Throughout the last few years, there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of usual gym goers turning to home workouts to keep fit.
The main problem with consistently exercising from home is the cost involved in sourcing and/or setting up equipment unless you plan to base your workouts on bodyweight exercises alone.
Different types of resistance bands are perfect for a variety of exercises, but you may also want to add in physical apparatus such as dumbbells, weight racks, and more.
In this article, we’ll explain how to minimise your total spend in creating the perfect home gym, while maximising the quality.
Expensive equipment is normally just that for a reason – it’s the best the business has to offer – but you can sharply cut costs by making the equipment yourself.
We’ll first take a look at how to plan, build, and set out your home gym on a budget, before delving into the more advanced details of the building side of things.
Planning your gym
How to maximize your available space:
Before you consider buying any equipment to build up your home gym with, you need to first know what sort of space you are working with.
For example, if you’re setting up your gym in the basement, or in a small spare room, you need to select how many pieces of equipment you are going to buy or make the best use of the space, but try to focus on equipment that you feel will give you the most effective workout.
Gathering materials & building the equipment
Once you’ve decided on what equipment you want, and where it is going to be stored, you can then focus on bringing your ideas to life.
DIY equipment is, as mentioned above, a cost-effective method of working out as opposed to either spending hours sourcing the right equipment online or spending large amounts of money to get it delivered to your house.
Given some of the working hours needed to build certain pieces, you may choose to purchase some types of equipment yourself.
Equipment your gym needs
Let’s explore what sort of gym equipment you can build from scratch, to make home workouts that bit easier and more cost-effective, as well as how to complete the build to a high standard:
The perfect place to start is with a standard workout bench. The most durable ones use woodas a base.
To do this, you need wood pieces of various sizes, ranging from 4 inches to around 7 inches, using one to form an upwards slant, as well as screw brackets and an electric drill to fit the pieces together.
For more information on how to build a sturdy and reliable workout bench, check out this helpful guide from Smart Weight Loss.
The medicine ball is another flexible piece of apparatus that can be utilised in several different exercises.
Luckily, making one yourself could not be easier.
Take a relatively heavy ball, such as a soccer ball or basketball, and fill it with sand.
Be careful to seal the ball back up again on completion, and test the medicine ball out a few times to ensure it keeps its strength after intense usage.
As mentioned above, resistance bands are perfect if you want to complete intensive workouts at a fraction of the cost.
The bands allow you to perform those high-intensity routines with many repetitions, without fear of them overstretching or snapping.
They can be purchased online at a cheap cost. Booty bands are especially excellent for exercising your glute areas – but you can easily create your own with in-house materials.
Many superstores sell high-quality rubber bands, and you can tie the ends together to form grips if you don’t want to add grip handles.
If you want to complete exercises that need a physical piece of apparatus for the resistance band to stretch from and offer tension, such as the inverted row, try using a door handle, door frame or coat hook.
Squat and power racks
Another great piece of apparatus for your home gym is a squat and/or power rack.
Building these yourself can be quite time-consuming – you’d need to set aside around 10 hours to complete one to a good standard.
However, it is important to note the long-term benefits that come from effectively building a squat rack into your intensive workouts.
Squats engage your core muscles as you use strength to keep your body upright.
The racks are also a helpful way to get the hang of the exercise, helping to ensure both safety and correct form.
Squat and power racks do take up a lot of space, so you need to factor that in when deciding what materials you need to build it, and whether it is practical to fit one within the dimensions of your home gym space.
We’d recommend using metal rather than wood for a squat rack, as it is sturdier and has the potential to last far longer.
For a more in-depth guide on how to build a squat and/or power rack, check out this article from Power Rack Pro.
Boxing gloves and punching bag
Incorporating boxing into any workout routine is likely to have key benefits to your fitness and long-term health, as well as helping to improve your reactions and speed.
We recommend buying both sets of equipment online for the best possible quality, as unlike the above it is slightly more difficult to replicate the feel and grip of a boxing glove using DIY equipment.
Most punching bags are around 100 x 35cm in size, so bear this in mind when working out measurements.
You first need to form a sturdy and thick outside canvas, and add a circular base to form the bottom of the bag.
Then, place sand at the base of the bag before adding soft materials, like cotton, on the way up. You can also consider using sawdust to add extra weight to the bag as required.
To complete, you must grab the fabric at the top of the bag and tie a rope around it tightly, starting with the middle, before tying a strong knot.
From there, use the remainder of the rope to hang or secure the bag.
Most strength training workouts use some form of weights, or dumbbells.
For this, the only item you must have to hand is a metal pipe, to hold both sides of the dumbbell together.
From there, there are a wide variety of apparatus that you can use to form the ‘weights’ on either side.
For example, you could thread the pipe through two milk bottles filled with sawdust.
Alternatively, you could even look at filling the bottles with sand and cutting the tops of each, before attaching to each end of the metal pipe.
Now you’ve read this guide, you should hopefully have a better idea of how to bring your home gym to life using DIY.
Not only does building the equipment yourself cut costs down as opposed to buying equipment online, but it can help you to learn new skills and still have just as effective a workout as you would if you went down to the gym!