Having your own home gym is incredibly convenient in so many ways. A home gym is open 24/7/365 with no hassles. With your own setup, you do not have to suffer annoyances such as wiping off someone else’s sweat off a machine or having to wait for equipment to be free before you can use it.

Plenty of people have a gym membership but sometimes can’t find time to squeeze in the much-needed workout because of time constraints stemming from life’s commitments. There are also plenty of people who want to workout but can’t just afford the exorbitant gym membership fees.

If any of this rings true to your current situation then maybe you need to relook things and set up your own home gym which will allow you to workout in your own space, at your own pace, without worrying about the gym’s working hours, clashing with your other commitments. Besides, you will have the bonus of exercising in your underwear if you do it from the comfort of your home (if you can pull it off).

How To Set Up A Home Gym The basic Equipment

How do you set up your home gym so that you can workout in your underwear?

If you struggle finding motivation to workout, read this post for some of that fitspiration. Remember it takes discipline to workout consistently from home.

Figure out your goals, space and budget first

Having clear cut reasons to why you want to achieve anything in life is key to success. You have heard it before I know.  I am here to tell you that even with non-rocket science stuff like setting up your home gym, your goals should be clearly defined.

Before you splurge on any equipment, figure out what your ultimate goal to training will be. That will determine what sort of fitness tools you should have in your gym. If you want to build muscle, then you will need a stack of dumbbells and barbells, while if your focus is fat loss, then a mix of cardio and resistance training stuff should be what you should spend your money on.

Next to goals is money. How much are you willing to spend in order to get started? You may not afford to buy all the equipment at once depending on the cash flow but allocating a budget to building the home gym within a certain time frame will help you keep your eyes on the prize.

How much space you have available too, is another great way to help you figure out the size of equipment you should be eyeing.

The Best Basic Equipment for a Home Gym

  1. A Mirror 

Not what you were expecting to see first on the list I assume, but a wall mirror should be up on the list you need to complete your home gym. Because you will probably be grinding alone, you shouldn’t go in blindly. A well-positioned mirror will help you check and correct your posture and movements during exercise. Plus if you enjoy looking at yourself, this is a great excuse to stock up on a really large wall mirror.

  1. A Jump Rope

A skipping rope is the most affordable body conditioning tool that you will ever buy. It also happens to be one of the very effective when it comes to torching calories. Depending on your skipping pace, you can set your own level of intensity ranging from low to medium to high. I have a very basic jump rope and it cost me less than R50 but it does what I need it to do and so will yours. But you can always buy the fancy ones available on the market if you are so inclined.

  1. Kettlebells

My favourite moves to do with a kettlebell are the kettlebell swings. The exercise when properly done hits the glutes, hamstrings, abs, shoulders and quads – while building strength and muscles as well as burning fat. The secret to getting all the benefits out of training with kettlebells is to do any of the moves such as the Turkish get-ups, the swings, or the goblet squats, with correct form. I would highly suggest that you start with very light weight if you have never worked with kettlebells before and practice, practice, practice until you get the grips and moves right, then move to something heavier depending on your fitness level.

Quick tip for picking the right kettlebells: shop for the ones with smooth handles that aren’t painted nor made from plastic.

  1. Adjustable dumbbells

Instead of regular dumbbells, I am recommending the adjustable dumbbells because depending on the type of exercise you are doing, you may require different weights and that is where adjustable beat the regular dumbbells. If you decide to go the regular dumbbells route, you may have to buy multiple weights whereas the adjustable come in one stack and you just pick the weight you want to work with depending on weight of the set that you purchase.  Although adjustable dumbbells are more expensive than the everyday ones, they will save you loads of money and space if you wisely select a set or two that fits your current and future strength training goals. My two adjustable dumbbells go up to 20kg each.

  1. Yoga or Pilates mat

A yoga mat comes in handy when you have to do floor work such as donkey kicks, planks and a lot of abs and core routines. If you can afford more than just a yoga mat, then buy a larger floor mat which can cover your entire workout space.

  1. Battle Ropes

If you have space to enough to accommodate the length of a battle rope, (widths and lengths vary) then go for it and get yourself one if you want to incorporate quality High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine. Battle rope training is effective for hitting the shoulders, abs, legs and back muscles. Great moves to do with a battle rope include the double or alternating waves.

  1. Foam-roller

Oh, you will thank me later for suggesting to you that you add this lil’ baby to your home gym collection. I wrote this article a few months ago, explaining how to recover from muscle soreness. You will need a foam roller for a painful relief from pain (If you do not understand what I just said, try foam rolling when your muscles are still sore).Foam rolling will improve your muscle recovery time, increase muscle blood flow and often improve your flexibility.

These are some of the basic equipment you will require to get started on setting up your own home gym. Once you are there, you may consider adding a barbell and plates, an adjustable bench and a power rack.


Once your gym is in place, consider putting up a workout plan that you can change up every 6-8 weeks. There are fantastic workout channels on YouTube that you can follow. If that is not enough, check out these free weight training programs for beginners.



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33 thoughts on “How To Set Up A Home Gym: The basic Equipment

  1. I have some of these things, but the trick for me is actually using them LOL. I am so bad about motivating myself to workout when I am at home.

  2. I think I have maybe 2 of the items up there and I bought them with the intent on using them… but somewher between working out an my couch i got lost! great tips and definitely got me reconsidering working out again!

  3. I like the idea that you don’t need a lot of big giant equipment to have a decent home gym. I’m with Robin on this now who’s going to get me to use the equipment that I have it at home I need some motivation .

  4. My husband has his own workout space and I read your post to him. He scored very well! Thank you for the information on the pieces he didn’t have and why he should!

  5. Love the idea of setting up a little circuit at home and quite inexpensive when you think about it! I have a gym membership but if I was ever to cancel I think I’d implement a few of these!

  6. I would love to so some more things from home, sometimes it is just so hard to get out of the house to work out!

  7. I want to get some adjustable dumbells so I can use them at home. I have a kettlebell and used to use it loads but I need to get into more of a habit x

  8. Those adjustable dumbbells are on my fitness wish list for sure. We don’t have a lot of space, so they would be really handy.

  9. Well I have kind of a home gym…just a couple weight bars, free weights, a mat and all my videos since I am mainly a runner. But I need to invest in some battle ropes and kettlebells for sure!

  10. You don’t really need much to be able to workout at home. Although it depends on the workout routine that you have planned for yourself. I think these items are important to have!

  11. I love working out at home because I don’t have to go to the gym, saves time and money! I think these are great, having the basic equipment is important.

  12. I never thought about having battle ropes in a home gym. What a good idea. I love the idea of a home gym. I should consider it.

  13. I have a couple of these pieces and they make it so much easier to get a good workout in when the weather is bad or when I’m home alone with the kiddos. I need to get some kettle bells. Great tips!

  14. I have always wanted my own home gym. I never heard of adjustable weights though. You really have my mind going now lol.

  15. You are right, I wasn’t expecting a mirror but that is a pretty good shout. Also a jump rope is affordable and motivating x

  16. The mirror is such a great tip, and I really think that it isn’t something most people would consider but is crucial for checking your form!

  17. I have a bit of a home gym thing going in my apartment. I have a treadmill, huge mirrors, dumbells, and mats. I wish I had high enough ceilings for a jump rope though and I also wish I didn’t live on the top floor. Having a home gym definitely helps with fitting in workouts and living a healthier lifestyle! I love it!

  18. I have a bit of a home gym thing going in my apartment. I have a treadmill, huge mirrors, dumbells, and mats. I wish I had high enough ceilings for a jump rope though and I also wish I didn’t live on the top floor. Having a home gym definitely helps with fitting in workouts and living a healthier lifestyle! I love it!

  19. I would love to set up a home gym at my house someday. These are some great equipment ideas for sure.

  20. Ooooo just love thIs!!! I was just tellIng my hubby how we need to set up a home gym. I will have to show him your suggestions

  21. These are great tips. Currently I only have a treadmill…in my bedroom! I’ve seen some amazing home gyms in small spaces to get me motivated.

  22. we live in a 3 bedroom house and when we only had the one child we used the spare bedroom as a little home gym. But then we had to get rid of it when the other two kids came along

  23. I am currently working out at home, I need to get some more equipment! I’m hoping to join a gym this summer, though!

  24. I used to workout at home but I swear its really a commitment.

  25. This is exactly what I need right now I”m starting to workout at home and I’m thinking to buy an equipment, Glad you share this tips

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