There are many reasons people build home gyms. Some build home gyms because they don’t have time to go to a gym elsewhere while others think having one will help them work out more.
Home gyms can range from bare bones equipment to filled with several pieces of cardio equipment and weights. What you put in your home gym will depend largely on the types of workouts you intend on pursuing.
Whether you are new to fitness or a well-trained athlete, there are several factors you should consider before building a home gym.
How Much Space Do You Have?
Your first consideration should do you have the space for a home gym. Some people put their home gyms in their garages, basements, and spare bedrooms. You might even find examples of people who have built custom homes who incorporate a gym room into their building plan. Walk around your home and evaluate where you can reasonably fit a gym. Also, consider what types of exercises you’ll want to do. For example, you cannot perform Olympic lifts where you drop the weight onto the floor in a second story spare bedroom.
As with any home project, you should go into it with a set budget in mind. If you have a bare-bones budget, you’ll likely need to stick to buying free weights and a bench.
For those with a higher budget, you can consider adding a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical to your home gym. Basic cardio equipment will usually start around $500 and can reach up to several thousand dollars.
When you decide on fitness equipment, you need to be really honest with yourself. If you are the kind of person who only does cardio and maybe does some resistance band exercises, you likely won’t use any dumbbells or squat rack that you buy. Don’t fall into the psychological trap of “I bought this, therefore I will use it.”
Consider your fitness goals. Are you trying to get faster? Stronger? Fitter? You should also consider where you’re starting out from. If you’re moderately into exercise, a home gym would be a reasonable option. You likely only need a small range of dumbbells and a piece of cardio equipment. However, if you are a seasoned weightlifter, you might find you can’t get the same utility out of a home gym unless you convert your garage to a gym.
The answer is, in most cases, yes. Gym memberships cost on average $60/month which adds up to $730 per year. You also have to factor in the cost of fuel to get to the gym, parking costs and the time you spent getting there. At the end of the day, you’re looking at about $1,300 per year going to a gym. When you consider how much it costs to buy a basic set of dumbbells with a bench and a few other weight equipment pieces, you’re looking at a much more budget friendly price.
Having a gym at home will save you considerable amounts of time and money. You’ll get back all the time you normally spend commuting to the gym and save money on the gym membership. Getting your life back and enjoying exercise is easier than ever when you build a gym at home.
About the Author
Ann Kaknon has been in the fitness industry for over 10 years including work as a dietician, personal trainer, and athletic trainer. She now spends her time at home with her kids and writing about her fitness experiences on the side. If you want to contact her you can do so on her LinkedIn.