Oh to have the home gym of a Hollywood starlet. Not to mention a hot personal trainer to go with it. Unfortunately, limited space and limited funds mean you have to be a little bit more strategic when putting together a home gym of your own. And yes, a home gym is a must, because working out is a must – for your physical and mental health. And since I’m a big believer in options when it comes to working out, even if you love your long runs, your pure barre classes or your stand up paddle board workouts, you can still benefit from building a home gym on a budget. Here’s how to get started.
Select your space:
I’ve worked out in tiny hotel rooms, so I can assure you that you can find room for a home gym. Really you only need a space the size of a yoga mat if you only want to do bodyweight exercises or yoga. But don’t short change yourself. Make sure your space is well lit, cheerful and somewhere you want to hang out in. Use these guidelines from ACE Fitness to determine how much space you’ll need for your favorite equipment:
Make sure the floor is padded enough for jumping around and choose equipment like bands or a suspension trainer that can be easily stored away if you don’t have room to leave it out. I can hide most of my equipment under the bed when I need my guest bedroom to turn back into a guest bedroom. Oh and here’s a good home gym space planner if you need one.
How will you get your heart pumping? Personally, I love spinning and got the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike shown above for just $256. Free shipping with Amazon Prime! I also have a subscription for just $19.99 a month to Studio Sweat on Demand – a gym in San Diego that puts their spin, TRX and sculpting classes online. Pictured below: Cat Kom, owner, head trainer, #girlcrush. I can’t recommend her classes enough.
But if spinning isn’t your thing, find a reasonably priced, well-reviewed piece of equipment you’ll actually use. Otherwise stick to more affordable options like a jump rope or step bench. You can also stock up on fitness DVDs, sign up for subscription workouts like Daily Burn or download a fitness app like the Nike Training Club. YouTube also has tons of free workouts like Pure Barre, Fit Sugar and more.
Make Some Muscle
Even if you get your cardio from walking or running, it’s great to have some muscle-building options you can do in your home gym on a budget. I have a TRX Suspension Trainer ($165.95) that I can hang on a door and even pack in my suitcase when I travel. The video above demonstrates how effective a TRX trainer can be for cardio and building muscle. It’s great for yoga too. I also have a light, medium and heavy set of dumbbells as well as a Bosu ball ($109) for ab work and balance training. Bands are also effective for strength training and store away easily.
Other things you might need in your home gym on a budget:
A fan to keep you cool
TV or computer for your fitness DVDs, YouTube videos or Netflix binge
Music device with your favorite playlists, podcasts or audiobooks.
A mirror to check your form
Doing the math, I guess I’ve spent about $850 on my home gym (if you count a year-long subscription to Studio Sweat on Demand.) I didn’t buy everything at once, but added to it over time. (I have to believe I got that Bosu ball on sale at some point.) More importantly, I use everything I own. Equipment I’ve bought and don’t use is, alas, a post for another day.
How about you? Do you like working out at home? Did you create your home gym on a budget or was money no object? What equipment made your must have list?