How to build a home gym for less than the cost of an annual gym membership

It was October 2019 and my gym membership contract was scheduled to end in November. It wasn’t overly priced ($30 a month plus an annual upkeep fee), but I didn’t care for the Zumba classes any more and it disappointed me that they changed their “bring a guest” policy.

So I made the decision to cancel the membership and begin on building a home gym. I already had 3 sets of dumbbells (pictured below) which I had purchased 5 years ago from Academy. I also had a Yoga mat ($8). I don’t remember exactly what I paid for the weights, but I found a similar set available on Walmart.com for $90 (3 months of gym memberships). I had purchased my husband an elliptical/bike for Christmas the prior year ($120).

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In November, I had seen that Academy had a weight bench available for sale for $120, so I bought that as part of my Christmas present to myself (haha). The weight bench has the leg lift / leg curl feature (which I use most often to work my quads and hamstrings). Academy has that same bench currently for $150. But watch the sales around November / December because many home gym equipment go on sale before the New Year.

Then the pandemic hit in March 2020, and gyms closed, so many people were forced to create gyms of their own at home. I was fortunate that I began building my home gym before this time. To help motivate me and also diversify my workouts, I subscribed to Beach Body On Demand. The special at the time was $40 for 3 months.

As I was increasing my intensity and finding more workouts on Beach Body, I added a set of 10 pound dumbbells, a set of elastic loops, floor slides and bands. All the loops, slides and bands can be purchased at 5 Below.

You can see my current gym set up below:

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My husband had built the wooden rack (on the wall) to hold the bands and mats. I have my gym set up in the living room (because we had the extra space). I know many people choose to put their home gyms in a garage; but I read that the living room is one of the best places to have it set up since it will motivate you to exercise if you’re spending more time lounging in the living room and looking at your gym equipment.

If you don’t have the money for new equipment, look on Facebook marketplace – especially in the spring and summer. Many people fall off of their New Years resolutions and want the extra cash for summer vacations, so they’ll post their equipment for sale.

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