Build a Cheap Free Weight Home Gym

Having a home gym has a lot of advantages such as not having to drive to the gym, not having to wait for equipment on a busy day, and being able to listen to your music without headphones But many of you might find it either space or cost prohibitive to have your own home gym

Now first of all for space you really don't need that much I'd say the minimum is around 100 square feet for the equipment I'm going to be going over As for my gym at home, I have 13 by 13 foot size, and that's more than enough Now as far as cost, depending on the equipment you need, it's anywhere from around $1200 to $2500 1200 is the bare minimum, and the biggest difference for the fluctuation in range is whether or not you want to have sets of dumbbells or if you're just buying one set of adjustable dumbbells

Now the key to saving on gym equipment is to be patient, or checking the marketplace such as Amazon, Craigslist, and deal sites like slickdealscom You're also going to want to check the local gyms around you just to see, they're going to have a lot of used equipment that's in pretty good shape, even though it's old It's going to be a lot better to get that than to get like some chintzy new equipment that isn't going to last you as long Now when I purchased all my gym equipment it was around March or April of 2013

Prices are always going to chance but the tactics in which you use to find those prices will not Now for any home gym you're going to need a power rack This is the Valor Athletics BD Seven power rack I got this for around $500 on Amazon Right now it's between $500 and $600 on Amazon

But you're going to want to use a historic price checking site such as keepacom to check the historic prices on items which are on Amazon You don't want to be paying a record high price for your item So if this is on a record high currently, just wait a few months or few weeks if you have the patience Now ceiling height can be an issue for any power rack

The Valor BD Seven with the rubber end caps removed is about six feet, six feet 10 inches My ceiling is just over seven feet one inch Now I took away the drywall here and there's an additional nine and half inches in between the wooden slats This is so you can do pull ups and chin ups So definitely measure if you're on a basement or if you're putting this in the first floor as well, definitely measure your ceiling right before purchasing this

Now putting together this power rack is a chore But given the parts and the complexity, especially the pulley system in the back, I don't see how it could be any easier Just make sure you have the right tools for it I did have a work piece of plastic in the back for the pulley system, but Jim Vanderbleek, the owner of the Valor Athletics, he actually answered my email and shipped out a replacement part immediately, so customer service is great for this You're also going to need an Olympic weight set

It's pretty much a necessity, along with an Olympic bar I purchased these at Dick's Sporting Goods They were on sale for under $300 for 255 pounds, and then you can just get some clips at Amazon for around $10 If you need more than 255 pounds just get two additional 45 pound weights on Amazon Actually don't get them on Amazon

I paid way too much for mine at $106 Get them locally, either on Craigslist or a local gym It really doesn't matter if they're rusty, they're just weights Also you're going to need a calf block This is going to be your

basically this is a necessity for all your calf exercises since you're not going to have any dedicated calf machines You can do a variety of different exercises, but each one uses that This is about $50 on Amazon Next you're going to want a bench I have the Ironmaster Super Bench It was around $320 on Amazon

I know over $300 is a lot just for a bench but it's really versatile and you can do it incline, decline, of course flat, but you really want to make sure you get a sturdy bench because this is rated 1000 pounds You don't want to get a bench that's rated much lower than that You don't want to get like a cheap Marcy or a Nova bench You can also see if your local gym has a bench as well You might not be able to get one that doesn't incline and decline

But that's what I like about this one because I don't have enough, I mean I do have enough room, but if you have two benches, especially in a space as small as 13 by 13 or any smaller you're going to start to get a little crowded So this can do As the C attachment you can do an incline Then you can also get an additional decline attachment This is around $70

Again, it's all together around $400 for a bench but it's definitely worth it You might be able to find it cheaper but just put this on the end and then that should decline as well Now you're also going to want some dumbbells If you're going to go the cheaper route just get a pair of adjustable dumbbells These were on Amazon for around 260

A lot of the cost was from shipping so if you can find some adjustable dumbbells on Craigslist it'll save a lot of money that way Now the ones I got on Amazon, I'll provide the links They're pretty wide So if these are a little too wide for you, you could also get a saw and saw some of it off You just have lighter weight set and then a heavier weight set where you go saw it off

Whatever you do just don't get adjustable dumbbell sets at Wal-Mart because they're cheap pieces of crap A piece just broke off, I hope you can see, but I mean it's for what you're paying for at Wal-Mart Just don't get any gym equipment period at Wal-Mart Word of advice You're going to pay a lot more for a lot lower quality

Now you're going to want some padding so you don't chip your gym floor What I have right now is the bare minimum to protect your floor It's just about a quarter inch to half inch of these anti-fatigue mats you can get at a lot of hardware places I got mine at Harbor Freight These are four square feet each and they come at four to a pack at $10 a pack

So it's a real cost effective way to cover your gym floor But, yeah, I needed about $100 worth of pads to cover this floor But they start to show wear right away If you can see there a bunch of dents, divots which it's not a problem But what is a problem is when they start to separate in the high traffic area, right in front of the power rack

You're going to get some separation, even though you can easily puzzle piece them back together and always become separate again because you get the shift in the padding overtime To really get it back correctly you'd have to lift the power rack and all the weights just to get it back together and it's really not worth it Instead of these I recommend they have them at Tractor Supply Co these large one to two inch rubber mats they use for horses, but they're about 20 square feet each It's going to be more expensive but it's worth in the long run because they're not going to shift around like these do Now as for protection for your floor, I mean basically the bare minimum is going to prevent drops, but there, even 10 pounds at a couple of inches, I mean you can see a dent, but it's good for a start

But after experiencing this I'd recommend just going with the rubber mats from Tractor Supply right away Now if you find adjustable dumbbells too much of a pain and you're willing to spend the extra money you can get a whole dumbbell set for around $600 assuming they're used and at around 50 cents a pound You can get great deals if you just search locally for these dumbbells either at local gyms but especially on Craigslist If you build them up overtime instead of trying to buy a whole set of ones, you'll probably get a better deal Once you find a set and you're able to talk someone down, negotiate for the whole set

Just buy what you need If the heaviest dumbbells you use are 75 pounds then buy them 65 pounds and then use the adjustable dumbbells for the 75 because you're probably not going to use your heaviest set as much as you are the others Also for the heavier weights, space them in 10 pound increments instead of five pound of increments like you do with the lower weights I started at 10 pounds then go in five pound increments up to 60 And then from 60 on I'd just go 60 to 85 I'd just go in 10 pound increments

Then I use my adjustable dumbbells for the heaviest set and I also use it to fill in between I don't have a 65 pound set so I just use those when I need them Also for the racks you're also going to want to get these used My spacing isn't very efficient with these I have just one rack at the top here

The bottom isn't being used I actually prefer having the weights at the top rack That way you're not bending over and having to pick up the heavy weight and possibly hurt your back Now with the lower weights I use the four-tier set If you had a two or three-tier set here I mean you can make do with half the space for the dumbbells

Now these pieces of equipment aren't exactly necessary but they do help flash out the amount of exercise you can do for the variety of lifts rather You can get a preacher bench This is a pretty cheap one It was about $100 new on Amazon I mean it's really light, which is actually an asset because then you can pick it up and move it around

You can use it for a variety of purposes once you attach a T-bar row attachment here That really helps out, the amount of back exercises you can do This is all you really need for your preacher bench This adjusts and then both of the racks here adjust Then you're also going to want to get an EZ crowbar

There's a bunch of other small items you'll get which will just make things easier The Valor power rack comes with a cable system so you're going to want a variety of attachments such as the rope attachment This is the triangle attachment It's a variety of gears Valor comes with a chain so you can adjust the length of the attachments

This is for squats That's about it You're also going to want to You might want a plate tree It's really up to you I mean the Valor comes with four plate racks so you might not, but I mean, if you have the space definitely get a plate rack As I mentioned earlier you'll want to use a site like keepacom to track your historic Amazon pricing

You want to purchase something when it's one of its price valleys You can do this by setting up alerts with your email address so then it will email you once the price dips below the norm For your local purchases such as barbells and dumbbells use CraigsList Then for your equipment purchases set up some deal alerts on slickdealscom

Now let's go over the bare minimums equipment needed for your home gym First you want a power rack That's between 500 and 600 Your super bench, 400 with the attachment Your Olympic weight set between 200 and 300

Your calf block depending on if you make it yourself or you purchase a metal version between 20 and 17 and your barbell clips Your adjustable dumbbells Get these regardless if you purchase the non-adjustable dumbbells or not You'll need these to fill in the gaps These are between 120 and 240 depending on if you buy them locally or online

So your total cost of the bare minimum home gym is between 1240 and 1610 whether or not you purchase them locally, used, or online The break even for a $30 month gym is between three and half and four and a half years If you want to protect your floor get some mats I highly recommend the Tractor Supply Co mats, a lot more expensive But if you're fine with piecing together puzzle board and putting them back together every now and then the Harbor Freight version is so much cheaper

Your non-adjustable dumbbells set is going to be around $600, this assuming 50 cents per pound, used, getting them locally For this set this is between this is from 10 pounds up to 85 pounds in five pound increments, except between 65 and 85 pounds, those are in 10 pound increments Then if you need something in between those, just use your adjustable dumbbell set You can get used racks for around 100 T-bar bracket $40 online

Handles and barbell pads between 50 and 100, depending if you get those locally or not Preacher bench around 100 You can probably get a used preacher bench locally for around the same price, but I like the online version just because I think the light weight is an asset in the home gym because it's easier to move around Your EZ curl bar between 30 and 80, and your Plate tree between 30 and 45 Total cost of the complete home gym is anywhere between about 2300 to 2900 and your break even for this is between 6

3 and eight years Now it seems like it's a long time to get your return on your investment, but this doesn't factor in hard-to-cost benefits like gas and your time saved from not driving to the gym daily Depending on how you value your time and how far the gym is this is going to vary a lot person to person That should be it and good luck with your deal hunting

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