If you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve been toying with the idea of an at-home gym. Your membership card for that chain gym has been hanging on your key ring for years, and you’re beginning to think that perhaps it’s time for a change. But should you actually take the leap?
As you probably know, any home renovation project costs time and money, so turning your plans into a reality can take a while. If you’re a fitness guru, though, an at-home gym could be the solution for your workout needs. Some reasons you may want to finally make the switch include:
- Your workout room may require an initial investment, but over time, it will save you money that you otherwise would’ve spent on a traditional gym membership.
- Going to the gym, especially during its peak hours, can be inconvenient. A host of folks may be crowding the machines you’ve been waiting to use. Privacy is also key to anyone who’s self-conscious about working out where other people can see them.
- A gym created by you is a gym created for you. You can install equipment that’s best suited to your personal needs and exercise methods.
- Traveling doesn’t just eat up time that you could be spending doing other things—it also serves as a demotivator for some people. Taking the time to drive to the gym can sometimes seem like more effort than it’s worth. Having the ability to travel no further than across the hall is a far simpler option.
If these points have convinced you, you’re in luck. We’ve collected the research and created a simple guide on how to design a budget-friendly gym from the comfort of your own home.
As with anything else, you’ll start by mapping out a basic budget. How much money are you willing to spend—and more importantly, how do you want to spend it? To decide on this, you’ll want to make a list of the qualities you consider the most important for your gym. Think about how you like to spend your time at your current gym and what you’d like your customized workout space to look like. Account for not only your exercise routine, but also a few other key things:
- What equipment do you like to use the most? What equipment do you not like the feel of?
- Does the color of the walls trigger good or bad emotions? How do you feel about the layout?
- Consider how you like to use your time at the gym. If you enjoy combining fitness with relaxation, you may want a corner in your room dedicated to relaxing and recalibrating in between circuits.
Considering these factors and ranking your priorities will help you decide exactly how you want to allocate your budget.
Getting Started: What You’ll Need
Don’t just start lugging an assortment of equipment into the room you’ve designated as your gym. Consider the foundation of your gym first and go from there. Once you’ve adequately equipped your room with the essentials, you’ll be able to get into the fun stuff.
You don’t just want your workout space to be functional—as with any other room in your home, you also want your gym to look good. Good lighting has a lot to do with a room’s overall appearance, so it’s key to the aesthetic of your home gym. It also has a practical use as well, considering that—as you’ll read below—working out has a notable visual aspect to it. Look through some budget lighting solutions and select the one that best suits your needs.
Speakers are something you may want to fit into your budget. After all, in contrast to the hassle of wearing headphones at the gym, working out in your own home gives you the freedom to blast your own music as loudly as you want. Speakers cost less than a TV, so if you’re looking for motivational entertainment equipment, this may be the way to go.
Ideally, you’ll want the ability to see yourself when working out. Visualizing your form and technique is what allows you to grow in your fitness journey and develop a good fitness pattern. The mirrors you install don’t need to be expensive as long they do the job.
Whether you prefer treadmills or barbells, you’ve probably already planned out the type of equipment that’s right for you. But you should think about a couple of things before outfitting your new room. If you don’t already own workout equipment, consider buying it used. Also, if you’re on a strict budget, remember that you don’t have to buy everything at once—purchase whatever you’ll use the most first and build up your collection over time.
When you’re building your gym on a budget, you may have to get creative with storage solutions so that you can utilize your space to its full potential. You can DIY almost anything—even your equipment—but now we want to focus on your layout. Here are a few simple, affordable organization ideas:
- Hang resistance bands and towels on coat racks.
- Utilize a pegboard for smaller items such as headphones/bands or jump ropes.
- Mount gun racks on the wall for convenient bar storage.
- Use a simple bookshelf to store a variety of items. You can add bins or remove shelves, depending on your storage needs.
- Consider putting a trunk or wooden box in the corner in lieu of a chair. That way you can have a resting place that doubles as storage for yoga mats, exercise pads, and other bulky items.
Your creativity can go as far as you let it. What your personal gym really needs is inspiration: hang a whiteboard on the wall to track your goals and view your accomplishments or put up wall stickers with motivational phrases. This is your space for a reason. It’s a reflection of your dedication to your better self.
You want this room to be a place where you can feel comfortable and at home. This isn’t an environment where you should feel stressed out or overwhelmed. Whether you’re motivated by simplicity or personality, this is the place to display the things that best represent you.