home gym

How to set up your own home gym

Yes, it’s possible to get fit at home (even if you’re on a budget), all you need is a healthy dose of motivation and some creative thinking when it comes to workout space. Here’s an easy guide on how to set up your own home gym.

The Essentials

Start with a equipment that’s the foundation of most workout routines.

  • Workout Matt
  • Dumbells
  • Skipping rope
  • Fitness ball
  • Resistance bands
  • Foam rollers

The functionals

Expand and make the environment truly functional

  • Sandbag
  • Step
  • Barbell & Plates
  • Kettlebells
  • Floor tiles

The committed

Serious about making it a complete solution

  • Suspension trainer
  • Bench / Multipurpose bench
  • Multipurpose machines
  • Squat rack


Complete your home gym setup

  • Spin bikes
  • Exercise bikes
  • Treadmill
  • Rowing machine
  • Assault bikes
  • Rowing machine

Getting started:

Make the space your own.

Look for a suitable workout area to set up your fitness zone. If you do not have a dedicated room or section for your workout area, look for a spot that has enough surface space for your basic movements that involve a workout mat or jump rope. If you’re keeping it indoors, select a space that will be free from distractions so that you can focus on your workouts.

Motivation station.

To make your space work for you, you have to stay motivated. Take ownership of the area and pin up some visual reminders or motivational photos that will keep you on track. For easy storage, buy a dedicated storage box and decorate it adequately, so that even when packed away you know your gym is right there waiting for you.

Set a budget and compare pricing.

Decide how much you’re willing to spend to get started and give thought to what you want to build up to. Do a quick price check and see who gives you the best value for money (or if they have any specials going).

Go for quality.

We’re all price conscious, but don’t skimp out on saving a few bucks only to have your stuff break later. Invest in solid iron cast weights rather than soft-touch plastic coated ones as they will be more durable. When pricing out cardio equipment, pay special attention to warranties and customer technical support.

Align equipment to your goals.

Place focus on what style of exercise you prefer as you’re more likely to keep working out when you’re actually enjoying it. If you enjoy HIIT workouts or tabata style bodyweight moves, there is no need to invest in steps and benches upfront.

Dumbells VS Barbells.

Dumbells help improve muscular imbalances more effectively than barbells. This is due to dumbbells being unilateral – meaning an exercise requires a dumbbell in each hand, ensuring force is applied equally on both sides.

Barbells, however, provide a space-saving solution. Using 1 bar and a few plates a variety of weight options is possible.

For purpose of practicality though, dumbbells are still more versatile and can be used in more movements. (Try this upper body dumbbell workout that can easily be done at home!)

Cardio equipment.

Including cardio equipment to your home gym requires more space and a bigger budget. Having a bigger selection of equipment also allows more than one person to workout at a time.

There are a myriad of different cardio machines for you to choose from. Make your selection based on your goals and the space you have available.

Home gym benefits:

It’s time efficient.

No more waiting around to use equipment and there’s no reason to miss a workout. Slot your workouts in whenever it suits your schedule, be it 5am or 10pm. You can also spend a little more time focussing on movements and routines that will deliver the results you want, as there is no time wasted travelling to and from gym.

Cut your expenses.

You can set up a home gym that suits your pocket and your available space.

With gym memberships escalating each year, you’ll soon realise the cost of your investment, which can range anywhere from a few months upwards, depending on your gym size (a regular monthly adult gym membership is roughly R450 p/p).


Train how, where and when you like.

If you’re looking for ways to save time (and money) on your workouts, setting up your own home gym could be the solution. 

Do you have a home gym? Share a photo with us on social media!

Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You'll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.