Fit on a Budget: How to Build a Budget-Friendly Home Gym

Guys, we’re over halfway through 2020, and this year has been a whirlwind. With the constant changes happening in the world, going to the gym isn’t always an option, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a solid sweat session in. While you there are many plans that are cheaper than a gym membership that only require the great outdoors or body weight, some of us gym rats 🙋‍♀️ are dreaming about returning to the gym. A home gym might just be the perfect solution. After all, Chris and I did build a gym in our garage, which you’ve probably seen on my Instagram or on The Transform App.

Fit on a Budget: How to Build a Dream Home Gym on A Budget

A home gym can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. Remember, you can be fit on a budget. Don’t let the shiny price tags of the state of the art equipment distract you from your goal. It’s totally possible to still build a really amazing home gym on a budget. Sometimes, all you need is a couple pieces of equipment and a good imagination, and you’ve just designed the best home gym and killer workouts that money can buy. And much like anything in transformation, slow and steady wins the race.

Start with Small Pieces of Equipment

Just like with any new big lifestyle change, if you start thinking about the big picture too fast, too soon, it can be overwhelming. Instead of thinking of how big or how great you want your home gym to be, start small. If all you can afford (or find!) is a set of dumbbells, snag them! You don’t need the latest and greatest machines, weight racks, or endless rows of mirrors for your gym to be legit. Find the staples and start there. Building your gym can be a project that you complete a little at a time over the years until you have everything you want.

Here are some great starter pieces:

As time goes on, if you’re able to add more equipment, do it! Building your dream gym isn’t something that needs to happen overnight. Instead, slowly check items off from your wish list, and add to it as you’re able to! The great thing about starting small is it’ll allow you to experiment with some of the moves. Resistance bands with a pull-up bar can allow you to do so many complex moves, no expensive equipment required

Buy Multi-Purpose Machines

If you’re wanting to splurge on one big item, try and find something that will check multiple boxes. Lots of times a multi purpose machine or piece of equipment is a great way to go because you only have to buy one item, as opposed to buying multiple pieces. It’s another great way to save space and clutter. Here are a couple of great options:

  • Home gym system that comes with multiple pulleys, weights, and lifts that work each part of your body.
  • Squat rack where you can squat, bench, or practice pull ups would be another example
  • Bonus: something as simple as buying a bench that could serve multiple purposes for things like? Bulgarian split squats, knee ins, step ups, tricep dips, glute bridges, froggie hip thrusts, dumbbell hip thrusts, and more!

Whatever big splurge item you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll get the most use out of. If it’s not something you see yourself using very often, maybe move that item a little further down on your list. You can always circle back to it later!

Not sure what exercises and workouts you can do in a home gym with minimal equipment? We’ve got you covered with The Transform App.

Buy Second Hand Items

Next time you’re out and about and you see a garage sale going down, stop and take a peek! You’d be amazed at the things you can find that someone doesn’t want anymore. Craigslist and Ebay are also great places to browse, and sometimes you can even find good items on your local Facebook Marketplace (just always make sure you take a buddy if you plan a meet up!).

A lot of second hand gym equipment will shock you—it looks and perform as if it’s brand new. You may even have a second hand gym equipment store in your town. It’s a great way to save money, buy the bigger items you’ve had your eye on, and keep building out that dream gym one piece of equipment at a time.

Your dream gym probably looks a little different depending on your goals and depending on how you love to work out. The best way to get started is to write down all the things you’d love to see in your dream gym. You can even take it a step further and put them into categories, and then start breaking them down into which items are the most realistic for you to get first. Investing in yourself, and investing in your health, are great ways to invest your time AND money. Make a plan and start small! You’ll be so happy you did!


Related reading:

Total Body Burner: At-Home Kettlebell Workout
8 Resistance Band Moves You Can Do Anywhere
7 Resistance Band Moves You Can Do Anywhere
Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Total Body Toning
My 5 Gym (and Home Gym) Must-Haves

2 Responses

  1. Hello, I’ve started your program, and so far so good! But I do have a question. When weighing food, should I be weighing it cooked or raw???

    1. Hi Sarah: If you’re using our Transform App (, any ingredient that says “meal prepped” or “cooked” or “steamed,” etc., will be weighed after cooking. Otherwise, weigh pre-cooking. The same is true for any recipes on this site. For other recipes, unless otherwise stated, weigh pre-cooking. Hope that helps!

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