Fitness & Massage

Building a Home Gym - The Essentials

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09 December 2019

The home gym option

Many of us will be getting a new gym membership in January 2020. Gyms always see an uptake in members in the new year, when the ‘new year, new me’ motto is in full swing. However many of us stop going after a few months, for many different reasons. Some of the reasons could be because we become unmotivated or simply can’t keep up with going to the gym so there’s no point in paying for something we don’t use. Or more simply, we just can’t stand being in a packed out gym at peak times – not all of us can access the calm ambience induced off peak hours.

One option is to buy your own equipment and build a home gym.
We’ve identified some core pieces of equipment that will provide you enough exercise options so you won't feel too guilty about giving up your gym membership.

1. Flooring

Before you purchase any equipment you need to make sure you get the right flooring for your home. Whether you are setting up your home gym in your garage or in the house, flooring is essential to ensure you don’t damage your property.

A simple google search will provide many different options but you will be able to use the cheaper options. We found a basic interlocking tile on Amazon. It will cost £53.95 to cover the full floor space of a single car garage.

2. Adjustable weight bench and squat rack

This is going to be one of the biggest financial investment of the home gym. The adjustable bench and rack will allow you to perform a variety of heavier exercises, and needs to be a high enough quality to ensure it doesn’t wobble or damage easily.

We’ve picked out this kit from Mirafit as a reasonably priced piece of equipment, at £187.95, that has some good reviews. This kit allows many different levels and angles for exercises, as well as being sturdy enough to hold 260kg on the bench and 250kg on the rack.

3. Olympic barbell

A solid barbell is essential for a home gym, as you will be using this on the bench and rack, as well as off the floor. Basically this is the piece of kit that will be able to cover all of the exercises you can perform in a limited amount of space so investing in a good barbell that lasts is a good idea.

You wouldn’t go far wrong with this 20kg Olympic barbell from Fitness Superstore. The barbell has an online price of £89.99 and over 100 positive reviews.

4. Olympic plates and collars

Similar to the barbell, the plates that need to be used need to be of a good standard, as they will be used for almost every exercise within the home gym. Depending on your lifting strength, this can become the most costly investment.

For a total weight of 100kg (20kg x 2, 15kg x 2, 10kg x2, 5kg x2) we have found Olympic plates from UK Gym Equipment. This will be the biggest investment, and set you back just under £300.

Grips can be purchased as little as £3 on Amazon.

Exercises you can perform with the equipment outlined

Upper Body

Bench Press

Inverted Row

Barbell curls

Bent over row

Incline bench barbell row

Military press

Upright row

Mid thigh pull


Barbell landmine press

Lower Body


Front squat

Romanian deadlift

Split squat

Barbell lunges

Full body/Core


Barbell rollouts

Barbell wood chop/ rotations

Total cost: £635

Using the links provided this basic home gym would set you back around £635 with delivery charges. This isn’t cheap, however when comparing an average gym membership and savings on travel and time, this investment would start paying for itself by summer 2020.

If budget and size permits

If you have a budget and room for more equipment, we would recommend adding a kettle bell set and if you aren’t a big fan of running, then a punchbag alongside a Watt Bike or a rower would be a great addition to the home gym.


In terms of programming your sessions – then you’ve got a couple of options. Google results will provide you hundreds of programmes you can use with the equipment above, or you could use the money you saved on that gym membership to hire an online personal trainer who will be able to tailor a programme around the equipment you have in your new home gym. The personal trainer should provide you a way of inputting your session and review your progress each week.

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