Set Up A Small Home Gym On A Budget - Organized-ish (2023)

Learn how to set up a small home gym on a small budget using affordable storage solutions and smart layout planning.

I have been quietly working on setting up our home gym for a couple of months, and I am SO excited to finally reveal it to you! I was working with a weirdly shaped room, tons of windows, and a super small budget, so I had a lot of challenges to work through. I want to share all the hacks I found along the way to maximize the small space and get the biggest bang for my buck so you can build your own home gym without breaking the bank.

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Create A Plan First

The most important step in setting up your home gym is creating a plan. Before you paint the walls, arrange your equipment, or even sweep the floors, you should be coming up with a plan for the layout and storage systems.

Here’s the process I used when I planned my gym:
1. Create a Pinterest board with home gym inspiration photos
2. Draw or digitally map out your room to scale with measurements (here’s a tutorial)
3. Measure all workout equipment and existing furniture and arrange them in your room layout, leaving enough space for adequate movement and floor workouts
4. List all the workout accessories and small equipment that needs a “home” in the room
5. Shop (or pull from another room) for storage furniture and wall shelving, keeping measurements in mind
Optional: Make a mood board using Canva to see your entire plan together.

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Prep Your Space

A home gym gets a lot of wear and tear, especially if it’s inside your house versus in your garage. Before you start piling things inside, take a day to prep the space while it’s empty. Some of the steps below may seem unimportant to you, but it’s better to do it now instead of having to clear it out again later or when an accident happens.

How to prep your room before setting up your gym:
1. Deep clean the floors, walls, windows, light fixtures, vents, doors, and baseboards
2. Paint the walls or just touch up any scuffs
3. If your workout equipment is extra heavy, have a contractor check the floor joists to make sure they can withstand the weight
4. Add safety mats where large equipment will go that could slip during use and cause injury
5. Mark stud locations on any walls that will have shelving installed

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Add The Big Stuff First

Before all the dumbbells and elastic bands and yoga mats come through the door, it’s important to go ahead and bring in the big stuff first. Even though you mapped out your room layout on paper or digitally, you won’t really get a feel for the amount of space you have until you can see it with your own eyes. What looked spacious on paper may feel cluttered in person. Don’t add anything to the walls until you’ve got all the big stuff locked in.

An extra tip to test out your floor space is to do a few exercises in the open area to make sure your movement isn’t restricted. Once the equipment is placed and your shelving is up, it’ll be a big pain to move things around to account for open space, so take time to make sure your layout is adequate now.

Ways to test open floor space for mobility:
1. Do jumping jacks- are your arms hitting anything?
2. Lay down flat on the floor with your legs and arms fully extended- do your feet or hands touch anything?
3. Grab a couple of weights you use often (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell) and run through some exercises in your routine- are you comfortable doing them?

(Video) How to fit a Home Gym in Your Apartment!

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Set Up Safe Storage Solutions

A home gym is not the place to put your wobbly recycled furniture. Your safety should be your main priority, and protecting your home is priority number two. But heavy duty storage can get very expensive. If your goal is to keep the price tag small while still keeping your safety in mind, opt for these budget friendly solutions that can withstand some heavy wear.

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Galvanized Steel Pegboard Wall

A regular pegboard is made of composite wood called masonite, which is basically wood fibers that have been steamed together to create a “hardboard.” They’re thin, flimsy, and require furring strips (pieces of 2×4 wood) to install. Although they’re cheap and easy to get from any store, they are NOT safe for a home gym.

If a pegboard is a storage solution you want to include in your gym, opt for galvanized steel. It won’t bow like plastic does, and it doesn’t require furring strips. You can install it right onto the studs in the wall using a standard drill. I used these steel pegboards because they’re incredibly strong and easy to put up. Make sure you note the weight limits for both your pegboard, wall anchors, AND pegs to avoid damage to the wall (or your floor if things fall).

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Freestanding Closet Organizing Shelving

A lot of closet “furniture” on the market is great for a gym because it’s made to hold the weight of clothing and shoes. You can grab shoe shelves and cube shelving from your local hardware store to hold your small accessories. Don’t keep any weights on these, though, because they aren’t made for that.

Make sure you anchor all furniture to the wall using metal L-shaped braces to ensure they don’t tip or get knocked over. Those little straps your shelving comes with is not strong enough for a gym, so spend the extra $2 for a pack of metal braces.

Another great option is metal shelving made for garages. They can withstand a lot of weight and are adjustable so you can set them up to hold anything you need in your gym. These shelves do have gaps in between the wires, so small items will slip through. You can store things in lidded containers or add a shelf mat to keep that from happening. You can also use S hooks to hang things off the side of the shelves, too.

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Raid The Command Hook Aisle

Command hooks have come a long way since they first came out, and the brand has a lot of really great gym storage options beyond a basic hook. I used 8 different types of Command hooks in my own gym, and I love them because they were half the price of fully-installed hooks, and I can easily move them if I need to without wall holes. This post covers all the ways Command products can transform your gym on a budget.

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Make It A Real Room

Just because your home gym is, well, a gym, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like the other rooms in your house. Add some decor that makes you smile like a fun piece of art, motivating posters, full length mirrors, nonslip rugs, air purifying plants, and pretty containers and baskets. Don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone, too.

I painted my gym walls Breathess by Sherwin Williams, which is a shade of pink I would never be brave enough to experiment with in the rest of my house. A home gym should be inspiring and relaxing, and it doesn’t have to match the rest of the “flow” in your house.

Also, be open to budget-friendly alternatives. I really wanted a full mirror wall, and I stalked the Habitat For Humanity ReStore for weeks waiting for a large bathroom mirror to show up, but I never found one. I didn’t want to shell out $300 for a new one, so instead I bought some cheap door mirrors from my hardware store for $6 each and lined them up. It works out fine and I don’t mind the frames on them as much as I thought I would.

Want To Copy My Gym?

I bought almost everything I used in my gym from Amazon, so I put together a special collection in my Amazon account so you can shop the direct links without having to search for them. If you’re looking for something you see in the photos that isn’t in that list, let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to source it for you.


How do you organize a small home gym? ›

Keep loose items like free weights, jump ropes, kettle bells, and yoga mats organized and off the floor with shelving units. Floating shelves, bookshelves, or wire storage units are all ideal storage for any in-house exercise room.

How do I organize my gym equipment in a small apartment? ›

5 Ways To Store Workout Equipment In A Small Apartment
  1. Ditch the Clunky Workout Equipment. Bulky machinery is just not feasible if you live in a smaller space. ...
  2. Storage Cabinets and Baskets. ...
  3. Storage Bench. ...
  4. Wall-Mounted Options. ...
  5. Mobile Storage Cabinet.

How much space is needed for a small home gym? ›

A good size for a home gym is about 150-250 square feet. This gives you enough room for both strength and cardio equipment. But you can build a home gym even if you don't have that much space available.

How do I start a home gym routine? ›

It means the world to us during these times.
  1. Create Your Own Workout. Take some time to engage your mind and get creative with your workout from home routine. ...
  2. Go for a Daily Walk or Jog. ...
  3. Get Creative. ...
  4. Go for Apps. ...
  5. Split Everything into Small Breaks. ...
  6. Host Digital Fitness Parties. ...
  7. Take Your At-Home Workout Outdoors.
1 Apr 2020

What equipment do I need for a small gym? ›

A basic set-up, including essentials such as a bench, some dumbbells, and resistance bands, can still provide a great workout.
  • Training Bench. ...
  • Dumbbell Set. ...
  • Barbell Set. ...
  • Kettlebell Set. ...
  • Pull-Up Frame and Bar. ...
  • Treadmill. ...
  • Stationary Bicycle. ...
  • Rowing Machine.

What is the most versatile piece of home gym equipment? ›

Amazon Basics Vinyl Kettlebell

A basic 15- to 25-pound kettlebell weight is one of the most versatile and affordable pieces of strength training equipment you can own, as it can target and tone everything from your arms to your abs.

What should I buy first when building a home gym? ›

First Products to buy

A few examples of versatile products include a pair of dumbbells, a single kettlebell, pull-up bar, jump rope, bands, sandbag, etc. All of these options provide a nearly limitless amount of workout options in combination with traditional bodyweight workouts.

How can I make a home gym without space? ›

Setting Up a Home Gym When You Have No Space
  1. Foldable Equipment.
  2. Resistance Bands & Door Anchors.
  3. Dumbbells Are Your Friend.
  4. Medicine Ball.
  5. Pull-Up & Push-Up Bars.
  6. Gym Mat.
  7. Versatile Equipment & Weighted Clothing.
5 Apr 2019

Is it cheaper to build a gym at home? ›

As you can see, it's possible to build a quality, highly effective home gym for less than $1,000. And you can do it for even less if you buy the above equipment used. While $1,000 might still seem like a lot if you're looking at that nut altogether, compare that cost to paying for a membership at a commercial gym.

Is it worth setting up a home gym? ›

Even if you decide to stick with a gym membership, you'll likely find that having some equipment at home is a huge advantage on days where you just can't make it or are short on time. At the end of the day, a home gym is definitely worth it!

What is the average number of members for a small gym? ›

How many members do most gyms have? The average number of gym members is between 1,000 and 10,000, while boutique gyms (under 4,000 square feet) have 100–500 members.

How many times a week should a beginner gym? ›

How much should a beginner workout? As a beginner, you only want to begin working out 1-3 days a week. It is important to provide a chance for your body to adapt and adjust to the new routine. Focus on full-body strength training that starts slow and ramps up over time.

How long should a beginner gym be? ›

In general, 30 to 40 minutes is considered optimal for beginners, but this doesn't mean that you should push your body past its limits if it's still too much for you. What's more, you must take regular breaks between sets.

How a beginner should start gym? ›

A few tips for beginners
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking fluids throughout the day is essential for maintaining healthy hydration levels. ...
  • Optimize your nutrition. Be sure to consume a balanced diet to support your fitness program. ...
  • Warm up. It's important to warm up before your workout. ...
  • Cool down. ...
  • Listen to your body.

What is a good budget for a home gym? ›

Calisthenics Gym

Calisthenics equipment for a home gym costs between $10 and $500 per unit. Budget between $200 and $1,000 for a full home calisthenics gym, depending on the setup and equipment you wish to include. A core workout setup for a beginner can consist of a pull-up bar, dip bars, and resistance bands.

Which gym equipment is best for belly fat? ›

The following are among the most popular and effective workout machines used for reducing belly fat.
  • Treadmill.
  • Elliptical.
  • Stairmaster.
  • Stationary bike.
  • Rowing machine.
10 Nov 2020

What's the best home exercise equipment for any budget? ›

The Best Home Gym Equipment of 2022
  • Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar.
  • Best Overall. Bowflex Xceed Home Gym.
  • Best Budget. Synergee Dual Sided Use Core Sliders.
  • Best Treadmill. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill.
  • Best Stationary Bike. Exerpeutic Folding Recumbent Bike.
  • Best Dumbbells. ...
  • Best Resistance Bands. ...
  • Best Training Straps.
26 Apr 2022

How do you organize a small play area? ›

10 Ideas for Amazing Playroom Organization
  1. Declutter Old, Broken Toys. ...
  2. Choose Clear Bins for Toy Organization. ...
  3. Create “Homes” for Their Favorite Toys. ...
  4. Use Removable Labels. ...
  5. Have a Plan for Storing Small Pieces. ...
  6. Create a Playroom Library. ...
  7. Choose Kid-Friendly Playroom Storage. ...
  8. Store Messy Things Out of Reach.
19 Apr 2018

How easy is it to make a gym at home? ›

Here, your step-by-step guide to creating a home gym for any space on any budget.
  1. Step 1: Find the Right Space. ...
  2. Step 2: Stock Your Home Gym. ...
  3. Step 3: Create a Storage Plan. ...
  4. Step 4: Design Your Setup. ...
  5. Step 5: Put It to Good Use.
5 Jun 2020

How much is required to set up a gym? ›

To start a gym in India, you have to have a capital of about 5 to 10 lakh rupees. No investor will pay you money if you are not ready with a solid business plan beforehand.

Is it cheaper to go to the gym or buy your own equipment? ›

Buying gym equipment costs money, requires space and makes working out a solitary venture. Gym memberships cost money in monthly fees and other charges, requires added time and effort to get there and makes working out more of a social venture. Many experts favor a combination of membership and home equipment.

What are the disadvantages of exercising at home? ›

  • Too much flexibility. It's great that you can technically work out whenever you want, but that might just mean that you workout tomorrow instead... or the next day. ...
  • No accountability. ...
  • Limited space and equipment. ...
  • Missing support from friends. ...
  • Distractions.
25 May 2020

Should I turn my garage into a home gym? ›

Turning your garage into a gym is a really fun DIY project; it will also save you so much time and money in the long run. Not only will you be saving on gym memberships, gas, and commute time, but you will also be able to work out more regularly and enjoy your workouts more.

What percentage of small gyms fail? ›

According to the IHRSA, 81 percent of health and fitness studios fail within their first year. A gym is still a business and must be treated as such if it is to succeed. The surest way to set your new gym up for failure is to open it before you know what you're doing.

Why do people quit the gym? ›

A new survey by Better has found that a lack of time and a lack of confidence are the main reasons people give for not going to the gym. Vanity reasons such as losing weight and toning up are important motivators to gym goers but over 11% are motivated by the positive impact exercise has on their mental health.

Which gender goes to the gym more? ›

Men reported higher rates of competitive sports, strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercises, whereas women were more likely to walk and participate in recreational activities.

Where do you store weights in a small apartment? ›

How to Store Workout Equipment in a Small Apartment (And Which Ones To Get)
  1. Opt for adjustable/foldable/portable equipment. ...
  2. Utilize wall spaces. ...
  3. Take advantage of any outdoor space you might have. ...
  4. Under (or behind) furniture. ...
  5. Opt for a bench with built-in storage. ...
  6. Multi-level shelving unit. ...
  7. Invest in a smart home gym system.
5 Sept 2022

How can I exercise in a small apartment? ›

Get some cardio. Cardio doesn't have to mean getting on a treadmill or exercise bike for long periods of time. Cardio-based bodyweight exercises, such as lunges, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, tuck jumps, and burpees can be done in your apartment without any equipment, but they definitely get your heart racing.

How can I increase storage in my small apartment? ›

Tip #4: Creating Storage Space in a Small Apartment Closet
  1. Hang a 2nd clothing rod underneath the existing rod to double your hanging space.
  2. Hang a shoe rack on the back of the closet door(s).
  3. Use closet organizers to maximize space. ...
  4. Purchase some expandable shelves.
  5. Toss out any clothes you don't wear anymore.
3 Dec 2020

Does dropping weights damage the floor? ›

At the commercial gym weight training with weights if doing Bodybuilding type activities, dropping steel weight plates can damage both the flooring and the bar itself, may be a safety hazard, too. The rubber flooring can help but not completely solve the problem.

Where do you put gym equipment? ›

You should look at your home to find out where you have the room to add a home gym. Home gyms can share space with an office. Home gyms can also be set up in empty areas like an unused bedroom, basement, or attic. Getting creative, you can also create a home gym in a shed in your yard.

How can I hide my hand weights? ›

When concealing equipment in a drawer or a closet isn't an option, Cattano resorts to baskets. “They're great for holding smaller equipment like dumbbells (place in the bottom of the basket!), resistance bands, and jump ropes in plain sight, while also keeping visual clutter at bay,” she says.

How can I exercise at home with limited space? ›

'No Space' Exercises 💪

The movements that are ideal for small spaces include Push-Ups, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Crunches, Leg Raises, Sit-Ups, High Knees, Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climber, and Burpees. You name it, calisthenics has it, and uses it regularly to help athletes master movement.

How can I exercise in my apartment without disturbing neighbors? ›

4 Tips for a Quiet Apartment Workout That Doesn't Bother Your...
  1. Skip Jumping and Running Exercises. ...
  2. Invest in a Light Set of Free Weights. ...
  3. Learn New Cardio Techniques. ...
  4. Try Body Weight and Isometric Exercises.
9 Oct 2019

Can you walk inside your house for exercise? ›

If you simply want to move around more, then yes: Walking around your house is exercise. If your goal is to improve your health, moderate-intensity exercise is recommended. 3 You may need to boost the intensity of your walking to hit this goal.

How do you organize small spaces on a budget? ›

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces on a Budget
  1. Clean out Your Possessions. ...
  2. Clean up Your Space. ...
  3. Once you've cleaned out the stuff you don't need and cleared up the messes in your way, it's time to take a close look at what's left. ...
  4. Set a Budget. ...
  5. PVC Pipes. ...
  6. Add a Second Bar. ...
  7. Shower Curtain Hooks. ...
  8. Wall Shelves.
21 Jan 2020

How do I organize my flat? ›

Organize items by use

Place magazines and books in a rack or storage box near your reading chair. You might also want to consider getting furniture that can double as storage. A lot of coffee tables are also boxes. You can put items that aren't used as often, like blankets and board games, in something like this.

Can I put gym flooring over carpet? ›

It's just not a good idea to put rubber tiles, rolls or even mats directly over your soft carpet. It's not stable and you could seriously injure yourself. Imagine lifting weights on a wobbly surface, or running on a treadmill with a wobbly subfloor.

Can you put a home gym in a bedroom? ›

When space is tight, home fitness equipment can end up in a bedroom. While this doesn't give you a dedicated space to train, it can be all you need to keep your workouts top of mind.


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