How to build the ultimate home gym for less than $5 a month



I have turned my back patio into a muscle dungeon with all my workout equipment. Much I have purchased used, with some that I had to buy new simply because it wasn’t available new. The items I have purchased and their costs are:

72″ power rack – $290 – I could have gone cheaper with just the squat stands, but I wanted the versatility and the safety of the catches since I workout alone mostly.

– Weight bench, 4 barbells, and over 500 lbs weights – Approx. $500 combined, all purchased used from craigslist. – I could use the squat rack for bench as well, but the additional bench rack came with a lot I purchased mostly just to get the bars and weights.

60lb Kettlebell – $100

– DIY Pullup station – $100 – this was the materials cost for the bar, 4×6 timbers, concrete, and hardware. I built and anchored it myself.

Gymnastics Rings for pullup bar – $25

Speed jump rope – $15 – No, I still haven’t figured out double-unders. Nobody is perfect.

160lb set of bumper plates – $270 – While not totally necessary, I do like to have the ability to do Olympic lifts.

Foam Roller – $50 – For recovery and mobility. I went with this one because it has a solid plastic core so it is more durable. A little pricey, but I have had it for years and use it frequently an it shows no signs of wear.

Lacrosse ball – $13 – Same purpose as the foam roller. Some people use tennis balls, but they are not firm enough for me.

So in total I have spent around $1000 for my home gym when you include little incidentals. It gives me the ability to do almost any exercise that doesn’t involve dumbbells or cables (I only have a couple random dumbbells that came with my craigslist purchases). Contrast that with a $30 or $50 gym membership, and the break even point is less than 2 years. But it is better than that, since weight equipment holds its value pretty well. I could sell all this stuff today for a large portion of what I paid for it.

If you pay the thousand dollars, use your gym for ten years, then sell everything for $500 (half of what you paid), then you have spent less than $5 per month for a near complete gym setup.

Also consider that my gym has no dress code, no stupid rules, I can grunt, swear, yell, drop plates. It is never crowded, I can listen to my favorite music, and it is open 24 hours a day. I don’t have to drive there and look for parking. It really is a great set up. The only significant downside is that if you are by yourself you won’t have a spotter (and no women in yoga pants).