Covid-19 continues to change the way we are living every day. It’s hard to imagine the day we’ll see a public gym completely full again. What is imaginable, however, is how the lack of access to a gym has changed everyone’s daily routines. Though some may have figured out ways to continue working out without a gym, others have lost motivation. Therefore, since we’ll be continuing to spend a lot of time in our homes, I decided to do a little research on how you can build a cheap home gym. Here’s what I found:
The goal is to buy pieces that are both versatile and effective. But this does not mean you should buy cheap equipment. It’s better to buy 5 pieces of good quality equipment that can be used in a variety of ways than 20 pieces of cheap equipment that’ll break after 5 uses and potentially injure you.
The basics I’d recommend getting:
Whether you’re doing concentration curls, reverse dumbbell fly’s, dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell shoulder presses, box jumps, split squats, rows, skull crushers, etc., a flat bench is extremely versatile and necessary. The recommended quality flat bench is one that is about 17” from the ground with a foam pad.
Amazon Basics Flat Weight Workout Exercise Bench – 41 x 20 x 11 Inches, Black – $45.75
For those that don’t know, jump ropes improve coordination and heart health, reduce injury risk, strengthen bone density, and of course, burn calories! Just 15 minutes alone is enough to burn between 200-300 calories. Did I mention they’re incredibly affordable?
Garage Fit 9′ Adjustable PVC Jump Rope for Cardio Fitness – $26.99
Resistance bands are great because they allow you to do things that weights can’t. With weights, there are times where the muscles aren’t performing as much work because of the lack of gravity. An example of this is a bicep curl. There isn’t much work being performed at the top of the curl. Resistance bands, however, make the muscle receive greater resistance when it reaches its strongest point, stimulating strength adaptations. Beyond this, resistance bands activate your core, are inexpensive, and give you plenty of exercise options.
Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands with Instruction Guide and Carry Bag, Set of 5 – $12.95
Squat rack with pull-up bar
The squat rack is a staple in a home gym. Squat racks are adjustable in height and hold an Olympic barbell. Their primary purpose it to help you in progressing your squats through adding heavier and heavier weight each time. Beyond that, though, squat racks strengthen your core and give you plenty of exercise options such as pull ups and presses. Because you’re on a budget, you’ll want to make sure you pick a durable squat rack and one that has a good resale value.
Rep pr-1100 home gym power back – Starting at $269
This piece of equipment should be one you spend generously on. The reason for this is because you’re going to use it most frequently and buying a cheap one can seriously injure you. I’ve given you two options below. The key difference between the two is the the amount of weight they could sustain. Both are great.
20kg Men’s Wonder Bar Olympic Barbell – $262
Rogue 45lb ohio power bar – black zinc – $285
Weights (either weights to lift or weight plates)
If you plan on purchasing a squat rack and barbell, then you should invest in weight plates too. They come in various materials, sizes, and colors. The recommended and best weight plates are iron olympic plates, though I would recommend trying to buy second-hand ones as they are quite pricy. If that doesn’t work, I’ve listed alternatives below. If you’re looking to buy bumper plates (for Olympic lifting), I’ve left an option below as well.
CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plate, Various Sizes – $249.90
Black Bumper Plate Sets – $360 (on sale now)
Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights – $34.99
AMGYM Hex 150lbs Dumbbell Set Rubber Encased, Dumbbell Weight Set Sold in A Pair of 5 10 15 20 25 lbs – $379.99
Stretching is more important than you think. And what better place to stretch on than a yoga mat? These mats keep your body warm, provide comfort since they’re made of foam, improve your balance, give you a better grip, provide stability and protect you from injuries. And no, they are not limited to just stretching! You can do any kind of floor workout on your mat such as sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, fire hydrants, russian twists, etc.
Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat – $21.49
And…your total comes out to $672 – $1,017 (depending on what you choose)
Flat bench – $45.75
Jump rope – 26.99
Resistance Bands – $12.95
Squat rack with pull up bar – $269
Olympic barbell – $262
Weights (depending on what you pick) – $34-$379
Yoga mat – 21.40