Health & Sustainability | Lifestyle

HOW TO BUILD A HOME GYM ON A BUDGET (THE CAVEMAN WAY)

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You all asked for it! I took a poll on my Instagram stories and 90% of you said you would be interested in me writing up an article about how to build a home gym on a budget.

Home gym that was built on a budget.

Ok well, I have to be honest here. I didn’t really build this gym. My husband, Dan, built it from ground up. But, I helped make it aesthetically cute. 🙂

We had always said we won’t be the type of people that build a home gym, but once the gyms closed due to COVID, we knew we had to.

We didn’t know how long the gyms would stay closed for and we had the space to do it. We decided to cancel our gym memberships and quickly get to work. As you may know, or maybe you don’t, my husband and I like to do everything on a budget. 

We research the heck out of things in order to get the best price out there, so building a home gym on a budget was no problem for us. We were mentally ready to do the research and knock it out.

Prices of weights and squat racks were skyrocketing (and still are) because everyone wanted them for their own home gym. So, we took the alternative route and built a home gym on a budget!

I am going to break this down in steps for you. We built this entire home gym on a budget to come out to a total cost of about $700.

You can read all about how I bulk and cut throughout the year to grow my booty here.

STEP 1: DETERMINE SPACE & EQUIPMENT

This part is important as you have to determine how much space you have to build your home gym. We were in the middle of designing our backyard, so this was the perfect time to add in a home gym. 

After you have determined how much space you are able to allot for your gym, you need to determine what kind of equipment you will want to have.

Homemade gym weights built on a budget

Do you want all the bells and whistles or do you want to keep it simple? We chose to go with the in-between option. Our home gym is fairly simple, but it has the capability to do everything we need. 

Personally, I wanted to maximize my training with the goal to grow my booty, so I needed more than a yoga mat. Here is a list of my essential items to have for our home gym.

-Squat rack

-Barbell

-Bench

-Dumbbells

-Kettlebells

-Plates 

STEP 2: SET THE SCENE

Once you have determined how much space you have and the items you need/want you can begin to set up your home gym.

Our area was just concrete prior to anything being placed. We chose to lay fake grass down in our gym area. (This originally was going to be a seating area with an outdoor fireplace, but we shifted and made it our home gym) 

Girl preparing an area for her home gym
Designing a home gym to be built on a budget

I wish we had added some cushion (like the gym floor) underneath the fake grass; however, it is not that big of a deal. 

I wanted to make the area cute, so I decided to make an accent wall. I also purchased a poster of Tom Brady to put in a waterproof frame. Gotta make sure to include my husband’s decor for all his hard work.

STEP 3: BEGIN TO BUILD

Since, this article is mainly focused on literally building a home gym on a budget I am not going to go into all the options as to where you could find cheap weights.

This is all about building by hand and from scratch. You can build a home gym on a budget or you can also find used items on Craigslist, offerup, etc to make your gym budget friendly.. 

SQUAT RACK

We decided to build an entire squat rack. I am not going to bore you through all the steps of how to build the squat rack. Instead we literally followed this Youtube video step by step to build ours. 

Plan to spend about two days just building this. Make sure to purchase all your items ahead of time. We got everything we needed from Home Depot and spent about $300 in supplies to build it. 

For our squat rack, we also ended up adding in a pull up bar and a cable machine to it as well. 

BARBELL

Now you could easily buy a barbell that is new or used, but again we are building a home gym on a budget. So, we found a local metal store called competitive metals nearby and purchased a round slab of metal that would become our barbell.

How to build a home gym on a budget

Dan found a great article that walked him through exactly how to make the barbell for our squat rack. You can find that article here.

In total, the barbell cost about $100 to make. 

CABLE MACHINE

I, unfortunately, don’t have a link for you as to how to add a cable machine to your squat rack because Dan and my father-in-law masterminded it and made it on their own. 

Home gym that was built on a budget

Feel free to take a close look at these pictures though to see how they built it. It is pretty straightforward. 

In total the cable machine cost about $50 to make. 

DUMBBELLS & PLATES

Again, we live life on a budget, so we wanted to build our dumbbells on a budget too. Dumbbells are insanely costly, and they became even more costly once quarantine hit. 

So, Dan found a way to make dumbbells and plates out of concrete. You will need to purchase concrete and a scale for this project. 

For the dumbbells, we used flower pots and home depot buckets to fill the concrete with. For the plates, we used Caveman weight molds. Both these options are super affordable and work great!

Home made concrete dumbbell
Home gym home made weights

There are tutorials on the caveman weights website for exactly how to make concrete plates.

We chose to paint our plates afterwards, so that they look more “legit.” 

In total the homemade dumbbells cost about $200 to make.  

OTHER ITEMS

There were a few items that we just had to purchase or just didn’t have time to make. We found a bench on offer up for a decent price. We chose to find a bench that is adjustable to offer more options for our exercises.

We purchased a plate holder, which we could have built, but it was fairly inexpensive on Amazon for our cost to time ration.

Other items we purchased off Amazon or as used items including kettlebells, a yoga mat, resistance bands, and an exercise ball

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM YOUR OUTDOOR LOVING GIRL

Honestly, guys and gals this was the way to go! We saved SOO much money! We hand built a home gym on a budget for a total cost of about $700. 

We will easily make this money back now that we have cancelled our gym memberships. At first, we didn’t think we would like working out at home, but now it is the best! 

We can just roll right out of bed and workout! 

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HOW TO BUILD A HOME GYM ON A BUDGET (THE CAVEMAN WAY)

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