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Starting Over Again: Building My Home Gym


I asked myself the other day, “If I had to start over again, and I only had $200, what would I buy to start rebuilding my home gym?”  Your first thoughts may be, “You ain’t gonna get much with $200.”  When it comes to how many things I can get, you’d be right.  But when it comes to the quality of the things I could get, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Here’s how I’d start my home gym with a $200 budget…

1.  Identify A Space

The first thing I would do is identify a space in my home where I can work out.  If I’m gonna have a home gym, I need to have a spot to designate as my home gym.  Since I have a basement, I would portion off about 100 squared feet and clear it out.  I would remove everything from the space, down to the concrete floors.  If I didn’t have a basement, I would use a spare room, or a room in the house that doesn’t see much action and turn it into a weight room.

Cost:  $0.00

2.  Some Floor Padding

I would then buy a small section of floor tiles, about 24 squared feet, so that I had a cushioned spot to lie on the floor and do some exercises.  Maybe even enough room for a small bench to sit on the cushioned space as well.  Here is an example of some exercise tiles I’m talking about:

Cost:  $22.73

3.  Workout Bench

I would then buy a very simple, inexpensive workout bench.  I believe a workout bench is essential for every home gym.  With a workout bench, you can get more range of motion and be creative with the different exercises you want to perform.  Plus, it gives your gym that gym look and feel.  Here is an example of inexpensive bench that would do the job:

Cost:  $39.99

4.  A Standing Shelf

I would buy a standing shelf that I could use to put my iPhone on and a spot to put my notebook for recording my workout sessions.  I like to write down the exercises I complete and the weights.  This way I can track my progress and know when to change my routine or up the weight.  You don’t necessarily need a notebook, as you could record your progress with many different fitness apps.  But I prefer just using a notebook.

Here is a sample shelf I would look to buy:

Cost:  $19.50

5.  Buy Some Weights

We have about $118.00 left now and we need to buy some weights.  The simplest weights to buy are dumbbells.  I’m a big fan of dumbbells as they require you to recruit all kinds of muscle fibers to stabilize the weight and can really give you a good workout.  If you look around, you can buy dumbbells for about a $1.00 a pound.

I did a quick search on Amazon and found these that would work too:

You could buy:

2x 5lb dumbbells – $19.99

2x 10lb dumbbells – $29.99

2x 20lb dumbbells – $55.99

Cost:   $105.97

The Takeaway

Total Cost: $188.19

True, this is a very simple home gym and not much weight, but believe me, you can get in shape with just this home gym.  You don’t need lots of weight to get in shape.  Heck, you really only need your own body weight to do that.  But having these few dumbbells can really give you what you need to do some of the best dumbbell exercises to start building some muscle.  No, you won’t get as big as the Hulk or Arnold Schwarzenegger with this little bit of weight, but you can surely make a difference.

As you see, you can easily put a home gym together with under $200 budget.  Oh, and with the last $11.81…I would buy a small notebook and pen for $2.00 and then go to a sports nutrition store and buy a couple protein bars.  All this talk about working out is making me hungry!!! 

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