Home Gym on a Budget

Filed under: General Health, Training, Weight Loss

If you are like me and time can be tight to fit in training (even when you work at a gym) having some good quality equipment at home can really be a lifesaver. Everybody knows that New Year’s is a time to make changes, but somehow people always seem to find a way to not follow through. Well I am here to take away a bunch of your excuses. Building a home gym can really help keep you on point, but if you are also like me and making your home gym cost-effective is a large priority, and you have limited space, then I have some good tips for you.

Due to CP getting busier, and my life in general just seeming busier, my training time has been reduced. In order to compensate for this I have set up a little home gym on the cheap to allow me to keep up my activity, even in the freezing cold of New England winter. Here are my top 5 tools of choice to help keep you and me getting in those consistent sessions, with a combined cost of under $250.

1. Foam Roller. This is an essential and cheap component to any home gym. Soft tissue work will make you feel brand new, keeping you healthy to train hard long-term. If you are unsure of how to foam roll, watch this.

2. Iron Gym. This is a nifty little piece of equipment I picked up a few weeks ago. This is a phenomenal way to get in some upper body pulling, and I am very impressed with how solidly built it is. It only took about 5 minutes to set up, and it can hold up to 300lbs. For just under $30, it is worth every penny.

3. Kettlebells. Kettlebells are awesome for metabolic work. Whether you do swings, cleans, snatches, Turkish get-ups or use it for anything you would use a dumbbell for, a kettlebell is an awesome piece of equipment for your home gym and can instantly add a ton of variety and conditioning.

4. TRX Suspension System. The TRX allows for some awesome things that you could usually never do at home. With the TRX you can do just about anything. You can hook it up to your Iron Gym and do pushup variations, rowing variations, single leg work, squat progressions, ab work and so much more. One of the most versatile pieces of equipment available.

5. Assorted Bands. Bands can allow you to make a lot of exercises harder without having a ton of equipment. You can use the bands to make pushup variations harder, make squat variations harder, use for band pullaparts, stretching and more. Accomodating resistance equipment (like bands and chains) can add a whole new stimulus to your training and really increase results.

Bonus Equipment

Jump Rope. I think this one is pretty self-evident. Cheap go-anywhere piece of metabolic conditioning equipment that just about anyone knows how to use.

Valslides. These fun little slides allow for some great variety in your training. Doing reverse lunges on these will help you discover your posterior chain. You can also use them for non-impact mountain climbers, hip-extended leg curls, lateral lunges and more.

Basically what it comes down to is no matter your budget, work schedule, space or any other variable you can think of, you are only limited by your willpower and creativity. Now get training!

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Posted on December 28th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre


  1. Mike Groth Says:

    Brian -
    great article! I especially enjoyed the foam rolling series, you opened my eyes up to some new types of foam rolling movements to remove soft tissue restrictions in areas where I haven’t thought of before (infraspinatus – 90 degree internal and external rotation of the shoulder while the field hockey ball remains static). I also like how accessible all this equipment is, as I was in Sports Authority before the holidays to buy some presents, and i recognized that most if not all the equipment (or some variation of it) you listed in this article can be purchased there.

    Brian I hope you and your wife had a great holiday season, give me a call sometime, I’d like to hear how things are going!


  2. Ian Says:

    Just a caution about the Iron Gym.

    I tried one of these a couple months ago, but it won’t work on any door that has too thick a moulding or frame. You really are limited to a couple inches of trim on the top of the door. I had to return the Iron Gym, as it was completely useless in my house, which annoyed me because it seemed like it would be a really useful piece of equipment, and it’s not very expensive.

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