There is no better way to save time AND money by building a home gym. The average gym membership costs $58 a month. For just one year that is nearly $700 worth of spending, and you want to make this a lifestyle commitment right? The cost to build a home gym is the better way to go, which will leave you money to spend on all the giant bags of chicken you will now need to consume. Garage gyms and basement gyms are the 2 most common ways to approach this, as both of them are guaranteed to have the most basic prerequisite: a concrete slab floor. In addition, a garage and in many cases a basement are unfinished or partially finished, which makes it easier to make improvements without having to work around permanent, finished walls and flooring.
- No more commute to and from the gym. Spend more time at home.
- No more waiting on some other goombas to finish their epic drop sets before you can get a piece of equipment.
- Bring in the equipment you need and want to work with; spend less time figuring out how to adapt someone else’s equipment to your goals.
- Gym membership costs, per month, may seem cheaper than buying a rack and some weights, but the true cost will quickly exceed your home gym costs.
- Over time, quality equipment will last. The home gym may pay for itself after one year, how many years do you intend to keep a gym membership?
Your Workout Space
Bare minimum, one should have a platform to lift on. Your concrete floor is strong enough for load bearing, but it WILL have localized cracks if you drop weights on it, even with rubber padding.
Ideally, you can get a rack. The economic option from Rogue Fitness is the W-4 Garage Gym Wall Mounted Rack for $550 (already cheaper than a year of gym membership).
- It is a very cost effective piece of equipment
- It is very functional, and enough to meet the needs of squatting, rack pulls, or racking of any heavy amount of weight.
- Multi-functional, not JUST a squat rack or power rack
- Due to its use of walls as major load bearing components, it requires more of a committment as to where you place it.
- Not ideal if you have finished walls.
The ideal recommendation is actually a full rack. Rogue still sells the RE-3 Echo Rack, which is an economical option (under $600, still cheaper than a year at the gym!), and not too fancy. You don’t need to go overboard with these racks, just the basics
- Offers more flexibility in terms of placement, can be moved with less pain than a wall mounted rack
- Its a full rack, that is a pro by itself
- Costs will typically be slightly higher.
- Once you have the rack in your gym or your garage, its easy to move. But its bulkier and has more pieces, so major movement of the equipment isn’t as easy.
A simple bench will enable you to utilize the rack for flat bench, and seated military (if your ceilings aren’t tall enough to allow for standing). This is an especially vital component if you are into powerlifting or bodybuilding specifically.
For the most basic and effective home gym, you really just need to start with one barbell, and weights. From here, you can lift off the floor, and perform a ton of the most basic strength movements. After all, Olympic weighlifters don’t use equipment for their sport (yeah, they probably do actually use a squat rack for training) and neither did caveman.
The Bells and Whistles
There are tons of other smaller additions you can make to really give your workouts more variety and meet specific goals.
- Medicine Balls
- Specialty Bars