Table of Contents
Before setting up your very own home gym or garage gym, there are many things to take into account. Not least how much space you have available and the equipment you plan on putting in there, but also your budget.
- Recommended Reading – Can You Put A Home Gym On Second Floor? 7 Important Factors To Consider
But how much does the average home gym cost exactly, and what factors affect that price tag? To help you determine whether a home gym is right for you, this article looks in depth at everything you need to think about before taking the plunge and setting up a gym in the comfort of your own home.
How Much Do Home Gyms Cost?
The cost of a home gym can range anywhere from $1,000 up to tens of thousands of dollars. There are many factors that will determine the cost of setting up your home gym. Two of the most important things to consider before setting up is the space you have available and the workouts you want to undertake. Let’s consider some options below:
Home Gym Option 1
If you only wish to carry out some dumbbell freeweight exercises all you really need to invest in is some adjustable dumbbells and an adjustable weight bench.
The average cost of a weight bench can vary from $150 to $750, the higher end of the scale is likely to be a commercial grade bench of better quality.
- Recommended Reading – 9 Things To Consider When Buying A Gym Bench
Adjustable dumbbells typically cost anywhere from $375 to $875. The cost can depend on the brand how much weight they go up to.
This option is the most cost effective but you can still achieve a good workout and be able to perform exercises such as dumbbell goblet squats, stationary lunges, single leg glute bridge, calf raise, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell chest fly and bicep curls. This is a good option if you don’t have much space and don’t require training with heavy weights.
Home Gym Option 2
If you have more space, a bigger budget and want to be able to lift with heavy weights, you may want to add to the dumbbells and weight bench. By adding a rack with a barbell and some weight plates you can increase the versatility of your workouts.
For a rack you can choose anything from a half rack to a full power rack or something like a combination rack. If you’re looking for a power rack be sure to check the dimensions and the height of your ceiling. However, if you have limited space but want to be able to bench press and squat, a combination rack would be ideal.
By adding these extra pieces of equipment will increase the number of exercises you can perform and include movements such as barbell squats, barbell bench press and deadlifts. Something worth noting is for these big compound lifts, you’ll need to factor in the cost of rubber flooring. This is to limit any noise and reduce the likelihood of damaging your floor.
Home Gym Option 3
Aside from strength based exercises, perhaps you also want to undertake some steady state or HIIT cardio. In which case, you’ll be looking to add a cardio machine whether it’s a treadmill, exercise bike or cross trainer. Cardio machines can vary significantly in cost and depend on things such as whether it’s for light use or a commercial grade machine and even if you’re looking to purchase new or second hand.
The above options will allow for a good all over body workout but of course, there are some home gyms that go all out and even invest in plate loaded or selectorised machines. This further pushes the cost up but also the space requirements.
Let’s look at some other things to think about before setting up your home gym.
Factors Affecting Home Gym Cost
Type of Equipment
As mentioned above the type of equipment you opt for will have a huge impact on your final costs. The very basic of gyms with just a weight bench and some dumbbells will be the more cost effective. On the other hand, if you plan on incorporating any gym machines or cardiovascular machines this is likely to increase the costs significantly.
If you want to keep the cost down, home gym equipment, which is designed for minimal use, will be the cheapest. Conversely, if you want to go for equipment which is better quality then consider commercial grade equipment. It is more expensive but will have a much longer lifespan and will retain its value.
The size of your space also affects how much it’ll cost to build your home gym. If you have plenty of space, then it’s easier to include everything from free weights to cardio machines in one room. However, even if you have a large space, you don’t need to furnish it fully and you can add gym pieces over time making it more manageable.
If the space you have is quite limited then it’s better to focus on just one area such as cardio or strength training.
Gym flooring can be very costly depending on what type you choose. But, whether or not you need it is another matter. If you’ll be undertaking exercises such as yoga or other floor based body weight workouts then a simple exercise mat would suffice giving you the support you need and providing comfort during your training.
However, if you’re putting in a power rack with the intention of lifting some heavy weight, you’ll definitely need a good quality, thick rubber flooring. Not only will this limit noise, meaning you won’t upset your neighbors, but it will help to protect the floor underneath.
Most fitness spaces tend to get hot and sticky and if your home gym is a little confined with limited ventilation, you may want to think about putting in some air conditioning. This can be a significant expense with a price range from $1,500 up to $4,000. That being said, if you have plenty of windows and doors that allow for a decent air flow, you may not need air conditioning.
If your home gym is going to be allocated on a second floor, you’ll need to make sure the floor is structurally sound and will allow for the equipment you want to put in.
Some equipment can be very heavy, such as treadmills or weight stack machines, and you’ll need to be sure that it won’t damage the floor and that it can withstand the weight.
Home Gym Equipment
When ready to invest in a home gym, you should consider the best options when it comes to workout equipment that will allow you to effectively perform your training.
Below are some of the more common pieces of exercise equipment that can be a great addition to your home gym:
- Adjustable bench or flat bench
- Resistance bands
- Yoga mat / exercise mat
- Squat rack / squat stand
- Standard bar or Olympic bar
It’s worth noting that the above list is by no means exhaustive and there is no limit as to what you can place in your gym (space permitting of course). But, if you’re just starting out then the above will suffice to begin with.
Home Gym vs Gym Membership
Once you’ve undertaken the initial investment, home gyms can be more economical when compared to the average gym membership cost. Let’s look at an example.
The average monthly gym membership cost in the USA is just above $50. That’s at least $600 dollars per year. That excludes any associated costs such as fuel and parking. If you create a basic gym set up for around $3000, in less than three years you’ve covered this cost.
Other benefits to setting up your own home gym include privacy and easy access. It’s not uncommon to get demotivated when working out but if you have your own gym, you’re more likely to remain committed to your training.
Many people also find it intimidating working out in front of others and don’t necessarily require that community aspect that you can find in a commercial gym. Training alone can be much more appealing. However, something to consider is safety. If you lift very heavy weights, be sure to have someone around to act as a spotter if needed.
Where Should You Install Your Home Gym?
If you want to get the most out of your home gym, you need to make sure that it’s set up properly.
If you have any doubts about the best place to set up your gym, consider the below options.
If you have a garage or shed that you can use for storage or workout space, this can be a great option for those looking for an inexpensive way to get started with their home gym.
A garage gives you plenty of room to store equipment and offers enough wall space for hanging weights and other gear. The downside of installing your home gym in the garage is that you may not have much natural light coming into the space. If this is an issue for you, consider installing an artificial light source such as track lighting or hanging lights from the ceiling.
Another great place to install a home gym is in a basement. Most basements are fairly spacious, so there’s plenty of room for all sorts of equipment and exercise machines.
Something to consider however, is that basements can be prone to excess moisture leading to damp. You don’t want any of your equipment being exposed to the likelihood of corrosion so you may need to look at installing some air conditioning.
Another option for installing your home gym is out in the open space outdoors. This allows you to take advantage of natural light throughout the day with no concerns for ventilation.
A major consideration will be your equipment, as to leave it outside will mean it’s exposed to the elements. This does mean of course you’re limited as to what you can put outside. Any items that require a power supply will be a no go. In terms of things such as benches, dumbbells and power racks, you’ll need to make sure they are galvanised. This is a form of protective coating that is applied to bare steel before it’s powder coated and helps to protect it from rust.
Sometimes a spare bedroom can end up as a bit of a dumping ground for many household items. However, by clearing out this space you can now create your own private gym.
If this spare room is in an apartment building or on the first floor, you’ll need to check that the floors can accommodate gym machines. Also, if you have people living directly below you, you’ll probably want to limit your training to lighter strength based workouts to minimise noise and disruption.
Benefits of a Home Gym
If you don’t need access to a personal trainer and many different gym machines, then a home gym can offer many benefits.
Not only does a home gym offer convenience, but it also allows you to exercise whenever you want. If you like training first thing in the morning or in the evening, this could be a good option for you. Whilst many commercial gyms do offer 24/7 access, you don’t have to think about lugging your gym gear or finding parking when you arrive.
Cost savings are among the biggest benefits of having a gym in your home. You don’t have to pay gym membership fees or worry about sign up costs, which can add up over time. As mentioned above, once you’ve made the initial financial investment and this is paid off, you can save a significant amount of money.
If you have a home gym, you have complete privacy. This is perfect for those of you who lack the confidence to train in front of others which is more common than you may think.
Undertaking any form of exercise whether at home or regularly attending the gym takes self discipline. However, when you have easy access to a gym and complete privacy this can provide sufficient motivation for your training helping you to reach your fitness goals.
If you’re concerned with hygiene, then working out in your own space could be alleviate those worries. Many machines in a commercial gym can have a significant number of people using them throughout the day. Whilst most gyms do encourage cleaning by users between use, it’s not always done but having your own equipment, this is something you don’t need to worry about.
It’s not uncommon for people to pick up bugs and illnesses in a commercial gym but this is far less likely when training in your own home gym.
You can save a lot of time when working out in your own home gym. By the time you’ve factored in driving or walking there, and maybe you have to wait for your turn for certain machines, the time committed to your training can run into a couple of hours each time you workout. If you want to reduce this time, consider training at home as there’s no commute or waiting around for equipment.
Is A Home Workout as Effective as Going to the Gym?
Working out at home can be just as effective as going to the gym. If you perform lightweight strength based exercises using resistance bands or dumbbells, there is no reason you cannot reach your workout goals performing the same exercises at home.
That being said, if you’re a powerlifter or bodybuilder and you need access to heavy duty equipment and specialist gym machines, you may be unlikely to find training at home as effective. So, it can depend on your goals and what equipment you need access to.
Investing time and money in setting up your own home gym can offer significant benefits, especially in the long term when it comes to cost saving.
However, before committing make sure you consider all the factors mentioned in this article so you know that you have the space, money and can achieve your ideal workout.