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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Repasch

Build Your Own Home Strength Training Gym, For ANY Budget (Updated April / May 2022)

This article is going to help you build your own home gym, regardless of your budget or space constraints. Now you can get started with building muscle, losing weight, and getting stronger in the amount of time it takes to make a hot pocket. Everything in this article is available on Amazon.com, (with free shipping by the way!).

YOU can build a strength training gym in your home, regardless of budget, or space.

Note: prices do not include sales tax, and are in US dollars. You may need to pay more for shipping if you are international. Some products might not be available in your country. However, if you search similar terms on Amazon, you will likely be able to find similar products for a close to the same price. To help with buying outside of the USA, and / or if you want to buy used / from a different retailer, the article also provides tips for what to look for when buying exercise equipment.

Let's begin!


Pick Your Package - The Ground Rules:


Not everyone has (hundreds of) thousands of dollars to drop into an immaculate home gym like The Rock does. Paradoxically, those with less disposable income are more likely to need a home gym. There is data to show that the higher your income, the more physically fit and active an individual is, on average (1). This is likely due to a variety of factors, not insignificant among them being the fact that you generally have more disposable income to spend on fitness equipment and similar services if you make more money.

Not everyone has an enormous jar of $100 bills lying around to spend on gym equipment.

This article is written with this in keenly in mind. Whether you have $0 to spend, or want to break the bank to put in your dream gym, YOU can build yourself a functional and effective gym in your home, today. Below are the tiers of packages, and their approximate price points.

5 Tiers Of Home Gym Enthusiasts:

1.) I Don't Want To Spend A Penny - $0

2.) Cheapskate - under $100

3.) Weekend Warrior - under $700

4.) The Professional - under $1500

5.) Break The Bank - $thousands of dollars$


1.) The "I Don't Want To Spend A Penny" Bundle


This package includes:

1.) Ideas for finding / creating equipment out of stuff you already have ($0)

2.) Some exercise ideas with makeshift equipment ($0)

3.) Links to some of my social media content to help with this ($0)

Total Price = $0.00


This bundle is for the person who doesn't have any extra disposal income to put into workout equipment right now. Here are some ideas for things you might have laying around the house that you can use for exercise.




- Books - You can use textbooks as weight in your backpack, as a platform for doing deficit exercises like deficit push-ups, and you can even use a stack of them to do goblet squats!

Textbooks are heavy AF and can make good weights for backpack exercises.

- Logs / Rocks - Picking up heavy rocks is a tried-and-true strongman staple exercise. You can also use random logs that you find laying around outside for overhead presses, curls, squats, throws, and other stuff.


- Junk / Car Tires - Have a spare tire? No, not that kind. You can throw tires, you can carry tires. You can curl tires, you can squat tires. You can press tires, and you can even put them on an axle or a bar and use them like weight plates. Cool. Top Secret Strongman Workout:


- Tree branches - I did my first pull up on a tree branch. You can also use them for leg raises, knee raises, dead hangs, and a variety of other pulling and ab exercises.


- Freebies on Craigslist / Facebook Marketplace - This is an underrated source of exercise equipment. It is also an underrated source of finding junk, but junk that can be used as bulk weight. If you scour the internet long enough, you will surely find something that you can use to exercise with in the freebie section, possibly even weights. If not, try to find a junk trailer that you can deadlift. Or car tires again. There's plenty of those lying around.


Bodyweight Exercises - If you have nothing else, resort to body weight exercises. Heck, I built much of my own muscular base off of bodyweight exercises. Tried and true movements like prisoner squats, push-ups, single leg deadlifts, mountain climbers, lunges, and much, much more, can be done with literally no equipment.

If all else fails, go back to the basics with bodyweight exercises.

Ask Your Family / Friends - Seriously, I am not kidding. If you ask your friends, family, and relatives, you might be surprised to find out how many of them have an extra dumbbell set or weight bench sitting around that they got for Christmas one year and never used. They might be even willing to give them to you for free, or trade you for some of your Pokémon cards. Upper body workout with improvised equipment. If you scour my TikTok / Instagram and look back far enough, you will find plenty more videos that show you different exercises that you can do with minimal or no equipment.

A gym is not defined by the amount of equipment it has. A gym is a mindset. All you need for a gym is the space to work out, and the will to do it.


2.) The Cheapskate Bundle - Home Gym For Under $100


This package includes:

1.) Exercise Bands: ($22.99)

2 .) Exercise Mat ($9.99)

(click the links to see each product)

Total Price = $94.45

You only need a couple pieces of basic equipment to get yourself going.

This package is for the person who wants to spend $100 or less building a bare bones home gym that will be lean, mean, and also extremely space / cost-effective. Included are all of the basics that you need to get in a solid home workout for muscle building, strength gains, and fat-loss.


A set of exercise bands such as these can be used for everything from curls, to rows, to squats, to deadlifts, and more. Another important note - resistance bands have actually been shown in multiple studies to have the potential to create similar strength and muscle growth as standard resistance like machines, dumbbells, and barbells (2, 3).


Getting an exercise mat is recommended, because it not only makes all floor-based exercises more comfortable, but also more safe (non-slip surface). This is the cheapest exercise mat I could find on Amazon, but if you can find cheaper, have at it!

And finally, the star of the show, the spinlock dumbbells. These things are versatile and can be used for variety of different things, from deadlifts, to curls, to presses, goblet squats, and much much more.

Adjustable dumbbells like these are cost effective.

Tips For Buying Similar Equipment: If you don't buy this package, but rather opt to buy used or from a different retailer, here are the things to look for when picking out your equipment:

  1. Get spin-lock dumbbells, as they are far more cost effective. Don't buy those expensive select-a-weight dumbbells, or individual dumbbells.

  2. Try and grab a set of bands that have handles, but are also the thick, flat, type. You could get the cheaper, tubular bands instead, but they aren't as heavy duty.

  3. Go as cheap as possible on the exercise mat. You can buy expensive exercise mats, but they are not worth the added cost on a limited budget.


If you grab this package, make sure you also get my free home workout template.




3.) The Weekend Warrior Bundle - Under $700


This package includes:

2.) Set of 10 pounds plates (get 2) ($29.98 total)

3.) Set of 5 pound plates (get 2) ($29.98 total)

4.) Set of 2.5 pound plates (get 2): ($14.98 total)

7.) Gym Flooring ($59.96)

8.) Squat Stand ($108.20)

(click the links to see each product)

Total Price = $611.07

A barbell is so versatile, you don't want to be without one.

Now we're talking. This is an incredibly complete home gym bundle that just about anyone would be satisfied with. Since this list of equipment is more extensive, you may want to know more about some of it.

First we want to talk about plates. This package includes Olympic bumper plates, and the reason for this is simple. If you are training at home, you do not want to damage your floor from dropped weight plates. Bumper plates are coated in rubber, making them impact resistant. All bumper plates are also the same diameter, so it makes deadlifting, or any exercises off the floor much easier. Smaller plates (10, 5, and 2.5 pounds) are also included in this bundle, so make sure you click those links too.


The barbell is a 7-ft, 45 lb Olympic bar. This is the normal size barbell you will see at most commercial gyms. These bars have a higher weight capacity and are more durable than standard sized bars. When looking for a barbell, it is important to look for three primary things - weight capacity or tensile strength (PSI), price, and bar diameter. A bar diameter of around 28 to 29 mm is usually ideal for general training needs, and the higher PSI or weight capacity bars are generally better.


In terms of gym flooring, you're going to need something a little bit larger than just a single yoga mat. This 12 piece tile set is reasonably priced and should do a fine job of protecting your floors enough so that they won't get destroyed by the bumper plates.

Get yourself a squat stand (or squat rack) right now!

Finally, this package includes a very useful piece of equipment, which should be, in my opinion, the center of almost any home gym: a squat stand. This can be used for squats, overhead press, barbell lunges, pull-ups, and more. The one Ichose here is also cheaper if you get the blue option. $108.20 is INSANELY cost effective for a squat stand in this economy.


Tips For Buying Similar Equipment:

  1. The barbell in this package is a very cheap bar. If you wanted to spend a bit extra, the first thing I would upgrade is the bar. Guide to buying a barbell, by BarBend.

  2. Make sure you don't forget to pick up the smaller plates (2.5lb + 5lbs). These are often not included in package weight bundles.

  3. Gym flooring is a must with this bundle. You probably don't want to be setting your barbell or squat rack on an exposed floor.

  4. When buying a squat stand, I would opt for one that has a built-in pull-up bar, and also one that has at least a 500 pound weight capacity.

4.) The Professional Bundle - Around $1500


2.) 5 Pound plate set: ($25.00)

3.) 2.5 pound plate set ($16.99)

4.) Olympic barbell ($100.53)

6.) Fractional plates: ($28.99)

7.) Half rack ($239.99)

8.) 96 sq ft gym flooring ($118.96)

9.) Adjustable Bench ($139.99)

10.) Adjustable Dumbbells (get 2) ($124.86)

(click the links to see each product)

Total = $1,319.60

If you're going to get really strong, you will eventually need more plates.

There are a few key upgrades to this package. First of all, you are getting a 260 lb bumper plate set instead of a 160 lb set, so you will have more weight options to work with. Second, this Olympic barbell is much nicer than the previous barbell. If there is one area in which you should spend a little more on, it would be the barbell. A good barbell will last you a lifetime.

This package also includes quick release collars instead of spring collars, fractional plates (https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMLp3n5Lh/), and a half rack. A half rack is like a squat stand, except for it usually has rack safeties included. Rack safeties are helpful for certain exercises, such as Anderson squats, but also to protect you when you are lifting heavy weights (https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMLp3nprb/).


You also now have an adjustable bench, so you can do things like bench press, incline bench, decline bench, step-ups, chest supported rows, etc. The final major upgrade to this package is the inclusion of dumbbells. And these dumbbells go up to 52.5 lb each. Dumbbells offer a potential increased range of motion versus barbells, higher muscle activation in stabilizing muscles, and they also provide variation to mix things up a bit. Barbells will generally allow you to lift heavier, are easier to use, and are more durable. There are benefits to using barbells and dumbbells, so having access to both is optimal (4).

Having dumbbells, a barbell, and bands gives you more options. Pictured: my home gym in the early days.

Finally, this bundle includes additional gym flooring. Now that you have dumbbells, a barbell, a bench, and a squat rack, you need more of your floor covered. There's also a set of pull-up assist bands added on, just for fun, and because I had a few extra bucks left over to play with. Bands have a ton of different uses. Listen to Strength For All, Episode 2: Guide To Training With Resistance Bands for more on bands and band training.


Tips For Buying Similar Equipment:

  1. Don't buy crumb rubber bumper plates. They may be cheaper, but they are generally low quality, and warp easily.

  2. Buy fractional plates in a set, and try and get all of these weights: 0.25 pounds, 0.5 pounds, 0.75 pounds, and 1.0 pounds.

  3. If you buy a different barbell, get one with a bar diameter of 28 or 29 mm, and the highest weight capacity / PSI you can afford.

  4. When buying your bench, opt for an adjustable bench with the highest weight capacity you can get.

  5. I would still favor spin-lock dumbbells here, simply because opting for multiple dumbbells, or the select-a-weight dumbbells significantly drives up the price.



5.) The "Break The Bank" Bundle - How High Can You Go?


1.) Mjolnir bar ($349.99)

2.) 370 pound plate set ($599.99)

3.) Locking barbell clips (buy 2 sets) ($37.76)

5.) Fractional plates ($33.99)

11.) Heavy Duty Flat Bench ($105.30)

13.) Adjustable box ($179.99)

14.) Safety squat bar (239.99)

16.) Bar and plate storage ($95.99)

(click the links to see each product)

Total = $4739.04+

Your home gym is going to be better than the actual gym (and much less crowded).

This bundle has it all. First of all, you get a very high quality barbell with a MASSIVE 1800lb weight capacity. You get locking barbell clips, over 600 pounds of both bumper and steel plates, a sweet squat rack with multiple attachments, two different benches, crash pads, specialty barbells, cardio equipment, and more. This is what my dream home gym would look like.


If you can afford this package, it's possible you might also be very serious about achieving your fitness goals, and may want a personal trainer to help. Check out my client reviews on Facebook.

Check out my reviews on Facebook and see if I am the right trainer for you.

Tips For Buying Similar Equipment:

  1. If you are going to build a dream home gym and really break the bank, you might have a different idea about what equipment you want more or less of, so one option is to use my list of equipment as a template and add / subtract things as you wish.

  2. The types of additional specialty bars I selected are as per my preferences. You may want different ones, or you might not care about specialty bars.

  3. Get a squat rack with a high weight capacity, and the ability to add on multiple attachments for added utility!

  4. Heavy duty is the key. Get the most durable, long-lasting version of everything.

  5. I am NOT an expert on cardio equipment, so take my recommendations here with a grain of salt.

  6. Rogue Fitness has even more expensive and high quality equipment, so consider ditching Amazon and buying from them if you really have an unlimited budget.


If you're ready to take your health and fitness seriously with any of these packages, consider taking it to the next level. Jonny Reps is accepting new client applications during the month of May 2022. Click this link, and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get in touch.




If you want to inquire more about coaching, send me pictures of your own home gym, or have any questions / concerns, feel free to drop me a line at jonnyreps@gmail.com. I hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful. Put it to good use, and let's get to making the world stronger, one person at a time!


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