If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that I absolutely can get a good workout at home and I don’t really need to pay those gym fees every month. I’m lucky enough to have space in my basement to set up a home gym, and instead of sending a monthly membership to the gym I’ve been using that money to buy pieces of equipment to furnish my gym. Honestly, it’s been great! I can listen to the music I want to without having to deal with earbuds (they just don’t fit in my ears well and are constantly falling out), no waiting for equipment, and I really enjoy the solitude. For me going to the gym is not a social experience, I like to get into the zone and just focus on what I’m doing. I used eBay voucher codes to save a ton on equipment, and since the shops have all been closed buying online has been a great alternative. Here are my top suggestions for putting together a home gym on a budget.
Start small for your home gym
You can actually get a fantastic workout with no equipment at all, I started with just myself, a yoga mat (but honestly you could even get by without that), and free HIIT videos from Youtube on my laptop. I had no idea there was so much workout content on Youtube, totally for free! They are challenging & effective workouts too, this isn’t your moms Jane Fonda tapes from the early 90’s. I have never sweat this much at the gym! One of my first purchases was an inexpensive TV I could mount on the wall and an Apple TV box, both of which I got for a discount on eBay with a voucher code. This allowed me to stream my workouts onto the larger TV screen from either my phone or laptop which made them easier to follow along with, although it was definitely doable with the laptop. The smaller phone screen was more difficult, but hey if that’s all you have at first do it! The most important thing during these times is to just keep moving. It’s so important for both your physical and mental health.
Then you can start buying equipment piece by piece using the amount of money that would have otherwise gone towards your gym membership. I recommend getting a few dumbbells first as they are extremely versatile, and then you can move up to bigger pieces of equipment if you want although you by no means need to if you are working with limited space. A good set of dumbbells will get you a long way. And where do you buy your fitness equipment? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Use eBay voucher codes to buy fitness equipment
Once the first lockdown hit it became difficult to find fitness equipment, and it’s not like you can just go round to the shops. I started looking on eBay and it was an excellent resource for purchasing brand new or used fitness equipment. Myself, I like to go the ‘used-but-still-in-good-condition’ route because let’s face it, a dumbbell is a dumbbell. We haven’t really innovated much on that design since the beginning. Because we’re all working on computers at home these days we really just need to pick up something heavy and put it down again a few times. It’s not that complicated! By purchasing used you will save yourself a lot of money, plus you can use those brilliant voucher codes to save even more! Wait until they have one that’s good for a discount on the entire site, or even just fitness equipment and then buy a few things. You can get some really incredible deals.
Install a DIY basement pull-up bar
I know there are those doorway pull-up bars you can buy, but I’ve never found them to be all that great. They are fairly pricey for a piece of equipment that can only do one thing, you can’t really attach anything else (such as a TRX) to them, and I have seen them cause damage to doorways. You can get squat cages with pull-up bars as well, if you have the space and the bank account for it! They are not small, and quite expensive.
If you’re one of the lucky ones and have a nice (preferably unfinished!) basement space in your home you can easily build a DIY pull-up bar using your basement rafters. It will cost you less than what you’d pay for a doorway one, certainly less than a squat cage, and you can attach other pieces of equipment to it no problem. All you will need is a couple of short 2×4 sections, a lead pipe, 2 pipe end caps, some nails or screws, and a drill. Being that these are items that would be considered essentials you should be able to go round to your Wickes and purchase them. Better yet, order ahead of time and do click and collect. I won’t go over the full process here as many others have detailed it much better than I could with pictures and video, just do a search for ‘DIY basement pull-up bar’ and you’ll find great tutorials on how to put it all together.
Once you’ve got the basics, add on as necessary
Once you have your basic home gym set-up you can keep diverting those would-be membership payments into your equipment fund. You can get heavier dumbbells as you get stronger, or if you have the space you can invest in larger pieces of equipment such as a bench, squat rack, or beyond. For the larger items you might need to save up for a few months, but that’s fine you can work with what you have in the meantime. Remember keep moving, keep healthy, and wash your hands lots!