How Much Do Home Gyms Cost And Are They Worth It

Update on:

Home gyms cost an average of $2000.00 in the US. You can do it for less, or more. From under $100 all the way up to $15,000+. It depends on what your budget is, and what you want to do with it. Either way, investing in yourself is a sound decision for your health and your wallet.

I’ve researched national averages and equipment costs, to show you the real home gym setup costs. Using my experience as a personal trainer, my own home gym builds, and being a former finance guy. I’ve got the details covered.

Here’s the breakdown of what’s to come:

Home Gym vs Commercial Gym

The first question you should ask yourself is, how much is this going to cost me relative to a commercial gym membership? And that’s a good question because gym memberships are not as pricey as they used to be. There are other factors to consider also like travelling to and from your gym and convenience of use. These last two are what make the case for setting up your own gym so easy. Let’s take a look in a bit more detail.

Home Gym Cost vs. Commercial Gym Cost

You can usually get an intro price of $10.00 at some of the budget gyms, like Planet Fitness, and then move on to a base tariff of around $25.00. For the money, you get a good range of equipment and training space. If we do the math over a one-year period, you pay your $300.00 a year in membership fees and access to all this equipment.

Compare that to your home gym, you’ll spend an average of $2000.00 to get started with a good basic set of equipment. We use these numbers to compare, as comparing a yoga mat and a jump rope to Planet Fitness isn’t really apples for apples.

While you may lose out in the short term from the initial investment, over time the home gym pays off. Of course, you might need to replace equipment which will add to your setup over time. Overall, if you keep your home gym for an extended period of time. You win financially.

The Real Cost of Commute

Next, we’ll look at the commute, and there’s a two-factor saving here. You save cash spent on fuel travelling an average of 2.8 miles to your nearest budget gym like Blink Fitness. 2.8 miles there and back, five times a week, that’s 28 miles a week or 1456 a year if you’re going every week. In dollars, at the time of writing, with an average cost of $0.72 [1] per mile for driving your car, that’s a whopping $1048.32 per year you spend on getting to your gym. You can get yourself a really nice power rack for that and have some change.

The Convenience Factor

Never mind the clear financial savings above. You also stand to gain, gains! Studies have shown that having a gym closer to you means you’ll use it more [2,3]. Doesn’t get much closer than your house, does it? Not going to the gym that you pay for is a false economy, even at $25.00 a month. You’re better off having a modest home gym that you actually use.

Gym Type

A big factor when considering your home gym setup is, of course, what type of training you are planning on doing. This will be the biggest factor in determining the equipment and space requirements. Below is a list of the main types of gyms you might be considering. I’ve ordered these from cheapest to most expensive.

Yoga Gym

Fantastic for those short on space and cash. Here you’ll likely need a yoga mat, yoga blocks and wheels. This isn’t going to cost the earth. You can pick this up for under $100 on a budget but pay a little more if you go for higher quality material.

Yoga Gym Equipment Cost: $100+

Calisthenics Gym

Here you can also save on space and equipment. The essentials are a pull-up bar and parallettes. If you are a beginner-intermediate level, you’ll need some resistance bands too. You can pick up these essentials for under $250 from places like Amazon.com on the budget end. For the pull-up bar, I recommend purchasing a freestanding station if possible. While this will cost you a little more (upwards of $150), it allows a proper range of movement compared to doorway-mounted options. Ever tried doing a muscle up on a doorway-mounted pull-up bar, ouch!

A great addition can also be a plyo box, these range from around $50 upwards. Depending on size.

Calisthenics Gym Equipment Cost: $250+

Weight Lifting Gym

One of my favorite ways to train. Pumping iron or doing Olympic lifting, is going to see an inevitable jump in price. New prices are high and second-hand equipment is increasingly hard to come by. The bear bones you’ll need are:

Weight Plates:

At the time of writing this article, you’re looking at between $2.22 – $4.22 per LB of the weight plate. You can also pay much, much more if you like. So, if you are looking for 225 lb of plates, that’s going to cost you up to $422 new before shipping. Second hand, depending on where you are, you can pick up some rusty but still solid plates for around $1 per lb. Bumper plates were a little more at $1.50 from Facebook Marketplace. You’ll want to shop around and be ready to travel a bit to get what you want.

Barbell:

Ask any experienced lifter or coach, and they’ll tell you your barbell is not to be skimped on. While you can pick up a barbell on the cheap around $100.00. You are better to invest around $300.00 in a good standard 45lb (20kg) barbell. You can pick these up from most reputable brands such as Rogue Fitness or Titan Fitness. They will get the job done and last you a long time. If you want to go pro-grade, you can grab an Eleiko starting at upwards of $700.00. This will of course depend on your level of training and budget.

Power Rack / Squat Rack:

A power rack is going to enable you to do your barbell movements as well as a range of others. No weightlifting gym is complete without one. Prices vary, you can buy a strong performer from Amazon.com that will take up to 1200 lbs for less than $300 at the lower end. I reviewed many quality brands and found that you can get a good quality standard rack for between $800-$1200. Of course, as always, you can spend way more, but it’s not necessary.

Squat stands are a cheaper alternative. I do not recommend these though, due to some stability issues.

Bench:

Critical for any serious weight training movements, such as bench press for example. You’ll want an adjustable bench to enable some versatility in your training. This will cost you between $67.00 at the bottom end and up to around $300.00 in the mid-range. This is good enough for most garage gyms users. Be sure to check the load the bench can take before you buy it.

Dumbbells:

Last, but by no means least, in your awesome weightlifting gym setup you have some dumbbells. Here it’s important to think about space. You can get some truly awesome expandable dumbbell sets that range from 5 lbs to a whopping 90 lbs! I have a set in my garage gym which range from 5-70lbs and I love them. With two dumbbells you save a load of space. But, they are not very practical for chucking around if you’re doing more functional training. These will set you back between $359-679.00 depending on the load.

You can also buy adjustable dumbbells for a lot cheaper starting at around $50.00. Branded versions will be more. Be careful here to buy cast iron, the plastic sets are of inferior quality and are cumbersome.

Option number three is a rack of fixed-weight dumbbells, and yes, it will be expensive. Prices start at $20.00 for a pair of 2.5 lbs and climb from there. For comparison, buying a set of rogue dumbbells with a range of 5-50lbs will set you back $999.99 before shipping. Then you need a storage rack to put them on. So, yes more expensive than the previous options. Budget depending, nothing quite like a nice rack of dumbbells.

Starter Weight Lifting Gym Equipment Cost: $500+ (does not include all of the above)

Cardio Equipment

Likely you will want some cardio equipment in your home gym. These will usually consist of one or more of the following;

Rower

Your go-to rower will always be the Concept 2 and this will cost you $990.00 before shipping. Other brands are available for less starting at around $200.00, be careful what you buy here. Rowers take a pounding if you’re going after it. Choosing a good brand such as Nordic Track or Concept is a safer bet for longevity and quality. Cheap rowers may not offer the same workout than a higher price point. I have a Nordic Track in my garage gym and it’s pretty good, also it folds in half and is very space efficient.

Treadmill

A good treadmill will cost you upwards of $500.00. When browsing remember that running puts stress on the joints of the legs. To minimize damage over time, a good treadmill will have a better running track for this.

You can also take a look at curved treadmills which are less stressful on joints. Prices start from around $3500, how much are your joints worth?

Bike

Here you’ll make a choice between spin or assault bike (or both). I prefer the assault bike for all-around fitness.

A decent air bike (or Assault bike) will cost you upwards of $700.00. A cheaper bike can be less starting at around $200.00. Be careful here, good assault bikes have much larger fans than the budget options, it’s not the same workout. Having posed this question to a CrossFit coach not so long ago.

A spin bike will also start at around $200.00 at the cheaper end and work its way up to $500.00 on the mid-range level. You can sometimes find nice x-gym models second-hand which are a great buy.

CrossFit or Functional Training Gym

Here it gets a little complicated. Why? because functional fitness can be done with nothing or everything! It’s why I love it, never a dull moment.

A basic setup was defined by the CrossFit community during the Support Your Local Box Fundraiser. It’s a solid baseline for the basic equipment needs.

Pair of dumbbells: $20+ (but you’ll likely want more than 2.5 lb’s, so let’s say 20 lb’s at $75.00)

Jump Rope: $10+

Plyo Box: $50+

Ab mat (optional): $13+

Functional Training Gym Cost: $148+

Multi-Gyms

I’ve had a few of these over the years. To be clear, I am talking about, multi-station resistance training equipment. These might be a bit old school now, especially with the more high-tech fancy mirror trainers available (more on that after). Back in the day, you could usually pick up a good one, second hand, that’s been clogging up someone’s garage for a year or two. The trouble is they are BIG and bought with the best intentions but hardly used.

New prices vary depending on what you get. I would recommend a minimum basic setup of bench press, row station, lat cable station, dip station / pull-up station. New, these are a not cheap, with the equipment stated above, starting at around $4,500. You are better searching the second hand market for these. My advice, just get a nice power rack and some weights. Unless you are a bodybuilder then this sort of equipment is useful. In which case, try and get one with a load of leg training equipment such as leg press, leg extension, leg curl.

Multi-Gym Equipment Cost: $4,500+

Training Mirrors

These can be a little pricey but at the time of writing, prices are looking good. The mirror with no resistance accessories, from brands such as NordicTrack (Nordic Track Vault) is $700. A fully loaded option will be closer to $1000. For your more advanced setups from Tonal or Tempo Studio, you get up to $3995, depending on if you go fully loaded or not.

The advantages here are that they are of course very compact. They look like giant smartphones for the most part, with weight storage behind the mirror. Great for a bedroom home gym.

But, to get the benefits, you’ll need a virtual gym membership such as iFit starting at $180 per year ($15 per month). For the own brand membership options they start from $36 per month.

So this comes down to time and space. A good option for compact, light exercise. Anything more serious, this isn’t for you.

Training Mirror Cost: $700+ / plus annual or monthly membership fee

From here, the sky’s the limit.

Look at the sections above and see where your gym equipment needs fit. You’ll have a rough starting place for how much pocket money to save! Remember to keep it simple when choosing and choose only what you’ll use, not what looks cool.

*Note, I have used Amazon.com and Rogue Fitness to benchmark the majority of the prices for equipment. Amazon is where you can find prices at the cheaper end of the market with imports from China being a lower price point. Rogue Fitness is mid-high end with excellent quality standards and made in the USA. Plus, they love the garage gym market, so we love them too. You can also try brands such as Rep Fitness who will be a little cheaper than Rogue Fitness for some equipment.

Gym Location

Gym location will also affect the cost because it’ll help determine, what and how much equipment you can have. If you don’t have a large space you’ll likely not have a big power rack, or lots of cardio equipment. The key thing to remember here, and it’s a big mistake I have seen (and made on my first home gym), you need floor space. Wherever your gym is located, you have to leave enough space to do the exercises, stretching and collapsing in a heap of steam when you’ve pushed yourself to the limit. Apart from space, the main concerns here are the flooring. You need to be sure that it can take the weight of any equipment you will have, and hopefully use. Below is a list of the potential costs of sorting out your flooring, be sure to add this into your calculation:

Garage / basement Gym:

$0 (Usually). You should have a concrete floor here which can take your equipment weight and drop the odd dumbbell. If you plan on doing some serious lifting like snatches or clean and jerks, you’ll definitely need some rubber matting. This will help to absorb the shock to protect both your floor and equipment. We’ll go into detail on the matting in the next section.

Attic Gym:

You may need to install a subfloor between $500-$800 to structurally secure your floor. Then the finished floor (the bit you actually walk on) would usually be next. After that you’ll need to pop some rubber matting down to protect your nice new floor.

Spare room/bedroom:

$0 (usually). Of course, this depends on the build of your home. But most houses should be sturdy enough to take some weight. Be careful dropping weights or heavy equipment on the floor or you might end up damaging the surface. Again rubber matting will help here and we’ll move onto this next.

Below some specifics on floor protection options:

Floor Protection / Rubber Matting

Gym flooring can of course be bought for the home market. They can range from $40.00 for a simple yoga mat to place under your dumbbells. To specialized rubber gym flooring tiles at around $8-9 per square foot. Prices vary depending on what type of use and size your gym will have.

Yoga Mats

Yoga mats can be pretty inexpensive but offer the least protection. However, if you only have a set of dumbbells or similarly small space/equipment, these can be suitable. Be aware that they will not do much to protect your floor from dropped equipment and other such heavy usage. But you can pick these up from $40+ for a 1 inch thick mat. Good enough for light usage and a small space.

Foam Tiles

These can be a budget-friendly option, but they will not offer a great deal of floor protection. Generally, these are for light home use and will not withstand heavy impact. These will suit under cardio equipment and light weights. You can grab these for around $1.00 per square foot. As with the yoga mats, try and go for a thicker option where possible. Don’t be fooled when they write ‘heavy duty’ on the description. You don’t want to be dropping a heavy barbell on these.

Rubber Flooring

This is by far the best option to protect both your floor and your equipment. If you plan on doing any serious training. There are various thicknesses and densities you can go for and this will depend on the type of training. When purchasing read the usage types and loads before making a decision. Below is a quick overview:

Rubber Gym Flooring

Starting prices for a rubber roll are between $2-3 per square foot but can cost you up to $8.00 per square foot for a commercial grade. This will set you back more than the foam options.

Horse Stall Mats

A great alternative to rubber gym flooring. Horse stall mats are built to withstand huge loads, as your average horse will weigh in the region of 900-1200 lb’s [4]. I have always used them in my home gym setups and they have not let me down yet. You can pick these up for around $2-3 per square foot.

Equipment Brand / Where to buy

It can be a minefield to know where to shop for your home gym equipment. There are so many brands to choose from, and not all are created equal.

Budget Equipment

For your budget equipment needs, you can get most things from Amazon.com. It’s a good idea to read the reviews before purchasing. The great thing about Amazon reviews is that people can and will be brutal about bad products.

Mid-high End

For products a little more mid-range, some good brands are: Rogue Fitness, Titan Fitness and, REP Fitness. These guys have similar price points and good quality standards for home gyms. It’s a good idea to compare them against each other when choosing to get the best value for money.

Second Hand

Something else to consider is buying second hand. Most, if not all, home gym setups will include some bargains found online or at yard sales. As you start or grow your gym, look on places like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Your local paper is also a good option. Be patient if you are looking for olympic bumper weight plates. These are increasingly more difficult to come by.

DIY

Why not build your own equipment. If you’re handy enough with the tools, building power racks , for example, can be a good option. I have reviewed a coupe of self-build power racks videos on youtube. My advice, is to calculate the cost of all the materials before getting all excited and diving in. For example, one build I saw, the guy spent, $360+ on his materials. You can pick up a new rolled steel power rack from amazon.com for that.

Other Considerations

I’ve covered the basics of your gym setup. A solid floor and the equipment needed. But there are some other important factors to consider when planning your home gym. I’ve outlined a few below:

Build Timeline

If you have got this far in the article, then you’ll know that costs vary largely based on the type of equipment you want. But if your budget doesn’t get you the gym you want straight away, start small and build up. Personally, I have spent the better part of five years adding slowly to my gym. To start with, I had only a set of adjustable dumbbells and a very small corner of a room. The dumbbells actually cost me nothing as they were a gift for my birthday! Meaning that the cost to me of starting my home gym was exactly $0.00. Visualize the gym you want and work towards it, always checking the second-hand market for a good deal.

Accessories

There are so many accessories you can add to your gym. Here are a few of the main ones:

Mirrors

An excellent accessory for any gym. Keeping an eye on good form is very important, and mirrors will help you do that. A popular option is mirror wall tiles which you can buy in various sizes. On Amazon you can grab 12” x 12” panels that stick on. Be careful with these as if your wall is not flat, they won’t work very well, speaking from experience.

Storage

Shelving, storage boxes and, wall mounts for weights and bars are a superb idea. These will not cost you the earth and, for the most part, can be picked up at Home Depot or places like that.

For your wall mounts, you may want to purchase special equipment. You can buy a barbell wall rack for a little as $20 on Amazon or pay a little more from the likes of RogueFitness, up to $75. This will depend on the amount and weight of bars being stored.

Weight plate storage, you can have wall-mounted or freestanding. If you’re not sure about your walls, use freestanding! Prices here range from $25 on the very cheap end to around $270 for a nice weight tree with wheels from RogueFitness.

Lighting and Heating

Depending on where you have chosen your home gym. You may need to consider lighting and heating requirements. A garage gym can be bitterly cold during the winter. Investing in some heating, while not essential, can ensure that you’ll actually use it in the worst of weather. You can pick up a cheap electric heater to plug in or get some plumbing done. Bear in mind that, plug-in heaters although cheap to buy, are not so cheap to run.

Lighting is a little easier, likely you have something in place already. If not, some plug in lighting can be easy to find on any budget and ensure you can use your gym when it’s dark. I’ve seen some cool lighting ideas online that can really jazz up the place.

So there you have it…

Clearly, how much do home gyms cost?, is very much a how long is a piece of string type of question. I hope the information provided can guide you to how much YOUR home gym might cost.

While the national average is $2000, yours might be way less or way more. The key is in deciding exactly what you want to do in your gym first, then building your gym around that idea. Keeping it simple, protecting your floor, and leaving enough room for training are some of the most important pointers to take home.

Either way you go, investing in your health and well-being is always sound. The benefits of being the best version of yourself transfer to all other aspects of your life. Go on, you’re worth it.

FAQ’s

How do I calculate the budget for my home gym, and what factors should I consider?

You should start by determining what kind of training you want to do, as this will have the biggest effect on the budget. You can put a gym together for next to nothing, or spend thousands. Furthermore, you need to also consider the space you have available, as this may have limitations on what you can fit in it. Lastly, work out how much you have to spend, then prioritize the main equipment requirements and work from there. Pro-tip, aim for quality where possible, even if this means not getting everything straight away.

What are the cost benefits of investing in a home gym compared to a commercial gym membership?

Cost-wise, you’ll start making savings on average after a few years. Depending on your initial investment and maintenance costs. The average cost of a home gym is around $2000, you’ll pay around $300 a year at the lower end of the market for a commercial establishment. Factor in the cost of your commute and the time lost commuting, and you soon break even. The real benefits of having a home gym are more than just cost-based, convenience and ease of use are easily worth the initial investment. 

What are some essential considerations for setting up a home gym in terms of space and equipment?

Simply put, first define what kind of training you are going to be doing. This will determine the space required. Secondly, find the space you have that most closely matches your training requirements. It may be that you do these steps inverse, and this is often the case. For example, you have a garage to use, and that’s it! After this, define your basic equipment requirements and search for the best quality your budget allows. You can build from there as your budget permits. Remember, you don’t need everything on the first day. A garage gym is a journey.

Photo of author
Andy is the founder of Garage Gym Greatness. He’s a NASM certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist and has worked with clients of all ages, from young professionals to those in their twilight years. Reviewing everything home fitness related is a pleasure, never a chore. His favourite cheese if comté.