The Fitness Zone

“The ‘At-Home Workout’ Revolution: Building a Home Gym and Staying Fit from Your Living Room”

Jan 18, 2024 | by Steve Irwin

2024 is going to be an interesting year for gyms as they compete with the everyday cost of living rather than other gyms when trying to attract and retain members… The dollar squeeze on households is getting tighter.

That being said, the appetite for the fitness consumer to stay fit and healthy is stronger than ever… 

So the At-Home Workout Revolution is here, and it’s time to transform your living room or spare garage space into a powerhouse of fitness. In this article, we’ll explore the essentials of creating a budget-friendly home gym in your garage, featuring a couple of dumbbells, a kettlebell, a squat rack with a bench, a bar, and weights – all under $500. 

Additionally, we’ll delve into the benefits of a simple yet effective bodyweight HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout that can be done in the comfort of your living room, requiring minimal space.

Building Your Home Gym on a Budget

Dumbbells and Kettlebell Selection

Dumbbells and kettlebells are versatile, compact, and essential for a well-rounded home gym. 

Look for adjustable dumbbells that allow you to change the weight settings easily. Investing in a pair of adjustable dumbbells will save space and money compared to purchasing multiple fixed-weight dumbbells. 

A kettlebell adds diversity to your workout routine, targeting different muscle groups with dynamic movements. Consider starting with a set of dumbbells ranging from 8 to 15 kgs and a kettlebell in the 6 to 12 kg range.

Squat Rack with Bench, Bar, and Weights

A squat rack with an accompanying bench, bar, and weights forms the core of your home gym setup. 

Squat racks provide stability for various strength training exercises, and the addition of a bench allows for a broader range of movements. Opt for a compact and adjustable squat rack that fits into your garage space without overwhelming it. 

A standard Olympic barbell (220 cms) paired with a set of weight plates will give you the flexibility to progress as your strength improves. Look for a budget-friendly set that includes weight plates ranging from 5kg to 20 kgs.

Budget-Friendly Options Under $500

Adjustable Dumbbells: $100 – $150

Kettlebell: $30 – $50

2nd Hand Squat Rack with Bench: $150 – $200

Olympic Barbell: $100 – $150

Weight Plates: $50 – $100

Total: $430 – $650

Setting Up Your Garage Gym

Maximising space is crucial when setting up your garage gym. Place the squat rack against a wall to save space and create a clear workout area. Organise your weights on a rack or against the wall for easy access. Utilise storage solutions like hooks or shelves to keep your space clutter-free. Ensure proper ventilation and lighting for a comfortable workout environment.

Note: if the budget allows, add some heavy-duty rubber flooring to this space to help protect the floor and equipment

Benefits of a Home Gym
  • Convenience

Having a home gym eliminates the need for commuting to a fitness centre, saving you valuable time. With your gym just steps away, you can fit in a workout at any time that suits your schedule.

  • Cost Savings

Building a home gym is a one-time investment that pays off in the long run. The initial cost may seem steep, but it quickly becomes more economical than a monthly gym membership. Plus, you avoid the additional expenses associated with travel and parking.

  • Privacy and Comfort

Working out at home provides the utmost privacy. You can exercise in an environment where you feel comfortable and confident, free from the potential distractions and self-consciousness that may come with a public gym.

  • Flexibility

Having your own home gym allows for complete flexibility in your workout routine. Whether you prefer morning or evening workouts, you’re in control. You can tailor your exercises to your fitness goals without waiting for equipment or adjusting your routine to accommodate others.

30-Minute Home Gym Strength Workout

Equipment Needed:

Adjustable Dumbbells


Squat Rack with Bench

Olympic Barbell

Weight Plates

  • Warm-Up (5 minutes):

Jumping jacks: 1 minute

High knees: 1 minute

Arm circles: 1 minute

Bodyweight squats: 1 minute

Mountain climbers: 1 minute

  • Workout Circuit (25 minutes):

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. Complete the circuit three times.

Goblet Squats (Using Kettlebell):

Hold the kettlebell close to your chest.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.

Lower into a squat position, keeping your chest up.

Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Bench Press:

Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand.

Start with arms extended over your chest.

Lower the dumbbells towards your chest, then press back up.

Barbell Deadlifts:

Stand with feet hip-width apart, barbell in front of you.

Bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back flat.

Grab the bar with an overhand grip and lift by extending your hips and knees.

Dumbbell Rows:

Place one knee and hand on the bench, opposite foot on the floor.

Hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand.

Pull the dumbbell towards your hip, keeping your back flat.

Overhead Press (Using Barbell):

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, barbell at shoulder height.

Press the bar overhead, fully extending your arms.

Lower the bar back to shoulder height.

Kettlebell Swings:

Hold the kettlebell with both hands between your legs.

Hinge at the hips, then explosively swing the kettlebell to chest level.

Control the swing as it descends.

Dumbbell Lunges:

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides.

Step forward into a lunge, lowering your back knee towards the floor.

Push off the front foot to return to the starting position.

Weighted Plank (Using Dumbbells):

Get into a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand.

Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.

Hold the position, engaging your core.

  • Cool Down (5 minutes):

Deep breathing and stretching exercises for all major muscle groups.


  • Choose weights that challenge you but allow you to maintain proper form.
  • Rest for 15 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between circuits.
  • Focus on controlled movements to maximise muscle engagement and prevent injury.
  • If you experience pain (not to be confused with muscle fatigue), stop the exercise and consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider.

This 30-minute strength workout is designed to target major muscle groups, enhance overall strength, and build muscle endurance. Adjust the weights based on your fitness level, and consistently challenge yourself to see progress over time. Incorporating this routine into your home gym regimen will contribute to your fitness goals and keep you on track for a healthier, stronger you.

Simple Bodyweight HIIT Workout for Your Living Room

Now that your home gym is set up, let’s explore a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that requires minimal space and no additional equipment. This quick and effective routine can be done in the comfort of your living room.

  • Warm-Up (5 minutes):

Jumping jacks: 1 minute

High knees: 1 minute

Bodyweight squats: 1 minute

Mountain climbers: 1 minute

Arm circles: 1 minute

  • HIIT Circuit (20 minutes):

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. Complete the circuit three times.


Start in a standing position.

Drop into a squat position and place your hands on the floor.

Kick your feet back into a plank position.

Perform a push-up.

Jump your feet back to the squat position.

Explode up into a jump, reaching for the sky.

Jump Lunges:

Start in a lunge position.

Jump up, switching your legs in mid-air.

Land with the opposite leg in front.


Maintain a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.

Push back up to the starting position.

Plank with Shoulder Taps:

Get into a plank position.

Tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand.

Keep your core engaged to maintain stability.

Squat Jumps:

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.

Lower into a squat position.

Explosively jump up, reaching for the sky.

Land softly back into the squat position.

  • Cool Down (5 minutes):

Deep breathing and stretching exercises for all major muscle groups.


Embracing the at-home workout revolution doesn’t require a massive budget or a dedicated gym room. With a strategic selection of affordable equipment, your garage can become a fitness haven. The convenience, cost savings, privacy, and flexibility of a home gym make it an appealing option for those looking to stay fit without sacrificing time or resources. Combine your home gym setup with a simple bodyweight HIIT workout, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals from the comfort of your living room. Get ready to revolutionise your fitness journey and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.

Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin

Steve has spent the last 19 years in the Australian Fitness Industry as a Group Fitness Instructor, 1-1 Coach, State Manager, Business Owner and is currently an Educator for the Australian Institute of Fitness. A lifelong fitness enthusiast he started his working life in the Military which guided him into the fitness industry where his passion for helping others on their health and fitness journey has been realised. Steve believes that for anyone thinking about getting fit or healthy they should “just get started” as “doing something is better than doing nothing”.

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