What do I need for a home gym

Take your minds back, it’s the first day of a brand new year, we stand there with our plastic cups full of champagne and we are all hopeful of an amazing year… Now fast forward to March only a few months later. Seriously, who would’ve guessed that we’d all be forced into socially distancing and then lockdown (at least before, it was my own choice).

We as a nation endlessly scroll through hundreds-to-thousands of instagram posts in the hope that somewhere in these posts we’ll find the inspiration that leads us to look like those we desire. You know the ones, in their cute athletic range with their perfectly toned abs and the whitest teeth you ever did see, oh a girl can dream.

In previous attempts to lose weight, we’ve followed plenty of exercise fanatics, these same fanatics that are now embracing isolation and are hosting insta-live sessions in their spacious home gyms causing us to be completely put off by the realisation that we’ll never have the space or money for a similar home gym. So instead of joining in and focusing on your health, you are procrastinating and searching how much it would actually cost to invest in your own private gym. Well read-on and I’ll reward you glorious procrastinators with the definitive answer and you’ll soon realise that having your own space can both be affordable and just as useful!

what do I need for a home gym

So, this is how to build a home gym

After consulting with qualified PT George Bailey, I have all the solutions you need in order to correctly purchase equipment for your new home gym! Here are a few options available, yes this guide is inclusive of those with limited space/budgets.

B*tch I’m Broke

So whilst writing this I wanted to make sure that those who couldn’t afford a fancy home gym understand that they can still get fit and healthy without ANY expensive equipment.

If you are lucky enough to live near a forest, or to be honest any greenery, I urge you to utilise it. Find a nice uphill walk near you and aim to head out once a day. Fresh air is good for the soul and add in some lunges once a day to help tone your body whilst improving overall fitness.

On the rainy days feel free to stay inside and focus on strength workouts, I find this fitness blog gives great advice on all home workouts.

Low budget/limited space option

Cheap Adjustable Dumbbells

Dumbbells are an essential for any strength based workout. When not in use dumbbells take up minimal space, last forever and best yet are completely affordable. Firstly choose the weight you most feel comfortable with and then perhaps pick one 5 – 10 kg heavier to have something to strive for.

Using progressively heavier weights or increasing resistance makes muscles stronger giving you a leaner, more toned look. Basic dumbbells are more than adequate for the average person and will give you the results you are craving. For double the cost adjustable dumbbells are available but are far more convenient and space savvy.

Prices can vary but for a mixture of weights you can usually find decent dumbbells for an average of £50. Usually found on Amazon, Sports Direct, eBay and if the current pandemic has caused a panic purge of adjustable dumbbells, then Gumtree is another great option for some cheaper, second hand purchases.

woman using dumbbells

Resistance Bands

If you’ve gotten this far it’s because you’re on the hunt for the most affordable yet effective workout companions – have you found it yet? Well now you have.

Resistance bands are simply put, the perfect addition to your home gym. They either aid you, or make you work just that little bit extra. The stronger the resistance band, the easier the movement will be so consider this when picking one out for your workout.
This useful workout companion can be found for no more than £10 on sports direct, such as this USA PRO model that I found online for only £6.99, this is great value and a good enough product that does exactly what it should. #notanad

Pull-up bar

The pullup is one of the greatest bodyweight exercises out there. Great for building up your back muscle and strengthening your upper-body. Repping out a few pullups will be more rewarding and satisfying then any of those meaningless olympic lifts. The best way to learn? Practice!

For this I would be sure to read reviews before any purchase but any pull-up bar purchased in the region of £50 should be both sturdy and secure.

man using pull up bar

Skipping Rope

A skipping rope is the only piece of home cardio equipment you need to be investing in. The only proof you need is a rewatch of Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky character. Skipping is a great cardio workout whilst also helping you to improve coordination and cognitive function.

Skipping ropes aren’t expensive and can be purchased for under £10, this is as essential as any item you purchase and gives you a different option to just running on the days you really don’t want to go outside.

How much will all of this set you back?

Below is the average cost of all of the equipment that can be bought at a reasonable cost and doesn’t take up too much space.

Adjustable Dumbbells (£50)
Resistance Bands (£10)
Home Pull-up bar (£50)
Skipping Rope (£10)

The total cost? £120. That is 30 £4 coffee’s, so assuming everyday you purchase a coffee on your way to work (£20 a week on coffee), then this can be paid for out of your savings in exactly 6 weeks.

this is how you can afford a home gym by replacing coffee

Full Kit Out – Equipment For Your Home Gym

So first of all you should consider some of the items in the above section, they offer great value and are proven to assist with results when following a tailored workout plan.

Now imagine this, you’ve just got home from work. You want to get your workout out of the way otherwise you simply won’t do it. You think about the gym and all of the people in it and immediately change your mind, instead you’ll go tomorrow. Now, change your thought process and imagine yourself in the comfort of your own home with no one to impress, you are finally free to get as damn sweaty as you want – now go forth and see all of the equipment you need!


What strength training equipment gives you the option to carry out 7 different workouts and can be found for less than £200? The power-tower. Giving you the ability to train the entire muscle groups of the upper body with only one machine, a total bargain. So ladies if you want to look like Gabby Allen now and JLO in 20 years, then follow suit.

Squat Stand

Squat Stands suit all users and accommodates any bar making it the absolute ideal companion for ‘peachy’ results.

Weights & Barbell

Your energy levels and routines will regularly change so you will need different weighted plates to assist you during your workouts. Here is the absolute minimum you will need for varied strengths and to build yourself up.


Quantity: x2 of all
Weight (Kg): 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25

Of course with a squat stand you will require weights and a bar to accompany it. This argos 35kg curl set is readily available with starter weights and is reasonably priced at just £60, just purchase additional 10kg plates for extra weight in the future.


If you have the space required, then a folding bench is a great workout companion. Most come available with a 2 position back pad adjustment that you can isolate to help develop your pectorals.

This folding bench comes with weights and a bar for just £99.99.

Cardio Machine

Cardio machines are usually far more advanced and honestly if you are planning to incorporate cardio into your workout, then it is definitely worth the added cost. So now you know you want to incorporate cardio, what machine do you buy? Well lucky for you we’ve done the research!

Machines which work the big powerful leg muscles burn the most calories. Stationary bikes burn 500-1000 calories an hour, rowing machine 700-1100 and treadmills 600- 1200 calories, or 100 calories per mile. Running is something that can simply be done outside, so to make your workout more interesting I’d opt for a rowing machine, a great cardio machine that provides a full body workout. These machines work on both strength and cardiovascular fitness simultaneously, accelerating calorie burn while helping to tone and improve stamina.

For your home gym I’d recommend a magnetic rowing machine as these are on average quieter than the sister air rowing machines. This magnetic rowing machine is available for only £150 which is an absolute steal and highly rated.

So, the total cost of your kitted out home gym?

Below is the average cost of all of the equipment that can be bought at a reasonable cost and doesn’t take up too much space.

Power-Tower (£170)
Squat Stand (£80)
Bench with weights (£100)
Rowing Machine (£150)

The total cost? £500 and when bought with the previous section £620. For a fully kitted out home gym at the cost of a treadmill you really can’t complain!

Comment Below

I hope you have found the information provided useful, if you want to ask any questions to either me or George then feel free to comment below!

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