Building an At-Home Gym for $500

Depression with Diet

Gym memberships can be costly and then you have to actually convince yourself to go there. When you're tired, that's not always going to happen. At least I know it doesn't for me. Having to leave the house again after work makes getting to the gym even harder.

I have been wanting a legit home gym for a while now and I thought that I would share what I will be buying to start out and what I plan to increase to, if needed. Some of this stuff I already have, but I want to get a starter gym set up for under $500.

The Basics


Weight Set for Beginners of 100 Lb Vinyl  $68.23

I chose this set because it's a good starter set. Most people don't need more than 100lbs when they start out. Also, this set has a solid bar. If I am going to be putting something on my shoulders, I don't want to worry about it coming apart on me. I have also had this set previously and it worked very well for me. The only downside is that the weights are custom sized for Gold's Gym bars and cannot be used on Olympic sized bars, which are 2 inches around.

pull up bar

The Ultimate Pull Up Bar Set $39.95

A pull up bar is a must. I chose this one because it came with the assisted bands included, which for beginners is great. I can only do 1 or 2 full pull ups with correct form, so doing assisted help you build the muscles needed. Also, it comes with a band which increases the number of workout that can be done using it.  I liked the fact that it hang on the door frame, and does not permanently attach so that I don't have to give up closing a door or drill into my ceiling to do pull ups.

AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells $47.80

I already have a few pairs of dumbbells that I have bought over the years that are 5lb and 10lb. I love them. Having some lowered weights for arms, or even for higher rep leg work and ab work makes it super simple. Also, they're not very bulky.

golds gym dumbell

Golds Gym 40 Lb Vinyl Dumbbell Set Weight Adjustable Hand Weights Dumbbells $30.80

I also have purchased a few sets of these. They say their dumbbells, but for small people, they also sub as barbells if you move the weights far enough out to the side to get both hands in the middle. I like that I can either use the plates or the full dumbbell for exercises and sometimes the bulky is good for balance and really strengthening supporting muscles.


Olympic Weight Bench with Preacher Curl, Leg Developer and Crunch Handle $159.69

A bench is a must if you are going to do chest work. Being able to use proper form will increase your muscle growth and strength without causing injury. I chose this one because it's not only a bench, but has multiple exercises that can be done on it such as leg curls, leg extensions, back extensions, and preacher curls.

yoga mat

Yoga Mat $26.65

Yoga mats are not just for yoga. I use mine for yoga and stretching as well as floor exercises, especially abs. I find that I don't want to just lay on the hard floor or the carpet (because sweaty carpet isn't fun for anyone) so I use my mat instead. Wipes clean and viola! no floor cleaning required.

Good pair of running shoes ~$100

Everyone should already have at least a decent pair of running shoes. I included these to remind myself that when building an at home gym, cardio is going to be mostly outside unless you want to fork over the money for a treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber. If that's what you want, awesome! But I was trying to keep things on the cheaper side.

Foam roller

The Ultimate Foam Roller Set $34.95

A foam roller. I'm sure you've heard of them, or felt the love hate relationship that most people have with them. I've never used the phrase "it hurts so good" more accurately than for a foam roller. This kit includes a few extras to really get into those hard to reach areas that just aren't easy to do with a typical foam roller.

Total Cost for Basics:  $508.07

Future Plans- Upgrades and Extras

Olympic bar

60" Barbell Solid 2" Olympic Plates Weight Bar $64.99

An olympic sized bar can handle a lot heavier weights than the 100lb set listed above. Olympic bars are also standard diameters, so weight sets or individual plates are easier to purchase as your strength increases. The bar itself also has a bit of weight to it, which can be an exercise all by itself. I won't lie, i've done squats and deadlifts on an empty bar... I'm not ashamed of that.


Set of Weights $344.99

I'm learning hw expensive weights are.. like seriously.. This set is for 210lb (not even the max weights in a set which are typically around 300lb). But it does fit on the bar listed above and they're coated, which means when you get your fingers caught between them, it will hurt just a smidge less, and it won't clank as loudly when you drop them.

squat rack

Barbell Full Cage Power Rack $199.99

An last, but not least, a cage for your squat bar and weights. this rack can also sub as a pull up bar if you're tall enough or don't mind jumping up.

Total for Upgrades/Extras: $609.97

I'm hoping to convince my husband to let me spend the money and make my own home gym. What pieces do you have already? Do you recommend any other pieces that would be a  good start?

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