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Building a Home Gym on a Budget – Create a Home Gym Under $500 or Under $1000

With all of the economic and social changes that COVID-19 has created over the past few years, more and more people are looking at building a home gym on a budget. Rest assured, it’s completely possible to build a home gym under 1000 dollars, even a home gym under 500 dollars! In this article, I’ll be covering all the essential equipment you’ll require when looking to build a gym at home.

The best part about setting up a home gym is that you can build a budget home gym with ease if you have enough space and creativity. No matter whether you are a trained home gym specialist or just starting out, building a home gym on a budget just needs a bit of thought and generous research.

Even when on a tight budget, it is possible to create a home gym under $500. At the end of the day, it’s not the equipment so much as the effort you put in that counts. And if you are a true fitness fanatic who’s not ready to compromise on the versatility of a complete gym set-up, then you can find a lot of options for your home gym under $1000.

The Growing Demand for Building a Home Gym on a Budget

It’s astonishing how quickly the COVID-19 pandemic created such a massive socio-cultural shift in a short space of time. The public health protocols of social distancing had resulted in the closure of many fitness facilities across the globe. As a result, fitness fanatics were left scrambling to find an alternative solution to keep in shape.

Soon social media was overflowing with trending hashtags propagating the importance of home workouts. The hashtag #workoutathome came armed with 1 million posts while #homeworkout enlisted a whopping 3.2 million social media posts! But the real question is, can your budget home gym replace the workout sessions at your local gym? With the right equipment and motivation, there’s absolutely no reason why not! So let’s get you started.

best budget home gym

Why Should you Opt for a Budget Home Gym?

Before you rush to get the best deals on home gym equipment rentals, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of having a fitness zone at home. Here are some advantages that will leave you wanting to set up your budget home gym under 1000 right away.


It goes without saying they you will save a lot of time when you have the fitness set up in your home or garage gym. Going to the gym takes time…getting your gear together, driving to the gym, finding a park and then sometimes, waiting your turn to use your favourite equipment! But when you have all the equipment at home, these problems are eliminated.


Another important factor is that when you’re working out at home, you can address any emergency or be there if your young kids are waking up from a nap, then get back to your workout later. Less time-sensitive and you can choose what you want to wear and what you want to listen to without judgement!
Signing up for fitness classes or a cross-fit program will incur certain logistics and strict timing. With a setup at home, the machines, gear, and equipment will be ever-ready to welcome you.

Fees and Other Costs

Opting for a gym membership can be an expensive ordeal. In a report published by CNBC, it was revealed that the average American spends around 40-50 USD every month on the gym. Add in membership charges, this can add up to over 800USD a year! On the flip side, you can find great gym equipment on sites like Amazon or buy used gym equipment and use that $800 to set up your own budget home gym.


Having a home gym allows you to customize your gym the way you like it to meet your fitness goals. So if you want to crank motivational music at full volume while you exercise, go for it! If you have a preference of gauge steel or you like to colour coordinate your iron plates and and your bumper plates, be my guest! Make the space your own and you’ll be more likely to use it.

best budget home gym under 1000
A home gym can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000 plus

Drawbacks of working out in Home Gyms vs Conventional Gyms

It is worth mentioning one of the main drawbacks, even when creating the best home gym under $1000, is the lack of social interaction if there’s no one else in the house who will join you. A lot of us are competitive by nature, the drive to show off at the gym does push us to work harder!

If you are a competitor or cross-fit athlete, you will also miss the scope of the competition. Not having anyone to challenge you may fail to push your performance at the home gym. However, with smartwatch technology and social media today, it has become easier than ever to stay on track and motivate one another

You just need to be a bit disciplined and self-motivated to get started. In the initial stage, if you cannot afford to purchase all the equipment you need at once, you can always rent gym equipment for home.

Now, it’s time for you to build the best home gym on a budget!

How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget: Building a Home Gym Under $500

Most fitness enthusiasts have a knack for strength training, muscle building, and conditioning. But trying to accumulate the right equipment all in one go may seem difficult. Fortunately, crafting a home gym under 500 is possible when you plan out the process beforehand and create a checklist of the equipment that can work with the major muscles of your body.

1. Squat Racks

For a budget home gym, most of the exercise would pivot around the squat rack / squat stand). This is because this accessory would allow you to do squats, pull-ups, decline and incline bench presses, as well as a host of other strength training workouts.

2. Workout Bench (adjustable or flat bench)

Next comes the workout bench which is a brilliant way of training the upper body. This essential piece of equipment can be used as a flat bench for bench presses as well as many other strength training exercises that focus on the triceps, anterior deltoids, and pectoralis major among many other muscle groups.

3. Dumbbells

When you’re on a tight budget and want a top-level home gym under 500, you may also use a pair of dumbbells in place of barbells. It’s not necessary to have a complete set of dumbbells in your home. Adjustable dumbbells or a set of 20-pound weights is enough to help you build strength with time.

4. Kettlebells

When it comes to leg workouts like squats and walking lunges, you cannot go past kettlebells. These humble accessories can go a long way in building a home gym on a budget.

5. Medicine Ball

Investing in a medicine ball is a necessity for a home gym under $500. These balls are very cost-effective and immensely popular as they give scope for a diverse workout. If you exercise with another person, there are lots of exercises that can be done in pairs.

6. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands come in different colors and varying strength levels. After all, having a fit body is not just about lifting weights and running a mile in half an hour. Resistance bands are a very affordable workout accessory that adds a lot of flexibility to your exercise regime. You can use these bands when doing stretching exercises or mix them with lateral side steps or similar workouts.

7. Jumping Ropes

If you’re looking for a cost-effective cardio workout then you can’t go past a jumping rope! Some of these ropes are tangle-free and equipped with length adjustability. Regardless of your height or weight, jumping ropes are a great addition to a budget home gym. Perfect for a cardio workout without the high price tag.

8. Foam Roller

As you progress with your workouts, you may notice that your muscles start cramping or feeling a little sore. And this may make it difficult for you to stick to the workout schedule. This is where the role of a foam roller comes to the forefront. A good foam roller is great for working on cramps and aches and pains by stretching. This is also a great aid in pilates or yoga sessions.

best budget home gym under 500

Best Home Gym Setup Under 1000USD

When you are ready to buy the best home gym under 1000, there are a lot of great options to choose from.

Remember, you can also look to rent gym equipment for home if you find your budget won’t quite stretch to that state-of-the-art cardio machine.

1. Suspension Trainer

If you enjoy suspension training, search for a set designed for the same. The system can be anchored on beams and doors or even a tree when you work out outside. In contrast to resistance bands, suspension training is great for hitting several muscle groups.

2. Indoor Rower

A fantastic all-around strength and cardio trainer, an indoor rower focuses on both upper as well as lower body simultaneously. As a result, it boosts calorie burning and is one of the most popular home gym equipment rental pieces or pieces of gym equipment to invest in.

3. Squat Rack

A squat rack gives adequate flexibility for all kinds of movements and exercises.

4. Adjustable or Flat Weight Bench

A very popular and versatile piece of gym equipment, this is definitely on my essentials list for a budget home gym. Whether you are looking to buy new or used gym equipment, get yourself an adjustable weight bench where you can perform chest movements, bench presses, tricep dips and dumbbell rows. These benches are also very useful in doing Bulgarian split squats.

5. Weight Plates Attached to Olympic Barbells

For a home gym under 1000, you can get yourself an Olympic barbell along with weight plates. There are several varieties to select from and you can do tons of movements with the bench and/or the barbell only.

6. Multi-Gym Power Rack with Cable Cross-Over

A multi-gym is a home fitness system with multiple components designed to perform a wide range of exercises. This set-up is a great value for money. It can be used for dual-cable workouts or single-cable workouts for two people simultaneously.

Although there are several other pieces of gym equipment out there, this list can function as a reliable starting point. The best gym for your home can be crafted without breaking the bank. You can scour the market and opt for home gym equipment rental or purchase pre-owned items. You don’t have to purchase the top-of-the-line, most expensive brands out there. You’ll be surprised to see what deals are out there on Amazon, and it is possible to have all the basic equipment within your budget.

best budget home gym garage setup

The Essential Elements of your Home Gym

The essential items for the best home gym under $1000 can vary greatly depending on what you are looking for and who’s guiding you. We have spoken to several experts in the field of fitness and considered other reputable home gym reviews and narrowed down some must-haves under the following four categories. Regardless of the kind of fitness enthusiast you are, you will definitely benefit from having these sets of equipment at home.

Free Weights

The advantages of having free weights for your home gym under 500 are many. In the first place, they help burn more calories compared to conventional cardio exercise and give you a toned body. To start, dumbbells are the best as these small weights make it easier to do a targeted workout.

Weight Bench

Next is the weight bench. A bench allows you to do several exercises like hip thrusts, single-arm rows, decline push-ups, step-ups, and a lot more. For setting up the best home gym under $1000, you can invest in an adjustable bench as it is more versatile.

If you have got yourself a barbell, it won’t give you the desired results without a few weight plates and there are umpteen weight plates to select from.

Cardio Machines

The reality is that most cardio machines are expensive and you may have to opt for home gym equipment rental in the initial stage. Nonetheless, you should aim to include a good cardio machine such as a treadmill and exercise bike. Later, you can always add to your setup as you can afford it e.g. a rowing machine or elliptical trainer.


Once you have all the cardio machines and free weights, it’s time to invest in some accessories that will add versatility to your home gym. These may include battle ropes and jump ropes, reverse hypers, pullup bars, and weighted vests. If you are building a home gym under $500, it’s better to focus on the essentials first. Later, when your pocket permits, you can invest in accessories that align with your fitness goals.

For instance, if you’re a cross-fit trainer, getting a weighted vest and speed rope would be a great addition to your gym.

Storing the Equipment

Though this is not the exciting part of building a home gym on a budget, you should look into the floor space and the storage availability so that the hefty machines can be stored without a fuss. Economical flooring options like stall mats that absorb shock are a worthwhile investment.

How to Build a Home Gym in a Small Space

If space is a challenge in your home, there are so many great space saving options available today that can be used and stored away. Foldaway rowing machines and foldable squat racks and weight benches are just a few of the excellent space saving options available. Alternatively, start simple with a pilates mat, a jump rope and some dumbbells!

The Bottom Line: Building a Home Gym on a Budget

Just imagine a life where you won’t have to pack your fitness gear and drive to the gym a mile away, only to find that all the rowing machines are currently in use. Having a gym at home can save you money in the long run with monthly gym fees and petrol going to and from the club.

If you are currently in a place where you are well aware that you need to get back in shape but you’re unable to hit the gym, building a budget home gym might just be the solution you’re looking for.

Go on…Crank that motivational music and make the most of your home workout sessions!

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About the Author: Jane Hart

Working crazy hours in a high-stress work environment resulted in my body one day telling me, “Enough is enough!”

Navigating this serious health journey was both mentally and physically exhausting. But through some serious mindset work and instilling healthy habits, I was able to rebuild my life one day at a time and come out stronger on the other side!

Now my mission is to empower women like me to prioritize their fitness and well-being in a healthy, sustainable way and build a community of strong, happy and healthy women!

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