Best Budget Home Gym Equipment for 2022
Barbell Pursuits tests and reviews fitness equipment and products to ensure quality for you. If you purchase something using one of our links, we may earn commission. Read our disclosures.
Everyone would love to be able to walk out into their garage or into the basement, or even backyard, and have a gym waiting for them.
Typically, people think that a home gym is expensive - not anymore.
This is the best budget home gym equipment you can buy that won’t hurt your wallet and will have you lifting in no time.
Best Budget Home Gym Equipment
- Best Budget Squat Rack - Titan T-3 Power Rack
- Best Budget Olympic Barbell - The Rogue Bar 2.0
- Best Budget Weight Plates - REP Old School Iron Plate Sets
- Best Budget Dumbbells - REP Rubber Hex Dumbbells
- Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbell - PowerBlock Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbell
- Best Budget Weight Bench - REP FB-5000 Flat Bench
- Best Budget Pull-Up Bar - Titan Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar
- Best Budget Kettlebells - REP Kettlebells (KG)
- Best Budget Cardio Equipment - Rogue Slice Sled
- Best Budget Home Gym Flooring - Tractor Supply ¾” Rubber Stall Mats
You can find reviews for nearly all of these products on Barbell Pursuits in individual reviews or on my best-of lists.
That being said, putting everything in one easy-to-find post helps you better figure out your home gym equipment needs.
This guide to the best budget home gym equipment compiles all of my recommended equipment to help build your budget home gym with the necessary equipment categories.
It’s hard to imagine building a cheap home gym, but you’d be surprised to learn it’s possible.
Combine a budget home gym with the savings you’ll get from ditching your gym membership, and your money starts to add up.
There’s never been a better time to be a fitness enthusiast, building a home gym has gotten substantially better in terms of price and selection.
A good barbell used to cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars; now you can get better spec barbells for a fraction of that price, some as low as $200 to $300.
It’s not just barbells, of course, this applies to dumbbells (and adjustable dumbbells), benches, cardio equipment, and even squat racks. This guide is intended to help you save money without sacrificing quality.
RELATED: Rogue Fitness Coupon
Best Budget Squat Rack
Squat racks are the primary component of any home gym. Regardless of your fitness goals, a squat rack can help you achieve them.
The only piece of equipment more crucial to a home gym is a barbell, and if you follow this guide, you’ll be 80% complete with your budget home gym.
Primarily, the squat rack is used for squats, obviously, but they’re great for rows, pull-ups, overhead press, and bench press.
You can add tons of attachments to perform even more lifts, like lat pulldowns or cable twists, plus plenty more.
Without a doubt, a squat rack is where you want to be spending the majority of your time building strength in any gym.
Your squat rack is going to be used often, but the cheaper options today are much better in quality in that they can withstand plenty and for a long time.
More expensive racks allow for more features and accessories, but you don’t need to spend a lot.
The squat rack I suggest is actually a power rack, whereas a lot of people choose a cheaper squat stand.
I love squat stands, but a power rack is more versatile and generally safer, and when you add attachments or conversion kits to a squat stand, it ends up being a similar price so it’s easier to buy a squat rack instead.
Going straight to a power rack is a smart choice for your budget and gym versatility.
Overall, you’ll be a lot more satisfied with a squat rack over a squat stand.
Best Budget Power Rack - Titan Fitness T-3 Power Rack
My choice for the best budget squat rack is the Titan Fitness T-3 Flat Foot Power, and it’s hard not to love it for its price tag, but that’s not the only reason to like it.
This power rack is compatible with plenty of accessories, for starters. When buying on a budget, you don’t need all of the bells and whistles right away, but it’s nice to know when you want to or can upgrade, you have the choice.
At an upright size of 2”x3” (and 11-gauge steel), the industry standard for racks, you can use accessories from Titan Fitness and even many from competitors like Rogue Fitness, Rep Fitness, and Fringe Sport, among others.
Secondly, this is a flat-foot power rack, which gives it stability. This rack is suggested to be bolted down, and I wouldn't use it without doing so.
Bolting down a rack is excellent for safety. Having a flat foot rack is nice to move around, but bolt-down power racks add some additional safety.
Speaking of, the Titan T-3 is very stable, so if you’re doing dynamic movements, like CrossFit kipping pull-ups, it won’t budge.
It’s also able to handle up to 1000lbs, more than enough for most people.
If you do want to bolt it down, then the Titan X-3 Series Bolt Down Power Rack is a similar option.
Best Upgraded Pick - Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Rack
Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Rack
Although more expensive, the Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Rack includes tons of add-on potential, trusted Rogue Fitness brand quality, and a flat-foot design that allows the rack to be moved with no need for bolting it down.
If you can afford it in your budget to go a little higher in quality, then I’d recommend the Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack.
The Rogue RML-390F Rack has a similar flat foot design, including 3”x3” uprights. The RML-390F is a bit sturdier and includes more attachment choices.
Rogue Fitness makes arguably the highest quality squat racks. Part of this is due to them making them in-house at their own warehouse where they can monitor for quality much easier.
The RML-390F is one of the most popular power racks from Rogue and it’s easy to see why. It features a 30” depth inside the racks and a generous 92” in height.
The rack itself weighs 295lbs, so it’s very stable, but additional weight posts can be added if need be.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra for an amazing warranty, customer service, and quality assurance from a US-based company, then Rogue is the way to go.
Best Ultra Budget Pick - REP PR-1100 Power Rack
REP PR-1100 Power Rack
Smaller, and more budget friendly, the REP PR-1100 Power Rack acts as a home gym rack with a quality pull-up/chin-up bar, and a sturdy design to help you hit all your lifts with safety.
Want to spend as little as possible, but still get a solid squat rack? The REP Fitness PR-1100 is my pick. It has a depth of 24” and a height of 84”, so slightly less than both Titan and Rogue options.
It’s more compact, but that’s perfect for smaller rooms, basements, or garages, and it still has a max weight capacity of 1000lbs.
At this price, it’s a steal. It includes some excellent additional feature customization potential.
You can add lat pulldown or dip handles to get the most out of this budget squat rack.
The racks uprights have numbered holes, which is a great addition.
An unexpected but amazing feature is the multi-grip pull-up handle, a feature that is usually extra or only found on more expensive power racks.
You can even get this rack in different colors if you want to personalize your home gym further.
RELATED: Titan Fitness Coupon
Best Budget Barbell
Next to the squat rack, the barbell is equally as important for a good home gym.
It provides effective training and versatile training, its ability is unmatched for the range of exercises you can perform with it. In short - no gym is complete without a great barbell.
Thankfully, finding a great barbell has never been easier.
Finding a budget barbell has also never been easier, and you can get some impressive bars for under $500, even under $300, with many being made in the US too.
To summarize what you should look for in a barbell:
- Construction/Build Quality: The quality of the construction or build of the bar.
- Tensile Strength: Strength of the steel and indicator of the likelihood the bar will deform (bend).
- Knurling: Textured grip on a bar. Helps users and varies from bar to bar, manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Spin: Rotation system of the bushings and the sleeves to prevent wrist injury.
- Finish/Coating: Protects the bar's steel from oxidation (rust).
- Price: Price =/= value. Cheaper bars typically don’t last as long, so the price doesn’t match the value you get out of it.
- Warranty: Bars can last a long time, but a long warranty protects you in case of any damage during its use.
I’ve used plenty of bars, and I’ve used the bars that you’ll read about.
Deadlifts, squats, bench press, clean and press, clean and jerk, rows, you name it, I’ve done it so I’m comfortable recommending these based on personal use.
Best Budget Barbell - Rogue 2.0 Bar
Rogue 2.0 Bar
The Rogue 2.0 Bar might not be as robust as the Ohio Power Bar, but it gets the job done - for cheap.
190K PSI tensile strength, lifetime warranty, made in USA, and Rogue quality assurance all for under $300 make this a perfect budget barbell.
It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that knows fitness equipment that Rogue is my top choice for the best budget barbell. The Rogue 2.0 Bar isn’t even a budget barbell, it’s just well-priced for top-tier quality.
Made by Rogue in their warehouse in the US, you have quality assurance in that aspect, but the numerous 5-star reviews speak for themselves. Did I mention it’s only $295? There’s that too.
You can spend much less for a barbell, but as mentioned, price =/= value and you could find yourself regretting it when the bar starts to bend and warp.
The Rogue Bar 2.0 is worth it over cheaper bars because it has a tensile strength of 190K PSI, a composite bushing rotation system, excellent knurling quality, and a reliable lifetime warranty from Rogue.
While it’s not the cheapest, the Rogue Bar 2.0 perfectly represents a value purchase for your home gym.
If you’re more into powerlifting (bench, deadlifts, squats) and want center knurling, you can get the Rogue Ohio Power Bar for the same price, and it’s one of the best Olympic barbells I’ve ever tried.
Best Budget Competitor - Bells of Steel Multi-Purpose Olympic Barbell
Bells of Steel Multi-Purpose Olympic Bar
Supporting upstart fitness brands is something I always try to do, and Bells of Steel are a brand I can get behind.
190K tensile strength, 28.5mm shaft, hardened chrome/black zinc coating, and 1000lb capacity all for under $250 means their Multi-Purpose Olympic Bar is a winner.
It’s also okay to want to spend less on your barbell. The Bells of Steel Multi-Purpose Olympic Barbell is a worthy alternative.
Bells of Steel is a Canadian gym equipment company that, while only founded in 2010, has shown a dedication to producing high-quality products that won’t break the bank.
The Multi-Purpose Olympic Barbell is definitely a utility bar as it’s excellent for all lifts.
The Multi-Purpose Olympic Barbell has a 190K tensile strength rating, a 28.5MM shaft, 1000lb max load, hardened chrome and black zinc coating (sleeves and shaft), medium knurling for any lifting style, and a lifetime warranty.
Pretty comparable to our top choice, but the best part is that it’s $250, so you save a bit without sacrificing on quality whatsoever.
I’m a big fan of smaller brands that are producing excellent quality gym equipment, and Bells of Steel is one that you’ll love too.
Ultra Budget Pick - Titan Fitness Atlas Olympic Barbell
Titan Fitness Atlas Olympic Bar
Titan Fitness Atlas Olympic Barbell is one of the best deals you can find.
Just a hair over $200, tensile strength of 220K (more than Rogue or Bells of Steel) and a weight capacity of 1500lbs is unheard of at this price.
Looking to go even cheaper? The Titan Fitness Atlas Olympic Barbell offers you more than any cheap barbell could.
It’s actually amazing what this bar offers given the fact that it’s just above $200. It feels like a downright steal.
I’d expect you to want to upgrade from this bar at some point, but if you’re just starting your home gym and want to keep costs low, you can’t go wrong.
Even at such a low price, the specs are outstanding. Tensile strength of 220K (higher than both Rogue and Bells of Steels’ bars), 1500lb max weight capacity, 28MM shaft, dual knurling, chrome shaft/sleeve finish, and financing available, it’s hard not to love this as a very budget friendly barbell.
If you’re looking for something even cheaper, I’d recommend the Titan Fitness Midway Olympic Bar as it’s less than $200.
RELATED: REP Fitness Discount Code
Best Budget Weight Plates
Now that you have your squat rack and your barbell, you need something to put on the bar. The best weight plates aren’t going to be cheap, but they’re necessary for the foundation of your home gym.
Starting out with a small number of plates is recommended, but it will soon become all too apparent that you need more.
As you train, you will progress and require more plates to stack on the bar. It doesn’t take long to get your lifts up to something like 315lbs, and that means a lot of 45lb plates.
Weight plates aren’t too expensive when you factor in the price per pound cost, but it can add up.
I’d actually recommend looking for weights on secondary markets, like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, because you can find people trying to offload their plates for much cheaper than new
You don’t need to worry about quality as much when searching for used sets of plates, iron plates last a long time, even if it does rust.
Take a look at what people are selling near you and you could find some deals before looking at new weight plates.
Bumper Plates vs. Iron Plates
You might also be wondering whether or not to get iron plates vs. bumper plates, and that’s an excellent question.
In my experience, bumper plates are much better as a whole due to the fact you can drop them without damaging the plate or the ground, especially important for your home gym. The issue is that bumper plates are much more expensive.
Given that this is a guide on the best budget home gym equipment, iron is perfectly fine and less costly.
I’d recommend bumper plates for people looking to do more Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit, but even with iron plates, you can control the descent of the bar to prevent dropping the weight and damaging the plates.
Best budget Weight Plates - REP Fitness Old School Iron Plates
REP Old School Iron Plates
Who doesn't love the sound of iron plates smacking together? REP Old School Iron Plates will have you feeling like you're in the Gold's Gym of yesteryear.
Rep Fitness Old School Iron Plates are your best bet for budget weight plates.
You can purchase them individually, but your best bet is to buy a set and add more plates as you progress in your workouts.
The 335lb set is a good starting place, and the cost per pound is about $2.2, which has increased over time, but it’s pretty standard.
Aside from their cheap cost, they have the old-school iron look which looks badass and sounds so satisfying when you slide plates onto the bar.
REP’s 45lb plates have a 17.7” outside diameter. They also guarantee a 3% tolerance on their plates, meaning if it’s above or below it, they’ll replace it to ensure accurate weight.
There’s not much else to be said. I love the old-school look and feel, and the lip on the plates actually makes it easier to hold which is a big bonus.
They use cast iron which is very durable and will last you a long time, even with wear and tear.
Best Budget Bumper Plates - Titan Elite Bumper Plates
Titan Elite Bumper Plates
If you like plates you can drop easier after a hard set, and don't want your plates to oxidize (rust), then Titan Elite Bumper Plates are a solid choice.
Assuming you want bumper plates over iron for looks or functionality, and the added ability to drop them without concern, the Titan Elite Bumper Plates are a solid choice that is economic for your home gym.
Bumper plates aren’t invincible, however. The most common issue with their durability is the inner metal ring getting damaged over time, as is the possibility of rubber chipping or cracking.
Thankfully, the reinforced steel ring inside Titan’s bumper plates does a good job to reduce this problem and allows you to swing those plates around carefree.
The plates have similar diameter dimensions as the REP iron plates so they maintain the uniformity of weight plate standards.
Likewise, they feature a lip to help grip the plates. Bumper plates can be notoriously harder to grasp because of the rubber, especially with sweaty hands so it’s a helpful bonus.
Ultra Budget Pick - CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates
CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates
The cheapest option of the bunch, CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates are a good choice for saving money, with the added bonus of a cutout inside the plate for easy carrying.
I’d suggest the CAP Barbell Olympic Grip Plates for the cheapest budget weight plate option.
The weight isn’t always accurate, they’re frankly not that good-looking (in my opinion), and have a smaller outside diameter making weight distribution awkward when mixing different plates, but they ship fast with Amazon Prime and they’re cheap.
On the plus side, the cutouts inside the plates are useful for carrying them and make them versatile for shoulder or core exercises.
They’re coated in a gray enamel paint that does eventually chip away.
These are the cheapest plates and come in the usual 2.5lb to 45lb range. They’re also the thinnest plates at only 2in.
RELATED: Bowflex Coupon Code
Best Budget Dumbbell
Adding dumbbells to your home gym isn’t a must, but dumbbells unlock plenty more potential for isolated exercises and accessory work, they’re also similar to weight plates in that they’re not always the cheapest, even when you try for budget options.
It can be nice to have a readily available set of dumbbells so you don’t get tired of barbell exercises as well, helping unlock more to your routine.
Home gym owners are acutely aware of how much space they have or don’t have, so it’s not entirely realistic to expect you to get a full set of dumbbells from 5lbs to 100lbs+, not to mention a full set is definitely not budget-friendly.
As hard as it may be to find affordable sets of dumbbells or allocate a room in your home gym for dumbbells, it’s possible to get deals and I’ve found a few options that are still budget-considerate.
Best Budget dumbbell - REP Hex Dumbbells
REP Hex Dumbbells
A good garage gym isn't complete without some dumbbells.
The REP Hex Dumbbells are a perfect choice because of their knurling and rubber coating.
The top choice for budget dumbbells for a home gym is the REP Hex Dumbbells. Rep Fitness designed with a rubber coating, a hexagonal weight, and medium center knurling, they have that classic look and feel to them.
The knurling isn’t anything to write home about, but it does the job and keeps your grip locked in.
A lot of dumbbell models use an ergonomic handle, while the REP uses a straight handle.
The ergonomic handle feels more comfortable for pressing motions (overhead press), while the straight handle is great for pulling (rows) and curling motions. To each their own, on this.
It’s important to note that having a straight handle feels more comfortable when you compare it with the feel of a straight barbell.
Speaking of which, the handle diameter is similar to a barbell. The lower weight REP dumbbells (5lb - 15lb) have a 28mm diameter, and higher weights have a 34mm diameter handle.
I’d personally recommend buying pairs of dumbbells at a time, a full set can be incredibly expensive, especially if you don’t end up using dumbbells as much or often.
Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbell
A key part of building the best home gym is making sure that you understand how to use space well.
A huge rack of dumbbells is not very space savvy, but an adjustable dumbbell can minimize this concern greatly.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell - PowerBlock Elite Series Dumbbell
PowerBlock Elite Series Dumbbell
PowerBlock Elite Series Dumbbells aren't the cheapest, but clearing up space in your home gym for additional equipment makes them an immediate want for any home gym owner.
By adding an adjustable dumbbell to your home gym, you eliminate tons of space taken up by other dumbbells, and the best bang for your buck in terms of the best budget adjustable dumbbell is the PowerBlock Elite Series Dumbbell.
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are space-saving, with a total footprint of only 16” x 6” x 6” each. They are noticeably bigger than a normal dumbbell, but you only need two of them.
They feature a simple selector pin and color guide system to easily switch weights, rather than fumbling around trying to put dumbbells back and take new ones out.
The PowerBlock Elite increases in 2.5lb increments, up to 90lbs in each hand, with the additional weight that can be added.
As the name suggests, the PowerBlock Elite adjustable dumbbell is shaped like a block, but even this design won’t impede your lifting and felt natural in the hands. They’re durable too, just don’t drop them on the ground.
PowerBlock Elite Series Adjustable Dumbbells offer the benefit of saving space for your home gym, an affordable way to have numerous dumbbell options readable available, and are easy to use on the fly.
Best Budget Adjustable Dumbbell - Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell is slightly cheaper, without sacrificing on the room-saving benefits of an adjustable dumbbell.
Take advantage of their incredibly easy dial weight system.
Looking for something a tad more budget-friendly? Bowflex, the well-known cardio machine makers, have your answer with the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell.
Limited space be damned, the SelectTech 552 is affordable and allows you to choose from a wide range of weights.
Starting at 5lbs and increasing in 2.5lb increments up to 52.5lbs, you have endless opportunities. Not to mention, they use a dial system to adjust weight which is one of the easiest I’ve ever tried.
Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbell is excellent if you intend to use dumbbells, but don’t plan on going over 50lbs (they have another SelectTech model that can reach 90lbs).
Unlike many adjustable dumbbells that lose size depending on lower weight, the total length stays the same no matter how high or low the weight is.
This generally doesn’t interrupt lifting, but something to keep in mind.
Best Budget Weight Benches
With the primary weights and equipment out of the way, we can move our focus to the weight bench.
A weight bench isn’t a necessity for a good home gym, but it can come in handy for a variety of reasons.
Benches aren’t just for bench presses, they’re handy for dumbbell exercises, hip thrusts, box squats, and so much more. Versatility is the name of the game for a weight bench.
Your first weight bench you purchase for your home gym should typically be a flat bench, and feel stable enough when you’re sitting, laying, or propped on the bench.
Similarly, it should be portable so you can slide it in and out of your squat rack.
The bench press is one of the big 4 compound lifts in weightlifting (deadlifts, bench press, squats, and overhead press) that you will probably be doing in your home gym.
Weight benches, thankfully, are very affordable because of how common they are.
In addition to using it for your lifts, having somewhere comfortable to sit or lay during rest between sets is beneficial.
Most first-time home gym builders will be pleased with a simple flat bench.
Incline benches are an option, but they can feel uncomfortable for flat bench activities.
Weight benches with dimensions of 12” W x 48” L x 17” H is around the industry standard and will fit most body shapes comfortably.
Best Budget Weight Bench - REP Fitness FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench
REP Fitness FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench
The REP Fitness FB-5000 Weight Bench is an amazing bench to help you add even more potential for your home gym exercises - or comfort for a rest between sets.
REP Fitness is a reputable company in the fitness equipment industry, which is just one reason why the REP Fitness FB-5000 Comp Flat Bench is the best budget weight bench for your home gym.
Aside from name recognition, it’s a sturdy 3” x 3” thick made with 11-gauge steel and durable vinyl padding for comfort during any lift.
The construction of this bench inspires confidence in its stability, it feels sturdy.
Weighing in at 62lbs, it includes a handle and wheels to help you move and adjust it around your gym.
One of the best features is the 3-post frame which allows you to put your legs down without awkwardly touching legs like on a 4-post frame weight bench.
It’s a small feature that goes a long way in ensuring that you lift in peace.
You can even upgrade the REP Fitness Comp Flat Bench with additional accessories. The Rogue Thompson Fat Pad is good for bigger lifters that need additional padding.
The 3-post design, 1000lb weight capacity, portability, and price tag of $230 make this an all-around gem of a weight bench for your home gym.
Best Budget Adjustable Bench - Titan Fitness Incline Bench V3
Titan Fitness Incline Bench V3
Flat or incline, the Titan Incline Bench V3 allows you to switch up range of motion on tons of lifts to provide added benefit to your home gym.
If you do find yourself wanting an adjustable weight bench, the Titan Fitness Incline Bench V3.
The Titan Incline Bench V3 is very budget-friendly and includes a handle to help move it, but sadly no wheels.
Garage gym lifters can take advantage of the ability to target multiple muscle fibers in the pecs and maximize their lifting motions with barbells or dumbbells.
Whether it’s support for overhead press, preacher curls, Arnold press, or any combination, an incline bench just gives you more options.
The Titan Incline Bench V3 weighs only 45lbs, so a little less than the REP flat bench, but it only has a weight capacity of 650lbs, which shouldn’t be an issue in most cases.
It measures 12” W x 56” L x 17.75” H, so it’s close to those industry standard dimensions for comfort.
It uses a simple knob system to adjust the back and seat pads. You just pull it out and slide it into the hole to set it to the desired incline.
It even has pegs for resistance band exercises.
For lifters on a budget who want a weight bench and want to hit more upper body exercises, the Titan Fitness Incline Bench V3 is good, but a not great option that does just enough to make the low price tag of $150 worth it for their home gym.
You can even go with the Amazon Basics Flat Weight Bench for a dirt-cheap $49 if you want a serviceable bench that isn’t going to impress anyone but does the job in a pinch.
Best Budget Pull-Up Bar
Pull-up bars are a miracle piece of equipment that can target the muscles of the upper body like no other.
If you’ve been paying attention and decide to go with a squat rack that has a built-in pull-up bar, then you’re good to go, but if you want a pull-up bar, keep reading.
Some lifters still want a dedicated pull-up bar for supersets or for resistance band training like CrossFit. It’s all about preference, and in a home gym, it’s about space allocation too.
The most important thing when looking for a pull-up bar is where you want to put it.
A good portion of the pull-up bars out there are wall-mounted, so you have to factor that in.
You can get ceiling mounted and door-frame mounted pull-up bars as well if you can’t make it work for the wall mounts.
Here are some of the options you can pick from for the best budget pull-up bar.
Best Budget Pull-Up Bar - Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar
Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar
The Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar provides 500lbs of weight capacity, and the bolt-in design keeps you safe while performing bodyweight exercises.
The Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull-Up Bar is the top pick for best budget pull-up bars.
The classic design is found in many gyms and schools and is intended to be mounted into wood studs or concrete walls. With a 32” depth from bar to wall, it’s plenty enough room to maneuver in.
This pull-up bar has a 500lb listed weight capacity which is good, even when doing eccentric movements like kipping.
The entire bar and mount is matte black power-coating which is great for grip, even with sweaty hands. You can adjust the bar to 16”, 32”, or 52” apart, perfect for most household studs.
At a price of $75, it’s a great value for a quality product that allows you to incorporate bodyweight work into your home gym.
Upgrade Pick - Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar
Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar
A unique spin on the pull-up bar, the Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar allows you to swap out bars. This means you can use a bar with knurling for extra grip.
Rogue’s extensive catalog of products is usually found in garage gyms or conventional gyms, but their Rogue Jammer Pull-Up Bar is great for inside your home too.
It’s designed to mount the studs above a door frame for secure use. Although the depth of the bar to the wall is only 7”, having the door open while using it makes this a non-issue for nearly all exercises.
Something that Rogue has done with this pull-up bar that is quite ingenious is the ability to swap out the bars.
Few and far between are pull-up bars that allow this. The same goes for pull-up bars with knurling, which the Rogue Jammer has.
You can even customize it with different powder coatings or color varieties.
Knurling on a pull-up bar is excellent for pull-ups and chin-ups, but if you’re doing dynamic work like kipping for maximum reps, then the smooth bar option is the best choice.
Not only is Rogue top-tier quality, but it’s also one of the nicest-looking pull-up bars available.
Best Alternate Pick - Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System
Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System
A simple bar design, the Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System is securely bolted into the wall, and allows for plenty of room for kipping pull-ups.
If you liked the Titan Wall Mount Pull-Up Bar, then the Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System is your best bet for an increase in quality without spending too much, plus it’s American-made.
The best part about the Rogue P-3 is it can be wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted and feels very sturdy regardless of where it’s bolted in.
That’s no surprise as it’s made from 11-gauge steel and manufactured in-house at Rogue.
It doesn’t have the customization in colors like the Jammer, but it does allow for additional accessories, like increasing the depth to the wall and bar.
Ultra Budget Pick - Ally Peaks Pull-Up Bar
Ally Peaks Pull-Up Bar
The Ally Peaks Pull-Up Bar is perfect if you have limited space/inability to bolt a bar to the wall.
Simply attach it to a door frame and you're ready to go. It even supports up to 440lbs.
Being able to do pull-ups at home is insanely easy now and the most common option, and the cheapest, is to use a door frame mounted pull-up bar.
The Ally Peaks Pull-Up Bar for doorways is cheap and requires no mounting to studs like the Rogue Jammer, so it takes seconds to set it up.
What makes this a decent ultra-budget option is that it supports up to 440lbs, which is more than most doorway pull-up bars.
It’s also useful as a dip and push-up bar. You can also pay extra for additional accessories for ab work and resistance band training.
Best Budget Kettlebells
Kettlebells aren’t as popular as they should be, which is a shame because they do a great job as a strength-building piece of equipment and help add weight to bodyweight work.
Farmer’s walks, press-ups, kettlebell swings, and snatches are among the endless lifts you can use them for and they fit in perfectly for a home gym.
Dumbbells are a better purchase before you consider kettlebells just because dumbbells are easier to use, while kettlebells require a little more technique.
However, kettlebells offer a unique blend of weight and versatility that dumbbells can’t always match, so if you want to get them for your garage gym, feel free!
Just like any kind of weight, there are multiple types of kettlebells. I’d recommend simple cast-iron kettlebells, but
Competition kettlebells and adjustable kettlebells are solid options too.
Best budget Kettlebell - REP Fitness Kettlebells (KG)
REP Fitness Kettlebells (KG)
REP Fitness Kettlebells have a sleek black powder coat to prevent rust-corrosion which is perfect for garage gym owners.
REP Fitness once again provides a valuable addition to any garage gym, the REP Fitness Kettlebells (KG).
The REP Kettlebells come in a wide variety of weight, starting from 1kg (2.2lbs) to 48kg (105lbs). REP’s kettlebells use a simple color band system on the base of the handle to indicate different weights.
What sets REP Fitness Ketttebells apart from the other kettlebells out there is a gravity cast method for the cast-iron which helps create a more complete, smoother coating.
It’s also beneficial for build as the handle and bell are cast together, so they’re stronger.
The bottom of the bells are machined to be flat, and the black powder coat is excellent for rust-corrosion prevention.
Cast-iron kettlebells, especially ones with powder-coating, are the go-to choice for any home gym, and the REP Fitness
Kettlebells are an excellent option if you want good performance and quality that is budget-friendly.
Best Adjustable Kettlebell - Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell
Need more space in your home gym? The Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell gives you 6 kettlebells in one to clear up room for more equipment.
In the same vein as the SelectTech 552 dumbbell, the Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell is an adjustable weight that has a simple dial selection system to swap between weight with ease and allow you to maximize workouts plus home gym space.
The dial system makes it incredibly simple to swap between the weights, which start at 8lbs and go up to 40lbs.
It increases to 8, 12, 20, 25, 35, and 40lbs. So, unfortunately it doesn’t have the largest selection of weights, but if you aren’t using the kettlebell as a primary weight, it’s great for accessory work.
The construction is good, but not great. It’s well built, but I don’t like that it’s plastic, which is obviously not the most durable material compared to cast-iron, so don’t drop this one on the floor.
Getting 6 weights in one with an easy-to-use weight changing mechanism does help reduce the space taken up in your garage gym by a set of kettlebells is enough of a reason to get one.
Upgrade Adjustable Pick - Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell
While not the most budget friendly, the Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Kettlebell is competition style and has a powder-coating so it'll last you a long time of use.
Looking for an upgraded pick? The Kettlebell Kings Adjustable Competition Style Kettlebell isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best adjustable, nay, kettlebells out there to date.
A competition style kettlebells are excellent for Olympic style lifts, like the clean and snatch, but can be trickier to use with both hands.
That being said, Kettlebell Kings know their stuff when it comes to kettlebells and this is one of their best.
Adjustable weight of 12kg (26lbs) to 32kg (70lbs) gives you plenty of weight options to work with. It’s made of a powder-coated steel, with the plates made of iron.
Speaking of the plates, it uses an allen key and tool to take out plates, screw plates in, or vice versa.
It isn’t the easiest system for on the fly adjustments or changes to weight, but it clears up plenty of space in your gym and is one of the highest quality adjustable kettlebells available.
Best Budget Cardio Equipment
Cardio equipment and budget seem fairly contradictory. Even a stationary bike can feel like a chore to find at a good price, but it’s possible to get your cardio needs met and save money.
First, you aren’t going to be looking for the same cardio machines found at a commercial gym. Bulky treadmills and ellipticals are neither home gym friendly nor economic.
Not that there is anything wrong with a treadmill or elliptical, but the fact is they aren’t cheap.
When you buy something like cardio equipment, it’s almost always better to spend the money on the one you truly want vs. a budget choice so you aren’t constantly having to get it fixed.
Cardio is also free, so don’t feel the need to get cardio equipment just yet.
Running, jogging, hill sprints/climbs, sports, swimming, biking, and so many more options are out there for free or little cost.
If you’re not as motivated to run like I am, then these budget cardio equipment options will help.
Best Budget Cardio - Rogue Slice Sled
Rogue Slice Sled
Cardio and weight training at once is the benefit you get with the Rogue Slice Sled.
It holds up to 300lbs for intense cardio sessions.
Some types of cardio workouts help build muscle. Rowing is my favorite, and swimming is excellent too, but one that you might be interested in is a sled.
The Rogue Slice Sled allows you to build cardio and muscle at the same time, which is important for creating a home gym that is versatile.
You can push the Slice Sled or pull it with straps to engage in some intense cardio training.
Add as many or as few weight plates as you can handle and watch as your shirt gets soaked with sweat. I’d also recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to use the sled for peak potential.
How durable is a sled? This one in particular is a singular piece of style that’s been laser cut to the Rogue standard - so quite a while.
The sled is 65lbs unloaded, and can hold a maximum capacity of 300lbs, so it’ll take quite a while before you max it out.
Rogue’s Slice Sled is one of the best pieces of cardio equipment that hardly feels like cardio equipment.
Best Cardio Bike - Rogue Assault AirBike
Rogue Assault AirBike
Better than your average stationary bike, the Rogue Assault AirBike combines plenty of upper body with cardio and a super accurate monitor as well.
Combing a bit of the elliptical bike and the stationary bike, an air bike is one of the best cardio equipment for home gym owners that you’ll find.
Shaped just like a bike, only it features a massive fan and moving handles, the air bike allows for a nearly full body workout and the Rogue Assault AirBike is an industry leader.
Can you find cheaper air bikes? Sure, and some are even pretty good, but like I said, you want to go for quality over convenience with most cardio equipment and this is a good example of that.
The Rogue Assault AirBike is a staple in many CrossFit gyms and competitions, and is a perfect accessory equipment in a home gym.
It measures 23” W x 50” L x 48” H, so it’s not small, but not awful for footprint.
It features an LCD screen to show outputs for calories burned, heart rate, Watts, distance, RPM, etc. and is constructed out of durable steel, topped off with a power coating.
It’s the cheaper of the two air bikes Rogue makes. In the debate of Echo bike vs. Assault bike, the Rogue Echo is a better budget option.
However, for a little extra, the Rogue Assault bike is a worthy addition, even for a budget home gym.
Best treadmill - Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill
Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill
Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill has a great price tag given the quality of tread and motor, plus the additional features included with its spacious console.
Surprise, a budget treadmill that isn’t bad! In fact, the Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill is a great treadmill given the >$800 pricetag.
Horizon Fitness’ T-series of treadmills are all very affordable given the cost of treadmills, and the T202 is the best all-around budget option.
You can opt for the T101, which is Under $700, but is more suited for walking.
The T303 is more expensive, but has more features, so if you want the added bells and whistles, it’s a good choice otherwise the T202 treadmill is the budget choice without compromise.
Best elliptical - Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Elliptical Machine
Sunny Fitness Elliptical Machine
The Sunny Fitness Elliptical Machine provides easy cardio for any fitness level and has a modest sized footprint for a cardio machine.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the biggest fan of elliptical machines, but even I can recognize that they’re very useful for people from beginners to fitness enthusiasts.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Elliptical Machine is designed for all types of trainees.
This elliptical machine uses a magnetic resistance, features a rear drive wheel, an LCD display with phone app connectivity, and wheels to help with moving and storage.
It’s only 26” W x 39” L x 59” H in dimensions which isn’t half-bad, usually ellipticals are bulky so it’s still good for a home gym.
RUNOW Water Rowing Machine
RUNOW Water Rowing Machine
RUNOW Water Rowing Machine provides the best type of rowing (water) with a moderate price-tag to give you some of the best cardio machine money can buy.
Rowing is one of the best forms of cardio, but it can be hard to find a good rowing machine for cheap.
The RUNOW Water Rowing Machine isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s serviceable and at that price, it’s hard to find a better budget water rower.
Why a water rower? They simulate the resistance you’d experience during actual rowing and they’re quieter than air rowers.
It has dimensions of 22” W x 76” L x 19” H, so much like most rowers, it isn’t the most space-friendly cardio equipment, but the benefit of getting a whole-body workout and cardio in one machine is hard to argue against.
Best Budget Home Gym Flooring
Now that you have all of your equipment, you’re going to need some fancy new flooring to keep your home or garage from getting torn up.
The best home gym flooring is going to make sure that your weights are equally protected too.
This is especially important if you’re using a concrete or wood flooring room as your gym headquarters.
Typically, you can find puzzle-piece foam for cheap, but it’s also susceptible to damage while rubber tiling and mats are superior.
Best Gym Flooring - Tractor Supply 3/4″ Rubber Stall Mats
Tractor Supply 3/4" Rubber Stall Mats
Protect your home or garage floor with Tractor Supply 3/4" Rubber Stall Mats that can easily be washed and cleaned.
Tractor Supply ¾” Rubber Stall Mats are intended for horse stalls, so you know that they can take plenty of abuse and still protect your floors.
In fact, any farm store should have similar rubber stall mats. They’re about 100lbs per piece, so they aren’t light, but that’s a good thing.
Similarly, they’re easy to clean, you just need to apply some all-purpose cleaner and some warm water and you can hose them or wipe them down.
Although foam isn’t ideal, the ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat ½” EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles are an okay choice that are cheap, and come in 24 sq. ft., 48 sq. ft., and 144 sq. ft. options and can be cut to fit your home gyms floor plan.
Why Build a Home Gym
You don’t need to build a home gym. Just like you don’t need to build muscle, lose weight, or save money. A gym membership is fine, and you don’t need to go to any gym if you want.
But lets be real, you probably do want to save money, lose weight, and build muscle.
For any one of those reasons, plus the additional improvements to discipline, mood, even sex drive, should make it clear why you should build a home gym.
Being able to build a home gym has become so much easier, cheaper, more accessible, and more fun that it’s hard to ignore the benefits it has over a gym membership.
Gym memberships are fine, but when you want to get in a workout during a change to your schedule or routine, work on stretching, recovery or mobility work, the home gym is always there.
Some benefits to having a home gym include, but are not limited to:
- Cheaper after initial costs
- Better for flexible schedules
- Less time spent commuting
- Peace and quiet from other gym-goers
- Improves your life quality
It’s really hard to argue against a home gym vs gym membership when you consider just the convenience of it, and then you consider all of the additional benefits and it becomes apparent that a home gym can be the best investment in your home you can make.
Like I said, a gym membership is fine if you’re actually going, but people don’t realize how much better a home gym can be in comparison.
You don’t have to commute, which is big if you want to wake up at a reasonable time in the morning to get ready for work, or get home and eat, see your family, etc. after work before you workout.
On the topic of eating, being close to home means you’ll be closer to your fridge and that means the ability to track what you eat with ease.
Eating at home saves money and can help you stick to your fitness goals of healthy nutrition, something to consider.
The value of a home gym doesn’t sound as budget-friendly at first, but the initial cost pales in comparison to paying for a gym membership year over year.
Every day you’re not there, you’re losing money. Not to mention you don’t have to share equipment, wait for people between sets, listen to crappy gym music.
Want to workout whenever you want? You got it. Want to have some friends over to lift? Done. Want to get your family into exercise? Easy.
Nearly every advantage you could possibly think of over a commercial gym, a home gym can provide it.
Recommended Starting Equipment
We’ve covered quite a lot of home gym equipment, but if you feel overwhelmed I’ll help simplify it for you.
You don’t need to outfit your garage gym or basement gym with all the fix’ns right off the hop, in fact I’d recommend against that not just for your wallets sake, but in case you don’t end up enjoying kettlebells or a rowing machine.
To keep it simple, start with these pieces first for your home gym:
- Squat rack/power rack
- Weight plates
- Weight bench
Keeping it easy with those 4 will de-stress the whole process so you can focus on finding equipment that works for you and your home gym.
Combine these essentials pieces with some bodyweight exercises, and even a cheap jump rope, you have the makings of a strong fitness foundation, but it doesn’t stop there.
Consider looking up some beginner workout routines. One I’d suggest that I, along with thousands of others, is Starting Strength which is a basic strength building routine that is simple but highly effective.
There are plenty of strength training books and fitness books out there to help you as well.
As extensive as this list of best budget home equipment may seem, building a home gym can be quite an easy and fun process.
Sticking to a few primary pieces of gym equipment will allow you to get started, then build out your base as you start to change up routines, require more weights, want to try new gear and so on.
If anyone asked me what the best investment in their fitness would be, it would have to be a home gym.