Create the Best Home Gym on a Budget


Last Updated on February 21, 2020 by MarcyPro

Gym Memberships (also known as gym clubs) can get pricey quickly. Even budget friendly gyms where you “pay $10 a month” have startup fees and an annual fee. Those gyms are especially expensive when you take into consideration time. The time it takes you to reach the gym, find parking, wait for each machine, etc. And, time is our most valuable commodity.

However, many turn to gym memberships because they are worried about the cost of home gym equipment. You don’t need to break the bank to build out a sufficient home gym. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to break the bank to build an awesome home gym!

Let’s break down the garage home gyms you can build out for $150 (a year at the budget-friendly gyms,) $500 (3.5 years at a budget friendly gym,) and $1,000 dollars (7 years at a budget friendly gym.)

You may be thinking $150 garage home gym? That is impossible! Well, it sort of is impossible for the type of home gym you may be picturing. However, if you think of a gym as maximizing the number of different workouts you can do to target different muscles, then $150 is more than enough.

Spend your first chunk of money on an adjustable kettlebell ($70 as of January 2020). Kettlebell workouts are inumerous – kettlebell swings, kettlebell squats, bicep curls, turkish get-ups… you get the idea! A kettlebell will provide a full body workout that provides functional strength. The important part about the Apex Adjustable Kettlebell is it’s adjustability.

Because weight can be added or removed on the Apex Adjustable Kettlebell, you can use the same device for multiple workouts instead of spending money on a full set. Just buy a few extra standard weight plates (about $30 worth,) and you’ll be ready to go! In addition, because you can turn the Apex adjustable Kettlebell in to a 50lb kettlebell, it will be sometime before you finally outgrow it. Start your kettlebell workout journey with the kettlebell workout in this blog.

You still have $50 left for your $150 home gym, what is next? A Bionic Body Resistance Band Kit! ($40 as of January 2020.) Though the resistance bands provide similar workouts as your adjustable kettlebell, the resistance bands are more flexible (no pun intended) when it comes to cardio workouts and can be easily packed as a portable gym!

You have $10 left for your $150 dollar home gym. Skip the snack or sugary drink, buy a resuable water bottle 🙂


At $500 it is much easier to get a fairly robust home gym and we’ll cut to the brass tax. Pick up the XJ-3220 Exercise Training Bike ($280 as of January 2020) and the MD-879 Two-piece weight bench ($250 as of January 2020). We have to be honest and upfront, it is clear those two items add up to $530. But! The extra $30 you have to scrounge up will be well worth the usefulness of these two items in your home gym.

The XJ-3220 is a virtually limitless exercise bike workout. Because of the 40lb flywheel that provides resistance, the harder you pedal, the more difficult it becomes to pedal. Though running may be free, running tends to be a bit more difficult on the knees as one ages. By riding an training bike, you put less stress on your knees than running and (as always) you can avoid bad weather and still workout.

The MD-879 Two Piece Bench is the ideal piece of weightlifting equipment for those on a budget (and for those with low ceilings.) The bench includes a preacher curl pad and a leg developer, allowing you to pinpoint your biceps and target your leg muscles. In addition, the bench also provides several angles for decline, flat, and incline exercises.

The beauty of the MD-879 is the separate bar catch. Because the bar catch separates from the bench, you can pull them away from each other to use the bar catch as a squat rack!

Finally, the monolithic $1000 garage home gym. The easy way through this one would be to recommend most of our home gyms under $1000 and the same bike as above. However, a number of people do not have the height required for our multi-station home gyms (and because we talk about our home gyms all the time here)

Instead, I would again recommend the MD-879 Weight Bench (above, $250 as of January 2020,) an adjustable kettlebell (above, $70 with weights as of January 2020,)  and a Marcy Water Rower Rowing Machine NS-6070RW ($600 as of January 2020)


The reason we highly recommend the Marcy Water Rower is the efficiency of the workout (going back to saving time in addition to money.) Rowing targets several muscle regions including your back, arms, chest, and legs. Rowing doesn’t only target several muscles at once, it makes you feel the burn quickly.

We recommend the water rower in particular for the same reason we recommend the training bike above, the resistance on the water rower increases as you try to row harder / faster. As a result, the resistance level is theoretically never ending. By adding a water rowing machine to your home gym, you will have the ultimate cardio device that you can never outgrow.

As much as we know using our products will make your garage gym efficient and better than a club gym, we’re obliged to mentioned the $0 gym. If you find you can’t afford workout equipment, that is not an excuse to not exercise! Something as simple as a walk is better than sitting / laying 24 hours a day.


You can build strength and get a cardio workout at home with no exercise equipment at all. However, for those who can afford it, we highly recommend the equipment above from for an efficient and effective home gym. 

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