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Getting in shape is hard enough, but it doesn’t also have to break the bank! There are a TON of YouTube videos, websites, articles and advertisements encouraging you to sign up for gym memberships or to buy the newest, latest piece of equipment (usually something that is completely unnecessary that targets only one muscle group). But why waste money on something you’re likely to stow away in the basement and forget about in 3 months!
A DIY home gym is significantly cheaper than a couple months worth of membership fees. Plus, you’ll save a ton of time getting to and from the Gym and cut out the pointless socializing.
Here’s how to get in shape for FREE (or as close to it as you can get):
How to get started
OK, fine! We’re taking a few liberties with the word “gym”, but the idea here is that there is a LOT you can do with what you already have. Anything you do need to buy can be done for $200 or less. With this gym setup, you’ll be able to get a complete workout at home, no compromises. And you can probably find all of the equipment you need used or like-new on Amazon or Craigslist for much less. For example, used dumbbells can sell for pennies on the dollar, and they are basically as good a set of shiny, expensive new ones! They are extremely durable and, as with most other workout equipment, if you don’t mind a few aesthetic dings and scratches, you’ll pay a fraction of the cost.
The absolute best part about this home gym is you can take most of the equipment with you on the road so you can keep your fitness goals on track, even while travelling.
- Doorway Mount pull-up bar
- Resistance Bands
- Suspension trainer – or try a DIY version
- Jump rope
- Dumbbell handles – & a set of cheap weight-plates with 1″ holes from Craiglist
Basic Workout Plan:
The following workout is based on a push-pull method. All workouts should be in 3 sets of 8 reps (or until failure). Visit TRXtraining.com to learn how to set up and use a suspension trainer. You’ll want to make sure you have a sturdy anchor point such as a door or floor beam. If you’re an experienced athlete, a push-pull program may not be sufficient for your needs, so we suggest you check out Scooby’s Workshop for some great pro-workout plans.
Monday (Push workout)
- Dumbbell press, laying on floor, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells)
- Dumbbell flys, laying on floor, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells)
- Push-ups, until failure
- Overhead press, standing up, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells)
- Shoulder raise, standing up, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells)
- Dips, 3×8 (Use: Suspension trainer)
- Cardio 20 mins – jogging or jump rope
Wednesday (Pull workout)
- Pull-up overhand wide, 3×8 reps (Use: Pull-up bar)
- Bent-over rows, 3×8 reps (Use: 1 Dumbbell and a chair)
- Chin-up underhand, 3×8 reps (Use: Pull-up bar)
- Bicep curls, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells)
- Seated Bicep curls, thumbs up, 3×8 reps (Use: 2 dumbbells and a chair)
- Cardio 20 mins – jogging or jump rope
- Rotissorie core workout, 3×8 reps
- Jumping Squats 3×8 reps or until failure
- Hip raise 3×8 (Use: suspension trainer)
- Lunges 3×8 (Use: suspension trainer)
- Calf raises 3×8 (Use: staircase, one leg at a time)
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday: Cardio 30 minutes. Alternate between jump rope, jogging, swimming, bicycling, or various high-intensity sports.
The above workouts are inspired by scoobysworkshop.com, so please check out his site for more information.
What NOT to do: The $35,000 Home Gym
With a $35,000 custom home gym, you’re going to have the shiniest new equipment, however you’ll get basically the same quality workout as the $200 home gym. But you’ll have to spend a whopping 17,500% more! Just imagine what else you could do with all that hard-earned dough!
- Rowing Machine (up to $5,000)
- Stationary Bike (up to $5,000)
- Treadmill (up to $10,000)
- Elliptical (up to $9,000)
- Dumbbell set (up to $2,000)
- Weight Stack Machine (up to $4,000)
- Workout Bench (up to $500)
And this is just scratching the surface of what is available for a fully decked-out home gym. You can literally go on, and on! And don’t forget that each of these pieces of equipment is massive! Most people will need a second room as large as their house to fit all of this.
Word of the wise: If you’re being sold a piece of workout equipment that targets only a specific muscle group, you’re likely getting ripped off.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime. We are not medical professionals.
Disclosure: Please note that this post may include affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them. We only recommend products the we would use and any income received goes towards keeping this community supported and open to all.