Home Gym Ideas

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What Is A Home Gym?

A home gym is any room or space in your home that you designate for working out. This could be as simple as a yoga mat in the corner of your living room or full-fledged weightlifting set up in your garage or basement. 

The main distinction between a home gym and a traditional gym is that a home gym is solely for your personal use. This means you can design it however you want, and there are no membership fees or added costs associated with using it. 

A home gym is an excellent option for saving money on a gym membership or enjoying more privacy and flexibility when working out. There are endless possibilities for home gym ideas so that you can tailor the space to your specific needs and preferences. For example, if you love lifting weights, you might install a power rack and some free weights. 

Or, if you prefer cardio workouts, you might set up a treadmill and some resistance bands. No matter what your fitness goals are, there’s a home gym solution that’s right for you.

Is A Home Gym Worth The Money?

A home gym can be an excellent investment, but it depends on several factors. If you’re the type who enjoys working out regularly, then a home gym can save you time and money in the long run. However, it may not be worth the initial investment if you only work out occasionally. 

If you suspect that a home gym will ultimately end up as a drying room for laundry or a room for storing junk, then save your money. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the space available to build a gym and how close you live to the nearest gym. If you have a small home and live close to a gym, then it may not make sense to invest in a home gym. Lastly, you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on your home gym vs gym membership costs. 

A home gym may be more affordable than monthly memberships if you only want to buy some basic equipment. However, if you’re looking to create a top-of-the-line home gym, it could cost you far more than membership fees. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not a home gym is worth it depends on your individual circumstances, but mainly whether it will get used regularly or not.

How much does the average home gym cost?

How long is a piece of string? With so many variables in the cost of a home gym, it’s hard to know where to start.

The answer, of course, depends on your fitness goals and the type of equipment you need to reach them. For example, a simple setup might include a yoga mat and some free weights, which can be sourced second-hand for around $100. 

ideas for garage gym

However, the costs can quickly add up if you’re looking for a more complete home gym experience. For example, a treadmill alone can cost upwards of $1000, and other popular equipment, such as squat racks or cable machines, can easily double that figure. 

The reality is that how much you spend on a home gym comes down to your imagination and financial budget. Remember that a home gym setup can be a work in progress. You can start with a small budget with the basics and slowly build it over time into precisely what you want.

Where is the best place to put a home gym?

When it comes to where to set up a home gym, there are a few different options to choose from. First, the garage is a popular choice, as it typically has plenty of space and can be easily outfitted with the necessary equipment. However, many people find working out in the garage uncomfortable, especially in the colder months. And there’s the question about what to do with your car. Will it have shared use as a gym and garage or permanently set up as a gym?

The basement is another popular option, but it often doesn’t have the best ventilation or lighting. Plus, if you live in an apartment or condo, you may not even have access to a basement.

A spare room or dedicated purpose-built room are excellent choices for setting up a home gym and can be customized easily to your needs and preferences.

Ultimately, the best place to set up a home gym depends on your circumstances and budget.

What makes a good home gym?

Some might say a good gym means having the latest and greatest workout technology. Others might say it’s simply a matter of having the right equipment to do the job. I tend to agree with this latter statement, but I think there’s probably a little more to it.

First and foremost, a good home gym should have the equipment essential to achieving the workout you want and your goals. What do I mean by essential equipment? It means the equipment is needed to achieve your objectives, and no cheaper, more basic alternative is available. 

For example, I have a 45-degree leg press machine in my home gym, which is excellent for a leg workout, especially with my bad back. But is it essential? Of course not. I could achieve the same results with a barbell or dumbbells for a fraction of the price.

What is essential for me won’t necessarily be essential for you, especially if your goals differ from mine. For example, if you were a sprinter or basketballer who dreams of running faster or jumping higher, resistance bands and plyometric boxes might be necessary for your setup. Compare this to a bodybuilder who would most likely see these gym equipment items as convenient at best.

Basic Gym Equipment For Strength & Muscle Growth

If you’re not sport-specific in your training goals and desire a home gym just for fitness, muscle growth, and strength, that means having the following essential items.

A Good Barbell

small home gym idea

You’ll need a barbell if you’re serious about building a good home gym. A barbell is versatile, and its uses include various exercises, from squats and deadlifts to presses and rows. So not only does a barbell provide a great way to get strong, but it can also help you build muscle and improve your overall fitness. 

If you’re not going to be powerlifting or stacking the bar with more than 700lbs, there are decent Olympic barbell options available on Amazon for around $70.

Some Weight Plates

home gym set ups

You’ll need Olympic weight plates to go with your Olympic bar, but these can be expensive. Cast iron weight plates are the most affordable option, costing $1-2 per pound. Rubberized weight plates are more expensive, costing more than $3 per pound but are a better option if you intend to do any powerlifting style lifts, which typically involve dropping the barbell bar to a degree. 

If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider buying second-hand weight plates. The second-hand market can be a great way to get the necessary equipment without breaking the bank. Just make sure to inspect the plates carefully before making your purchase to ensure they’re in good condition.

A Squat Rack

View our article: Squat Rack Vs Power Rack

If you’re serious about building muscle, a squat rack is an essential piece of equipment for your home gym and, more than likely, the most expensive one. 

A squat rack provides a stable platform that allows you to perform squats, bench press, and shoulder press exercises with ease, and it also provides a convenient storage solution for weight plates. Plus, many squat racks come with adjustable safety bars to help keep you safe while lifting weights without a spotter and a pull-up/ chin-up bar built into the frame, which I highly recommend.

Many squat rack cages on the market are available that let you start with the bare frame and add extra attachments later, such as a stacked weight cable option. Other squat racks, such as the GDLF Power Squat Rack, are ‘what you see is what you get’ but can be a great option on a budget.

An Adjustable Bench

An adjustable bench is a must-have piece of equipment, and I find it one of the most versatile in my home gym. With a flat, incline, or decline setting, it allows you to perform a variety of exercises with barbells or dumbbells. 

Plus, it’s great for basic exercises like the bench press and shoulder press with a squat rack or used as a support for dumbbell rows or even step-ups. An adjustable bench can provide a good workout even if you don’t have a complete home gym setup. 

A good adjustable home gym bench should be able to go from almost 90 degrees for shoulder presses past the level position down into a decline position for targetting the lower chest. Furthermore, to ensure safety, it should not only be sturdy and comfortable in all lying and seated positions but also with a positional locking mechanism.

Having the ability to elevate the seat part of the bench can also be important to help prevent sliding down during 45-degree presses especially with heavy weights.

Some Dumbbells

Dumbbells are essential if you’re serious about building a home gym. They allow you to perform various exercises, standing, seated, or on the floor. Dumbbells typically come in 3 types. 

The first type is solid one-piece dumbbells, often with a hexagonal head. Cast iron hex dumbells are the cheapest, with rubberized hex dumbells more expensive. I have both types in my gym and find the rubberized type is better for heavier dumbbells (66lbs and above) as they sometimes get dropped at the end of a heavy dumbbell chest press set.        

home gym set up Dumbbell Weights

The second type of dumbbell is the dumbbell bar with changeable plates with either a screw-on collar or collar clip. Many beginner weight sets come in this plate style, which could well be why many give up weight training. My advice is to stick clear of dumbbells with removable plates. Not only will constantly changing the weights do your head in, but the collars on the weight plates also tend to move around during sets, making them feel unsafe, often requiring adjustments. 

And finally, the third type of dumbbell available is the all in one adjustable type, that change with the click of a lever or dial. Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are probably the most well-known in this market and can be a great way of getting five or more dumbbell weights all in one. Adjustable dumbbells are a good option if you’re on a budget, but be aware that they’re not as durable as fixed weights. (don’t drop them!)

How To Make A Home Gym More Comfortable

A good home gym should also be comfortable and inviting. After all, if you don’t feel comfortable working out at home, you’re not going to do it very often. So make sure your home gym has everything you need to feel comfortable and motivated to work up a sweat.


We all know that working out at home can be a challenge, but with the right flooring, you can get the most out of your home gym. Whether you’re looking for something to protect your floors from equipment or just for something to make your home gym more stylish and comfortable, there are plenty of options. 

home gym mats

Here are a few of our favorite home gym flooring ideas:

    • Rubber Flooring: Rubber flooring is an excellent option for home gyms because it’s durable and easy to clean. Plus, it can help protect your floors from heavy equipment. I’ve had the same rubber mats in my gym for over ten years with minimal wear and tear.
    • Foam Flooring: Foam flooring is another excellent option for home gyms. They are cushioned, so gentle on your joints, and come in various colors and designs to fit any style. They are best suited for yoga-style gyms or martial arts gyms, not for heavy lifting gyms.
  • Carpet Tiles: Carpet tiles are a great way to add color and style to your home gym. They’re easy to install and can be used to create custom designs. Plus, they’re easy to clean and are padded for comfort, although they won’t provide much protection from a dropped dumbbell or barbell. 

Ultimately, the best flooring for your home gym will depend on your budget, type of home gym, and your personal preferences. 

home gym ideas rubber mats
Rubber Mats in my home gym

Heating & Cooling

If you’re looking for ways to take your home gym to the next level, consider incorporating heating and cooling elements into your setup. For example, fans can help keep things cool in the summer, while space heaters can provide extra warmth in the winter. 

You might also want to invest in a few items that can be used year-round, like an air purifier or dehumidifier. By taking care of your heating and cooling needs, you’ll be able to create a comfortable environment for working out – no matter what time of year it is.


No home gym is complete without the perfect lighting. Not only does it need to be bright enough to see what you’re doing, but it also needs to set the right tone. After all, you don’t want your home gym to feel like a dungeon. So what are the best lighting options for home gyms?

One popular option is track lighting. This type of lighting allows you to adjust the direction of the light so that you can focus it on your workout area. Another option is recessed lighting, which can create a more subtle and relaxing ambiance. 

Be wary of hanging light fixtures, especially if skipping or jumping jacks are on the radar. Finally, if you want to add some personality to your home gym, consider adding a few accent lights. These can be used to highlight artwork or photographs.

Whatever lighting option you choose, ensure it’s bright enough to see your equipment and safe to use in an enclosed space. And don’t forget to have fun with it! Home gyms should reflect your style, so get creative and choose something that makes you happy.

Wall Mirrors

For many of us, working out at home is the only way to stay fit. But when it comes to home gyms, one essential piece of equipment is often overlooked: the mirror. A wall mirror can be a great way to check your form and ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout. 

It can also help you stay motivated, as seeing yourself in the mirror can give you a sense of progress and accomplishment. Plus, a mirror can make your home gym feel more spacious and open. 

Mirrors are not cheap, especially purpose built commercial gym studio mirrors. You can save yourself some dough by buying second hand mirrors online or even re purposing some second hand mirrored sliding wardrobe doors.  Trust me, these work a treat.  


When it comes to home gyms, storage is often an afterthought. But if you’re tight on space, it’s essential to think about how you will store all of your equipment. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

First, consider using multi-purpose furniture. For example, a coffee table can double as a weight bench, and a dresser can be used to store medicine balls or other weights. If you have an extra closet, you can also use it to store your workout gear. Just be sure to label everything, so you know where everything is!

Another option is to use wall-mounted storage racks. These are great for storing dumbbells, resistance bands, and other small items. You can also use them to hang your yoga mat or jump rope.

Finally, don’t forget about the power of pegboards! Pegboards are a great way to organize your home gym and keep everything within reach. You can use them to store yoga blocks, resistance bands, dumbbells, and more. Plus, they look pretty darn cool too!

home gym storage

Summing Up

If you’re thinking of setting up a home gym, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. First, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend. While some home gym equipment can be expensive, plenty of affordable options are available. 

It’s also worth considering where you’ll put your home gym. If you have a spare room or garage, that’s ideal. However, if space is limited, you can still set up a small home gym in the corner of your living room or bedroom.

When it comes to home gym equipment, the basics are a barbell, weight plates, squat rack, adjustable bench, and dumbbells. However, you can also add other items such as an exercise bike, rowing machine, leg press machine, etc. But, again, you are only limited by your budget, the space available, and your imagination. 

And don’t forget to consider your flooring – you’ll need something comfortable to exercise on and won’t damage your floors. Finally, ensure your home gym is well-lit and ventilated to create a comfortable environment for working out. 

With some planning, setting up a home gym can be easy and enjoyable – and it could save you a lot of money in the long run!