How to Build a Home Gym for Under $200
Without fitness, we could not enjoy all the outdoor activities that we care so much about. How do we stay fit? What equipment do we use? How can you do it too? How do you build a home gym for under $200?
There are many ways to stay fit
Whether it is group classes, HIIT, running, biking, hiking, yoga, kettlebells, TRX or calisthenics – they all work. As long as you do them! The major obstacle that I find as a professional fitness coach, is that people find ways to get out of exercising. It could be a busy day at work, kids, unexpected life events or just laziness.
How do you get around this? By making access to exercise easy and find activities that you enjoy. Sounds simple, because it is. Everyone has unexpected things happen in life, I get that. But repeatedly finding ways to avoid training will get you nowhere. Trust me, I see it every day. I get it. I appreciate it. But I don’t want it to happen to you. So, I want to give you some tools and resources to help you out.
Home gym equipment
One of the best ways to make fitness accessible is to make it a routine, and part of your home. It does not need to be fancy or take up a lot of space. Sure, you can go out and buy a bunch of equipment and turn the basement into a rec center. By all means, go for it! For those of you that are on a budget, or don’t want to turn a room into a fitness studio, I have some ideas for you. Some of my favorite fitness tools are affordable, portable, and don’t take up much space. These are exactly the same tools I use when training at the gyms I operate out of. What are they? TRX, kettlebells, and body weight. That is basically it. Sometimes we use battle ropes, slam balls, and BOSU as well. Though, I doubt you have space to put a 70-foot battle rope in your home. Perhaps around a tree in the backyard…. but we are getting a bit off topic now 🙂
Keep it simple
TRX is lightweight, portable and easy to set up. I train everyone from professional athletes and military to septuagenarians and disabled individuals. It is easy to learn how to use the TRX system and safe for everyone. I work alongside physical therapists at Push Gym, and they even use the TRX for rehabilitation. So, there you go. It is legit. MSRP $150
Next up is the kettlebell. This has become my favorite tool over the last 4 years. Kettlebells are durable and will last you a lifetime. It is basically a cannonball with a handle. There are several kinds out there, but I prefer the standard iron ones or competition style. Stay away from adjustable kettlebells! Do not buy a knock-off TRX either. I have seen the replicas break. Not something you want to have happen when doing inverted rows or incline press!
Other considerations for suspension trainer would be the monkii bar. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with co-founder monkii Dan, on several occasions. We winter camped, climbed a mountain, went splitboarding and then shot this fun workout video series.
How we train
There are two schools of thought when it comes to exercise. One is to workout. Meaning, attend a class or hit the gym and exercise without a real plan. Nothing wrong with this at all, as this is how most people exercise. It feels good to go break a sweat and feel productive. I am all for this! Anything to get you moving and feeling good.
The other way is to train. Meaning, have a plan and stick to it. This is where having a good coach, certified personal trainer or other fitness professional guide you is optimal. The professional can create a plan that will help you reach your goals, whatever they are. It might not seem as exciting as a fun group class, but the outcome is more predictable and beneficial for your goals. So, working out = fun, random and usually beneficial. Training = structured, predictable, goal oriented. Both are good, so find which path you would like – and stick to it! Heck, you can mix it up too. Sometimes I take the day off of training and do a random workout, just to mix things up. The brain needs stimulation too!
Most of the people that I train have goals that I can empathize with. They want to feel good, move well, be resistant to injury, have good posture and enjoy their sports and activities. From office workers who get after it on the weekends to retired professionals that want to ski and hang out with the grandkids. I created the Mountain Fitness School for the people that I align most with. The person who wants to get the most out of the mountains and recover quickly, to get back out there.
The online course is a passion project for me, coming from years of research, trial, and error and a desire to help people that I can not train in person. There are students that are using the course for major mountain summits (Everest and Denali) bow hunters (these guys are hardworking!) and lots of backcountry skiers and splitboarders. I am offering all Engearment readers a discount on the courses. Enter ENGEARMENT30 at checkout. It is my way of saying thanks for the last 5 years of support. I love getting outside, testing gear, reporting back to you the good (and bad) and – hopefully – helping you get the most out of this beautiful world. Offering this fitness advice is another way that I hope to help you with your life’s path.
Why should you listen to me?
Great question! Hopefully, you have gotten a good feel for me through the years of making gear reviews. Or, perhaps we have linked up on a skin track or met at an outdoor event. If not, I hope we get a chance to do so! My background is in fitness and it is the main way I put food on the table. Has been for the last 10 years. Prior to that, I worked in a law firm doing accounting and IT work. I left the corporate world to pursue my passions of helping people with their health and getting them outside. I have had the great opportunity to learn from my mentors in every category of fitness and outdoor recreation.
Learning StrongFirst kettlebell and bodyweight techniques from Brett Jones, Karen Smith, Zar Horton and teams of other leaders. Tutored under the excellent guidance of Ken Blackburn to learn the IKFF methods of kettlebell training. Gone through every TRX course and certification there is. Learned how to use the FMS to screen for movement opportunities and went to NPTI to earn the NSCA certification. I am still enrolled in courses and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. My goal is to provide YOU with the best resources to help you feel good and enjoy a high quality of life.
Are you still reading this? Get away from the screen and go exercise! There is no time like now. We are not guaranteed days in this life. Make the most of it. I hope you found some of this helpful and have decided to either join a gym, build a home gym and/or take one of the courses. No matter what you choose to do for your fitness, I hope you find it rewarding and empowering.
Co-Founder of Engearment and Director of Stoke