How to Build a Home Fitness Center

Like many Americans, you may be feeling the weight (no pun intended) of the cost of a gym membership. Being healthy is NOT cheap. From supplements to gym memberships to trainers to organic foods, it’s exhausting being healthy. Good thing all those green veggies are giving you the boost you need to keep up with it.

I want to share a money-saving tip with you that I put into practice this past year. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars in gas money, membership fees and general effort. I built a home gym. Exhibit A.



The benefits of working out in my own home were four-fold. To be fun, I call it the 4 Ss: Stretchiness, Solitude, Savings & Simplicity.


Stretchiness: Work out when you want—no dealing with hours of operation

Solitude: Exercise at your own pace in your own personal sanctuary

Savings: Pay no membership fees—seriously, this is a big deal

Simplicity: Don’t struggle with machines or cables—choose equipment that’s right for you.


Building a home gym is easy on a budget. Think of it this way: you’re getting buff, not broke. Here’s how I set mine up:

I made a visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased a heavy bag. Then I went on Craigslist and searched for used weights and PowerRacks, a medicine ball, and bomb-ass speakers for ambiance. I bought all of this for around $558.

Yes, yes, I know that sounds like a lot of money initially. But think logistically. Any gym that’s actually worth your time (and doesn’t rely on you to self motivate) is going to cost you a good $30–$150 a month or more. Let’s average that to say $90 a month. You just bought yourself a home gym for around 6 months worth of a gym membership. And guess what? YOU OWN IT. No one else gets to use it. You can freely move around and work out.

Now, one thing I need to point out is cardio. DON’T SKIP YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT! My gym looks very weight-centered. But you can still get your cardio in without owning a treadmill or an elliptical. For me, my cardio consists of a mile-long run to which I amp myself up by listening to Eye of the Tiger. Then I get back to my swag home gym and do boxing combinations for another 45 minutes. It equals out to about a good 60 minutes of cardio.


Figure out what “big ticket items” you want to spend money on. These are items you probably don’t want to buy used. Maybe think about buying a Bowflex? You can make installments on them and they work out SO many muscles all at once.


Remember, a poor man’s gym works just as well as a rich man’s gym if you put in the same amount of effort. Customize your gym to meet your specific fitness personality. If you’re rough and tough and aggressive like I am, try boxing! I’m a big advocate if you haven’t noticed already. But if you prefer something more relaxing, get an elliptical or pimp out your garage into a zen yoga studio. Do you, boo boo.