How to Set Up an Epic Home Gym that You Will Actually Use for Under $1000!
For many of you, 'going to the gym' can be a huge barrier to building consistency with movement and exercise. Whether it's feeling uncomfortable in the gym, not knowing how to use the equipment or just struggling to make extra time to drive to and from the gym, I get it! Life gets busy and exercise needs to fit in with your life. This is why setting up a home gym can be a fantastic idea!
The best thing about setting up a home gym is that you get to design it and develop new habits that fit your lifestyle and enhance your wellbeing both mentally and physically... AND it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive! You don't need as much equipment as you think you do, in order to train effectively and get results! It doesn't require as much space as you think either. You can comfortably set up a small home workout area for under $1000 and in this guide, I am going to share all the secrets and product links I have used myself to help you get started!
This video will take you through the basic of setting up a simple space and then keep scroll below the video afterwards, to where I've included more descriptions on the equipment and where you can purchase it to give you some further guidance...
Step 1: Space
Figure out where you are going to set up your space. I have clients who have made space in their garage, undercover outdoor areas or even in their spare room. It doesn't matter where - as long as it feels like a productive, practical space for you to be able to breathe and move effectively.
Things to take into consideration: air flow, weather, space to move, design and creativity (you want to make it feel like a motivating, energising, inspiring space to want to be in).
Step 2: Flooring
The flooring you decide to use really depends on where you're setting up the gym area. If it's in your garage or an undercover outdoor space, you might want to invest in some rubber flooring like this or this to make it more comfortable.
Step 3: Equipment
Below is the list of equipment I recommend for my clients based on the Wild Fox Way programming and method. Again, it's entirely up to how you train and how much equipment you will actually use. I'm not in the 'bodybuilding' space. At Wild Fox Way, we focus on efficiency and bulletproofing the body by blending calisthenics, strength, flexibility and movement.
Over the years, I've seen a lot of equipment go to waste collecting dust. I get it! You feel motivated and get inspired to buy a bunch of equipment so you invest in a bunch of 'stuff' you think you need to get fit. The problem is, you've likely done all of it BEFORE hiring a coach or working out what program you are going to follow. Then, when you begin training, you realise you don't need most of the equipment you bought, you don't know how to use it or you use it the way you saw that 'fitness influencer' doing this exercise and wind up injured or defeated if it doesn't work for you.
To avoid going through this debacle, I am going to save you some heartache by giving you my 3 secrets to success...
Secret 1: First, get clear on your goals!
Secret 2: Then hire a coach*, especially if:
- You have never had a coach before
- You are experiencing any kind of limitations, aches, pains or niggles that you've been ignoring
- You want this to work for you and to not just repeat the same patterns
Secret 3: Find out what equipment you NEED to get started (remember: you can add to it as you develop and build consistency)
The following list includes the basic equipment you will use when you're starting out. What I have observed over my years as a coach, is that it takes around 6 months to build a consistent exercise routine and see the 'big' results. Beyond the 6 months, training has become a more natural part of your life and you'll find you're ready and able to take on some higher-level training which is when you may want to invest in some more equipment like a squat rack and barbell set.
If you're starting out, have had some time off or always seem to struggle to make beyond the 6 month mark in terms of consistency with working out, this is a great place to start:
What it is: for lack of a better description, it's a stick!
What you use it for: A variety of mobility, stability and postural alignment exercises.
Approx. cost: between $5-$20 from Bunnings (you can also use a broomstick)
What they are: a short bar with a weight at each end, used typically in pairs
What you use them for: A variety of strength and conditioning exercises. Hands down one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment that you will use all the time. Some benefits include: grip strength development, general strength and conditioning, increasing joint mobility and flexibility, exercise progressions
Approx. cost: depends on the amount of weight (roughly between $20-120 for a set)
When starting out, I recommend these weights... 6kg, 8kg
What they are: a large cast-iron ball-shaped weight with a single handle.
What you use them for: because a kettlebell has an off-set centre of gravity, it is more challenging to control which overtime improves overall strength, core power, balance, flexibility, and coordination
Approx. cost: depends on the amount of weight (you can pick them up for $10-$50 on FB Marketplace or Kmart)
Recommended weight: when you're starting out, I recommend purchasing a 6kg &/or 8kg weight
What it is: a bench with adjustable backrests and seats allowing for changing angles, increasing the range of exercises you can perform.
What you use it for: A variety of different strength exercises. This is a really useful piece of equipment that is sometimes overlooked in home gym set ups.
Approx. cost: $80-$350 (depending on where you purchase it from and which brand. You can find a decent bench on Amazon for approx. $150-$200 or secondhand on FB Marketplace for approx. $60-$100). Click here for a decent mid-range bench
Chin Up Station
What it is: Most chin-up stations are multipurpose with various bars and handles that you can use to create variety in your workouts.
What you use it for: This is my absolute favourite piece of equipment to have in a home gym (and is actually much less expensive than people expect) because it opens up so many options for you to be able to develop strength in a variety of different ways including 'hanging' to increase grip strength and overall longevity! It also doubles as a place you can resistance bands from to increase the variety of exercises you can do in your home workouts.
Approx. cost: $120-$350 (Kmart sell them online for $129 - bargain!)
What they are: an elastic band used for strength training
What you use them for: Resistance bands help you to build muscle by recruiting stabilising muscle groups. They can also add extra load and intensity to body-weight exercises and help develop control and flexibility.
Approx. cost: depends on the strength and type of band approx. $10-$100
What it is: A step that can be adjusted to different heights
What you use it for: It also has multiple uses for a range of different exercises to increase and decrease the range of motion, load and intensity to develop strength and mobility. A staple piece of equipment in the Wild Fox Way method.
Approx. cost: Kmart has a decent one that will do the trick for only $10-$15
A few places you can purchase this equipment:
Amazon - Exercise & Fitness (if you have an Amazon prime subscription, you can get free delivery on a lot of equipment too)
*Secret coaching 'insider' tip for hiring a coach: Not all coaches are the same, nor do they have the same knowledge or niche! There are many styles of training.
Therefore, it's important to know what you need and desire. You may not know exactly what that is (that's why you're hiring a coach) but you will have some idea of the challenges you're facing and the direction you want to head in, which will help you find the right coach.
For example: if you want to compete on stage in WBFF and go down the bodybuilding path, you probably wouldn't hire me as a coach. You would find someone who has competed in WBFF.
If you want to develop confidence in your own ability, actually learn how and why you're doing certain movements/exercises AND get strong, fit, flexible and move really well while you're at it, that's my jam! The women I work with get empowered because they're receiving quality educations AND they get sustainable results above and beyond what they imagined because of it. It all depends where your values lie...
Find a coach who's been in the game for a while and continues to learn and up-skill. What most PT's learn in order to get qualified really only covers the basics. I am not disqualifying that AT ALL. We all start somewhere and they will likely still know more than you ;) ... however, if your challenges are more complex or you're not getting results, don't be afraid to try a few different coaches until you find one who resonates and is able to help you get your desired outcomes.
Find someone whose story and methods resonate with you and whose clients are getting the results YOU want. Remember to keep an open-mind. If your goal is purely to lose weight, try to remember that there are many factors at play and be open-minded in your approach - trust your coach and trust the process. The more open-minded you can be on your fitness, movement and health journey, the more likely you are to learn more and achieve not just results, but real life-changing transformational growth!
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” - Bill gates
Happy gym building legends!
As always, I’d really love to hear your feedback after you’ve read and watched the videos. Leave your feedback below this guide or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Happy to help!
Move well friends,