Who says you need thousands of dollars just to get fit at home? These days, the cost of home gyms is much more reasonable and quite affordable even for the average home. A little imagination, practical common sense and research will come a long way to help you achieve the home gym of your dreams at a budget. Here’s how:
Consider buying the most basic.
Most first time home gym owners make the mistake of getting carried away when buying their own home fitness equipment. They jump right in and buy the most complete, multi-function machine that beckons from the display room of a store. This is impractical and very costly.
The reason is that multigyms, apart from being quite expensive, offer multiple exercise or workout options. High-end ones even let you vary your workout routines by allowing you to do 50 to 60 exercise regimens. For the first-timer, this can be very overwhelming. Most beginners can do well with at least 3 and a maximum of 10 exercise routines to get a total body workout AND strength training as well. The result? You have an exercise machine that sits there, not fully optimized.
A better thing to do is to buy the most basic equipment first and expand progressively. This will allow you to add more features and equipment as your fitness levels change and improve. That way, you’ll buy only what you need and can afford, at least for the time being.
Go for fewer bells and whistles.
For majority of home gym equipment, you will get what you pay for. However, that shouldn’t stop you from keeping an eye on your budget. Losing weight and keeping fit generally requires you to purchase machines that allow cardiovascular equipment. The bad news is, this type of equipment will cost you. The good news is, you can do something about it.
Probably one of the cheaper cardio equipment available today that are effective and easy to use are stationary bikes. Inexpensive ones can cost from about $100 to around $180. The price range may be a bit steep for the budget conscious but remember that cardio exercise equipment are a good investment, so it’s best to look for quality, performance and endurance. Just don’t look for a lot of features, though.
If you prefer treadmills, there are options that cost around $150. These are generally self-powered (meaning, there is no motor that will move the conveyor belt) and you’re usually limited to walking – no running or even jogging. You could power-walk, though and if paired with weights, this type of budget home gym equipment will do nicely for your fitness goals.
There are also cheaper alternatives to the generally-expensive ellipticals. Prices can range from around $280 to $430. Low-end ones do the job but they’re mostly best for people with smaller frames. If you’re taller or heavier, best go for equipment in the mid-priced range.
For total body workout, try a budget-priced rowing machine. For as little as $150, you’ll get a great workout equipment that offers smooth motion, sturdy design and yes, even digital readouts to help you keep track of the calories you have burned.
Buy secondhand or refurbished.
There are stores (also online shops) that offer gym equipment you can get at a discounted price. You need only pay around 20% to 40% of the original price, maybe even less. Be careful, though. Make sure you can check the quality of the machine yourself so you are assured it will perform as it should and last long. Shop around and check out several sources before deciding on which refurbished or secondhand equipment to buy.
Penny pinching fitness buffs
So now that you have an idea of how little you could spend on a home gym equipment, you’re probably thinking, ‘What if all I can afford is equipment ranging from $50 to $100?’ Well, take heart. You can still enjoy home gym fitness at zero budget, by investing in equipment that will not put a dent in your pocket. Here are some choices:
Skipping rope. A single set using skipping ropes Kettlebell leg workouts offers you excellent cardiovascular exercise. Couple this with a routine in strength training with a set of free weights and you’re good to go.
Free weights. If you must spend, spend on a good set of free weights. Free weights are excellent for strength training and muscle toning. Simply pair them with a cardiovascular exercise of your choice.
Boxing equipment. Boxing is a terrific workout because it allows you to shed sweat, it increases your heart rate and works out every muscle in your body. Buy a cheap but sturdy punching bag and a pair of gloves that offer sufficient protection. Then hit your home gym and start working out.