Building A Home Gym On A Budget

Happppppy HUMP DAY! I cannot believe it’s September already. Byeeee Summer 🙁 Any other cold-weather friends get a heavy heart when the summer months end and you know that soon you won’t be able to feel your fingers when you step out to get the mail?

I actually love the festivities of fall and winter, but I’m sure they would be even more enjoyable in a warm weather state. Floridians, count your blessings 🙂

The purpose of this post is not weather related, so I’ll move on. Because I am frequently posting selfies in our home gym, (don’t judge me) I get asked a lot about what we have down there! As most of you know, both my hubby and myself work out from home, with the exception of running outside when my knee isn’t killing me.

I don’t necessarily have anything against the gym, it’s not just my jam. I don’t feel comfortable there, I don’t like to be around a bunch of sweaty people, I can’t walk around in my itty bitty shorts and sports bras, and I think exercise should be a source of focusing your mind and enjoyment, not something stressful or uncomfortable. So, for that reason, I choose to do my workouts at home. Plus, I like the structure of a program that tells me what to do, how to do it, and how long to do it. I have a tendency to skip the workouts I don’t like if I don’t have structure, and you know what that means? Ripped biceps and a lumpy ass. HA. But really.

We didn’t spend a lot of money on our home gym, however, if I had known how often I was going to post it on Instagram, I guess I might have made it a little classier. Our basement is unfinished, so we chose a little nook in the back and it works out perfectly.

me gym

We painted the walls white – not necessary, but it brightens it up. We had to use Masonry paint since it’s in the basement, so your paint depends on WHERE your gym is going to be located. We also installed vinyl plank floors – again, really depends on if you need floors. If you were turning an extra bedroom into a gym, you’ve probably already got these two things covered.

If you’re putting a gym in where there is hard flooring, you’re going to want something soft for your feet to land on. We searched high and low for different floor mats, from having the industrial kind installed to the colored kind that little kids have in their playroom. They all seemed to cost a fortune, and none were really that comfortable. Our solution = anti-fatigue foam mats. They are about as comfortable as any other (note; you don’t want to bang your face off of any of those options, it won’t feel good) and we found ours at Harbor Freight for $7 with a coupon. We got 3 packages to have enough room to move around, and we just lined them up. You can see them here!

Our mirror was probably the most expensive thing we ordered, but it’s SO worth it, and for the size, it’s a really good value. We ordered it through Gigantic Mirrors for $349, which also included delivery and installation. I don’t know how the heck you hang a 6′ x 8′ mirror on a cement wall, but I was glad they did it and we didn’t have to worry about it. The only downside is that it took a good month from the time we ordered to the time it was delivered, but we are really happy with the end result, so I would say it’s worth the wait.

If I were the only one using the gym, I would be perfectly content with my hand weights from Five Below. Yep, they have weights! They go up to 10 pounds, which may be all you need, depending on what program/workout you’re doing, and how strong you are (or plan to be!). Hubby, however, needed a big set of weights, so we ordered the adjustable dumbbells from Amazon. Again, not the cheapest thing in the world, but it does give us weights ranging from 5 pounds to 70 pounds. Definitely not necessary for most people unless you are super strong and an active lifter, so you can probably get away much cheaper. Ours are linked here, in case you’re wondering what we went with.

Hubby also wanted a weight bench. I’ve honestly never used it one time (maybe to take pictures on!) but he loves it. We found an amazing deal on Groupon for this one, but it doesn’t look like it’s on there anymore, so that link shows it through Amazon. If you need to put your gym together slowly, I would make this one of the last pieces.

Have you heard of the TRX suspension trainer?! This thing is incredible. Since we don’t have a doorway in our nook, this takes the place of a pull-up bar, plus you can do SO many things with it. Another “extra” that certainly isn’t needed, but really fun to play around with. If you have a doorway available, you can get a pull up bar from Walmart for less than $30, so don’t feel like you need to invest in something like this to have an awesome home gym, but if you can, DO IT because it’s an amazing workout.

Resistance bands are really useful to have on hand, especially if you choose not to invest in a lot of weights. These can totally change up the feel of your workout, and you can adjust them to be “lighter” or “heavier” based on how you hold them. I got mine from Five Below for, you guessed it, $5.

That pretty much sums up our gym. I use my laptop with me to play my workouts, and hubby either does what I’m doing with me or his own thing. A TV/projector would be a great investment, we have just been lazy about looking for what we want. However, that sounds like a great excuse to get out on Black Friday, so I think I’ll keep that in my back pocket for now.

home gym 2

home gym 1

Do you guys have any other home gym suggestions or awesome gear to make it even cooler? I would love to hear!


  • Reply Meredith October 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm Olivia, is your mirror just 1 mirror or 2?
    • Reply Olivia Grist October 14, 2015 at 8:56 pm It's just one mirror that was ordered, but in order for them to deliver it and hang it, it's in 2 pieces and then hung!

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