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3 Key Principles for Building a Home Gym on a Budget

Having to go to and from the gym for your workout is a real pain. Especially if you’re strapped for time and can only go before or after work.

But as you’re probably thinking, there’s a perfect solution to that: a home gym. Nowadays it’s easier to do our workout in our home especially when we use the high-tech option products

The downside? A home gym seems like a really expensive proposition. But, let me tell you, it really doesn’t have to be. If you’re smart about how you put your home gym together, you can actually end up saving money compared to your gym membership.

image - 3 Key Principles for Building a Home Gym on a Budget
3 Key Principles for Building a Home Gym on a Budget

If that’s a real possibility, and if it can be done without settling for the bare minimum of equipment, then you’d be crazy not to try it.

Well, either that or you have almost no room for one. But once again, with the right choices, you can get a surprisingly compact setup. Lifting dumbbells on the couch, anyone?

1. Choose Equipment That Works for Multiple Muscle Groups

If you want to burn as many calories as possible, don’t go for a treadmill, or even an exercise bike. That’s right. The most popular forms of cardio are actually a poor choice for creating a home gym on a budget.

The reason why is simple. A rowing machine works 85% of the body’s muscles, while something like running or cycling only works the legs. That means you can burn far more calories on a rowing machine, as well as keep far more muscles across your body in shape.

Naturally, that makes a rowing machine the perfect choice for a calorie-burning focused machine as well as a compound exercise resistance training machine.

As for the best type of rowing machine, you ideally want to go for a water rowing machine, but magnetic rowing machines and others are still really good. Basically, you really can’t go wrong with a rowing machine.

Besides, if you like running, you may as well go running outside. It’s a free workout to supplement your home gym.

2. Get Dumbbells Instead of Barbells or Kettlebells

Dumbbells reign supreme as the best weight training equipment if you’re on a budget for one simple reason: They’re so incredibly versatile.

Especially so if you have an adjustable dumbbell set where you can change the weight on the fly, to allow for progressive overload, which is the key driver of muscle growth.

Sure, barbells have changeable weights too, but you won’t have a spotter in your home gym, and that means having to get yourself a power rack and a bench as well. The safety bars on a power rack act like a spotter and stop you from dropping the weight on yourself.

With dumbbells, if you’re on a really tight budget, all you need is a mat to protect the floor. With that setup, you can work both your upper body, your core, and a good amount of your lower body with the huge variety of exercises that are possible with dumbbells.

Again, kettlebells are a bit too limited in terms of variety, and it’s likely you’d have to get a full set of them since there aren’t particularly any adjustable ones out there that are suitable for a low budget.

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3. Keep It Simple. Don’t Buy Gimmicky Equipment

Dumbbells, benches, barbells, squat racks, and so on sound boring and normal, but they’re normal for a reason. Going away from the tried and tested core pieces of gym equipment means you’ll be out of pocket when you realize that you need to buy more equipment to make up for where a gimmicky new piece of equipment falls short.

Things like smart home gyms, arm bikes, and rodeo machines are notoriously expensive and are also not particularly good workouts. Instead, opt for a traditional piece of equipment to do the same job, and get clued up on proper form by watching YouTube videos and reading guides.

Basically, what you should be focusing on is putting together a full-body workout that you’ll be happy with personally, then building your home gym around that with simple, traditional pieces of equipment.

Of course, there’ll be exercises which seem to “require” a specialized piece of equipment, but here’s how you get around that: if you look at which muscle groups that exercise works, and google exercises that work the same muscle group, you’re pretty certain to come across exercises that work with one of these core pieces of gym equipment instead.

What this means is that you really don’t need more than the essentials. There’s a wealth of information out there, and all you need to get the perfect workout at home is nothing more than a few simple pieces of gym equipment.

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