18 Jun

Building a Home Gym?

Home Gym Ideas

If you are like me and hate the thought of heading to the gym after work when you know it is going to be a sea of towels on benches that aren’t being used, then it may be time for you to start thinking about building a home gym like I did. This way you don’t get stuck sat on a exercise bike stalking the person currently using the piece of kit you want to use.

Instead of paying £50 a month, my brothers and I worked out that building a home gym would actually save us money in the long run. We all decided to chip in together so that we could get the first few bits of home gym equipment that we needed.

We started off with a [easyazon_link asin=”B000N3T0SC” locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”willparrettco-21″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]York B500[/easyazon_link] weights bench press with a spinlock barbell and dumbells that were positioned in the back of the living room. The maximum amount of weight we could get on the barbell was about 70Kg but it was a good place to start. My mum got sick of use making a racket while she was trying to watch tv. So after her constant moaning we decided to upgrade the kit and move to another place.

I am fortunate enough to live on a farm and finding space wasn’t too much of an issue and there was an old beaten up port cabin that only needed a lick of paint and a bit of work to the floor then bobs your uncle, we had the perfect place. It may lack the jazzy features such as air conditioning like most commercial gyms and was a sweat box in the summer and you needed three hoodies on in the winter but it was our new home.


Before (Stable Conversion)



Seeing as we now had extra room we decided it was time to get serious. Firstly we bought a power rack, new weights bench and Olympic Barbell set and Olympic Dumbbells. We also had a multi gym that my parents bought us one Christmas and it had all the standard features such as lat pulldown, chest press, chest fly, leg extension, shoulder press and leg raise attachment. It served us well but we accidentally broke it after a few years of punishment by adding a little too much extra weight, whoops.

After a few years of training away we reached a stage where our lifts were beginning to take their toll on the floor. This led us to think of how we can make sure the bar wasn’t going to smash through the floor while deadlifting and take my feet with it. We decided that we needed was a solid floor under our feet and converted an old stable into the new and improved gym. I work in construction therefore converting it was no problem simply level up the floor and slap some plasterboard on the walls and give it a lick of paint.





As this new gym was even bigger and we had broken the multi gym we decided to splash out and invest in a cable crossover in form the of a [easyazon_link asin=”B001QSYICG” locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”willparrettco-21″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Bodymax CF820[/easyazon_link]. This is piece of kit is what has really taken our workouts to the next level!

Over time we have accumulated quite the collection of kit and it currently stands as follows:

  • Bodymax cf375 power rack, recently upgraded to Bodymax CF475
  • Dips attachment for the Bodymax CF475
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B001DUUL7S” locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”willparrettco-21″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Bodymax CF510[/easyazon_link] Adjustable bench
  • 2 x Olympic bar bells
  • Over 250 kg Olympic weight plates
  • 2 x Olympic dumbells
  • E-z Olympic barbell
  • York multi gym (now broken, our fault)
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B001QSYICG” locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”willparrettco-21″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Bodymax CF820[/easyazon_link] cable crossover
  • Calf raise step (I made from old scaffold planks)
  • Preacher curl (addon for bench)
  • Leg extension (addon for bench)
  • Rowing machine
  • Spinlock E-Z and dumbbells (I used to take to uni)
  • Sound system (essential)

With all this kit we can do almost all the same exercises you could do in any commercial gym. That is why my mates often ask if they can come workout in my gym instead of going to their commercial gyms. We have spent quite a chunk of money on our home gym but you can definitely build a decent home gym for under £1000. That may still seem like quite a lot of money when compared to the £30 a month membership you may be currently paying, but just remember you still have the value of the gym kit if you decided to sell it.

If you are now considering building your own home gym here are my top tips to bear in mind, that may give you some of your own home gym ideas.

  1. What exercises do you want to do?

    Depending on what exercises you plan on doing, it will have an impact on what gym equipment you actually need instead of what you want. This may seem obvious but it is something that can often become forgotten about when you are watching the world’s strongest man and decide to buy a lorry tyre when all you actually want to do is loose a bit of your muffin top.

  1. How much do you plan on lifting?

    There is a huge range of gym equipment out there with different maximum capacities. If you plan on squatting very light then there is no need for a power rack capable of withstanding a world record lift. However if you are like me and your goal is to increase your strength then you may wish to spend a little more to save money in the long run. I made this mistake and I ended up buying two power racks as I grew out of the first one.

  2. Where will you put the equipment? How much room do you have?

    Obviously if you don’t have the free space from a cable crossover there isn’t much point in buying one. So you need to think about how the layout of your gym will work with the kit you intend on filling it with.

  1. What is the floor like in this space?

    Firstly no matter what lifts you plan on doing your floor should be level. Secondly it needs to be strong enough to take the kind of abuse it is likely to receive. If you plan on doing some heavy Olympic lifts it needs to be able to take some serious punishment.

  2. Give  it a lick of paint!

    It’s surprising what a lick of paint can do to a room, it makes even the dingiest room appear 10 x tidier.

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