Build a Home Gym on any Budget

I work out at home in the #shredshed but it is not your typical home gym. We went all-out and built our ideal gym environment in a separate building on our property. Since I am a trainer, it is part home gym, part private studio. I can train clients in a studio environment without the monthly overhead. For me, spending more on building my own gym made sense. (Although I do miss the pool and sauna at the big box gym.) 

There are a lot of benefits of a home gym. You eliminate the commute so you can get your workout done faster. After an initial investment of basic equipment, you don't have to pay a monthly fee so you could save money in the long run. You never have to wait to use equipment, wipe someone else's sweat off equipment or elbow strangers in the weight room. 

I understand that not everyone has the budget or desire to spend a lot of money on their home gym, so whether you are on a shoestring budget or if money's no object, let's talk about what you'll need to build your own version of the #shredshed.

This post contains affiliate links which means If you buy from my links I make a (very) small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. It helps with the running (pun intended) of this blog.


You don't need a lot of equipment to get started building your own home gym. Whether you make some room in your garage, clear out a spare bedroom or build a gym in your backyard, with a few basic essentials you will have everything you need to get started. You can always add on with additional equipment later. 


An affordable simple flat bench is all you need to get started, it's what we use in the ShredShed. It doesn't take up much room and can be easily moved around and out of the way. You can upgrade by buying an adjustable bench with leg extension if you have the space. 


Choose three different dumbbell weights to start. For women just starting out, I recommend 8, 10, 15 pound dumbbells. You can always add heavier weights as you get stronger. If you are already working out, purchase weights according to your current fitness level.


A stability ball is an inexpensive way to add an unstable surface to challenge your balance and help strengthen your stabilizing muscles and joints. Check out my stability ball workout for some ideas to get started.


Resistance bands are great for when you're traveling, but also are an inexpensive way to add resistance to your workouts. Check out my resistance band workouts for some ideas to get started


If you are working out on hardwood or tile floors you will want to have an exercise mat for floor exercises. You could opt for a roll-up mat or a foam floor tiles.

I also recommend a timer and a foam roller


Once you get started on your home gym, you may find you want to add a little variety to your workouts. While not a necessity, these are some nice-to-own pieces of equipment in your home gym depending on your fitness goals and abilities. 


Kettlebells are ideal equipment for functional training. With kettlebells you can do whole body movements in a strength and cardio workout in one. 


A barbell can be a great tool for building strength. The ShredShed has both a barbell with adjustable plates and a weighted exercise bar. They each can be beneficial depending on your goals.


I recommend an 8 or 10 lb medicine ball to add some variety to your workout. It can be used for strength, power or stability workouts. Check out my medicine ball workout for some ideas.


The BOSU ball is a fun addition to any home gym. BOSU stands for BOth Sides Up. One side is flat plastic and the other is a half rubber dome. The BOSU ball adds an element of instability to your workouts to challenge your core. Check out my BOSU workout for some ideas.


Once you have all the basics covered and added a little variety, there are a few high ticket ticket items that are nice to own if your space and budget will allow. 


I fell in love with my suspension straps as soon as we installed them. They use your own bodyweight as resistance and can challenge you in multiple planes of motion (especially important for runners). You can get a full-body workout incorporating the stabilizers and the core.


Although I will always profess my love of running outdoors, it is very convenient to have a treadmill available for those days when the daylight or weather is not cooperating with my workout schedule. The treadmill doesn't have to be boring, I put together these boredom busting treadmill workouts to keep things interesting. 

Are you considering a home gym? Any questions? Let me know in the comments.

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