Go Big and Go Home: Build a Home Gym on a Budget

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Do you find yourself wanting to go to the gym but are discouraged by the expensive membership fees? The solution to your problem is this: build your gym. And if you’re worried about the cost, you can easily find affordable equipment without skimping on quality.

A personal gym at home means you can work out whenever you want and curate the environment that works best for you. This can help you achieve your fitness goals faster and commit to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Start with the following:

Stick to the basics

Avoid cheesy exercise tools that don’t do anything for your body. An example is the Shake Weight, a dumbbell that oscillates as you use it, lowering the amount of time you need to spend exercising. A physical education and exercise science professor at Auburn University Montgomery says this device doesn’t offer anything different than the regular dumbbell and is, therefore, a waste of money.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to splurge on items you think you would be helpful to you specifically. If you’re the type of person who gets motivated working out to loud music, then speakers may be a wise purchase. If you like unwinding after a grueling workout, get a relaxing Infinity Massage Chair for post-exercise relief.

Some non-negotiable equipment for your home gym are dumbbells or kettlebells, a rack, flat bench, a quality bar, and some weight plates. If you’re worried about the price tag, there are plenty of affordable options available.

Shop for sales, deals, and used equipment

You can get most equipment for a much lower price if you hunt for sales and used items in sporting goods stores or even Craigslist. Plenty of those on sale are still in good condition, but you have to be diligent in searching. The bigger equipment especially tends to be on the expensive side. You can start with a cheap treadmill, rack, and bench press, and just upgrade later on when you already have a solid workout routine.

Some of the pre-owned items to get are kettlebells, dumbbells, and weight plates. Other items you don’t want to skimp on are the barbell bars, bands, and suspension straps. The bands and suspension straps may not be as elastic if you buy it pre-owned, which lowers their efficiency. The bars, on the other hand, may bend after several uses if they’re not of high quality.

But choosing which equipment to save or splurge on still depends on what you want to achieve with your body.

Build your gym according to your fitness goal

Happy young fitness woman working out at home

The equipment you’ll invest in for your home gym will largely depend on your fitness goals. If you’re planning to build your muscles, that means you’ll be doing some heavy lifting. You have to buy quality bars that can support over 200 pounds without bending. These can typically last you several years. You’ll also need a weightlift platform because deadlifting on nothing but concrete can cause the floor to crack.

You don’t need an elliptical or a treadmill if you’re building weight. These are geared for building endurance and toning the body. You can jog outside instead if you need your daily run. Besides, spending time outdoors is scientifically proven to be beneficial to your mood, self-esteem, and overall health.

If you’re looking to tone your body, you can get by with used equipment. A yoga mat, kettlebells, standard bar, and several weight plates are enough to meet your fitness goal. The elliptical and treadmill can also be good if you’re building your endurance.

The goal of a home gym is to bring physical activity closer to you. It should make it easier for you to commit to a healthy, more active lifestyle and help you achieve your fitness goal. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Know what equipment you need, choose which you can splurge or save on, and then build your home gym from there.

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