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Ultimate Guide for Building Your Ultimate Home Gym: Benefits, Considerations and Equipment

building your home gym
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Ultimate Home Gym – Home At Fitness

While the rest us value the effort of going to a gym at a set time each day for their workout, there are some who have neither the time, the budget nor the inclination to do so. They prefer doing their exercising in the privacy of their home – and dreaming about building their ultimate home gym

This post is about building your ultimate home gym without breaking the bank.

First off, let’s talk about some of the benefits of a home gym.

What are the benefits of having a home gym?

  1. You don’t have to miss out on your workout due to bad weather.
  2. You can still check your emails; just mount your tablet on the exercise bike or treadmill and read emails while you pedal or run.
  3. If you have to watch the kids, you can put the crib or playpen wherever they are visible to you. You can supervise your kids as they do their homework while you’re on a weight bench.
  4. If you work from home, you can bring the cordless phone with you and answer calls as they come without missing your workout.
  5. If your home or part of it is being repaired, you can still be physically present and still do your workouts.
  6. Improves relationship. You and your spouse or partner can workout together at home. There’s a saying that a couple that works out together, stays together.

All of these are GREAT reasons to build a home gym.


What do I need for a home gym?

If you’re thinking about what to buy for a home gym, well, there are a few things to consider when building a home gym. Depending on your needs, you really don’t have to go to extremes. A home gym can simply include a couple of pieces of equipment or it can be an elaborate set-up.

All of these depend on your own needs, your budget, space and how you plan to workout. If you want to know what is the best home gym equipment, learn first the types of equipment that you need.

Types of equipment needed for your home gym

dumbbells: home gym equipment

Here are though basic yet best home gym equipment that cover the gamut of workout goals and allow you to do three main types of workouts.

  • Cardio equipment
  • Strength training equipment
  • Balance and stability equipment

All three types of fitness workouts are necessary for you to achieve good health.

Space requirement for your home gym

Consider building your own home gym if you have the space to spare for your gym equipment.

You cannot put your home gym in the living room or in the bedroom so be sure you have a quiet and private space where you can concentrate on doing your exercises free from distressing phone calls and shielded from the view of prying neighbors.

A basement is wonderful option. A garage works as well if you do not plan to part your car there. Also, a spare bedroom can make a great area for it as well.

Motivation requirements

Consider building your own home gym if you are the kind who is self-motivated and self-initiating. If you are the type of person who prefers to exercise with a group to feel competitive and motivated, then going to a gym with your friends is probably for you.

But, if you are the type who can do research online and plan the best workout routine for yourself and then implement it (in other words, if you have the capacity to be your own personal trainer) or you are an experienced fitness buff then the home gym idea is definitely for you.

If you’ve had an exercise bike for ten years and it has worked well for you as a hamper or as a place to hang your coat and other winter gear, then, it would be best for you to go to a gym and work with a personal trainer.

Check Your Health

check your health for home gymConsider building your own home gym ONLY after you have gotten a thorough physical check-up and your workout plans are cleared with your physician. Workouts at any level may strain you if you have undiagnosed medical conditions. Also, even the most moderate forms of exercise may expose you to injury if you do not know which areas of your body are at risk for injury.

For example, people who have osteoporosis are the ones most in need of strength training, but they might prefer cardio and run the risk of fractures when they run for thirty minutes on a treadmill.

Best equipment for your home gym: What to buy

Cardio Equipment

There is a wide variety of equipment to choose from under the cardio category. You can buy used, but this is probably best reserved for very high end equipment or brand new equipment.

There are a lot of affordable options that you can find online or in store.


Weslo-treadmill for your home gym

Treadmills are probably the most popular machines to have at home. They provide a wide range of intensity in workouts that allow you to run, walk and even sprint.

Some treadmills offer incline settings as well. Most will track progress, calories burned and heart rate and have programming in place to reach such targets.

Some of the more sophisticated models offer cool features like pre-set routes, and large screens that show a type of virtual reality scenery as you run or walk.






  • Good for all fitness levels.
  • Great for heart health and fat burning.
  • Grows with you as get more fit.
  • Ideal for various fitness levels so suitable for multiple family members.


  • High impact workout.
  • Bulky and needs space to house it.
  • Does not offer a full body workout.
  • The better models will be costly.


Elliptical Cross Trainers


Elliptical: for your home gym

Elliptical trainers are another good option and differ from treadmills in that they offer a low impact cardio workout. The machine mimics running movements, without a big impact on joints such as the knees.



  • Good for all fitness levels.
  • Wide range of intensity levels.
  • Grows with you as get more fit.
  • Ideal for various fitness levels.
  • Low impact workout.


  • Bulky and needs space to house it.
  • The better models will be costly.



Stepper: for your home gym

Steppers are machines that imitate the climbing of stairs. These offer an intense workout that can work multiple leg muscles. There are two types to choose from: stair climbers and stair steppers. The climber provides a full body workout because it includes arms module. Steppers only engage the legs and do not have moveable arms.

Various motions and settings can be used to train the quadriceps or the hamstrings and glutes in addition to the quadriceps, while at the same time quickly increasing the heart rate and providing a great cardio workout.


  • Ideal for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness levels
  • Full body workout on stair climber models that have moveable handles (mimics rock climbing)
  • Wide range of workouts, with various intensity levels
  • Grows with you as get more fit


  • Depending on the model, steppers can be bulky and will need space, but, less space. than treadmills or even some exercise bikes.
  • The better models will be costly.
  • Not a full body workout on stair stepper
  • Hard on the knees, so not a good option for those with knee conditions.


Stationary Bikes

Stationary bikes for your home gym

There are two types of stationary bikes, upright and recumbent. Both provide low impact workout.

The upright bike offers the feel of a regular bike, while the recumbent models have a comfortable seat with chair-like seating that offers back support.

The recumbent models are even more low impact due to the seat back design and remove pressure off the legs and ankles.

Bikes range from very simple and low cost models to very sophisticated higher end varieties that have a lot more features.


  • Good for all fitness levels.
  • Depending on the mode, you can get a wide range of workouts with various intensity levels.
  • Can grow with you as get more fit. Again, it depends on the sophistication level of the model.
  • There are smaller more compact models to fit smaller spaces.


  • Some models can be bulky.
  • The better models will be costly.
  • Not a full body workout.


Rowing Machines

Rowing machine for your home gym

Rowing machines can really turn up the heat because they are a full body workout but with very little stress on leg joints and knees.


  • Good for all fitness levels.
  • Full body workout.
  • Intense fat burning.
  • Can grow with you as get more fit.
  • Ideal for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness levels
  • Some models are compact so, they take up less space than other cardio equipment.


  • Sophisticated models can be costly

Other Cardio Options

If you want to skip the equipment you can always place a television and Blu Ray player in your home gym and use the multitude of workout programs on DVD to get your cardio and aerobic workouts.

Choices for these fitness programs include aerobics, step aerobics, HIIT, Tabata and combo workouts, like Insanity and P90X.

Strength training equipment for your home gym

home gymThere is a wide range of equipment under the strength training category. When you are setting up a home gym. The type of equipment you choose should depend on your overall fitness goals.

For example, if you are a bodybuilder you will need a wider range of weights and equipment to meet these goals. Likely you will want to choose a large set of free weights and a good weight benches if you simply want to tone muscles and build lean muscle mass.

You can opt for a home gym unit that provides options to work various parts of the body in a machine format or get a set of free weights. It is also important to consider the space you have to work with.

Also, you can build your home gym with these equipment:other home gym equipment

  • Benches
  • Barbells and Weight Plates
  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Medicine Balls
  • Weight Bars
  • Weight Racks
  • Power Towers
  • Pull Up Bars
  • Push Up Bars
  • Inversion Trainers
  • Core and Ab Trainers
  • Smith Machines
  • Dip Stands
  • Punching Bag and Gloves
  • Wrist Weights
  • Weight Vests
  • Resistance Bands

Balance and stability equipment

Balance exercises are an important element of an overall fitness plan. Getting some balance equipment for your home gym is always a good idea. This type of equipment is very affordable, useful and allows you to perform a variety of exercises.

Equipment options to consider:

  • Exercise Balls
  • Balance Boards
  • Bosu Balls
  • Foam Rollers
  • Swiss Balls

balance board for your home gym

Other Equipment

  • Floor Mats
  • Plyometric Boxes
  • Weight Training Gloves
  • Cooler or Mini Fridge For Hydration
  • Gym Towels
  • Tracking gadgets

Final thoughts and more tips for buying equipment for your home gym

  1. You don’t have to buy brand new. Look for gyms in the neighbourhood that are closing down and ask about purchasing some of their equipment. Check out eBay where you can do a “local only” search to find deals near you, your local paper or PennySaver for used gym equipment.
  2. Check out the equipment before purchasing. Try them out and test for any issues when buying used. When buying new, it’s also a good idea to go to the store and get a feel for the equipment. Read online reviews; always.If the weights are detachable, learn how to attach and detach the different weight discs to the bar before purchasing it to avoid frustrations. Don’t be afraid to get on the treadmill and walk on it – tinker with the controls and ask for after-sales maintenance.
  3. Exercise equipment will be useless if you don’t have a plan. So, you can either formulate your own plan or,you can buy an exercise video. It will be easy to follow especially since you have the equipment that is used in the video.You will also be able to time yourself. Usually, exercise videos are timed so that you can do warm-ups and stretching. Work-out using a set type of routine for a few minutes, cool down and rest before starting on the next set. Also, when you finish with the exercise routine in the video, you can be sure that you have had at least an hour of exercise.
  4. Make sure that along with the equipment, you also have the gear: a good quality pair of shoes to protect your feet when you walk or run on the treadmill, a non-slip mat if you are going to do yoga-type exercises for warm-ups and stretching.If your heart rate and blood pressure are an issue for you, then you must also have a blood pressure monitor handy so that you can check your blood pressure before, during and after your workout. If blood sugar is an issue for you, then you must also keep a glucose monitor handy so that you can check your sugar levels before and after your workout.
  5. Keep a white board or chalk board so that you can keep track of your progress. For instance, you can note down the mileage when you do your cardio so that you can provide yourself with motivation do walk farther or walk the same number of miles while shaving off a few minutes.Being able to walk or run longer means your endurance is improving; while being able to walk or run faster means that your strength is building up. Competing against yourself is the best kind of motivation.


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