How to Setup Your Own Home Gym?

Is it my imagination, or have home gyms lost favor in the last couple of years?  I can think of a few reasons why this may be so.  I believe it takes more discipline to complete a hearty workout at home.  First off, there are the other distractions… TV, kids, chores, now even career.  And while most of us don’t know the true capabilities of the equipment we may own, there is a perception that your workout is limited by the variety of your home gym equipment.

On the other hand, going to a gym has several benefits.  Once you walk in the door, there’s a pretty good chance you will complete a reasonable workout if for no other reason than just sheer momentum.  No matter what home equipment you have, it certainly won’t add up to the more thorough membership gym setup.  And, we can’t forget the social benefits.  The gym has become another venue where friends can be made, events can be attended, love interests hatched.

And, much like many of us don’t have a separate media room, crafts room, home based workshop, etc…, the more economical and green alternative is to “outsource” these space sucking places.  That being said, some of us do have the space, discipline, money and multiple family members to justify the home gym.


There is the old school gym primarily consisting of free weights, racks, and chin-up bars.  And then, there is the modern-day gym.  Here are what I consider the essential components of the more modern version:

  • Aerobic machine – treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing
  • Dumbbell set with bench
  • All-in-one gym that allows leg presses and curls and upper body maneuvers
  • Rugs, carpeting or rubber interconnecting floor matting for the entire gym area including space for stretching, abdominal workouts, yoga.
  • Stability ball
  • Wall Mirror
  • TV


From a financial standpoint, for the above equipment, you should expect to pay as much as $5,000.  This may seem shocking, but making the investment in high quality equipment helps further assure that it will get used.  Financing this at 6%, for 3 years, your payment would be about $150/mo.  This does not include the cost per foot of additional house you’ll need to accommodate the gym.  But – let’s just suppose you have the space anyway.  The cost of outside club memberships range from about $25/mo to $75/mo.  So, figuring at $50/mo average, your cost of home gym equipment and financing covers about 9 years of dues.

There may be other extenuating circumstances… a spouse who wants the club close to her work – requiring 2 separate memberships, further family members with other requirements, awkward work schedule less in sync with club hours, hygienic phobias, and on and on.  But, lets face it… a home gym is a luxury and it might surprise you to know that many home gym owners also have club memberships.  There goal is more to have the exercise option as easy as possible to accomplish.


At a minimum you should at least have a 10 x 12 ft room. As you consider your purchases, and working with a gym equipment company, you should be able to come up with a layout that answers your equipment needs and fits nicely into your space.  Assuming this isn’t sitting in the garage or unfinished basement and is part of your primary living area, some additional décor items, a couple of guest chairs, and proper lighting can make this a more pleasant room and again more likely to get used.


Club membership vs. home gym?  I could go either way… or both!  Having your own home gym is a great way to motivate yourself to get rid of lower belly fat!


Michael Samsel is a writer on the subjects of home design and green home practices.  A co-founder of, its “good design” mission emphasizes individual design personality, the eclectic and hand-made, and a commitment to green home pursuits.


Michael Samsel

Michael Samsel is a writer on the subjects of home design and green home practices. A co-founder of, its “good design” mission emphasizes individual design personality, the eclectic and hand-made, and a commitment to green home pursuits.

3 thoughts on “How to Setup Your Own Home Gym?

  • May 29, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    This is a perfect timing, recently I’ve been planning to occupy the extra room in my house but I don’t know yet what to put there. I think a home fitness gym will be good. It’s good that I have seen this before I make my decision for that room.

  • May 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I’m with you. TV is a great distraction. It’s on the list of must have equipment.


  • May 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    TV is not a distraction to me when doing workouts at home :-). Why? Because I will always turn on my favour Rocky movies when doing training, especially power kick in when playing the song ‘eye of the tiger’…


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