How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget (part 1)

home workout space idea

“Level 2″ home workout space example

Do you do most – if not all – of your workouts at home?

Are you trying to figure out how to get the most bang for your $ in putting together your training space?

Then this post series is going to be VERY useful for you.

See, I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get a great workout at home.  You just need the right stuff, and need to know how to use it properly.

In this post series, I am going to show you how to build a home gym on a budget.  In fact, we are going to shoot for total spend of $1000 or less – because I honestly don’t think you need more than that to get everything you need – and, it will make the exercise more fun! :)

To further break things down, we’ll do it in “levels” – starting with the most bare-bones of equipment options and cost, and go up from there.  I’ll make sure that each level “builds” on the previous, so that you can assemble your home gym over time, if you wish, starting with just the most critical items first.

And we’re off …


How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget - Level 1 (Under $100)

Okay. You want to start working out at home. The first thing you will need is a solid dedicated workout space. I am a big believer in setting aside a special space for your workouts. If you are trying to bust out an intense body weight circuit in the middle of the living room, and your cat is trying to crawl underneath you while you do your push ups, and your phone keeps going off and distracting you, etc. – it’s going to take a lot away from your workout.

Even if it is a little corner of a room you have in your house, or a little space in the garage, carving out a dedicated workout space for yourself will go a long way to optimizing the time you have for your training sessions.


The second component of your level one space is body weight training knowledge.

I know, I know – this is not a piece of workout equipment :) BUT – if you have a deep knowledge of how to train with your own body weight – you really don’t need a
lot of equipment to get a great workout.

Let me tell you a little personal story for illustration purposes.  About four and a half years ago, on my honeymoon, we were on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai – and there was not a gym to be found. And at that point in time, I really didn’t have a great grasp of body weight training, beyond the basics. I remember freaking out, feeling like my muscles were shrinking, and driving like 30 minutes, 15 miles across the island and back to a gym, just so I could get a workout in.

Over the last few years, I have studied and learned a lot when it comes to body weight training – and now, when I travel, I never worry.  Because I know if worse comes to worse, I can always do a body weight – only workout, and be just fine.

All this being said, the fastest, easiest, and frankly best way to learn about body weight training is to get one (or several) complete courses on it. Study them, learn the basics of body weight – only training.  And you’ll have knowledge that will last you a lifetime.

Here are three of my favorites to get you started – find one that resonates with you, get it, study it, and starting getting some body weight training knowledge under your belt:

=> The No Gym? No Excuse! Death by Body Weight system

My own personal system for getting strong with nothing but your own body weight

=> PROJECT: Mobile and Hostile

Athletic-based body weight system from hardcore coach Travel Stoetzel

=> Body Weight Finishers

Awesome body weight – based program from Mike Whitfield of workout finisher fame


The third and final recommendation I have for you when it comes to building your level one training space is to get a high quality interval timer.

When you are setting up and timing your workouts, you can use your watch or an app on your iPhone. This is fine.  BUT – if you are really serious, and want something that is convenient, and durable, and much more – I suggest you pick up a gymboss timer.

This is a great tool. I use mine at literally every boot camp/group training class I teach (five per day) and love it. I don’t feel the same without it.

The Gymboss just allow for SO much more flexibliy and custom programming that do a basic watch or timer.  And they’re like $20 – so you have no excuse! :)

Learn more about the Gymboss and order one online today here:

=> Gymboss interval timer

Okay! That does it for part one of our how to build a home gym on a budget series. I’ll be back soon with part two. We’ll pick up our first piece of training equipment (can you guess what it might be? :) ) and much more. Stay tuned -


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AND – if you know anyone else who might benefit from this info, feel free to pass it on, too :)

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