Gym at home: How to create and finance it?

Today, DIY (Do It Yourself) is on the rise. This English phrase from the 90s means “do it yourself”. This is exactly what many athletes do today. They build their own home gym.

So you want to develop your bodybuilding space, but you don't know how much it will cost you?

That's what I'm going to help you calculate, and it might be a lot less than you think.

In fact, it is you who will decide if it will cost you an arm or very little money. The important thing, at the end of the day, is that your equipment allows you to do a complete training session in good conditions and in safety.

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Why make a gym at home

Hygiene

In this time of Covid 19, confinement and deconfinement, the problem of hygiene has taken on another dimension. It's already not very pleasant to take a bar or dumbbells that have just been used, but with the risk of contagion it's worse. Not to mention that not all rooms have super good ventilation.

Well, I don't want to disgust you, but frankly, we are more comfortable at home with personal weight machines. It is very easy to apply a little bit of white vinegar at the end of the session.

Material availability

This is a major problem in collective weight rooms, you often have to wait for the bench press bench or the squat rack to be available. If you only train at off-peak times, that's fine. But if you come after work at rush hour, the efficiency of your session may suffer from waiting times.

Which brings you directly to the next benefit…

Time saving

It takes time to pack your gym bag, get to the gym, change clothes and shower on site. And as you know, time is our most precious resource. The reality is that time flies and it has value.

Now imagine the wasted time being spent earning money, shopping, doing another hobby, starting a business, spending time with family, learning something new, etc. It might be a better use of that time.

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What do you think ?

Long-term savings

savings with home gym

If we consider that the average annual price for subscribing to a traditional gym is around €500 per year and per person, it is quite easy to do the accounts. For a couple, this therefore often represents an overall budget of more than €1,000 per year.

I'm only talking about savings on subscriptions here, but a small gym at home will save you in other areas such as:

  • Transportation : Unless you have a gym near you, you will often have to take your car or public transport for your journey there and back. All this will make you spend a little more.
  • Clothes : Honestly, you don't give a shit about being dressed like a potato sack or wearing your underwear when you're working out at home. On the other hand, you have to make efforts to dress in a bodybuilding area where there are people… and that has a cost.

A home gym, although having a cost for the initial investment, can in fact represent a big saving over time.

Think about it, the difference between a home gym and a gym membership is very similar to the difference between buying a car and leasing it. When you buy a car, you own it. You can do whatever you want with it. If you rent a vehicle, you pay a fee to use someone else's car. It's a much more expensive way to drive a car.

But you'll learn more about the real economy later…

When a personal gym is not for you

Be careful, I'm not saying that you can't find advantages in a weight room, fitness room or professional CrossFit. This is a good solution for some of you. For example, athletes benefit from it for certain reasons such as:

  • More social life
  • No room in their tiny apartment
  • Their neighbors or family can't stand the noise 
  • Unable to motivate themselves
  • Etc.

But if you don't fall into those categories, you have to wonder if a home gym might be a better fit.

What equipment for your home gym

I'm not going to give the details of all the sports equipment for your gym because I have already done it in many articles. However, here is a non-exhaustive list of the most used equipment:

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What surface for a weight room at home

home gym
No need for so much material and space at home 😉

In reality, there is no precise rule for this. If you opt for elastic bands or a TRX strap, you don't need more than 3 or 4 m² in front of a door in a room. So, for small spaces, focus on this light, but powerful material.

If you opt instead for free loads, you will need more space for an efficient layout. Indeed, you must place an incline or multifunction bench, a squat rack, a pulling pulley, dumbbells, bars and discs, etc. All this takes more space (and money) and it will take a space of 9 to 20 m² (sometimes more).

How much does a home gym cost

A home gym can not only be easy to equip, but it can also be a financially worthwhile decision.

Let's take the average annual cost of a gym membership for a couple: around 1000 €

Excluding inflation, you will have spent 10000 € in 10 years. That's a lot more than what it will cost you to set up your gym space at home, even if you're a raving madman.

As with any passion, your home gym can be extremely expensive if you don't calculate it right. But this is not inevitable. In fact, you can start with very little or even nothing but the things you have at home.

Start by equipping yourself with light but powerful equipment such as elastic bands and a TRX strap. The only constraint is to have a door to hang them on or a TRX support. All this will hardly exceed 200 € or 250 € in total and you can do everything. 

For some free loads, you will need to invest at least in a reclining bench, adjustable dumbbells, a pull-up bar, a dip station and a good weight training mat. For very good quality equipment, this will not reach 1500 €. And with less than $2,500, you can add a quality cardio machine like a rowing machine or an elliptical trainer.

Don't you think it's really worth it if you have the space?

But what if you don't have any money in advance, but you want to equip yourself?

How to finance your home gym

fund your home gym

If you can't afford to invest this amount all at once, you can always find financing for one or two years. Make a loan simulation over 12 or 24 months and see how much it costs you per month. That way, you will have a very good element of comparison with your room subscription. You will be surprised!

In addition, you will know how long your equipment will be amortized. Because honestly, much of the equipment will be able to last for many years, even a lifetime as is the case with benches, bars, dumbbells and discs.

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Even the elastic bands easily last over 6 or 7 years using them 5 times a week. I know something about this since I am in the process of completing my first kit which is over 7 years old and used in Africa for 5 years.

Home Gym – Conclusion

Setting up your own bodybuilding space or even dedicating a room or a garage to it is a super motivating project. But it's not about doing just anything.

Weigh the pros and cons, then calculate the cost by listing the equipment you would like to purchase. Make a list like this:

  • What is essential to start
  • What else would you like to have?

Then calculate the prices and see how to finance it. And if it sounds interesting to you, go for it!

Leave a comment below to ask your questions or share your experience. THANK YOU !

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I spend on a home gym?

As you just read, it's honestly up to you and the outlay can range from $200 to $10,000 if you're a diehard.

If you're buying cash, start small and add to your gear over time as you progress.

But if you decide to gear up all at once because you're certain of what you want, you can probably save on shipping costs by placing a large order.

When is the best time to buy gym equipment?

You can plan the list of equipment and wait for periods like sales or Black Friday to hunt for bargains.

Should I buy the cheapest equipment I can find?

In general, this is a very bad idea, except on steel bars and discs. For the rest, look for a balance between quality and price. Don't forget that this is equipment that you will use often and that you will undoubtedly improve in strength and intensity. Check out my recommendations for the best home gym equipment.

For example, in the area of elastic bands, there are many very poor quality products on the market, and most of them are good for the trash after just one session. I even sent back a full kit after just one set of bicep curls…

In addition, do not ignore the safety of the equipment purchased to avoid unnecessary injuries.

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