When Brad and I first bought this house, we intended on eventually dedicating some amount of space to a home gym. After living here for a year, we realized that one of our spare rooms had basically become a storage unit. Combine that with the fact that COVID-19 restrictions forced all gyms to close, we found ourselves with a project to complete!

My first piece of advice when it comes to home gym plans, is to determine what exactly you’ll be using the space for. I know, that sounds like a silly question (working out, duh). But try to think more specifically; do you intend on buying any cardio equipment? What about a squat rack, or leg press machine, or pull-up/dip station? Try to think of any possible large items that you’ll want to incorporate, and then build off of that. After all, your gym only has so much capacity.

We both really enjoy running, so a treadmill was at the top of our list. We also decided to invest in a power cage due to the versatility of a single piece of equipment.

home gym 1

This is the exact treadmill we purchased, and here is the power cage. I've been really impressed with the quality of both items. An added bonus of ordering these through Amazon is FREE SHIPPING! I checked other websites for the same product, and shipping costs ran between $50-$199.

After you’ve made that decision, it's time to tackle the flooring issue. If your gym is going in the garage or basement where there’s already concrete/hard floors, then this process will be pretty simple. If your room has plush carpet (like most typical bedrooms), then this process can be a bit tricky. I knew I wanted a solid area to move on, but we also didn’t want to completely remove the carpet, especially considering the costs and labor. After some research, I found a great solution that required ZERO demo. This is the link

gym floor

These mats are sold in 4x10 ft rolls, so it was easy to lay side by side in our 10x12 ft room. To ensure that there was no movement after installation, we used carpet tape on the bottom, and Gorilla tape on top of each seam. Each roll is pretty heavy, so if you don't anticipate a lot of plyo/jumping workouts, then you may not even need the tape.

Now that you’ve made the two biggest decisions, time to focus on all of the other workout accessories, and stylish touches! We wanted to install wall mirrors, to make it feel even more like a real gym.* These were cheap*, and pretty easy to install. We also wanted an affordable smart tv, so we went with this one.

gym mirror

Finally, time to fill in the blank spaces with whatever weights/barbells/plates you want to use. Since we had already purchased the power cage, we knew we wanted a standard size olympic bar, and a few plates to lift with. Here’s where we found that gear.

A few other small pieces that we had collected over the years: (p.s. these can ALL be found on my Amazon storefront)

  • jumprope
  • medicine ball
  • ab wheel
  • sliders
  • light dumbbells

After a few weeks, and a relatively small budget, our home gym was complete! No demo required, and all items were purchased online (thanks social distancing). I hope this helps you if you’re in the process of building your own space, or motivates you to consider building your own home gym down the road. Remember you can make it as simple or extreme as you want, whatever inspires you to keep moving!