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4 Steps to Build Your Own Home Gym

Looking to maintain your fitness routine by building your own home gym? One of the most crucial parts is choosing the best home gym equipment to support your routine and goals, but you need to think about flooring and other essentials, too.

But with so many options for gym machines and setups out there, it can be hard to know where to start. What’s a fitness buff to do?

Fear not! We’ve created a guide to build a complete setup from the ground up, with all the home gym essentials you’ll need. Fuel your fitness goals with these home gym ideas. You’ll get the scoop on free weights, home gym systems, treadmills, rowing machines, flooring, and lots more, even including some important extras like decor.

1. Start with Free Weights and Accessories

Resistance training can help you to build muscle, boost your strength, and speed up your metabolism. Beef up your resistance training routine with the right dumbbells, kettlebells, bar and plate sets, and more.


Dumbbells

Dumbbells offer a great way to get started creating your home gym. Individual dumbbells are ideal for those just starting out, since you only have to buy the exact weights that you need for your goals. That way, you save space and money by not purchasing dumbbells that are too light or heavy for you.

When it’s time to step it up a notch, dumbbell pairs are the next good addition to your home gym. After that, you can upgrade all the way to full dumbbell sets, which allow you to get serious with a full range of techniques, from curls to bench presses, and more.

Quality dumbbells are made from solid cast iron with a 6-sided anti-roll design. Some are also encased in rubber for easy cleaning, and they’re stylish as well as durable. Weight ranges will obviously vary from product to product, but you can expect anything from 2 lb. all the way to 150 lb. weights.


Our Top Pick: Honorable Mentions:
  • Body-Solid Hex Dumbbells: Made from solid cast iron with a 6-sided anti-roll design, this dumbbell is stylish as it is durable. The handles are made from extra-thick, stress proof, knurled steel alloy.
  • Body-Solid Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells: These cast iron dumbbells come in pairs, ranging from 5 lb. to 120 lb. They’re encased in rubber for enhanced durability and to prevent damage to floors and equipment.

Kettlebells

Working with kettlebell weights can improve your flexibility and cardiovascular health. You can incorporate kettlebells into a number of other workouts, including lunges, crunches, and other high-intensity exercises. Kettlebell workouts are ideal for beginners and more advanced users alike, which is why they’re so popular right now.

Made from cast iron, and sometimes coated in vinyl, kettlebells are built for durability. They’re made to last through plenty of dynamic, ballistic exercises, all while avoiding scuffs or damage to your flooring or other equipment.


Our Top Pick:
  • Body-Solid Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Sets: This kettlebell set features color-coding for easy weight selection. Each cast iron kettlebell is dipped in vinyl and offers steel reinforced handles for added durability.
Honorable Mentions:
  • Body-Solid Premium Kettlebell Sets: Body-Solid’s Premium Kettlebells feature premium chrome handles for easier grip. The heavier kettlebells offer larger handles for double-handed exercise.
  • Body-Solid Kettlebell Sets: Get an edge in endurance and strength with kettlebells from Body-Solid. These kettlebells are made from cast iron with a tough, black, enamel finish.

Olympic Bar and Plate Sets

Olympic bar and plates sets are essential for Olympic lifting, bodybuilding, and powerlifting. These weight sets can be much heavier than dumbbells, which allows you to better work your leg muscles during squats and deadlifts. They’re also ideal for explosive exercises such as snatches or power cleans.

Olympic bar and plate sets can go up to 500 lb. and beyond. To hold all of that, Olympic weight bars are made for durability with materials like chrome. Oftentimes the weight plates will be encased in rubber to prevent any potential chipping or rusting.


Our Top Pick:
  • Body-Solid Rubber Grip Olympic Sets: Body-Solid’s Rubber Grip Olympic Sets are the perfect weight sets for any home gym. The rubber-encased bumper plates prevent scuffing or damage to equipment, walls, and floors.
Honorable Mentions:
  • Body-Solid Olympic Grip Weight Sets: Accurate within 2% or better of stated weight, Body-Solid Steel Grip Olympic plates are cast from the highest quality gray iron, creating an exceptionally strong and durable product.
  • Body-Solid Colored Rubber Grip Olympic Sets: These rubber grip weight sets are perfect for any home or commercial gym. Color-coded for easy weight selection, these rubber bumper plates are more quiet and safer when dropped than metal weights.

Dumbbell Racks

A storage rack is essential for anyone with a large collection of dumbbells. A rack organizes the workout area, keeping everything clean and reducing the risk of tripping over a stray dumbbell. Place a weight tree or rack wherever you want to create a free weight station.

Dumbbell storage units are built to save space by holding the maximum number of dumbbells. Made from heavy gauge steel with all-4-side welded construction, our free weight racks are deburred inside and out for user safety. We offer double- and triple-tier racks to fit your whole collection


Our Top Pick: Honorable Mentions:

Weight Benches

When you’re all set up with your free weights, and you have a place to store them, there’s just one thing missing: a place to use them! A weight bench for your home gym completes your free weight setup by offering you a place to focus on your curls, bench presses, and more.

You can choose from a flat weight bench or an adjustable bench, depending on your needs. A flat bench is good for the basics, and it will be more affordable, but an adjustable weight bench is crucial for more advanced workouts.


Our Top Pick:
  • Body-Solid Folding Multi-Bench: The Body-Solid Multi-Bench is the perfect training partner - functional, compact, portable and durable. It requires no assembly and is designed to be used straight out of the box.
Honorable Mentions:

2. Beef Up with a Home Gym Machine

Exercise machines are versatile, and they can offer everything from a full home gym to a more specialized cardio workout. You have lots of choices and it all depends on what areas of fitness you want to focus on. Get your heart pumping and max out your muscles with cardio equipment and home gym machines.


Home Gym Systems

Home gym systems give you the ability to work out your whole body with one machine. With a full range of body workouts available, you’ll be able to focus on all your fitness goals using a single piece of equipment. Home gyms feature multiple stations to ensure you can concentrate on all muscle groups, including your core, legs, back, and arms.

While they offer it all, large home gym systems can take up a good amount of space. The good news is, for some people, one large piece of equipment like this might be all you really want or need. That definitely makes things more simple.


Our Top Pick:
  • Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym: Body-Solid’s Home Gym lets you work out your whole body with one machine, so you are certain to achieve your beach body in no time.
Honorable Mentions:
  • Body-Solid EXM1500S Home Gym: With the ability to work out your whole body, this home gym is the perfect machine for any home gym. No need for a gym membership, workout in the comfort of your home.
  • BodyCraft Galena Gym: Strengthen every major muscle group in a minimum amount of time. This single stack gym offers two seats and a patented dual-function pec dec.

Functional Trainers

If you need to train for activities in everyday life, including for sports, work, or hobbies, then you’ll want to start functional training. You can train the way you move with a functional trainer, by defining the path of motion, and strengthening every part of your body. This is the ideal equipment to improve your core, balance, and coordination.

Functional trainers are similar to home gym systems, but they often take up less space and can be less expensive. Also, since the cables don’t have to follow a fixed route, you can have more specific, customized workouts.


Our Top Pick:
  • BodyCraft HFT Gym: Whether the motion is for Strength Training, Sport Specific, or maybe it’s a motion you perform at work or during leisure activities, the BODYCRAFT HFT allows you to train the way you move.

Treadmills

A treadmill is a classic addition to any home gym, and it’s often one of the first fitness machines people choose. You can determine the intensity of your cardio workout by selecting a comfortable running or walking speed, so it’s a great fit for all skill levels. Some treadmills also offer adjustable incline settings to allow you to push yourself through realistic running conditions.


Our Top Pick:
  • ProForm 9000 Treadmill: This treadmill comes with a wireless heart rate monitor, so you can see your progress without holding onto the treadmill. The belt auto-adjusts to a decline, as well as an incline, to work your muscles in different ways.
Honorable Mentions:
  • LifeFitness F1 Smart Treadmill w/ Console: This treadmill folds and locks into place and can be easily rolled to a convenient storage area. The Flex Deck shock absorption system absorbs 30% of the impact generated from running.
  • LifeFitness Club Series Treadmill w/ Console: This health club treadmill brings the energy of a gym into the convenience of your home. It’s a rugged, fully equipped machine that caters to your personalized workout programs.

Ellipticals

High-Intensity Interval Training workouts, also known as HIIT workouts, engage more of your body’s muscles and burn calories efficiently. Even during a challenging workout, HIIT trainers like ellipticals protect your joints with low-impact exertion that feels natural and comfortable with every step. HIIT trainers often come with arms bars to challenge you with a full-body workout that engages calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, biceps, and triceps in one efficient movement.


Our Top Pick:
  • ProForm HiiT Trainer PRO: This elliptical combines a smooth 10-inch vertical elliptical path with powerful upper-body movements to simulate stepping while boxing, getting your body sweating, and burning calories throughout your workout and beyond.
Honorable Mentions:

Suspension Trainers

Okay, so this one might not be a machine, exactly, but it’s so effective and versatile that it definitely belongs on this list. Suspension training involves developing your core muscles while strengthening your balance. Suspension training systems use heavy-duty nylon ropes and webbing, working with gravity and your body weight to provide resistance.

Suspension trainers are designed to let you fully personalize your routine, with options for hundreds of workouts. Even better, these systems are highly portable, and they take up minimal space. Everyone from pros to beginners can benefit from resistance training, since it’s customizable. If you’re looking for inspiration for how to use a resistance trainer, many products include workout programs, and you can also find lots of guides online.


Our Top Pick:
  • TRX Pro 4 Suspension Trainer: The TRX Pro 4 is our most versatile Suspension Trainer and designed to let you fully personalize your workout. It has adjustable and padded foot cradles, upgraded webbing, and custom antimicrobial-treated textured rubber handles.
Honorable Mentions:
  • TRX Home Gym: The TRX Home Gym lets you personalize every workout so you see results quickly. TRX sets up in less than 60 seconds, so it’s easy to train on the go. It’s highly portable so so you can stay in shape anytime, anywhere.
  • TRX Tactical Gym: The TRX Tactical Gym is built for the dedicated athlete who needs a thorough and efficient fitness regime. TRX can be set up in less than 60 seconds, so it’s easy to train in any environment or condition.

Exercise Bikes

Stationary bicycles are another classic addition to the home gym, and they allow you to exercise your heart, lungs, and muscles without putting stress on your joints. This makes exercise bikes great for users with joint pain who still want to get in a regular aerobic workout. An exercise bike is also a great piece of gym equipment to use for interval training, since you can put in short bursts of high intensity between longer stretches on low-intensity cycling.


Our Top Pick:
  • BodyCraft SPX Indoor Bike: Perfect for classes or individual training, the SPX is unsurpassed in quality and durability. It features a traditional spin which utilizes a friction brake that is easy to maintain and will last a long time even in the harshest conditions.
Honorable Mentions:

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines provide a low-impact, beginner-friendly option for aerobic exercise. Just because they’re beginner-friendly doesn’t mean they’re just for beginners, either. Lots of runners and other athletes use rowing machines to increase cardio fitness while reducing high-impact activity that can be hard on their joints.

While one big benefit of a rowing machine is that it strengthens your heart and lungs, it also tones muscle, too. As you row, you engage muscles in both your upper and lower body, all while building endurance. Rowing machines are a great choice for home gyms because they’re often compact and affordable compared to more complex or advanced equipment.


Our Top Pick:
  • BodyCraft VR400 Pro Rower: This rower provides manual resistance control with 16 levels of resistance, including combined wind and Eddy Current Technology for a realistic experience. The easy fold-up design allows for compact storage.
Honorable Mentions:
  • BodyCraft VR200 Rower: The VR200 Air and Magnetic resistance rower delivers peak performance in a compact size, making it perfect for home gyms with space constraints.
  • Body Solid Endurance R300 Rower: This indoor rower delivers an effective low-impact cardio that is high-intensity and calorie-burning. Get a total body workout that engages quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals, obliques, lats, biceps, triceps, hip flexors and more.

3. Choose the Best Home Gym Flooring

No gym is complete without the proper flooring to protect you, your equipment, and your home. Build a solid foundation for your routine with durable flooring that can handle a variety of applications, from high-impact workouts to floor exercises.


Rubber Tiles

Rubber tiles are the most popular home gym flooring option on the market. They are durable, affordable and known for their easy, DIY, interlocking installation.

Homeowners love that installing rubber tiles is just like putting together a giant, life-size rubber puzzle. Each tile contains interlocking edges that come together way more easily than one of those Thomas Kinkade puzzles.

Choose from multiple thickness options to find the right choice to protect your subfloor. If you’re a total beast and plan to drop some 100-lb. dumbbells, you’ll definitely want to choose a thicker rubber tile.


Our Top Pick:
  • 8mm Strong Rubber Tiles: Our interlocking floor tiles offer excellent recycled rubber flooring for residential users who require top quality. Corner, border and center cut tile options help make wall to wall installation a breeze.
Honorable Mentions:
  • 1/2” Rubber Gym Tiles: Doing Olympic lifts in your garage? Our 1/2” thick Rubber Gym Tiles are ideal for use in heavy-duty commercial applications. These tiles are available in border, corner, and center cut tiles to help fit a variety of room sizes.
  • 3/8” Sport-Lock Rubber Tiles: This interlocking tile is a center tile that comes with removable edge pieces on two ends, which allows you to turn any tile into a corner, border or center tile. These rubber tiles can also be used to create custom mats that won’t dent or tear under treadmills, stationary bikes, or weight benches

Rubber Rolls

Rubber rolls are known for their seamless appearance. When installed correctly, it is nearly impossible to see where one roll ends and another begins.

Rubber gym flooring rolls come in a variety of different thickness options to suit your needs. You can even purchase high-impact rubber rolls specially designed to keep your joints safe during high-impact, plyometric movements.


Our Top Pick:
  • 8mm Strong Rubber Rolls: The 8mm (5/16” thick) custom cut Strong Rubber rolls are a great, all around product for both consumer and commercial clients. The thickness is our most popular, ‘do it all’ product.
Honorable Mentions:
  • 1/4” Tough Rubber Rolls: Our tough residential rolled rubber flooring is the perfect choice for the home user. It has the same appearance and functionality as the type of flooring used in commercial gyms but is designed specifically for home gyms.
  • Eco-Flec Rolls: Our Eco-Flec rolls are the perfect shock absorbing rubber flooring option for any home or commercial gym. These rolls are 4’ wide and are easy to clean and maintain.

Rubber Mats

Portable and durable, rubber mats are built to handle heavy weight machines and free weights. Rubber mats provide the same durability and density of rubber tiles and rolls, but they come in a convenient size.

Rubber gym mats let you designate a space in your home gym for a specific purpose, so you can set up a free weight station or a place for floor exercises. Rubber mats are also great to install under heavy equipment to protect the rest of your floor from damage.


Our Top Pick:
  • 4’ x 6’ Premium Mats: These mats are machine cut and vulcanized from 100% recycled rubber tires resulting in the most durable, non-porous, low odor, and long-lasting mat on the market.
Honorable Mentions:
  • 3/4” Shock Mats: These interlocking gym mats are a massive 3/4” thick and are backed by a waffle pattern that consumes vibration and impact sound. Sweat, weights, and mold are no match for these gym mats.
  • 3/4” 4’ x 6’ Extreme Mats: Our extreme mats are constructed of highly durable and shock absorbent recycled rubber. These rubber mats are designed to protect flooring from heavy free weight lifters who occasionally drop weights onto the floor.

Foam Tiles

For the lightest and most affordable home gym flooring, soft foam tiles are where it’s at. With tons of fun colors and beautiful wood looks to choose from, you can easily jazz up your space with this popular home gym flooring option.

Foam is great for stretching, bodyweight exercises, light workouts, and even yoga. Installation is truly a DIY dream. Just lay your foam down, interlock the tiles (if you choose tiles) and voila! Foam gym flooring in minutes,

While it can’t hold up to intense dumbbells and Olympic lifting the way rubber can, foam is a great option for any starter home gym.


Our Top Pick:
  • 1/2” Eco-Soft +: These foam tiles are the perfect light weight foam flooring option for any room in your home. Each tile features two removable edge pieces and is resistant to water, mold and mildew growth
Honorable Mentions:
  • 5/8” Diamond Soft Tiles: Waterproof and insulating, these interlocking foam tiles will provide added warmth and comfort in several tread plate patterned colors. Easy to install and maintain, these foam tiles are great for light home gyms.
  • 3/4” Impact Rubber Tiles: These interlocking impact rubber tiles are an ideal solution for people looking for a non slip rubber matting surface that also has the exceptional cushioning properties of interlocking foam floor mats.

Yoga Mats

Any gym buff or athlete will tell you that exercise is just as much a mental practice as it is a physical one. That’s why yoga is so popular for people looking to introduce wellness and fitness into their lifestyles.

Yoga mats will help you as you focus on balance, centering, and breathing. Most yoga mats are made from soft plastic/PVC, which offers cushion and slip resistance. Some newer, alternative mats are also being made from EVA foam.

Whatever material you choose, your yoga mat is sure to provide the perfect spot to sit and meditate, stretch, and work on all aspects of your fitness.


Our Top Pick:
  • 1/4” Yoga Classic Mat: This is the perfect mat to use on any floor to provide the most cushion possible in any position. This mat is made of high quality PVC and features a textured top on both sides to create a comfortable and non-slip mat.
Honorable Mentions:
  • 3/8” Soft Mats: Soft mats offer an excellent foam matting solution for the home user or the commercial gym in search of portable foam matting. These mats are ideal for covering an area with a colorful and lightweight portable mat.
  • Deluxe Yoga Mat: This deluxe mat is made with PVC Vinyl which makes it extremely durable and resilient. This yoga mat weighs a little more than most mats because of its increased density, which means more support for your joints.

4. Make the Space Yours with Decor and Accessories

It’s hard to be at the top of your fitness game if you’re working out in a drab, silent box of a room. No home gym is complete without accessories and extras that inspire you to reach your personal best. Here are some helpful ideas to inspire your home gym decor and setup.


Paint and Decor

Ever notice how commercial gyms have bright, vividly-colored walls? There’s a reason for that. Those bold colors add energy to the space and can liven up a room. For the cost of a gallon of paint, you can bring that same energy to your home gym.

To get you even more into a fitness headspace, consider the decor. Maybe you’ll want some motivational posters to keep you going when the going gets tough. It’s also a good idea to have a mirror somewhere in your home gym, so you can make sure you’re staying in proper form.


Lighting

Having the right lighting is key. A room that’s too dark can create a drowsy, low-visibility environment. Plus, it’s just not that safe to skimp on proper light. On the other hand, a room that’s too bright or that has flickery, fluorescent lights can lead to irritation and headaches.

You need a good balance to stay focused. Consider incorporating additional lighting with a standing lamp, or change the light source if necessary. When in doubt, the more natural lighting you can get, the better.


Sound Systems

Does the playlist at your regular gym start to get old, sometimes? Good news! When you’re in your own home, you get to pick what you hear. Now let’s talk about how you’re going to hear those tunes. Earbuds and headsets can just hold you back during high-intensity or high-movement workouts.

When you’re at home, it’s easier to listen to your workout jams on a speaker or sound system. Even something as simple as hooking up your phone to a speaker can make a huge difference in your routine.


Television

Let’s be honest, working out isn’t fun 100% of the time. When you want to occupy your mind while training your body, nothing beats watching television. Some gym equipment comes with a built-in screen, but for other areas of the gym, like the free weights, a television can be a big help.

It doesn’t have to be a huge investment either. You don’t need a 50” 4K Smart TV to get you through your workout. Just think of something you can mount on the wall to watch your favorite show or channel.

Conclusion

While it can be a bit tough to start building your own home gym, it’s easier when you know what options you have for gym equipment and accessories. The key is to focus on your goals and create something that’s going to support the growth of your fitness routine. Now that you’ve got some inspiration with these home gym ideas, are you ready to start?