Get Fit on a Budget: Home Gym Ideas That Won’t Empty Your Wallet

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Are you ready to break a sweat without breaking the bank? We hear you! In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to hit the gym can be a challenge. However, building a home gym can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re on a budget, leaving many wondering if it’s possible to find budget home gym equipment that ticks all the boxes.

Well, good news! We’ve researched the market, scoured the internet for customer reviews, and got you covered with the best pieces of budget home gym equipment that won’t empty your wallet. Get ready to pump iron, blast calories, and achieve your fitness goals without burning a hole in your pocket.

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Why You Should Trust BoxLife?

At BoxLife, we understand the struggle of trying to stay fit without breaking the bank. We’ve been there, done that, and have come up with some ingenious solutions to share with you! Our team of fitness enthusiasts and budget-conscious individuals have scoured the market for the best home gym ideas on a budget, putting them to the test and ensuring they meet our high standards.

We’ve sweated, lifted, and pushed ourselves to the limit to bring you tried-and-true recommendations that won’t disappoint.

Who Is This Guide For?

Whether you’re a fitness aficionado looking to level up your home gym game or a budget-savvy individual trying to save those hard-earned bucks without sacrificing your fitness goals, we’ve got you covered! 

If you’re a busy mom trying to squeeze in a quick workout between diaper changes, a student on a tight budget, or a busy professional looking for convenient fitness options, this post is for you! We’ve got tips and tricks for people from all walks of life, from fitness newbies to experienced gym-goers, who are looking to build a home gym on a budget.

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How We Picked The Best Products

To ensure that we deliver on our promise to provide you with the best home gym ideas on a budget, our team of fitness experts and budget-conscious enthusiasts followed a rigorous selection process to handpick the best products.

First, we conducted thorough research on the market, scouring for budget home gym equipment that offers durability, functionality, and value for money. We read customer reviews, analyzed product specifications, and compared prices to ensure that the products we recommend meet our high standards.

Next, we put the products to the test. Our team members personally tested and evaluated each product in real-life scenarios to ensure that they perform as promised and deliver a challenging workout experience.

We also considered the overall user experience, including ease of use, versatility, and space-saving features. We know that home gyms often have limited space, so we made sure that the products we recommend are compact and easy to store.

Finally, we took into account the feedback and recommendations from our readers. We value the opinions of our community and consider their input to finalize our list of the best limited-budget home gym products.

How We Compared the Products

  • Price: We compared the prices of various home gym equipment options to ensure that they fit within a budget-friendly range.
  • Durability: We assessed the durability of the products by considering their build quality, materials used, and customer reviews to ensure that they can withstand regular use without wearing out quickly.
  • Functionality: We evaluated the functionality of the products by considering their features, versatility, and usability. We looked for equipment that offers a wide range of exercises and can be used for different fitness levels.
  • User Experience: We considered the overall user experience of the products, including ease of use, comfort, and safety. We looked for equipment that is user-friendly, easy to set up, and provides a smooth and effective workout experience.
  • Space-saving: We evaluated the space-saving features of the products, as home gyms often have limited space. We looked for equipment that is compact, easy to store, and doesn’t take up too much space.
  • Customer Reviews: We considered customer reviews and feedback to understand the real-life experiences of users with the products we chose.

The Best Home Gym Ideas on a Budget

You don’t have to break the bank to achieve your fitness goals. With our home gym ideas on a budget, you can easily transform your living room, office, or even your attic into a sweat-worthy workout space. So, let’s explore some ingenious ways to build your own gym and keep your wallet happy.

An All-Inclusive Gym / Living Room

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Source: Houzz

Gone are the days when an entertainment center was limited to just the living room. Now, you can use the console to keep your weights, towels, and water bottles neatly organized, making cleanup a breeze. And why stop there? Start by clearing the space and rearranging furniture to create an open workout area.

Consider installing a TV as the main focal point, perfect for streaming your favorite workout DVDs and creating a dedicated workout area in your home. Next, you can add a workout mat or a budget treadmill that can be easily stored when not used.

You can use your living room as a versatile space for various workouts, from cardio to strength training or yoga. Don’t forget to personalize the space with motivational decor or inspiring quotes to keep you motivated during your home workouts.

Work & Workout Room

A home gym in a workspace as one of the home gym ideas on a budget we recommend
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Source: Houzz

Who says you need a massive gym space to get fit? With a dash of creativity and the right equipment, even your humble office can transform into a budget-friendly home gym! Sure, your office may not have the sleekness of a high-end gym, but in this case, it’s the convenience that really seals the deal. 

No need to pack a gym bag or brave the traffic to get to a fitness center. Your office doubles as your workout haven, and you can sneak in exercises throughout the day without missing a beat. Plus, the added benefit of saving money on gym memberships leaves you with extra cash for those cute office decorations or a celebratory treat after a sweat session.

So, who says an office is just for work? With the right pieces of gym equipment, it can be a budget-friendly, multi-purpose space where you can break a sweat, crush your fitness goals, and still get your work done. It’s time to turn your office into a powerhouse of productivity and gains!

Gym Attic

A home gym in an attic as one of the home gym ideas on a budget we recommend
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Source: Houzz

Say goodbye to the cobwebs and dust bunnies because your attic is about to undergo a transformation! Who needs a fancy gym membership when you have a hidden gem right above your head? That’s right, with a little imagination and some smart equipment choices, your attic can become a budget-friendly home gym that will make your fitness dreams take flight!

First things first, let’s declutter that attic. Get rid of all those boxes of old clothes and forgotten keepsakes, and make room for a new kind of treasure – a workout haven! Sweep away the dust and create a clean space for your fitness adventures. 

Picture this: you roll out your yoga mat on the wooden floor, basking in the warm natural light streaming in through the attic windows. The open space gives you the freedom to flow through your sun salutations without knocking over furniture. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a high-energy cardio workout. You pop in a workout DVD and let loose, feeling the adrenaline pump as you jump, squat, and sweat your way to a healthier you.

But wait, there’s more! Your attic is also the perfect spot for some strength training. With a sturdy beam or rafters, you can hang a set of resistance bands or install a pull-up bar for an intense upper-body workout. Add in some dumbbells, a stability ball, and a jump rope, and you’ve got yourself a fully functional gym without breaking the bank.

The Best Budget-Friendly Machines and Pieces of Workout Equipment

We’ve got the inside scoop on the best budget-friendly machines and pieces of workout equipment to help you achieve your fitness goals. So, let’s dive into our top picks when it comes to great-value equipment that will take your home gym to the next level. 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Treadmill – Best Budget Treadmill

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Treadmill is a budget-friendly powerhouse that packs a punch without emptying your wallet. With a robust 2.2 HP motor, an adjustable incline for an added challenge, an LCD display to track your progress, and a safety key for peace of mind, this treadmill has all the essentials for a killer workout.

But wait, there’s more! This treadmill is designed with space-saving in mind, thanks to its folding design, making it perfect for those with limited workout spaces or cozy homes. It’s built to last with a sturdy frame that can handle your toughest workouts, and it’s easy to use with straightforward controls that won’t leave you scratching your head.

Pros

  • Reasonable price, making it an excellent budget-friendly option
  • Compact and foldable design, perfect for small spaces
  • The powerful motor and adjustable incline provide challenges for various fitness levels
  • Easy-to-use controls and LCD display for convenient tracking of your progress
  • Safety key ensures a safe workout experience
  • Sturdy construction for durability and long-lasting use
  • Soft drop system for easy setup and storage

Cons

  • Basic LCD display without advanced features such as built-in programs or Bluetooth connectivity
  • A maximum speed of 9 MPH may not be sufficient for advanced runners
  • Smaller running surfaces compared to some other treadmills, which may not be suitable for taller people
  • No built-in speakers or entertainment options

Key Specs

  • Motor: 2.2 HP
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 9 MPH
  • Incline Levels: 3 levels of manual incline
  • Running Surface Dimensions: 49″ L x 16.5″ W
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Folded Dimensions: 32″ L x 27″ W x 58″ H
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 62″ L x 27″ W x 50″ H
  • Display: LCD display that shows time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse
  • Safety: Safety key for emergency stop
  • Frame: Sturdy frame construction
  • Warranty: 3-year structural frame warranty, 180-day parts, and components warranty

Who It’s Best For

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Treadmill is best for budget-conscious people who are looking for a reliable and affordable treadmill for their home workouts. It’s suitable for beginners and intermediate fitness enthusiasts who want a treadmill that provides basic features and functionality without breaking the bank. Its space-saving design makes it ideal for those with limited workout spaces, such as small apartments or condos.

REP Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench – Best Budget Adjustable Weight Bench

The REP Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench is a budget-friendly beast that delivers outstanding value without sacrificing quality. Packed with features that rival more expensive options, this weight bench is perfect for any fitness enthusiast on a budget.

First and foremost, the AB-3100 adjustable bench is built to last with its sturdy steel frame that can handle heavy loads without wobbling or collapsing. Its design allows for multiple positions, which means it can also be used as a flat bench. The high-density foam padding provides excellent comfort and support during your workouts, ensuring you can push your limits without discomfort.

The AB-3100 adjustable bench also comes with convenient features such as wheels for easy transport and a handle for quick adjustments, making it a breeze to set up and store. It’s compatible with most standard barbell and dumbbell sets, making it a versatile addition to any home gym setup.

Pros

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Made from a sturdy steel frame that can withstand heavy loads and provide stability during workouts
  • Allows for multiple positions, including flat, incline, and decline, providing versatility for various exercises
  • Comfortable and supportive cushioning for your workouts
  • Comes with wheels for easy transport and a handle for quick adjustments, making it easy to set up and store

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features such as built-in attachments 
  • Has a limited weight capacity of 1,000 lbs, which may not be suitable for very heavy lifters
  • Requires assembly upon arrival

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: 1,000 lbs
  • Adjustable positions: Flat, incline, and decline
  • Frame material: Steel
  • Padding material: High-density foam
  • Dimensions: 17″ H x 52″ L x 10″ W
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • $269.99

Who It’s Best For

The REP Fitness AB-3100 is best for budget-conscious individuals who want a durable and versatile weight bench for their home gym without breaking the bank. It’s suitable for beginners and intermediate lifters who need a reliable bench for basic weightlifting exercises.

It’s also ideal for those who value durability and stability in their weight bench, as well as those who prioritize comfort during their workouts with its high-density foam padding. However, it may not be suitable for heavy lifters or those looking for advanced features in their weight bench.

 

Bowflex PR1000 – Best Budget All-In-One Home Gym

The Bowflex PR1000 offers over 30 different exercises possible, which means you can target every major muscle group in your body, including arms, chest, shoulders, back, legs, and abs. It features a cable pulley system that provides resistance for strength training, allowing you to customize the intensity of your workouts.

It also includes a horizontal bench press and a vertical bench press, enabling a wide range of upper body exercises. Additionally, the PR1000 features a built-in rowing machine rail, adding cardiovascular and full-body workout options to the mix. It also comes with a folding bench and a vertical folding feature, allowing for easy storage in smaller spaces when not in use. 

The Bowflex PR1000 is built to last. It features a sturdy steel frame that can withstand regular use and resist wear and tear over time, ensuring durability and reliability for long-term use. This is crucial for home gym equipment, as durability directly affects the equipment’s lifespan and performance.

Furthermore, the Bowflex PR1000 is competitively priced compared to other all-in-one home gyms, making it an affordable option for budget-conscious individuals. It provides a comprehensive and effective full-body workout without needing multiple equipment pieces.

Moreover, the Bowflex brand is renowned for its reputation in the fitness industry, known for producing high-quality and innovative fitness equipment. The Bowflex PR1000 is backed by the brand’s reputation, ensuring reliability and quality in its performance.

Pros

  • Versatile, offering over 30 different exercises for a comprehensive full-body workout
  • Space-saving design with folding bench and vertical folding feature
  • Durable with a sturdy steel frame
  • Affordable compared to other all-in-one home gyms
  • Flexibility in workout options, including strength training, cardiovascular exercises, and flexibility exercises

Cons

  • Limited resistance with Bowflex’s Power Rod system, may not be suitable for advanced users
  • The weight limit of 300 lbs may not be suitable for heavier users
  • A basic console without advanced workout tracking features
  • It needs to be assembled, which may be time-consuming and require additional tools

Key Specs

  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 84″ x 38″ x 81″
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs
  • Resistance System: Power Rod resistance, up to 210 lbs of resistance
  • Exercise Options: Over 30 exercises targeting all major muscle groups
  • Folding Feature: Bench and vertical folding for space-saving storage
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty on frame, 60-day warranty on parts

Who It’s Best For

The Bowflex PR1000 is a versatile home gym machine best for those who prefer to work out at home and have limited space or budget for a full home gym setup. It is suitable for beginners or intermediate exercisers who are looking for a versatile, all-in-one home gym solution. It offers a variety of exercises for strength training, cardiovascular workouts, and flexibility training.

Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell – Best Budget Dumbbells

The Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbells feature a rubber coating that protects floors and minimizes noise, making them an excellent home gym addition. The hexagonal shape prevents rolling and provides a secure grip during exercises. Thanks to their wide range of weight options available, they are suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Their quality construction ensures long-lasting performance, and the price point offers excellent value for the money. They are versatile enough to be used in various exercises, including but not limited to bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, and lunges, making them an essential yet cheap home gym addition.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly option compared to other dumbbells on the market
  • Durable rubber coating protects the dumbbell and floors from damage, ensuring long-lasting use
  • The hexagonal shape prevents dumbbells from rolling, making them safer and more convenient for storage and use
  • Knurled handle provides a comfortable and secure grip, reducing the risk of slippage during workouts
  • Suitable for a wide range of exercises, making them ideal for strength training and muscle building
  • Made by a reputable brand 

Cons

  • Some users may notice a rubber smell from the coating initially, though it tends to dissipate over time
  • They lack additional features such as color-coded weights or ergonomic design

Key Specs

  • Weight: 15 pounds per dumbbell
  • Material: Rubber encased for durability and floor protection
  • Shape: Hexagonal shape to prevent rolling
  • Grip: Knurled handle for a comfortable and secure grip

Who It’s Best For

The Amazon Basics Rubber Encased 15-pound Hex Dumbbells are best for budget-conscious lifters, beginners or intermediate users, home gym enthusiasts with limited space, those who prioritize durability, and users who value versatility in their strength training workouts.

GAIAM 2-Color Yoga Mat – Best Budget Yoga Mat

The GAIAM 2-Color Yoga Mat is made from durable materials and it’s designed to last through regular use. The mat’s non-slip surface provides stability and traction, helping you maintain a firm grip during your poses and reducing the risk of slips and injuries. This feature is especially crucial for safe and effective yoga practice.

Overall, the GAIAM 2-Color Yoga Mat is an affordable, durable, and versatile option for budget-conscious yoga practitioners. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, this mat offers quality and functionality without breaking the bank, making it a top choice for budget shoppers.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Dual-color design
  • Non-slip surface

Cons

  • It may not be suitable for practitioners who prefer a thicker or more cushioned mat
  • Limited color options
  • Some users may notice a rubbery smell initially, which can dissipate over time

Key specs

Dimensions: 68″ x 24″ (Standard yoga mat size)

Thickness: 3mm (Standard thickness)

Material: Made from durable, high-quality materials

Non-slip surface: Provides stability and traction for safe practice

Who It’s Best For

The GAIAM 2-Color Yoga Mat is best suited for budget shoppers who are looking for a great value yoga mat. It’s best for beginner to intermediate-level yogis who prioritize durability and functionality.

Titan T-2 Series Rack – Best Budget Squat Rack

With its sturdy construction, versatile design, and budget-friendly price, the Titan T-2 Series Rack is a top choice for fitness enthusiasts who are looking for a reliable and efficient squat stand without breaking the bank.

One of the standout features of the Titan T-2 Series Rack is its robust build. Made from heavy-duty steel with a weight capacity of up to 700 lbs, this squat stand is designed to handle heavy loads and endure rigorous workouts. The frame is powder-coated for added durability, ensuring it can withstand the test of time and resist corrosion.

The Titan T-2 squat rack offers a wide range of height adjustments, allowing users to set it up at their preferred height for squats, bench presses, overhead presses, and other exercises. The rack also includes adjustable J-hooks and safety spotter arms, providing multiple options for setting up the barbell to suit various workout needs.

The Titan T-2 Series Rack is also great for those with limited workout space. With its compact footprint, it can easily fit into most home gyms, garage gyms, or basement setups. It doesn’t require any additional attachments or extensions.

In terms of price, the Titan T-2 Series squat rack offers exceptional value for money, as it provides premium features and performance at an affordable price point compared to other squat stands on the market.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction with a weight capacity of up to 700 lbs
  • Versatile design with adjustable height and J-hooks for various exercises
  • Compact footprint, suitable for limited workout spaces
  • Affordable price compared to other squat stands on the market

Cons

  • No additional attachments or accessories
  • May not be suitable for advanced lifters who require higher weight capacities or more advanced features.

Key Specs

  • Weight capacity: Up to 700 lbs
  • Material: Heavy-duty steel
  • Height adjustments: Multiple height options
  • Included accessories: Adjustable J-hooks, and safety spotter arms
  • $399 – $419

Best For

The Titan T-2 Series Rack is a top pick for budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts looking for an affordable and durable squat stand for home gyms or limited workout spaces. It can be an excellent option for beginners or intermediate lifters who need a compact, reliable, and versatile squat stand for basic strength training exercises.

Expert Tips for Creating a Budget-Friendly Home Gym

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Choose the Right Space

You don’t need a large room to set up your gym; even a small corner in your home can work wonders. Look for a space that is well-ventilated, well-lit, and has enough room for you to move around comfortably. It could be a spare bedroom, a garage, a basement, an attic, or even a corner in your living room. Consider the layout and accessibility of the space, and make sure it is suitable for your fitness goals.

Start with the Basics

You don’t really have to spend money on expensive pieces of equipment right away. Instead, start with the essentials and gradually build your collection over time. Some basic equipment that you can consider includes resistance bands, dumbbells, a yoga mat, and a jump rope. These items are relatively inexpensive and can provide a full-body workout.

Resistance bands are versatile and can be used for various exercises, such as strength training, stretching, and mobility exercises. Dumbbells are great for weightlifting and can be used for a wide range of exercises, from bicep curls to shoulder presses. You can use a yoga mat for practicing yoga, Pilates, or other floor exercises and jump rope for cardiovascular workouts. 

Buy Second-Hand Equipment

Many people sell their used exercise equipment at a fraction of the cost of new equipment. Look for garage sales, online marketplaces, and local fitness stores that sell used equipment. You can find everything from treadmills and stationary bikes to weight benches and resistance machines.

When buying second-hand equipment, thoroughly inspect the items for any damage or wear and tear. Test the equipment if possible, and make sure it’s in good working condition before making a purchase. Buying used equipment can be a great way to save money while still getting quality items for your home gym.

Focus on Multi-Functional Equipment

When you do decide to invest in some equipment for your home gym, it’s important to choose multi-functional items that can offer a variety of exercises in one piece of equipment. This can help you save money and space in your home gym setup. For example, a stability ball can be used for core exercises, balance training, and stretching. A resistance band set with multiple resistance levels can provide a full-body workout and be used for various exercises. A pull-up bar can also double as a suspension trainer for bodyweight exercises.

Multi-functional equipment allows you to diversify your workouts and target different muscle groups without investing in multiple items. It’s a smart way to maximize your budget and space while still getting a versatile and effective workout.

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Choose Budget-Friendly Flooring

The flooring in your home gym is an often overlooked but important aspect of creating a functional and safe workout space. While rubber gym flooring or interlocking foam tiles may be the ideal option for a professional gym, they can also be expensive. However, there are budget-friendly flooring options that can still provide adequate protection for your home gym.

One affordable option is to use heavy-duty rubber mats, which can be found at a fraction of the cost of rubber gym flooring. These mats are durable, easy to clean, and can provide a cushioned surface for your workouts. Another budget-friendly option is to use puzzle exercise mats, which are made of foam and can be interlocked to create a stable surface for your home gym. They are affordable, lightweight, and easy to install. They can also be easily cleaned and replaced if needed.

Additionally, you can also consider using a yoga mat or even a thick rug as a budget-friendly flooring option. While they may not provide as much cushioning as rubber or foam mats, they can still offer some protection for your joints and flooring during bodyweight exercises or yoga sessions. 

Keep It Simple and Consistent

When creating a budget-friendly home gym setup, you don’t need to have all the latest fancy equipment to get an effective workout. Bodyweight exercises, cardiovascular exercises, and a few affordable equipment pieces are all you need to get started. Focus on consistency and commitment to your workouts, and you will see progress and results over time.

Stick to a regular workout schedule and make it a habit to exercise in your home gym regularly. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have all the bells and whistles of a commercial gym. With determination, creativity, and consistency, you can easily achieve your fitness goals on a budget in the comfort of your own home.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Building a Budget Home Gym

Is a home gym worth it?

A home gym can be a truly worthwhile investment for those who value convenience and privacy when working out. With a compact home gym, you can save time and money on expensive gym memberships and commuting to and from the gym. Plus, you can work out whenever you want, without worrying about gym hours or crowded facilities. 

Is it cheaper to go to a gym or make a home gym?

The cost of going to a gym versus setting up a home gym depends on several factors, such as gym membership fees, the cost of equipment, and the size of the space you have available for your home gym. In the short term, going to a gym can be cheaper because you don’t have to pay for equipment upfront.

However, over time, gym memberships can add up and become more expensive than investing in a basic home gym. Plus, with a home gym, you don’t have to worry about transportation costs or the inconvenience of waiting for equipment to become available.

How much does it cost to set up a gym at home?

The cost of setting up a home gym can vary widely depending on the type and amount of equipment you want to buy. In general, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars on a compact home gym setup.

When it comes to pieces of equipment, some of the cheapest options include resistance bands, dumbbells, and exercise balls. Some of the more expensive equipment includes treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines.

Plus, you may need to consider the cost of flooring, mirrors, and other accessories to create a safe and functional basic home gym. Consider your fitness goals, the amount of space you have available, and your budget constraints to ensure that you create a setup that works best for you.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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