How to Build a Home Gym on a Budget (part 3)

photo (10)

“Level 3″ home gym set up

Here are links to the first two parts of this series, in case you missed ‘em:

=> Building a Home Gym on a Budget (part 1)

=> Building a Home Gym on a Budget (part 2)


To review our budget home gym set up so far, we have:

  • A dedicated space to get our workouts at home
  • Knowledge of body weight training
  • A high quality interval timer
  • Kettlebells
  • A pull up bar, suspension trainer, or Lebert Equalizer
  • Knowledge of kettlebell training

And that should put us at right around the $500 mark.  Which leaves us with roughly $500 left to spend in our $1000 budget …


Building a Home Gym on a Budget – Level 3 ($1000)

What I think you should spend your last $500 on may shock you.

The first thing you need to pick up, for your level three set up, is an Olympic bar and a set of weight plates.


Sooner or later, you’ll need to do some real strength work.  Strength is the foundation that all else is built upon. And the best way to get strong, that I know of, is with a barbell.

See, the thing is, these short, intense, metabolic-type workouts that are so popular these days are great. I personally love them.  You probably do, too.  They leave you drained, lying on the floor afterwards in a pool of your own sweat, feeling smoked – which is AWESOME for us crazy workout peeps! 😉

BUT – you NEED to include some max strength work in your overall scheme as well.  You need to do heavy squats, pulls, and presses.  You will not have the core, pre-requisite strength to perform your body weight/kettlebell/etc. movements at a high intensity and with great form, if you don’t.

Now. You should be able to pick up a decently good quality Oly bar and set of weight plates for around 300 bucks.  I have a set that I got used for actually a little less than that … the quality on it is great, and it has lasted me for years.

You could easily spend a lot more than that on a higher-quality bar, bumper plates of you wanted to go that route, etc.

But as a starting point, you can check out some different brands and options here:

=> Barbell and weight plates

A great course to teach you the basics of barbell training, btw, if you’re looking for one, is Beautiful Baddass … it’s geared towards women, but men can without a doubt use it as well … and it’ll give you an awesome framework to work from if getting strong is your goal.

Final Touches

Our Oly weight set really rounds out our basic – but complete – home gym set up.  We may have a couple hundred bucks of our $1000 budget to work with …

The way I see it, at this point, it comes down to personal preference, specific goals, etc. – not necessity.  That being said, here are a few different items that you might consider:

Power rack – Depending on how far you get into barbell training, could be a very usefull tool. Could also potentially double as a pull up bar, and save you a few $ in building out your set up.

Dumbbells – Consider going with something like PowerBlocks to save space and for more versatility.  We have a pair of these in a back space at my training studio, and they work great.

Resistance bands – Another great addition, and very versitile piece of equipment. Also if you travel much, these are awesome. I always take a couple of bands with me when I travel.  Also, use them on a daily basis in our boot camps.

>> Check out the high quality continuously-looped bands by clicking here <<

Medicine balls – Can do lots of different things with these puppies. Great for conditioning and core work.

Jump rope – Good way to mix things up in your conditioning sessions – can probably grab one for ten bucks or so.

More KNOWLEDEGE – Check out this page for a fantastic list of resources for just about any fitness goal you can think of:

>> Over 38 programs for fat loss, lean muscle gain, and much more <<

And that about does it!  I really hope this post series has helped you get the most out of your home training space.  For about $1000, we have built out a complete space that get you to almost any fitness goal you can think of.

Also, I really appreciate the comments that some of you have left on the blog, and the feedback via email you’ve given me, so far on the topic of building a home gym on a budget.  So, if you have questions, comments, advice, etc., feel free to leave it them the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, train hard, and talk soon –


2 comments… add one
  • Ralph

    Whats your opinion on a trap bar and some heavy KB’s for presses and pulls.My shoulders feel better with the kettlebells

  • admin

    Hey Ralph –

    I think the trap bar is fine, if that works for you. I know some people swear by them. I have messed around with them, but have honestly not done any on-going training with a trap bar …

    For the pressing, you are very likely going to be able to handle more weight with a barbell than you are with KB’s. So, it really depends on your goals at the end of the day … if you are okay with that, and keeping your shoulders okay, I think you are good to go.

    Hope that helps!


Leave a Comment