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How to Build a Kickass Home Gym for Under $500

I used to think of myself as a gym rat. I knew the people that were there at the same time as me, we exchanged pleasantries and we became "gym friends". However, when I started managing a gym, the idea of working out there lost its appeal- someone always wanted to chat or I would get called away to handle a member issue. I started buying equipment to have at home so I could complete a workout that was interrupted or I could sneak in it before or after work.

Now, as a busy mom, I've found that getting to the gym isn't always easy and honestly, I'm just not keen in putting E in the gym daycare just yet. It's so great to be able to put him down for a nap and walk into my space, pump out a workout and be done without having to load the car and worrying about timing.

The following items are helpful in getting a great workout at home. All of the items listed below are versatile and are available at (and are free shipping if you have Prime).

1. Set of adjustable dumbbells. THESE are my absolulte favorite. I'm not going to lie- at $300 they aren't the cheapest but, I've never regretted buying them. The link is to the 50 lb. set but for more money you can buy sets that go up to 90 lbs. If you're not even close to using a 50 lb. weight, THIS set goes to 24 lbs. and is a nicer price at $160.

2. Superbands and mini bands. Personally, I like to have a set of both superbands and mini bands for ease of use. Superbands are a thick rubbery band that can be used in place of many cable exercises and can provide a up to 200 lbs. of resistance. I've been really happy with the MummyStrength brand, which I have in red (5-35 lbs. of resistance- $15), black (30-60 lbs. of resistance- $20), purple (25-80 lbs. of resistance- $25) and green (50-125 lbs. of resistance- $30). Mini bands are a pre-looped band and are great for glute and leg exercises. The Perform Better brand has held up well and are only $15 for four resistance levels.

3. Suspension system. You will normally hear this referred to as TRX. TRX is the most popular namebrand of this type of training device however, at around $200 it's not really worth the splurge unless you are using it in many of your weekly workouts. At home, I use the Woss Suspension Trainer which has held up nicely and is priced well at only $40.

4. Bench, step, or box. The last item on my list is a bench, step or box which you'll need for a variety of both upper and lower body exercises. The Marcy Utility bench is nothing spectacular or fancy but, at $42 is a bargain for the versatility you are getting.

The total for these four items comes to just under $500 and will allow you an abundance of exercises in the comfort of your own home. Shipping is FREE with a prime membership, which is huge, especially with the weights.

As time marches on and you get more proficient with at-home workouts you may want to start adding to your collection. Here are some small pieces that can help increase the intensity and variety of exercises available to you. Together they cost just under $100 and again, are free shipping with a Prime membership.

As always, let me know if you have any questions! I'm always here to help.



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