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Intro to building a home gym

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Setting Up a Home Gym: The Essential Equipment You Need

Working out at home is a convenient and affordable alternative to a traditional gym membership. And with just a few key pieces of equipment, you can set up an efficient home gym without breaking the bank. Here are some must-have items for your home workout space:


A solid set of dumbbells should be your first purchase. Adjustable dumbbell sets allow you to change the weight amount on a single dumbbell from 5 to 50 pounds or beyond. This gives you all the weight options you need while saving space.

Medicine Balls and Kettlebells

These 2 items can handle high aerobic exercises, strength training, and some amazing core work. If I had to pick between the 2, I would suggest kettlebells with the goal of slowly adding to the collection, going up in weight as you get stronger and more fit. I still remember my first one, a 35lb kettlebell I still have/use today. The first workout was a killer, but you will quickly need to advance in weight which is why our collection now goes up to 206lbs.

Jump Rope

Jump ropes are compact, affordable cardio tools. Jumping rope burns calories and tones your legs, shoulders and arms with high-intensity interval training. Adjustable ropes allow for custom sizing.

Foam Roller

Foam rollers help accelerate workout recovery. Use them to roll out tight muscles, improve circulation and mobility, and decrease muscle soreness both before and after your workout.

Now onto our more expensive and larger items. While those mentioned about are a great starter pack and can really add to long term changes in your health, you may find you want to expand into some bigger equipment.

Squat Rack

If strength gains are your #1 priority, getting a solid rack is a great way to start. While these are not as expensive as they used to be, when you add in the bars, bench, and weights the numbers can really climb.

Barbells and weight plates

If squats, bench, deadlifts, ect are your main focus, I would suggest these be your first purchase. The good thing is a Barbell and some weights can cover almost every movement and muscle needed. The downside is not every home or budget can handle this purchase.

Cardio Machines

Nothing can break a sweat like a good cardio workout but nothing can drain your bank account and take up more space than an unused cardio equipment. If you know what you like and you are committed to using a machine, this can be the best purchase you ever make. Just don't buy something that will later become a $1000 coat hanger. The resale value of these are terrible and it can be difficult to find anyone who will want to even take it for free. I am not trying to talk anyone out of building a great home gym, I just hate seeing so much money being spent on an item that will never be used.

With this basic exercise equipment, you'll be ready to strength train, cardio condition and flexibility train without ever leaving home. Invest in quality equipment made to last, and add new challenging tools over time to continually change it up.

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