think about your heaviest lift and what you’d like to be lifting in a year, and buy that much in pounds.

You’re going to want to put a focus on acquiring 45lb plates because this will make loading the bar easier and saves space. Loading a bunch of smaller plates takes more time and is just inefficient.

 

#3 DUMBBELLS

I personally haven’t put much effort in my dumbbell set up because I mostly use a barbell.There are several directions you could go with dumbbells depending on your budget though.

If you’re wanting to go the cheap route, I would buy olympic sized dumbbell handles that allow you to utilize your olympic plates.

A negative of this is that it makes some of the lifts awkward because the plates are bigger than a normal set of dumbbells. For example, if you’re doing dumbbell bench press this could limit your range of motion. 

Another cheap option is going with a pair of standard adjustable dumbbells. These are the classic spin lock setup that were popular years ago.

You can get a pair of 100lbs for $200 on amazon. This is more than likely what ill be upgrading to if I put more of a focus on dumbbell training. It's simply the cheapest option, but remember the standard weight isn’t compatible with your olympic barbell because of the size. 

Next option is fixed dumbbells. This what you’d find in a commercial gym but a full setup can cost 1,000s depending on how much weight you need. 

They also make a more fancy type of dumbbell that are adjustable with knobs on the side. You turn the knob to select your weight, and once you pick the dumbbell up, it will leave whatever non selected weight behind. These are known to be less durable, but could be a faster and easier option than manually loading. 

Bowflex select tech are the most popular but be prepared to spend some cash on these!

 

#4 ADJUSTABLE BENCH

Last thing you will need for the base of your home gym is an adjustable bench.

The more options it offers the more exercise possibilities.

Mine does decline, incline and flat.

You could go with a simple flat bench but you will miss out on all the other beneficial movements like incline bench or decline bench.

This is my Adjustable Bench.

 

EXTRAS 

So far we’ve discussed The squat rack, Barbells, weight plates, dumbbells and a adjustable bench. Those pieces right there could be enough to get you started and get some pretty good results. But there are some other pieces I would consider including

 

#1 Protective flooring. I went with 2 4x6 stall matts from Tractor Supply. Total cost was $100 which is pretty expensive, but worth it to protect your floors.

#2 A weighted pull up and dip belt. This allows you to progressively overload on those movements. 

#3 Some type of pulley system for accessory work like face-pulls, and tricep pushdowns. You could do it yourself with just a few supplies. A cable, small chain, pulley, loading pin, and tricep attachment. 

If you have a Home Depot or Lowes you should be able to buy everything there. 

#4 Dip attachments. Dips are an incredible exercise if your mobility allows them.  

#5 A weight plate holder of some type. this will just better help you organize your gym.

 

 Equipment mentioned in this post. 

➢ Squat Rack: https://amzn.to/3a9C2uG

➢ Half Rack: https://amzn.to/3csh2Bx

➢ Pulley System: https://amzn.to/2wU92Zs

➢ Bench: https://amzn.to/2vmN0hH

➢ Cheap Dumbells: https://amzn.to/2T3NRgj

➢ Adjustable Dumbells: https://amzn.to/2wiI6m4

➢ Olympic Weights: https://amzn.to/399vbRR

➢ Barbell: https://amzn.to/383TpM8

➢ Weighted Pull-Up Belt: https://amzn.to/2T3ZRhU

➢Dip Attachment: https://amzn.to/32G9vu3

➢ Cheap Gym Flooring: https://amzn.to/2TbdA6t