The Fitness Zone

Building A Home Gym On A Budget And A Routine That Works

Feb 16, 2024 | by Jennifer Dabbak

Finding time to prioritise our health and fitness can be a challenging pursuit in this busy modern era. Even though there are many 24/7 trendy gyms out there, for many of us, the constraints of time, finances, and other commitments can make signing up and dedicating time to training almost impossible. 

The solution? Bring the gym to you. Building a home gym on a budget is not only a practical solution but also an empowering one, putting the chances of a successful fitness journey firmly in your hands. In this article, we’ll explore how to build an effective home gym without breaking the bank, as well as how to create a training routine that works. From functional, cost-effective equipment choices to workout routine tips tailored for home settings, we’ll guide you on a path to physical well-being, discipline, and commitment. Welcome to the realm of “Building a Home Gym on a Budget and a Routine that Works.” 

Get ready to discover how a modest investment and strategic planning can pave the way for a sustainable fitness routine that aligns seamlessly with your daily life. Let’s start by exploring how to keep it on a budget:

Don’t Break the Bank!

1. Buy Multipurpose equipment

To save on space and money, invest in equipment that you can use for a wide range of exercises. For example, a chest press machine or a Lat pulldown only allows you to do 1 exercise, however, if you purchase dumbbells, you can use them to do thousands of exercises. Here’s a list of 10 multipurpose equipment that allow you to complete a huge variety of exercises:

  • Adjustable Dumbbells
  • Barbell
  • Adjustable Bench
  • Resistance Bands
  • Suspension Trainer
  • Power Rack
  • Kettlebells
  • Medball
  • Swiss Ball
  • Mat

Investing in 3-4 of the equipment above can allow you to train effectively, targeting all your muscles and achieving any goal you may have.

2. Consider Non-Electric/ Hydraulic Cardiovascular Equipment:

There are two main factors to consider when investing in cardiovascular equipment: Space and Price. If space is limited, choose compact and foldable equipment. Rowers and foldable treadmills are the best cardio equipment to purchase if you do not have a lot of space. Non-electronic and/or hydraulic cardiovascular equipment tend to be cheaper than electric ones as they have fewer settings.
As they can be quite pricey, remember that you don’t really need to invest in cardiovascular equipment, especially if you live in an area where it is safe for you to walk, run, or bike outdoors.

3. Buy only what you need:

You may be tempted to purchase a lot of equipment to ensure you have everything needed to achieve your goal. There are many ways you can cut down on what you buy by sticking with what you need. Here are a few tips that can help you save and think about what is a necessity vs what is not:

  • There’s no need to buy thick mats for your whole space. Instead, you can invest in 2 good thick mats where you will be dropping weights, while the rest of the flooring can be soft mats that allow you to perform all other exercises.
  • If you live in an area where you can go out for a jog or a bike ride, then you do not need to purchase any cardiovascular equipment
  • If you’re new to lifting, don’t buy heavy dumbbells and plates. Start by buying light ones as these are priced based on their weight. The heavier they are, the pricier they will be. Once you have built enough strength to need heavier weights, you can always add to your collection.
  • If you’re an experienced lifter and do need heavier weights, buy them in a set. Most places sell dumbbells and plates in bundles. E.g. it’s much cheaper to buy 2x5kg, 2×10, 2×15, and 2×20 kgs plates than buying them separately.

4. Explore second-hand options:

Consider buying used equipment to save money. Many people purchase fitness equipment with good intentions but end up selling it later. So many gyms that close down, put their equipment up for sale for bargain prices. Check local online marketplaces and garage sales for affordable options. 

5. Leverage Bodyweight Exercises:

Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of your body weight in your workouts. Bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges require no additional equipment and can be adapted to different fitness levels. They are not only cost-free but also highly efficient for building strength and endurance

A Routine that works.

1. Set a schedule and stick to it:

Setting a training schedule (set days and times) and adhering to it is crucial for achieving fitness goals and maintaining a consistent and effective workout routine. A well-structured schedule not only provides a clear roadmap for your fitness journey but also establishes a sense of discipline and commitment. When creating a training schedule, consider your personal preferences, daily commitments, and fitness objectives. Whether it’s dedicating specific days to different muscle groups, incorporating cardio sessions, or including rest days for recovery, a thoughtfully designed schedule can optimise your efforts. Once your schedule is in place, sticking to it requires dedication and mental resilience. Treat your workouts as non-negotiable appointments, just like any other commitment in your day. Consistency is essential for fitness progress, and by adhering to your training schedule, you build a habit that transforms into a healthier and more active lifestyle. Overcoming occasional challenges or temptations to skip a session is essential for achieving the desired results, reinforcing the importance of commitment and perseverance in your fitness journey.

2. Life happens, have a plan B:

A Plan B is vital for adaptability and resilience, offering a backup strategy when the unexpected occurs. If things don’t go to plan and you genuinely can’t train at your set day and time, have a second option, whether it’s a different day or time, or substituting it for a walk instead, anything that will get you moving.

3. Have a set program

Having a set program for exercising is crucial for achieving fitness goals. It provides structure, ensures balanced workouts, tracks progress, and enhances motivation, leading to consistent and effective fitness routines. If you have an idea of how to exercise, write yourself a program at least 1 week in advance. This will increase your motivation and get you one step closer to exercising. If you are not very familiar with how to exercise or write programs, seek help from a fitness professional or spend some time searching so you understand more about the topic. There is so much information out there, make sure you are using reputable resources.

4. Check on progress by having a goal

Setting clear goals is essential for progression and success. It provides direction, motivation, and a framework for planning. Goals help prioritise efforts, measure progress, and cultivate a sense of purpose, guiding you towards fulfilment and accomplishment. Having a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) can keep you motivated, disciplined, and on track to commit to your fitness journey.

5. Find a support network to keep you accountable

Establishing a support network is crucial for maintaining accountability in-home training. Engage friends, family, or online communities to share progress, seek motivation, and receive encouragement, leading to consistency and success in your fitness journey.

Establishing a home gym comes with its set of pros and cons, and the decision to pursue this option depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and fitness goals.

Training at home is not only convenient, saves time, and gives you privacy, but it is also cost-effective. On the other hand, before deciding to build your own home gym, remember that for some people it may be difficult to be motivated and might feel isolated.

Ultimately, the decision to establish a home gym should be based on a careful consideration of personal preferences, available space, financial considerations, and the ability to stay motivated in a more independent workout setting. A well-thought-out home gym setup can provide a convenient and effective fitness solution for those who value privacy and flexibility in their workout routines.


Jennifer Dabbak

Jennifer Dabbak

Jennifer has been a Fitness coach at AIF for almost 10 years. She completed a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and Sports in Lebanon where she started working as a Personal Trainer. Figure skating is what started her passion for fitness and exercise. She has been working in the industry for over a decade and she completed numerous courses in rehab, massage, boxing and Strength and Conditioning. Jennifer also runs her own small business from her garage, where she trains one on one clients.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.