Home Gym: Equipments and Cost

Before we release any version of GYMINUTES app, it goes through series of testing. Old features get tested and so does new. But unlike traditional software testing, GYMINUTES is tested in the GYM. Yep, we eat are own dog food.

This has been our approach since Day 1 of GYMINUTES development. Initially, we use to go out to a commercial gym and test the app but recording bugs or comments was a pain. Also taking a laptop along for tracking issues just got us weird looks from everyone at the gym. So we decided to built our own testing facility, which we now call GYMINUTES Labs.

This post focus on how you can setup your own Home GYM. Lets jump right into the setup.

Equipments for Home GYM:

Here is the list of things you need to setup your own home gym. The cost of all this equipment new is roughly around $3500 US Dollars. But if you search around craigslist or your local classified ads, you will find amazing deals. We spend around $2500 for all this equipment.

  • Plastic Tarp (Hardware Store) ~ $9.00
  • 5, 2 ft x 4 ft wooden plywood (Hardware Store) ~ $5 * 5 = $25
  • Wooden screws (Hardware Store) ~ $7 * 2 = $14
  • 8, 1 ft x 1ft Rubber Mats (Hardware Store/Online/Store) = $4 * 8 = $32
  • PowerRack (Online/Store) ~ $500 – $800
  • Lat PullDown (Online/Store) $ 500 – $800
  • Bench (Online/Store) $300 – $400
  • Free Weights (Craigslist/Online/Store) $400 for 600 lbs
  • Dumbbells (Craigslist/Online/Store) $500 for 70lb pair
  • Treadmill/StairMaster/Elliptical/Cycle (Online/Store) $ 500 – $800
  • Miscellaneous (Craigslist/Online/Store) $50

This is all you need to setup your basic home gym. Next we explain why you need these items. These are the lessons I learned from our mistakes in setting up a home gym.

Water Resisting Plastic Tarp:

Plastic Tarp? Are you serious?

Yes I am. Why? Because most often, a home gym is setup in a garage or a room 29ad4fbd-71f7-4cd5-85c6-f9a6e8c37841_1000somewhere. Sooner or later it will get messy. There will be sweat and dust. If you plan to keep it clean and not smell like an onion, you have to wipe the place with adamp mop. If there is water and all your equipment is on the floor, then will get rusted. In worst case, if there is a water leak in your garage, then you risk spoiling your equipment. Just get the tarp. Its the best protection from your equipment.

The only case, you wont need a tarp is when you are putting it on a carpet inside a room. But otherwise, just invest $20 and buy the tarp.

Tarp We used

Wooden Plywood:

You can always put all your equipment on floor. With the tarp down for protection from e438903d-5742-4ccf-aa74-1a79b97c6864_400 water, there is still no protection for the floor when weights drop. You need a cushion between weights and floor so you don’t crack your concrete or floor of your room and also don’t break your dumbbell or plates. It is much more costly to repair a broken floor or buy weight equipments than to buy a wooden plywood.

Get 5, 2 ft x 4 ft wooden plywood from your local hardware store. It doesn’t matter if you get the cheapest plywood. There are strong and you won’t break. I have dropped more than 500 Lbs on deadlifts and the plywoods are fine. One plank will usually cost between $5-$10 US Dollars. So for $50, it is really worth it.

Plywood we used

Wooden Screws:a3f93bf8-dfb4-4b3e-88ad-3c787d0d4eed_400

The 5 planks that you just bought, needs to overlap each other to create a platform. To make sure they don’t move, you have to screw then together. Don’t use glue as its costly. Just get 3/4inch wooden screws.

Wooden Screws we used

Rubber Mats:f0516346-6f18-4d6e-af86-3c7c42c62c5f_400

Rubber mats are the cushion for your weights. Protect your weights and wooden plank from breaking into shards. Usually, people recommend horse stall mats, but they are costly ($45 per 4 ft x 6 ft square). To cover 8 ft x 8 ft, you would need at-least 4 mats which is around $200. It is actually cheaper to buy plastic tarp and plywood than to horse stall mats. Just get 1/4 inch thick rubber pads from your local hardware store.


Rubber Mats we used


Finally, we are at point where we can shop for workout equipments. Allocating a budget is really essential here. As with everything, you can splurge on power racks as well. But during our research, we found out that after certain point, the costly power racks are useless. Our criteria for narrowing downing power rack was

  1. Have strong safety bars in place.
  2. Should be able to handle 500 lbs+.
  3. Should not require to be bolted down to floor.
  4. Versatile enough to perform big lifts like deadlift, squats and bench.

During our research, we narrowed it down to PowerTech rack. They are not paying us to say this. We like the PowerTech rack because its satisfies our above requirements. In addition, it is modular. There are not many racks on which you can add Lat PullDown machine. However, in PowerTech rack that can be easily added as an accessory.

PowerTech Rack we bought

PowerTech LatPull Down we bought


Once we decided on PowerTech rack, we looked at their bench. And guess what, they are modular too. It has attachments for Leg Extensions, Preacher curl and more. In addition, you can adjust it to multiple angles. This was a huge plus in favor of PowerTech Bench

PowerTech bench we  bought

Free Weights:

If you are planning to lifts weight, you need to buy them as well. After all, this is your own gym. The best deal for weights is Craigslist or your local classified. New weights range from $1-$5 per pound. Whereas used plates you can get at somewhere between .50 – .70 cents per pound. We were able to get 600 lbs of weight and a 45 lb olympic bar for $400.00. Searching on craigslist is not fun but its definitely a money saver. You can spend upto $2000 if you plan to buy 600 lbs of new weights. Save money.


The biggest issue with home gym is always the space. And unless you have a huge garage, you cannot have a full dumbbell rack. Checkout PowerBlocks. They are the best expandable dumbbell set you will ever use.

Dumbbell we bought

Cardio Equipment:

Unless you are in fore ever bulk mode, you need a cardio machine. It can be a treadmill, stair master, cycle or elliptical. Pick your weapon and buy the damn thing. There is no point in building all these muscles if your fat is covering it. We bought a tread mill for our case because we do mostly HIIT training. That being said, here are the things that you should look for when buying a treadmill.

  • Should be able to change speed quickly by pressing numbers rather than doing up/down with arrow.
  • Should have at-least 3.0 bhp machine otherwise there is belt skipping on high speed and its not very safe.
  • Don’t worry about other bells and whistles. Just find that meets your budget.

If you are interested in finding out, that for maximum fat burn should you be doing cardio empty stomach or post workout, please checkout our last post here.

Workout Accessories:

Apart from weights and dumbbells mentioned above, you may need to buy rope for pulldown, chalk, weight lifting belt, gloves, lifting traps, supplements, mirror etc. There is Amazon or ebay for that. But craigslist is the place to start searching.


Also you will need to buy/have duct tape, wrench, screw driver and lot of patience to assemble all equipments. But once you are done, we promise it will be the best gym that you will ever go to.

Cost of Home gym

The entire setup will cost you about $3000 – $3500 depending upon which rack you buy and what deals you get on craigslist. Our cost was around $2500 as we shopped on craigslist for free weights, olympic bar, bench, rubber mats and mirror. Picked dumbbells from a closeout at Sears Store. The only thing that we bought new was plastic wrap, plywood, power rack and lat pulldown.

If you think $2500 is too costly, start small and build up overtime as you progress. Take a look at Gym Statistics here.

A typical good and clean gym cost around $58 per month. By simple math, it will take about 4 years for this gym to break even but thats not true. Instead of calculating cost per month, try to calculate cost per visit to the gym. Unless you are a gym rat, you will not be using a commercial gym for more than 2 days per week on average. This is means that average cost per workout is $7.25 per visit. Now with your home gym, you need to use it 345 times in its life time to break even ($2500/$7.25). Trust us when we say this, if you have a gym at home, you will definitely workout at-least 3-4 times per week, specially with the workouts created at GYMINUTES labs. More over, the cost is recouped even faster as all your family members can use your gym as well. Thus in most cases, a home gym will break even in 1 year or less.

Once you setup your home gym and looking for professionally created workouts, checkout our GYMINUTES app. With GYMINUTES, not only will you be able to track your workouts, but also gain invaluable insight into your workouts and prevent hitting plateaus.

We will have more post regarding how to setup your PowerRack. Till then if you have any questions, leave a comment below or email us at gyminutes@gmail.com

Till then, Happy Lifting